Freelancing and Maternity Leave

Advice for freelancers about maternity leave.


Keep options open:

"My experience has been to just tell [editors/ clients] that I have something in the works with at the moment that I'm expecting a baby and *may* be taking some time off, but definitely not saying I'll be out of commission for any set period of time. It's true - babies sleep a lot at the beginning and you'll probably be surprised how much you can get done. I've never had any regular commitments, so I've never been in the position of having to tell an editor not to call me for a bit, but I have with each pregnancy seemed to have a story or more getting finished right around the time of delivery, so I've just alerted the editor and they always seem fine with either speeding up the process or being ok with my slight delays at getting stuff done. I think when you're a freelancer, the idea of "maternity leave" is just quite different. I think you should just stay open and see how you're feeling after your baby comes, and what your work capabilities (and desires) are."

Choose easy work:

"When I was pregnant I had 1 regular gig  that I really relied on  and then other more sporadic clients. I took 6 weeks of total leave, then did my regular gig just bi-weekly.  At 10 weeks my husband took 2 or 3 weeks of leave so I had time to get up and running again before we had to pay for childcare. then we started using a nanny at 12 weeks or so. For me it worked well. I chose easy work that didn't require a lot of research. And in the early weeks they sleep a lot, so finding the time to get it done wasn't hard. And it was for me a welcome mental break from thinking about mothering 24/7, which can be overwhelming. My husband's company has a good leave policy and I think he enjoyed having his leave separate from my "leave" because he had the baby all to himself for several hours a day -- great bonding opportunity that dads benefit from and don't often get."


Need more advice? Have questions about being a working parent? Join a PSP sub-group:

PSP Working Moms - Connects moms to discuss bridging the divide between work and family

PSP Freelance Journalists - ACTIVE freelancers, who write articles/blogs/stories for publication. Others join Media Professionals or Writers Circle

PSP Career Networking (open now to both members and their partner/spouses


Related Reading on PSP:

Freelancing and Childcare

Should I take a break from work?

What You Need To Know About The NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act