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English Copywriter in Paris: The Pregnant Freelancer

The autumn was characterised by chill winds, colourful leaves and erratic posting on my part. I usually dust off the excuse of “too much work, too little time”, but, this time, I decided to be a little more inventive.

I’ve added a new layer to equation, that I’m pregnant. 7 and a half months to be precise.

I’m now well past the not-telling stage and the bump is unmistakable. There is no longer any confusion over whether I’ve just put on weight through rampant chocolate binges – as a not-so-close friend thought for the first 6 months.

As I often use this blog as a place to talk about freelancing issues, I thought I’d add a few musings about how the 9 months have affected my (freelancing) life so far.

Juggling deadlines, hospital appointments and much-needed siestas!

Juggling deadlines, hospital appointments and much-needed siestas!

1.)   It goes without saying that as a freelancing soon-to-be mother you have less financial security than an employee. This is one time in life when being an employee has MAJOR advantages, namely generous (paid) maternity leave and time off for all those appointments that never quite run to time. Although the RSI does provide some cover, this bears no relation to your average earnings.

2.)   In many ways, freelancing also gives you more flexibility (within limits of your finances). For example, you have more childcare options – 4 days a week? Early pick-up? You can also book those endless appointments without having to check with work first. Feeling tired? Simply stay at home or have a quick siesta.

3.)   I’m suddenly more aware of time. Although I often feel rushed off my feet, I’m beginning to realise that this is nothing compared to the challenges of juggling a freelance career with looking after a tiny little person. There is now a newfound urgency to being as efficient as possible – I’m trying to get good at the Pomodoro technique! This will require a big cut in leisurely newspaper-reading and internet browsing (for work purposes, of course).

Short bursts of concentration with Pomodoro

Short bursts of concentration with Pomodoro

4.)   In general terms, pregnancy seems to bring out the best and worst in others. There are those who ignore your obviously protruding bump on the metro, those who give condescending or contradictory advice, those who touch your tummy without asking and those who feel a sudden connection now that you’ll be sharing in the delights of motherhood.

5.)   Finally, I’ve starting asking lots of (often big) questions. What is really important? What do I want from life / my work etc. I guess big events help put everything into perspective. Who knows, maybe a career change is on the horizon?

Big events generate even bigger questions!

Big events generate even bigger questions!

There are just a few festive weeks to go until the big day, which is set for the end of January – fingers crossed I’m not heading for an unexpected Christmas present!

I’ll keep you posted on my pre-natal, natal and post-natal thoughts over the next few months.

Watch this space.

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