How to Set Boundaries and Avoid Burnout in Your Freelance Teaching Journey
Embarking on a freelance teaching journey can be an exhilarating yet challenging transition, especially when balancing the demands of a career, motherhood, and attempting time for self-care. If you find yourself in a whirlwind of exhaustion and uncertainty, you're not alone. If you're a music teacher mom who dreams of breaking free from the hamster wheel of a 9-5, pursuing her passion for music, and creating a thriving freelance business, keep reading. Let's delve into practical strategies for setting boundaries and steering clear of burnout in this exciting new chapter that I wish I knew sooner!
1. Define Your Priorities:
Begin by identifying your core priorities. As a mom, your family's well-being is probably at the top of the list. Allocate time for your children, partner, and yourself. Recognize that it's okay to prioritize your needs alongside your professional pursuits, even if some of your professional pursuits do line up at times with something you need to prioritize for yourself. I know I am a much better mom because I work 2 days/week!
2. Establish Clear Work Hours:
Freelancing often blurs the lines between work and personal life. Set specific work hours to create a clear boundary between your professional and family life. Communicate these hours with your clients and stick to them as closely as possible. Dedicate uninterrupted time to your family when you're having family time rather than getting pulled away by work emails or other obligations. Utilizing tech tools like a scheduler have REALLY helped me with this!
3. Delegate and Seek Support:
Recognize that you can't do everything alone! This was a hard one for me at first but has made a world of a difference. Delegate tasks both at home and in your business. Whether it's hiring a virtual assistant, seeking help with household chores, or involving your partner in childcare responsibilities... building a support system for your family and your business to run efficiently and effectively is crucial.
4. Prioritize Self-Care:
Fulfilling your role as a music teacher, mom, and freelancer requires a healthy and energized you. Schedule regular self-care activities, whether it's a short walk, meditation, or indulging in a hobby (my current one is homemade yogurt with this starter and sourdough! Haha) Taking care of yourself is not a luxury but a necessity. If you're noticing you're dealing with more fatigue, sleep issues, irritability, or sluggishness than normal, perhaps consider trying out the 11 Day Jumpstart to lower chronic inflammation. It helped me SO much!
5. Set Up Systems for Success:
Freelancing can be unpredictable, but setting realistic and achievable goals as well as creating efficient systems to accomplish those goals is key to maintaining balance. Break down larger objectives into smaller, manageable tasks, allowing you to celebrate victories along the way. If you need help with organization of your personal life and business while still living in the unpredictability of family life and creativity (I found after becoming a mom, I really needed someone to guide me in this aspect), I have an amazing friend named Danelle Fowler who is available for 1-1s to drill down on this with you. You can reserve a time on her schedule here!
Which of these practical strategies for setting boundaries and steering clear of burnout do you think you most need to implement for yourself? Come chat about it in Freelance Music Teacher Moms as we figure out this delicate balance of creative work and family life!