The freelance life is a strange one- amazing in its flexibility, but ever-frustrating in its unpredictability. In so many ways it is an ideal working mom scenario- but in others, being your own boss and being your kid’s (or, kids’) mom always seem to be at war with one another.
So, in the effort to keep all your professional balls in the air (unfortunate use of words, I agree, but it really is the best way I can think of to describe what people in my situation do on a daily basis- and it is clear based on the content of this blog that I am not in the porn business) and keep your little one(s) happy, certain things start to fall to the wayside.
“Let the little things go” is often the response I get when I ramble my list of should-have-dones to friends and semi-strangers alike. And while at first this “advice” sounds akin to “don’t sweat the small stuff” (something I do try and heed because I think it is valid), it is actually quite different.
In experience, after enough days/weeks/months of letting little things, both personal and professional, slip through the cracks, they become big things. And these big things nag at my brain nightly as I try and get some much needed rest- leading me to think if I took the extra hour to do these small things regularly, perhaps I would be a less anxious person and a more present mom overall?
For example- writing my blog. I love to do it. But when it is 6pm and I have finished editing videos, pitching segments, shooting videos and replying to emails for the day, the opportunity to go downstairs and have dinner with Alexa always takes precedence to spending an extra hour in my office typing away.
Another “small thing” made big? Organizing our family photos. If I took an hour even just once or twice a month to sort through the mess that is our iPhoto and Photo Streams and random email attachments and actually edited and filed the images with some degree of rhyme or reason, I would sleep significantly more soundly. But when that hour presents itself, I honestly feel it is much better spent dressing up in bizarre outfits with Alexa and putting on made-up musicals on her stage in the playroom. Or replying to 20 “Just following up on XYZ/making sure you got my email about XYZ, yada yada yada” emails in an effort to defend against 40 more of the same flooding my inbox the next day.
The list is endless- updating my work contacts (or, to be totally honest, even creating some sort of work contact list), updating holiday card addresses, cleaning out my beauty closet, cleaning out Alexa’s toddler clothes….I am going to stop here as my blood pressure is rising with each character I type.
Any tips on how to keep my passion projects alive while also keeping my household afloat are very appreciated. From efficient apps to guilt-mediating mental mantras, I will accept whatever wiseness you want to give with great gratitude.
And don’t think you are off the hook just because you may not be in the exact same work/life situation. My tendency is to always write from personal experience, so the details above are specific to my scenario, yes, but I know very well that the mindset (or should I say mental mayhem?) described is universal.