How This Freelance Writer (And Mom) to Twins Gets Anything Done

Want to know a little secret?

It’s 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday and the house is a mess, I’m still in my PJ’s and I have impending deadlines to meet.

Being a freelance writer and mom to twins is challenging.

How This Freelance Writer (And Mom) to Twins Gets Anything Done

I have a husband, but he runs a business and helps me with my business too, so his plate is full during the day.

Luckily I have relatives close by who can help take the twins off my hands while I get dinner ready or run around picking up toys and clothes off the floor.

Are you curious how other moms with small children can build a successful freelance writing business?

I know I was when I first started. And with my new course, growing community of awesome freelance writers as well as big clients to wow, I need to make sure not to spread myself too thin.

Here’s how I can get anything done in a day as a freelance writer, wife, and work at home mom to twins.

The House is a Mess. That’s Okay

Before I had children, I thought it would be easy to keep a house tidy. Vacuum in the morning, have a spot for toys, cooking would be a breeze and all I had to do was load up the dishwasher.

Then I had twins.

There are the food fights, the toy fights, the broken toys, the crumbs on the floor, stains on clothes, laundry two or three times a day, and the constant picking up of things.

My twins are three now, and even though they do know how to clean up, that doesn’t mean I don’t find a toy stethoscope under the couch. Or a bulldozer (or ten) in the middle of the floor.

Messes happen. I’m a freelance writer and a stay-at-home mom writer!

During the day I clean up when I can, go outside to play, but then when my twins go for their daily nap, I have to write.

Which leaves a messy house. That’s okay.

I Use a Project Management System

I talked about my issues with my project management system in the past. Currently I’m using Google Sheets and it’s working.

This helps me make sure I’m not going to miss deadlines on all my projects as well as miss any invoices I need to submit to clients.

I also keep track of my earnings and coaching clients’ appointments.

Without having this system (it’s even color-coded), I doubt I would be able to scale my business to the next level.

Keeping track of course sales, billing, projects, pitches, payments and all of that businessy stuff is important since this isn’t just freelance writing; it’s a business.

I Have Help

My husband is my rock!

He has supported me from day one and I know without his help with day-to-day tasks, I wouldn’t have been able to launch a course or commit to writing for a full list of clients.

And now with our goals of starting a content agency and web design service, he’s going to be an integral part of growing my business.

I also have relatives that come almost daily to play with my twins and keep them busy. This frees up time to either get housework under order, draft some preliminary outlines or check in with my course participants over on the private Facebook community.

I also have other writers helping me out with social media managing, content, research and any little things that I can easily outsource.

I Drink Lots of Coffee

Well not that much! I have a cup in the morning and a cup before lunch and that seems to get me through the day.

I was never a coffee drinker before I had my children.

But, then I had my children.

And suddenly it’s noon and I didn’t even have breakfast. With coffee in my day, life is more balanced 🙂

I’m a Good Writer (and Fast One Too)

I’ve been doing this for a little over a year and when I look back at a few of my first posts, I cringe.

You can tell I was an amateur and my writing wasn’t as polished as it is now for my clients.

But, I’ve been writing practically every day for a year now and I’ve noticed my writing has improved. And my speed too!

It takes me under an hour to write 1,000 words (in some niches) which helps when I only have 4 hours a day to write for my clients.

This is Working

For now, what I’m doing is working. We have a home-cooked meal every night, my twins get valuable time with me during the day and I know my clients are happy with the quality of my work.

But, I’m sure as business grows, I’ll have to rely on delegating tasks and outsourcing more. I will also have to transition my project management system to a more collaborative approach when this happens.

I’ve proven as a WAHM to twins, it is possible to be a successful freelance writer.

It isn’t easy, but with the right help, support and copious amounts of coffee, you can do it too!

Over to you – how do you get anything done as a mom with small children, or someone who’s doing this as as side hustle?

