Within our membership community, The Mothership (about to open up again for new members soon!) we share stories by mothers whom we can learn from and be inspired by. This was a good’n so I thought I’d share it over here too. Frankie (Doing it for the kids) is one of our favourite down to earth, genuine, brilliantly talented women supporting and encouraging parents who are freelancing whilst bringing up a family.
Here’s what we found out when we interviewed her:
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name’s Francesca Tortora but you can call me Frankie. I’m a freelance graphic designer living and working out of our flat in North London. I have one kid, a boy, who’s 2.5 and am married to the ever-patient, ever-supportive Rob. Once upon a time I worked out of a coworking space in London Bridge, but since having my son I now work entirely from home, on my own. I found the combination of becoming a mother and working for myself to be a hugely isolating experience so when my son was 18 months old, I decided to try and build an online community by and for fellow freelance parents. A year and a bit later, Doing It For The Kids is still going strong
1. One word to describe working motherhood? HARD.
2. One thing you enjoy most about being a working mother? Having my own money and also feeling safe in the knowledge that my son knows that mum works too.
3. One thing you’ve found toughest about being a working mother? I really struggle with having to be creative on demand, in the small snippets of child-free time I have.
4. One thing you wish you’d known when you first became a mother? That leaving the house with your partner after 7pm is basically impossible without the support of other people. I knew that, but the reality of it didn’t really hit home until my son was born.
5. One thing that surprised you when you became a mother? How physically demanding having small children is waaaay beyond the newborn stage. Having a toddler that can walk, but refuses to walk 90% of the time, is exhausting!
6. One thing you’d like to start doing? I’d like to start doing LESS!
7. One thing you’d like to stop doing? Looking at my phone all. the. time.
8. One way in which your aspirations and goals have changed since becoming a mother?
Historically I’ve worked for clients in a time-for-money type setup, but since becoming a mother I have very little time and therefore am earning very little money. Sigh. My goal now is to diversify my income and find other ways of earning money more ‘passively’ alongside my more traditional client work.
9. One top tip for managing your time or productivity? I am addicted to the Pomodoro Technique. Totally changed my approach to getting stuff done in the limited time I do have to work.
10. One item you couldn’t do without? One of my many bobble hats. My home office is COLD!
11. One activity you most love doing with your kids? Putting on some tunes and dancing around the living room.
12. One talent you’re proud of? I like to think I’m quite empathetic, am good at reading people / putting myself in other people’s shoes.
13. One great family midweek meal you rely on? Halloumi, roast veg and cous cous. Super quick, super tasty!
14. One great kids toy everyone loves playing with? The magnetic block toys from Tegu. They’re expensive but literally everyone in the family plays with them. So good!
15. One book you’d recommend, either for leisure or for business? My Creative (Side) Business by Monika Kanokova, an absolute eye-opener when it comes to making money from your creative skills in lots of different ways.
16. One thing you have to say about work/life balance? Doing everything yourself is impossible. Something, somewhere has to give in order to live some kind of decent life. I’m currently training my son so that I can outsource some basic household tasks to him. First on the list, dusting the TV!
17. One thing you’d love to achieve work-wise in the future? I’m literally about to launch a small range of DIFTK related products. I’d love for those to speak to people and be a success. But we shall see.
18. One thing you’d like to see change for working mothers? No mother should be made to feel guilty, or make themselves feel guilty, for working. People need to work whether they have ovaries or not. Whether they have kids or not. No-one would question a father going to work, no mother should be questioned for doing so either.
19. One crucial piece of advice for other working mums? You are so much better than you think you are. Believe in yourself and your abilities.
20. One thing you’d love to ask other working mums? — Can we be friends??