I have a short quiz for all you fellow freelance writers out there.
Let’s say you work from home. Let’s say that you are a freelance writer and work from home. Let’s say you’re a parent of small children, a freelance writer and work from home.
1. What are your biggest challenges or obstacles to working as efficiently as possible?
A. Procrastinating by posting pictures of your adorable little moppets on Facebook.
B. Constant demands to put on another episode of “Word Girl” or “Dinosaur Train.”
C. Trying to schedule interviews while your small children are napping and/or at school, thus giving you a fighting chance of uninterrupted quiet time.
D. Trying to crank out an 800-word story during naptime but before school pick-up.
E. All of the above.
What were your answers?
I’ll also allow an option F. Option F is a fill-in-the-blank answer so that you can provide your most likely distraction. Perhaps your Option F involves soccer practices, staggered school drop-offs and pick-ups or a never-ending list of family errands to run when you also need to be writing.
Another question for you.
2. What is the biggest advantage to the aforementioned work situation?
A. You can get your four-year-old to fetch papers off the printer for you, thus saving some wear and tear on your old knees.
B. You can get your four-year-old to fetch a nice cold can of Diet Coke from the fridge for you.
C. You can get your four-year-old to run put the portable phone on the charger for you, since you forgot to do so earlier.
D. You get to take time out of your work day to take the kids to get frozen yogurt.
E. All of the above.
Again, I’ll allow an Option F. We all have our reasons, right?
My own personal Option F answer is “You can be the one who picks your kid up at school and gets to hear all about how he sang “This Little Light of Mine” in music class and got to play Batman on the playground and they had animal crackers at snacktime and someone brought a Clone Trooper toy for share time and he was the line leader today and, and, and…”
And the final question.
3. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
A. Working full-time in an office, dur.
B. Full-time hands-on no-interruptions, All Parenting All the Time.
C. Working part-time from an office and part-time from the home.
D. Sleeping more.
E. Sleeping more.
Tough call on that one. I want to answer C, because that would be so fabulous, but the allure of getting more sleep is hard to resist. Well, you pick.
How’d you do?
Overall, two of my biggest challenges when it comes to working from home are my four-year-old and my one-year-old. I change a lot of diapers and serve a lot of snacks and hiss, “I’m on the PHONE!!” more than I’d like to think about.
And my older son always seems to wait ’til I’m on the phone with some big-deal grand poobah source from Harvard or someplace equally prestigious to start bellowing about how he needs Star Wars fruit treats or a Gogurt. What’s that about? We’ve talked and talked and TALKED about how he needs to stay quiet and not interrupt when Mom’s on the phone, and he seems to get it. But it’s like when he gets hungry, his stomach takes over his brain.
But my one-year-old and four-year-old are also two of the biggest reasons I’m doing this freelance journalism thing. And spending time with them is definitely one of the biggest benefits.