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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Well i would agree with being mommy and having freelancing work is a mess but im glad you made it through it. I have asked my wife to read your blog to get some idea, by the way your blog is full of help!Reply to Haseeb
Elna, i truly adore you for managing so well. I hope to follow you as a successful freelancing mum. I have a toddler girl n since she is alone so she wants all my attention. I hardly get time for my work so I prefer to limit my clients. But I plan to continue expanding slowly as my daughter grows. Thanks for sharing your life side it really inspires other freelancing moms like me. 🙂Reply to Afaf
This is a great post Elna. Running a homebased business and family at the same time is hard. My husband is a Longshoreman and is at work most of the time so the responsibilities fall on me. When my kids were little, I just made it work. I keep a calendar of appointments and special dates and worked late hours when they were asleep. Now that they’re grown it’s gotten so much easier but I will never forget those days. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and for being an inspiration to busy moms out there. CoriReply to Corina
Thanks Cori! You’re an inspiration! I am so grateful that my husband works from home and I can rely on him if things get a little hairy. I tried working before the kids woke up in the morning, but I always ended up waking them and then I got too tired. So instead, I work when they go to bed for a few hours. If I need to meet a deadline then I work later. It works and I can still have time during the day to be with them. Even if we are doing chores 🙂Reply to Elna
Another great post, Elna! I have two kids also, one 9-year-old and one soon-to-be 11-year-old – not as young as yours, but still young enough to want some of mom’s attention! For this year, I decided to try working out a better “working schedule” – I write at night while everyone’s sleeping since I have to be awake anyway to check my son’s sugar throughout the night. In the mornings is when I try to respond to emails and other back-end business stuff, that way I can sleep during the day while the kids are in school. Housework? Hah, I gave up on the idea of having a perfectly clean house about a year after my 9-year-old was born. I get what I can get done periodically during my “day,” and laundry on weekends. Although I admit it, you could say I outsource some of my household work, if you count giving the kids an allowance for washing the dishes, picking up their toys and stuff in the living room, and keeping their room clean. Then again, they’re kids – they need constant reminding and even that’s no guarantee that ALL of their chores will get done! Like you, I also have a very supportive husband and extended family. I don’t think I would be able to juggle it all if it weren’t for them! That old saying “It takes a village to raise a child,”… absolute truth, and raising a family while trying to run a home-based business makes it even more true in my opinion!Reply to Dawn
You’re so right Linda! If I didn’t have a husband at home and extended family helping me out, I wouldn’t have dinner on the table or the laundry done. And my freelance writing business would not be as profitable. It’s a challenge, but totally possible!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, This is a super inspirational post. Balancing a home-based business and family with young kids has to be one of the toughest challenges ever, but I’d say you’re doing a pretty awesome job. 🙂Reply to Elise
That’s for sure Elise! Sure, I feel guilty at times but I always remember WHY I’m doing this. It’s to stay home and be with my children. So, I have to carve out time and I have to remember that on a day-to-day basis. And I have to stop spreading myself too thin.Reply to Elna
This is a wonderful piece! Inspiring and educating. I am new to freelancing. Writing is not easy but the reward are great. I pray and hope that God’s strength see me through. I must confess, Writing is very tasking.Reply to Gabriel
Hi Gabriel, Thanks so much for your support! Sometimes writing isn’t easy. There might be days where I’m just not in the mood to write. But, then I can focus on my children and just let it be and that’s when my muse comes back. If you want to be a freelance writer, read as much as you can about the topic (or enroll in a course) and get the support you need. Email me if you’re struggling and need someone to bounce ideas off of.Reply to Elna
