My husband and I were thrilled to find out we were pregnant because it was so hard to get to that point. However, I wasn’t prepared for the toll pregnancy would have on my freelance career. I’m not complaining; I just figured I’d share my experience to help others prepare. Everyone’s pregnancy is different, but that doesn’t mean you won’t experience similar things.
I Had a Major Lack of Energy
First of all, I knew I’d be tired because that’s what all of my friends told me. What they didn’t tell me is that I’d be tired to the point of needing a nap every day in the afternoon. As a freelancer working from home, I knew I could get away with a little snooze, but it did affect my productivity. This sometimes meant I’d have to work longer during the day to cover the time I missed while napping. Of course, this flexibility is one of my favorite things about being a freelancer.
Additionally, I am a very deadline-driven person, which means I tend to procrastinate until my deadline is in sight. This is really bad, but if I have a 6 a.m. deadline, I sometimes wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. to get it done. When I’m done, I just go back to bed and sleep for a few more hours. The first time I tried this as a pregnant woman was a nightmare. I had a really hard time dragging myself out of bed and then keeping my eyes open to work. Because of my pregnancy, I had to force myself to overcome my bad procrastination habits, at least to some degree. (You know you’re guilty, too…)
I Was Stressed from Pregnancy Complications
On top of my constant need for sleep, I lost valuable working time because of frequent dr. appointments. For a couple of weeks near the beginning of my pregnancy, I had to spend an hour every couple of days to go get my blood drawn. Also, my doctor had me coming in for weekly ultrasounds. There are so many things that can go wrong with a pregnancy, and they all add stress to your life. This doesn’t mean you’ll have pregnancy complications, but you should be prepared to miss some work in case you do. Plus, you might not be as productive when you do work because of the added stress on your life.
Also, my pregnancy complications led me to be on bed rest for a couple of weeks. This isn’t unbearable when you work from home, but it is still an inconvenience. I would just sit or lay on the couch with my laptop nearby. I usually move about from room to room during the day, but staying in one place wasn’t a very hard adjustment.
I was only mildly sick during my first trimester, so that didn’t really affect my freelance career. Although, I hear it can be a major inconvenience for some women (75 percent of pregnant women get morning sickness). Luckily for me, I could end my queasiness pretty quickly by eating a cracker or two.
I definitely lost some productivity after getting pregnant, but I was still able to make freelancing work for me. How have your pregnancies affected your freelance career? Leave a comment below.