Deepest recession since records began? Just another hurdle to climb in a line of more hurdles when you’re a freelance mum.
I mean, they’re not top of the list of the first words I would have chosen to read this morning, but they’re not going to change my day either.
I’m still going to get up, take my daughter to nursery, come home, make a cup of tea and speak to clients, then take a deep dive into a copywriting job before picking her up again later. But it will be playing on my mind.
It will play on my mind because I’m part of a community. And that community is used to being treated like shit by the world, frankly. A recession, even one as big as this, is just another thing to tackle at the end of a long list of discrimination and inaction.
The reason I’m writing this today though is the fact that I have a part to play in this community. Freelance parents are so often in it alone that we lift each other up whenever we can. We make referrals, we pass work on, we send that WhatsApp to check in.
Yesterday I saw a post in a Facebook group about a woman who had told her main client that she was pregnant. That same day her contract got axed, and in a large pool of freelancers, she was the only one told to go. She’s now going to spend a portion of her pregnancy freaking out about her income and financial future, as well as her business, her health and her child.
This isn’t uncommon. And that is really, really shit. This crap happens every single day.
We can’t take clients to court for maternal discrimination, because we’re not employees. We can’t call them out on these decisions because they will always hide behind excuses.
All we can do is support each other. Keep that community going. Make it easy for others to get work. Big them up. Tell the world they’re great, and should be hired, not despite being a parent but because of it.
The brilliant Doing It For The Kids podcast covered this recently – if you gave a working parent 6 minutes to crack on with work, you’d likely find they have a Trello board full of micro tasks and would jump at the chance to fill those 6 minutes to the brim.
Schedule tomorrow’s social posts? Done.
Fire off that invoice? Done.
Reply to that email? Done.
I’m not going to make sweeping statements, but I know this is me, and it’s only me since being a parent. Give me 6 minutes before having a child and I would have procrastinated for 5 of them before declaring it wasn’t long enough to start anything anyway.
The bottom line – HIRE PARENTS. If we want the job, if we take the job, if we tell you clearly we can do the job, we are not lying. We will do it. We will often blow your expectations out of the fucking water.
The next…6 months, 6 years(?) is going to be different, and hard. Please don’t make that harder for people that already have to prove themselves just be taken seriously as a business.
We can do it, because we’re already doing it. We’re working our arses off every waking moment. Trust us. Hire us. Support us.