Freelance Writer Mom: Cathie Ericson

by Cathie Ericson

Welcome to the “Mom Entrepreneur Spotlight” series of articles. Here, we’ll discuss issues related to the balancing act we all face: running our own businesses while being busy Moms!

This week’s post highlights Cathie Ericson, a freelance writer – enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts and comments below!

Freelance Writer MomAs a former account manager at a hectic public relations agency, I knew that I couldn’t balance kids and work – and do either one well. “Type A” personalities know they don’t do anything they can’t do well, so I decided I had to choose, and well, my baby was here!

 After having a second, and a third, I also realized that being a full time stay at home mom probably wasn’t for me. We did parks, projects and playdates, but I was a little, well, antsy.

One day I got a call – totally out of the blue – from a PR agency whom I recognized when it showed up on Caller ID. It was Friday at 5; it was raining; and all three kids were crying. I don’t know why I answered it, but it must have been pure curiosity that propelled me to lock myself in the bathroom to see what they wanted.

It was, indeed, a well-known PR agency looking for someone to do project work. Had they ever called the right number! I did the project work with joy and pretty soon more came, and more, and more. Then someone else I used to work for called me. And someone else. And then I joined LinkedIn and started meeting potential clients there.

That was 8 years ago and I have never looked back. In fact, my PR work has morphed into freelance writing and blogging, and I am a proud writer for a number of business and parenting blogs and websites.

My kids are now 15, 12 and 10, so I can tell them mom’s working and shut the door. But that wasn’t always the case! When they were little I remember many a horrified moment when the kids I thought were occupied weren’t.

How I once hung up…while presenting…in the middle of a conference call when my baby snuck out of the crib and came downstairs…and I knew the return trip wouldn’t be quiet. Oh I definitely blamed that one on technical difficulties!

 How I would rarely answer the phone but instead rely exclusively on email. My main agency client used to joke that they had better email me first so that I could put the kids in a padded room. Little did they know they weren’t far off!

When you’re juggling work and family, there’s nothing to do but laugh sometimes, and work very odd hours most of the time!

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”159184410X” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”” width=”326″]A book that really spoke to me regarding that concept is called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, by Laura VanderKam. One point that really resonated with me was that you make time to do the things you want; the other things are just not priorities.

And that’s why I am able to maintain my fitness schedule, write for my blog (some of the time), lunch with friends and keep up on social media…but my house is a disaster.

I love my business because it’s fascinating – some days I’m writing about sustainable building, some days about a new kids’ activity in Portland; flexible – some days I feel like I’ve put in two days’ worth of work, and some days I go to the gym, out to lunch and then take my kids on a bike ride. My clients are amazing, and I learn something from each and every one of them.

My advice to women thinking about starting a business? You will never regret it! Keep it on YOUR schedule and YOUR terms and you will be so proud of yourself – and your family will too!

Are you a freelance writer mom, too? Would love to hear how you got your start and juggle life and biz!

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