I’m very lucky to be a stay at home mum – I am well aware how lucky I am but I also treasure the career skills I’ve built and am determined to tick both boxes so I also work at home.
Now when I say to people I work at home and work for myself I’ll so often hear people say that is ideal while being a parent but the truth is its really difficult. I’ve worked in high pressure jobs with endless hours and this is a whole bunch harder.
The hats I wear on a daily basis include full time mum, blogger, virtual assistant to several different people and Director of my own company offering CV writing and interview coaching. My hours are 6am to 10:30pm every day and I report into my own bank account and the toughest Manager I’ve ever had who also happens to be a toddler.
Its hard, especially seeing as my little one really hates me working. If I even step near the laptop she tries to physically push me away from it – I’m guessing she recognises it as something that takes my attention away from her and know she doesn’t understand but that doesn’t stop the heartbreaking guilt every time it happens. It also means I can’t give her all of my attention any of the time as I’m always listening out for the sound of a new email or notification.
Would it be easier if I went to work at 8am and came home at 7pm and she was in nursery….. I don’t know. But its not an option anyway as childcare round here comes in at about £1300 a month full time. Now I can’t earn that much at home I’m sure but I also can’t earn enough to make going back to work and paying those childcare fees realistic.
I hear people say all the time they’d love to be free to set up their own business and I’ll always encourage it. Being self employed is actually quite empowering and has forced me to take control of some elements of my life I’ve never concentrated on before. I now need to pay my own National Insurance, figure out my own tax returns, calculate my product prices and work out my margins. I’ve learnt how to forecast, how to track expenses and how to market my business.
But if you do decide to take the leap please be aware what you are getting yourself into. There is no parachute here, if I get ill then no one is paying me, if I want holiday then I’m not paid for that either and if I want to spend some quality time with my daughter I also need to be aware I’ll be working longer into the evening to make up for time lost. Weekends aren’t about time off either, they are now about maximising child free time while my (thankfully supportive and understanding) husband looks after Emma while I get the things done I can’t do with her around.
Its a great life, it really is and without Emma coming on the scene its something I never would have had the opportunity to do so its just something else to thank her for but it does come with some sacrifice.
Is it worth it? Well I’ve only been at it since last August / September so its probably too soon to tell. I just hope in years to come Emma thinks so.