In many ways, summer holidays are no different to any other day, as a freelance mum.
Holidays are no different to any other day, as a freelance mum. It’s all a juggling act, just in different guises. Yet with summer, comes greater expectation and lets face it, we all want to enjoy time off. As a freelancer and a mum, that’s never easy.
Which is why I thought I’d take the time, take stock and share some of my reflections on and things I have learnt this summer as life as a freelance mum.
1 – Having time away, a complete change of scene and a large dollop of daydreams really is good for the soul.
It’s also good for making things happen. I’ve always known this, but it was reinforced this holiday when we were in Devon. To quote Freelance Mum member and hypnotherapist, Abi Rogers ‘a change of scenery is essential!’. Believe it or not, our brains are actually more productive when we’re not concentrating on the task in hand – hence those ‘eureka’ moments at random times’. Brilliant excuse for more holidays’!
2 – How to do a ‘dinosaur plait’
On one particularly wet afternoon on holiday in Devon, I decided to master different type of plait. Not much of a life skill, but I like being creative and I’m rubbish at following tutorials. So I was pretty impressed I managed to watch one enough times to actually manage something that vaguely resembled a plait. It’s nicknamed a dinosaur plait, as it looks a bit like the spine of a dinosaur, it’s official name is a ‘4 strand, 3D plait’, which sounds far more impressive. The most impressive part being, I can now just about do one, while Suki is watching Peppa Pig. Jemima, however, is having none of it – though I may have tried out the odd one, without her realizing.
3 – Canva
I’m not saying I’ve mastered it, or even that Canva and I will ever be best friends, but we’re now on speaking terms. We have fallen out several times previously, but with a bit of training from Karen Norman from Sensible Marketing, Canva and I are now friends. Together we can be creative and make nice pictures. Sometimes we still get cross with each other, but we’re getting on a whole lot better than before.
4 – It’s not a case of scaling up, or even scaling back, but taking time to look at the bigger picture
One of the things I enjoy about August, is because there’s no Freelance Mum events in August, I have time to look at the bigger picture – not just the day-to-day running. A chance to look at the year ahead and not feel like I’m fire fighting, it’s a really good place to be and a great way to get a sense of the year ahead.
5 – Running a summer offer is good for keeping marketing and social media fresh
On good advice from Linda Davies Carr, The Maser fixer and Rin Hamburgh, I decided to run a summer offer – book a podcast before September 30th for £150. Simple and streamlined. Not to mention the Freelance Mum Tote Bag Photo Competition, great suggestion from Nicky, of Nicola Jane Photography. Think ‘Hello’ magazine style, with photos of the Freelance Mum Tote Bag, in various locations, work/home/holiday. A fun way of generating content and makes people smile.
6 – Children really do, just love spending time with you
You don’t have to be doing anything special, they just like being together. I was reminded that this week, while Suki had a nap and I suggested to Jemima, we pop into the studio and do some work. I had a few emails to send out and she happily popped on the headphones and ‘recorded some voiceover’. I love how completely at home she is in the studio, she chatted away quite naturally, sharing all her stories and thoughts, while I typed away. It was like listening to her soul. Her memories and thought, the things that she shared were just gorgeous and it was all about us being together. Not only that, Suki’s favourite part of our camping holiday was ‘her whole family sleeping in the same room together’. Sometimes they’re so gorgeous I could eat them all up.
7 – Keep in contact with people who like what you do
Don’t give up. They might want to be part of it, but the time isn’t right. They might just be really busy! It was proven this summer, when Redmaids’ High began sponsoring Freelance Mum. They joined us for Brave, Bold & Bonkers in March, then went quiet. To be fair, they were busy merging with another school and it turns out that merging schools and building a new one, is demanding stuff! I could have gone quiet, but I gave them space, kept in touch and we got the green light this summer. Happy days for all of us.
8 – It’s a good time to update roller banners, signage for events and tinker with images for social media
Without the events every month, it’s a good time to update images, hit September with a fresh line up and reflect that in posts. See, I told you Canva and I are getting on (I may live to regret writing that).
9 – Both my girls can ‘swim’ without armbands
When I say swim, I mean ‘not drown’ – but they are both quite adamant that neither of them want to wear armbands, which means taking a trip to the local swimming pool is even less relaxing. And it wasn’t exactly relaxing in the first place!
10 – I love the summer, but I like routine too. And while I have no intention of wishing away, I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things come September. No doubt I’ll soon be wishing I had that lovely day dreamy headspace again, which is why I’m already planning half term 🙂
So then, what’s your reflections on summer? What have you learnt, in life as a freelance mum, this August? If you’re chomping at the bit already – come and join us at Freelance Mum in September, we’d love to see you.