I really should have titled this article, “Can you have your cake and eat it too?”freelance parent life

But I have questions about this cake.

Are the kids awake? …. meaning, do I have to “share”?

Can I eat it for breakfast?instead of my 5 year old’s leftover jelly toast?

Do we have enough milk? … or do I need to save that for my 2 year old who is on the verge of a milk-meltdown at least five times a day?

Because nothing about parenting is easy and straightforward. That includes working from home.

The truth is that, for quite a few years, EVERY TASK is monumental when you have kids.

Have a client meeting at 1 pm – perfectly scheduled during nap time to guarantee you at least a few minutes of peace?


The 2 year old has picked this day to roll around in bed for an hour and is now crying that she needs more milk.

Did you wake up early to clock in an hour of work time and drink coffee uninterrupted?


The 5 year old heard you discreetly turn on the coffee machine and is now whining in your lap because “no tv before 7 am.”  House rule.

Have a full day of client work to do while the kids are at pre-school?


That stomach bug going around conveniently hit your house during the middle of the night, and your washing machine is now working on overtime – but you’re not.

Running your own business is hard. Parenting is hard. Being an adult is hard. It’s all very, very hard.

But after years of working in a traditional office while juggling pre-school schedules, nannies, sick kids, getting sick from the sick kids, out-of-town work trips, overseas work trips (!), my husband’s ever-changing work schedule, and being stuck in traffic every day, I’m really enjoying this slower season of life.

I now fill my days with more of the things that give me purpose and joy – hanging out with my family, reading great literature, cooking, gardening, substitute teaching, and of course, working on design projects for some really great clients.

The freelance parent life does have its benefits, after all.

Now, about that cake…


My sick kid just sneezed in the cake batter.

Kristen Dunn
Latest posts by Kristen Dunn (see all)