Help for moms who freelance?

Ilise BenunGot this question from an attendee of CFC 2010 who just had another baby and isn’t sure what to do with her business. Can anyone help?

Well, I’m a mother of 2 now and was wondering if you had any good resources for moms with home businesses?

Now that my second child is here, I’m realizing right now that I just can’t work my business too. Is there a right way to put my business on hold? Should I let past clients and prospects know? On the other hand I was considering buying your new eCalender so I can just focus for now on the marketing aspects of my business. I just have not worked much with my business ever since I got pregnant, March of this year.

Anyone been there, done that? Suggestions please…

5 thoughts on “Help for moms who freelance?

  1. Kim Green

    Balancing work and mom has always been a constant struggle for me. I did make the mistake with my second child with not stepping back from my career. I had the same fear – I would loose my clients. I was crazy, not sleeping nights, and worked every chance I could. I did reach the point (out of pure exhaustion) where I began out-sourcing projects to a few designers I trusted – and cannot recommend it enough. It took a while to get the trust to outsource, but well worth it if you can find someone you work well with. I now have different designers, who all offer a different style than I do, which I still send projects to if its a good fit. I also recommend, however, to be honest with your current clients. Not necessarily about the outsourcing, but if you want to cut back on your work. They will likely understand, and it will make your life much easier. Plan how many hours or days you want to work – let your clients know, then stick to it. Kids grow up fast – and you can’t get that back.

  2. Lisa Lehman

    I kind of went in the opposite direction. When I became pregnant with my second child, I quit my full-time job and spent the months of my pregnancy building up my client list. There wasn’t much down time after my daughter was born; I had deadlines. This is such a period of transition; I would suggest giving it a little more time before making any decisions. If you don’t have any work in the pipeline, you don’t have anything to worry about. If you really want to put it on hold, reach out to other freelancers who would welcome the work. This will also help out your clients.

  3. Emina

    I know exactly how this mom feels. When my son was 18 months old I had to leave my full time job and I’ve decided to start my own business. It was really hard but I was determined and worked almost day and night to get things going. If I’d knew how hard it is going to be; maybe I would waited until my son was a little bit older. Now, he is 28 months and he still goes to babysitter because he doesn’t understand the concept of me working. As soon as I sit behind the desk he comes running and wanting me to hold him. I understand that maybe you can’t afford the babysitter or you don’t want to have someone else watch your child; then I think that is going to be much harder to pursue the business. In the beginning of my business I went to a lot of events and networking; that is the huge part of getting your name out and if you have a child with you all day that is just impossible. So, the advice I would give you is to start the marketing process; start doing the research since it seems to me that the business isn’t really going the full force. I think that now you have the time to figure out your target audience and what direction you want to take and you can do that while your child is sleeping. And as your children get older you will know exactly who you want to work with and go after. Hope this helps

  4. Cathy Cotter

    Finding balance is one of lifes biggest challenges when it comes to work and family. My children are 28 and 24 today and I (and husband) worked my business through their formative years. I managed to find flexible trusting caregivers who shared in our parenting philosophy. That wasnt always easy but keep looking. I was lucky with my second child who enjoyed playing quietly by herself. While she created her imaginery worlds I hung in with mine. It worked out quite well despite the ups and downs. I never had to let go of my career. Parenting is the most rewarding and most difficult job in the world. It takes great finesse to keep all in balance but if I can do it, you can too! Dont doubt yourself. Just think of what you need to make it happen and go get it.

  5. Lisa

    Sorry for my delay but I appreciate all your responses. I’m actually the mom Ilise (thanks Ilise) posted about. I should mention that I have a unique situation in that my business does not have to go towards paying the house bills. So I think that makes my incentive less. Before having my second who is 2 months old now I would work on my business when my daughter was watched either by Grandma, daycare or now she is in pre-school 2 times a day. Even though I am a stay at home mom I mainly put her in daycare so she could socialize around other kids. It was only once/week. I wanted to be a stay at home but have my business part-time. So in my situation is there a right way to put my business on hold? Should I still carry a license? Will it hurt me to let the IRS know my business is on hold then start it up again? Should I send out some sort of mailing to my contact list & clients to let them know my business is on hold for now? Thanks for your input.