Spring finally seems to have arrived, the daffodils are blowing gently in the breeze and the sun has been shining all day (although the only time I have seen it is from the occasional glance out of the window while I work away on the computer).
So what’s life like for me as a freelance, work-at-home mum? Like many I work from home, but today it has been slightly disjointed. My daughter woke up with a migraine and despite managing some breakfast, still felt very grotty. We made it just over half way to school in record slow time before she finally admitted she felt awful and couldn’t manage to walk to school, let alone concentrate when she got there.
As a Mum, my immediate thought is to comfort and nurse, but as a freelancer, my next thought is “how I will manage to get any work done”. Home we came, into PJs and back to bed (my daughter not me). Half an hour later a dose of Nurofen and a darkened room but no sleep, she asked to lay on the sofa, I warned her it would be quiet but nevertheless she felt lonely and wanted to be near.
The upside is I haven’t had to ring in to an employer, find childcare or even leave the house. Instead, I can spend the day working while keeping one eye on my daughter and the other on the phone and computer.
Recovery began to take place, enough for her to say “at least you don’t need to walk today” (my usual school run is 3/4 of a mile each way, a total of 15 miles a week, and that doesn’t include shopping or just going for a walk, we don’t have a car. I recently misplaced my footing on the stairs and jarred my ankle resulting in a swollen, bruised ankle).
I work as a telemarketer and have different weekly hours for each client, so it only takes something small like this to throw the whole day and ultimately the week awry.
My top tips for coping:
- Be flexible: I’m fortunate enough to plan my working day around school hours, but when something like this happens, you need a bit of wriggle room.
- Be disciplined: I’ve learnt to let the telephone go to voicemail if it rings just as I’m about to leave for the school run, or if it rings while I’m putting dinner on the table. I’ve had many conversations with clients while walking down the road (and even carry a notepad and pen just in case), but otherwise, I’ve learnt that in most cases, it can wait.
- Stick with it: Some weeks can be incredibly frustrating when everything seems to go wrong, but stick with it with dogged determination.
Surprisingly, I have managed to complete the hours I wanted today, my daughter is feeling better and tomorrow is another day!
How do you cope when things go awry! What tips would you add?