When I found myself pulling all-nighters during a family holiday, I realised this wasn’t why I wanted to freelance in the first place.
So, I changed my mindset. Now, if I do the school run and can’t make a meeting, I don’t make up an excuse. I have to pick up the kids. Deal with it. My laptop stays at home when we go on holiday now too.
The stupid thing is, when I made this change, most of my clients didn’t bat an eyelid. When I look back on those early days and wonder why I disguised my family, I realise it comes down to two things. First, my inexperience as a freelancer and the imposter syndrome that crippled me. I felt I had to say ‘yes’ to everything because I had zero confidence in my own abilities and did not have the safety net of permanent employment to fall back on.
Second, the false assumption that being a parent means you’re not committed to your job. It’s certainly an issue that affects both employees and the self-employed – 50 per cent of workers feel judged by bosses and co-workers when they try to balance their work and family commitments, and 75 per cent suffer from stress and anxiety as a result of their work-life balance.
Freelancers may even struggle more than employees as further research reveals “that experiences of work-family conflict differ between self‐employed and employees. Self‐employed men and women, especially those with employees, generally experience more work-family conflict than do employees.”