Last Updated on April 20, 2021
Pregnancy is one of the most exciting milestones in a woman’s life, but juggling a career and pregnancy is a tough balance to maintain. What happens if you’re a freelancer, too?
Unique challenges at hand
Every pregnancy is different, but if you’re a freelancing mom-to-be, you are now faced with changing your budget to suit your growing family, being flexible with regards to the physical changes you’re facing, and building unpredictability into your daily plans. Some pregnancies will be easier, without issues like HG or morning sickness clouding the waters, while others may be difficult. Even if this isn’t your first baby, this pregnancy could be considerably different from your last, for better or worse.
Processing swinging emotions is very difficult when you need to appear cool and confident to your clients, especially if you’re having unfortunate physical symptoms. Regrettably, however, you’re going to have to bring your best game face to the table here. There is already a stigma against moms and pregnant workers, where they are perceived as unreliable and less capable. It would be nice to live in a world where this was not so, but until then you have to work with what we have. Remember to take plenty of stress-reducing breaks as well.
Finding a network
As your pregnancy develops, you may need to pass on a few tasks to other freelancers you can rely on. Plan for your first trimester to be your roughest physically and emotionally, with most normal pregnancies settling into a manageable pattern after that.
However, your third trimester may bring an unexpected challenge in the form of nesting. You may find very little interest in your work, so having the discipline and a reminder of your long-term goals need to be built into your plan. ‘Pregnancy brain’ is a real issue, so perhaps invest in a solid note-taking strategy to avoid missed deadlines.
Should I tell my clients?
You may be buzzing to share the good news with friends and family, but this one is probably best kept on the down-low for the average client. If you don’t rely on much face-to-face contact, you could even keep your private life quite the entirety of the pregnancy, if you feel better doing so. As you approach your due date, you may want to start asking for work in advance so that you can plan around your needs. If you have older kids in the house, don’t forget to plan for them as well.
How do I keep a professional image?
If you do rely on face-to-face client meetings, things will be harder for you. Not only will you have days where you feel less up to the challenge, but there’s also the matter of keeping a professional image. Tasteful maternity clothing will be your friend here. While it may seem like an unneeded added expense, tailored clothes that fit your image and you’ll look much more professional.
Pregnancy doesn’t mean abandoning your freelance career, but life will look a little different both during pregnancy and after your delivery. A smart freelancer should plan ahead, have flexibility, and enjoy the journey. While your life will be a little more difficult than an employed mom or stay-at-home mother, you can meet all your goals with a little planning and patience.