For well over a year now, ever since I decided not to go back to my pre-baby job, I‘ve been working as a freelancer. It has been, for the most part, brilliant. I have work-life balance for the first time in my career, get to be my own boss, love what I do and spend lots of time with my daughter.
With occasional forays into an office, I mainly work from home on the two days that Eliza goes to nursery. It works for us and everyone’s happy.
However, working from home is not without its challenges and obstacles, I’ve noticed, And it seems to present an particular set of problems when you’re a parent…
- Everything I read about working from home mentions the brilliance of being able stay in your pyjamas. However; need to drop your child off at nursery first? You’ll definitely have to put some proper clothes on. And it’s pointless changing back into them when you’ll need to go out to get them a few hours later.
- You don’t work in an office, but everyone else in your entire street does. And they ALL have an obsessive online shopping habit. Which means that several times a day, a delivery man will ring your door – “Ooh, delivery for me!” you think – and then you’re faced with someone sheepishly asking if you mind taking something in for next door (“…oh….Again?”) The hallway is lined with parcels, none of them for you
- This also means that no-one else is around when you go to do the nursery run, which is the only time of day your own parcels seem to arrive
- However, going from working in a busy office to being solo at home can be quite, well, quiet. So you’re secretly glad to see the delivery man for a chat, and the builder knows your entire life story, why you’re eating cake for breakfast, and your long and rambling theories on recent news events. To be fair, you now also know all about his evening, children, what he thinks of the news, and how to construct downstairs cloakrooms in cupboards
- It’s hard to pick a parenting label. I’m a working mum, but part time. I
stay at home, but I’m not a stay-at-home mum (for some of the week) Where do I fit?
- There’s no Christmas party when you freelance…but on the other hand there’s no 6am cold, prickly grip of fear, shame and hungover regret. That’s your festive bonus, right there
- Making your own lunch is never as nice as going out for a burger, burrito or fancy-pants sandwich. Especially when the only things in the fridge are Babybels and Thomas the Tank Engine yoghurts
- As my desk is the kitchen table, I often find crayoning in my work notebook, glitter on the laptop, and an assortment of plastic play figures in my paperwork.
OK, so I jest (slightly). In all seriousness, not going back to my old job is the best decision I ever made. Are you thinking about it? Do it!