It’s been 4 years of freelancing and I haven’t found that balance. I have two younger kids as well, but don’t take naps anymore. I don’t however have family around who can watch them or play with them so getting work done always means telling them mommy can’t play. And they say ‘mommy always has to work’. The guilt kills me and I thought it would be easier working from home, but it hasn’t been.Reply to Laura
It’s hard Laura isn’t it? I sometimes feel the same. A week can go by and we haven’t left the house. I didn’t take them to the drop-in place or run some quick errands with my twins. Yes, it’s winter and it’s been snowing lately, but the real reason is because I have to stay home and work on my business. So I do my best setting up play stations or telling them I’ll play one thing with them before I have to do some work. It’s a balance though. This week is more family week since last week was more work week. It’s all a balance game.Reply to Elna
Do the 1,000 words in under an hour include editing? If so I feel bad about my pace now. That’s impressive!Reply to Colin
Hey Colin! Hey don’t feel bad about your pace! The 1,000 words under an hour are for projects in my wheel house. This doesn’t include the preliminary research or editing! Typically a piece from start to submission takes up to 4 hours. But I can often group my projects (research for two posts, edit three posts in a block of time) which helps quicken the process.Reply to Elna
Ahhhhh ok. Still a bit faster than me but the difference is not as drastic as I feared haha.Reply to Colin
🙂 Keep practicing is all I suggest. There are free typing tests to improve your speed and using a project management system like Excel or Google Sheets helps streamline your process.Reply to Elna
I am truly in awe Elna! I always feel guilty plopping my kids infront of the TV and putting in a movie so I can get a few hours in on the weekend. Maybe I should consider a babysitter. During the week, I stay up an extra two hours every night to do my on-line writing and freelance course, so I can relate to staying up late to get work done! When I’m able to finally leave me “9-5” I know it’ll all be worth it in the end…but man am I tired!Reply to Tanisha
Hey Tanisha! You’re everywhere 🙂 That’s great.Thanks for your kind words. Now don’t think I don’t use the TV in dire times! Especially this month when I have two huge projects to complete. I had Paw Patrol on while the kids ran around like monkeys and that gave me a good 40 minutes of uninterrupted time 🙂 One good thing about having twins is they can keep themselves occupied! This morning, as I was folding up laundry, the kids moved all their stuffed toys from the living room to their bedroom, stripped their blankets from their cribs, and romped around in there for a good hour! Since I neglected the house last week, this week is all about house cleaning and organizing! What I find amazing are all you side hustlers that are also moms! How do you do it? Work full-time and then take care of a house and your children AND THEN write for your clients? Amazing 🙂 You have a goal and you’re sticking to it! I’m here for support.Reply to Elna
Okay … you’ve explained it, I’ve read it and I still marvel in disbelief at how you do it!! *takes a bow*Reply to Deevra
Ha! My fail-proof plan for world domination!! Just kidding. It’s still a huge struggle on a day-to-day basis but things do get accomplished. This February was INSANE! Webinar (which I shouldn’t have done this month, but made sales nonetheless), HUGE client pieces (one 6k post and one 4k guide) plus my recurring client pieces. For a while I was writing until 11 pm or later just to get everything in!Reply to Elna
Great post, Elna. It’s crazy how much you’ve accomplished on just 4 hours per day.Reply to Alicia
Thanks Alicia! I’m getting better at typing faster. That’s the biggest productivity hack for me. Time management is still a big thing for me since I have a plan for the day, but it never ends up happening. But, I’m glad for all the help I’ve received. Without my husband or family help, I wouldn’t have been able to launch a course or take on more clients.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I’m right here in my couch admiring every bit of how you’re running your life and family. It’s interesting and inspiring. There should be no excuse for us young guys who’ve just started not to excel. Why? Simple. If you’ve been through it and you’re sharing all these, why don’t we copy. I’ve always believed that most writers are “stealers”. So I don’t bother to steal your style of running things to excel as a beginner. FrancisReply to Francis
Thanks Francis, Running a business and house is tough. It’s nice to know I have an involved husband and extended family to rely on. I only share what works for me and if there are other mothers out there with young children that want to pursue freelance writing, I just want to let them know it’s possible!Reply to Elna