A few years ago when I had Danielle, J. bought me my own laptop just so I won’t get bored staying at home and at the same time allow me the opportunity to work online and stay at home. It wasn’t long before I returned to work and the laptop became a companion in presenting powerpoint lectures. I would never have thought that I would do freelance work full time in the years that would follow. Now, I am a full time freelancer and a stay at home mom.
So, what are the benefits of staying at home and working online?
1. Having a command of your time.
This is one attractive benefit of being a freelancer. Even if you have an online ’employer,’ you get to choose your projects, your deadline and the amount of time you will devote on a project.
2. Being able to stay with the kids while earning
Notice that I used the word ‘stay’ instead of ‘taking care of the kids’ while earning at home. It’s a different story though for pure stay at home moms who choose to personally take care of the kids. Me- I’m a hybrid between this kind of mom and the mom who is around while the kids play or are being taken cared of by a nanny. I divide my time in taking care of the kids and working. For instance, I work when the kids sleep or after I have given them a bath, dress them up or feed them. I’m off to worklandia once they are full or are engaged in play or educational activities.
3. Being able to work in your ‘house clothes’
Because I have never been a fashionista, the issue of saving the clothing allowance while working at home does not hold true. Of course, I did spend some money on clothes while working in the ‘real’ world, but the savings on this part is very minimal. However, I relish the idea that I get to work in shabby clothing!
4. Earning more than I get from my day job
Yes, the truth is I earn more from my freelance job than my day job. Thanks to globalisation and the www- we can offer our talents and expertise online to oversea employees.
What are the not so positive aspects of my freelance work?
1. Freelance is long hard work.
There is a common circulating misconception that because freelancers own their time, they could do as they wish. The opposite is true. When I am swamped with work and deadlines, I get to work even until the wee hours of the morning. Or in reverse- I sleep early with the kids and wake up at dawn to catch a deadline. Sometimes, I have to spend days with little sleep (but I make up on sleep deprivation the next week). In times like this, I see to it that I still have personal time with the kids and hence- I have to work extra hard when they are asleep or playing.
2. Freelancing could be isolating
Imagine not having bosses around nor coworkers to chat the time away. Yes, it could be isolating- but thanks to facebook, I could connect with most of my friends.
3. Freelancing could be fattening
This is the worst consequence of sitting in front of the computer almost the whole day!
To other moms thinking about freelancing, you could evaluate the pros and cons of working at home. in the end, what is important is you are happy with how you spend your time.