I’m a full blown Instagram addict. Far too many of my conversations start with the phrase ‘I saw something on Instagram Stories the other day…’. But in my defense, as a freelancer, Instagram provides that staff room chat atmosphere (y’know, with the benefit of not having to actually be in an office, and being able to tap past the stories you’re not that into).
Did you know Instagram is full of rather excellent freelancers who happen to also be parents? Here are just a few of my favourites.
If you live in Bristol, I’m very jealous. The freelance community is BUZZING there, and you not only get the gift of a choir for entrepreneurs, but you also get Faye from Freelance Mum hosting brilliant events for freelance mums. You can bring your kids along and she does netwalking events (networking, but while walking with your buggies). Faye knows all the movers and shakers in Bristol, so give her a follow if you’re in that part of the country.
Frankie set up Doing It For The Kids for ‘freelance parents trying to make flexible working work’. She’s doing a lot of great stuff around improving freelance parent rights (like for example the fact that freelance dads don’t get paternity pay, mad right?). Plus she has a shop with a grown up sticker chart for freelance parents. Her Instagram is bright and colourful, but realistic and honest too.
I used to enjoy cooking. And then I became a parent. The first six months was eating one handed, the next six months involved a lot of food being thrown on the floor, and since then I’ve been ‘blessed’ with a fussy eater who only eats beige foods. Therefore I really like to treat myself on freelance days when he’s at nursery. Cue The Freelancer’s Cookbook, the brainchild of Rose, a freelance editor in York. Her recipes are really simple, don’t require hundreds of ingredients and quick to make, so they’re perfect for nutritious lunches.
Claire from Play.Hooray is an activity Queen, coming up with all sorts of ideas – from making the most of a rainy day, to creating your own shop using the Farmfoods magazine. She also sells playPROMPTS, little packs of cards with activity prompts (I ordered a set last year, and also ordered this year’s Advent Calendar of ideas). Claire goes live on Instagram most weekdays with an activity, and is a must-watch for anyone with busy toddlers.
I discovered The Five Minute Mum fairly recently, but her clever activities have allowed me to write this blog post. As the name suggests, she comes up with five minute activities. The kind you can set up really quickly when you need five minutes to yourself (whether it’s taking a phone call, replying to someone or gathering your sanity). As an introverted mum of an introverted son, those find minutes can make all the difference.
I’m a slob. I don’t want to be, but I never quite got the hang of that angle of adulting. Thankfully, The Organised Mum is on Instagram with her brilliant method of cleaning in 30 minutes a day. My house isn’t pristine by any means…but I don’t panic when someone rings to say they’re popping over in an hour either (although if you drop by unannounced, I’ll be hiding behind the sofa until you stop ringing the doorbell)
The Positive Planner is the Instagram for Finn and Ali, the creators of The Positive Planner – a cheerful yellow planner designed to tackle mental health. I treated myself to one when they were crowdfunding, and it was vital in helping me through some low moments. Ali and Finn are mums, and have some of PND and long-term anxiety and depression, so they GET IT. They’re vulnerable and honest on their Instagram, showing what worked for them and pouring it into the journal.
I haven’t forgotten the dads!
Steve is a freelancing dad with a brilliant podcast, interviewing other freelancers. It’s the perfect listen for diving into the lives of other freelancers. Steve also has a great YouTube channel where he shares weekly vlogs. Steve is really transparent about the realities of freelancing life, sharing wins, lessons and how he juggles it all with having kids.
OK, technically this one is a couple account, but I love watching Al & Jen on their Instagram. Al also started The Dads Net, a networking and support initiative for dads.