As a single parent, the flexibility of freelance work enables Keryn Potts to drop her four-year-old daughter off at preschool and pick her up. “Childcare does not suit people who work late, weekends, or need flexibility,” she says…
Keryn Potts lives in Walthamstow, north east London, with her four-year-old daughter, Soren. She’s a Digital Mums-trained social media manager, and the founder of new creche and co-working space Creche + Co.
I decided to go freelance when … I had my daughter and realised I couldn’t work the hours/days that my industry required. I was made redundant after returning from a short maternity break, and so didn’t have the comfort of a previous role to return to that may have accommodated a parent’s needs – such as childcare issues and certain hours that couldn’t be worked. Childcare does not suit people who work late, weekends, or need flexibility. The roles I was going for all had odd hours and as I am a single parent without family in the UK, I knew the jobs were impossible to fulfil.
This style of working suits me because … I am a single parent, and can only rely on myself to do everything for my daughter, such as preschool drop-offs/ pickups, doctor’s appointments etc. I need flexibility so that I can work out my own schedule and decide when things get done.
The greatest challenge I face as a freelancing mother is … finding the right balance, such as spending enough time with my daughter versus doing all the other tasks to earn a living, as well as jobs around the home. I often feel guilty when I have to work and my daughter is at home, with no family to take over. During this time, she’s left to her own devices, but wants me to play and read books. I need to work more on time management for my admin tasks, chasing up invoices etc. I’m often up late at night finishing things. One of the hardest things weighing on my mind is to just get it right so that my daughter can be inspired from all that I hope to achieve.
In three words, being a freelance mum is … challenging, liberating, exhausting.
If I could change anything about my work/life balance it would be … More life, less work!
As a freelance mum, I work … less hours at the moment, because I’m in between jobs/contracts. Usually, when working, I work up to about 20-25 hours per week.
I do my freelance work from … home mainly, sometimes cafés and have used co-working/childcare facilities.
What I miss about office work is … interaction with others in real life, as well as collaboration and team work.
My freelance life would be a whole lot better if I … got paid on time by clients, promoted myself better by finally sorting out my own social channels, made more effort to meet others and collaborate, got more lengthy contracts.
On the whole, being a freelance mum is … the best fit for my family, especially while my daughter is still so young. It’s also a great opportunity to meet so many inspirational mums.