Remember how I wrote about leaving my job and being a stay-at-home mom for the first year of my daughter's life? Well, things have changed a bit, and as of today, I am working from home as a freelance medical writer. Because I am still taking care of my baby full time, my freelance hours are very limited. Nevertheless, I believe this officially makes me a work-at-home mom!
This opportunity came about when my old company that I left after giving birth offered me to work for them on a freelance basis. This was back in November, and I was not ready then. But they contacted me again in December, and this time I was up for it. This was mostly due to the fact that my daughter was sleeping through the night. I know, I have that unicorn baby that started sleeping 11 hours at night at the age of 3.5 months. But don't hate me yet because she is going through the infamous 4 month sleep regression now, and we are no longer sleeping through the night!
Even though I am now sleep deprived again, I am very excited about starting my freelancing gig. For one, it will be a welcome change to exercise my brain muscle and think about non-baby related things. But also, it makes me feel that my career is no longer on hold, that there is some continuity to it. Lastly, it's always nice to have a little extra income, however small it may be.
Speaking of income: with this freelancing gig, I have accomplished something that I had never done before in my entire life. I negotiated my salary. I was offered an hourly rate that I felt was too low, given my experience, the fact that the company was reaching out to me rather than the other way around, and the fact that they had to make it worth my time, which I could otherwise spend sleeping. Feeling that I had the upper hand, and nothing to lose, I counter offered with a higher rate that I felt was fair. To my surprise, it worked! I got the rate that I wanted without further negotiations! This experience taught me a valuable lesson that I should have learned ages ago - it never hurts to ask.
With this freelance job, I am commencing a new balancing act of taking care of my baby full-time while also working part-time. I'm not the first to manage this, others have done this quite successfully, so I will learn from and be inspired by all the awesome moms around me. How are you maintaining the baby/work/home balance (if it can be called that)?