Stock photography — the commercial photography used in advertising and on lots of larger, corporate blogs — portrays the working mom as a multi-tasking mistress, bouncing between her loves for work, her family, fashion, her laptop, and coffee, as if not one of them will catch on that their relationship isn’t monogamous.
My freelance life doesn’t look like that. In fact, it looks a lot more like a traditional work routine than you might think. Here are the top four ways that my freelance life is not like stock photography portrays it:
4. I’m not chic.
There are some really cool stock photos out there of mega-stylish work-at-home-moms, but sadly I don’t look like those ladies do. I’m not unfashionable, but I don’t have black-rimmed glasses or sleeve tattoos, either.
3. I work at my desk.
I have a home office with a desk and a desk chair, and that’s where I do the vast majority of my work. Working from the couch opens up too many distractions, including falling asleep. My home office helps keep me focused, and when my family sees me at my desk, they know that I’m probably working on something for a client.
2. I get dressed.
I wake up each morning, take a shower, get dressed, and put on makeup. I don’t typically see my clients (I rarely even have video calls with them), so this routine is almost exclusively for my own benefit. When I feel alert, I do better work. Getting dressed for work helps me feel ready to work.
1. We use childcare.
Perhaps the biggest work-at-home-parenthood myth of all is the one that says you can work and parent simultaneously. Sure, freelancing provides flexibility, but building a business requires focus. It’s not fair to my daughter to spend her childhood looking up to a momma who’s looking back at a computer screen, and it’s not fair to my clients (especially those who pay an hourly fee) for my attention to be split between work and parenting. Childcare makes it possible for Small Shaw and my clients to get the quality of care they each deserve.
How about you? Do you work from home? How is your freelance life is different from how the media portrays home working to be? I’d love to hear some of my freelancing readers chime in, so I hope you’ll leave a comment today.