Being a dad and being a successful freelancer

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Being a dad and being a successful freelancer

“In the end, we’ll all become stories.” Margaret Atwood.

We share stories to remember (or not to forget); we share stories to help others learn; and we often share stories because somewhere in that story, there’s a mirror that reflects a glimpse of who we are or who we hope to become.

Freelancers face greater pressure to get back to work after having a baby, but with the right strategies, it’s possible to balance both.

Why Freelancing?


Like many of you, I did not aspire to be a freelancer growing up; instead, I went to college, pursued a degree, and graduated with a specific set of skill sets that I was ready to share with the world. And then, life happened.

Shortly after graduating from the university, I found myself navigating the landscape of corporate world, yet the jobs that I obtained simply led to greater frustration as I tried to balance being a husband and starting a new family. Searching for a job that would allow me and my wife to have a semblance of work-life balance seemed futile, so we made the decision that I would stay at home. By my own account, this was an atypical choice, especially for an African man, but it was one that made sense for my family unit.

The Stay-at-Home-Dad


As my family grew and a kid was added to the roster, I had to make some difficult decisions about the types of freelancing opportunities that I could take. As a graphic designer, I could easily work from home, but some projects required having ²⁴/₇ access, quick deadlines, and odd hours with clients.

With a toddler clamoring at my feet and seeking my attention, I had to say “no” to projects that would be disruptive to my routine. In-person projects were equally as tricky as I was the primary caregiver during the day. Yet, I was undeterred by the setbacks and determined to make freelancing work.

As much as the family needed the two incomes, my young kid needed me more which led to what I describe as the most valuable lessons that I learned since freelancing, “Prioritize the important things, meditate, listen and most importantly, stay humble.”

Success as a Freelancer


It’s that humility and willingness to grow and learn that has led to my success as a freelancer. I figured out how to work on projects that are purposeful and profitable without compromising my family life.

Final Word


There’s no need to be apologetic about having a life and obligations outside of work. For most of us who opt to take this route, freelancing is not just a career choice, it’s a lifestyle choice. Being freelance helps me be the dad I want to be. Living this life and making my own hours allows me to do that. There are certainly stresses involved, but you just have to be confident in what you are doing. If you’re not confident, it’s going to show up in your work.

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