Freelancing in our Small Space
I have been freelancing for about 7 months now but in actuality more like 5 months because child care didn't start until September. I still have so much to learn about this new way of life but I thought it would be a good point to check in and share some things that are working and recognize some that aren't.
I mentioned in my previous post where I shared this big change of leaving my previous job to pursue freelance work, that I would be working with two local interior designers. I am proud to be on the teams' of Laura Melling and Andrea McLean, two incredibly talented women and mothers who inspire me daily. I am currently working 2 days a week and sometimes at night supporting their projects as a project manager but I'm hoping to add a third day shortly.
I am often found working hunched over (much to Occupational Therapist Trevor's dismay) on our big cozy couch or typing away at a wifi cafe like Kafka's or LibertyYVR. Or two days a week I have the pleasure of working out of the creative co-working space The Aviary. The Aviary is the dream work location for a new freelancer like me (or any creative freelancer) and I hope to expand my time there. Besides there, the closest cafe's and my couch are my main stays at the moment. I keep my laptop in our teak hutch along with any cords and pack everything away the moment I am done working or it risks destruction.
I had high hopes of completing work on the days when I am home with just Mae but I forgot that at 18 months they need attention and between keeping a clean house, making dinner, school pick-ups and life, I rarely get in more than an hour or two of work in a day. I also received some very valuable advice from Liane (who generously reached out with advice and encouragement when I first mentioned quitting my job. She should write a book about how to successfully do contract work and raise a family!). Her advice to me, which I took to heart early on, is try as much as possible to do one thing at one time. If you are with your family be with them and be present. If you are working, work and be present. Don't try to do both at all times. So instead of stressing about all the work I am not getting done on my days with Mae or both kids, instead I embrace the slowness and the mundane of motherhood. Then when I work, I work focused and intently knowing I only have a limited number of hours to get everything off my list. It's not perfect but I am working on setting firmer boundaries and brushing off the guilt I am so quick to feel.
There is so much more to say... like about childcare and accounting and spending so much more time in our small space than I have in the past. But I hope to write about this more in coming months. I realize this is a bit of a departure from Small Living but I thought it was worth sharing as I always thought that one of the main reasons we could survive in a small space is because we both worked full-time jobs and really cherished our limited time together. I was really concerned that if I stopped working full-time and spent more time at home I would go crazy in our tiny home. Between a year of maternity leave at home with 2 kids and now 6 months of part-time freelance work, I'm finding I'm still into our small living city life (even if I never pee alone).