I’ve just started doing some freelance work. I don’t have any childcare in place as the cost for three kids doesn’t make it viable, so it’s a question of fitting in work around nap times, in the evenings and at weekends. Am I mad? Quite possibly. Will it make for a good work life balance? Only time will tell…
Work Life Balance
The work life balance is always a bit of a conundrum. When Sofia was six weeks old I started to work part-time from home. I was intending to start doing this 10 weeks into my maternity leave as statutory maternity pay wasn’t particularly appealing. With no one covering my leave, I felt compelled to check emails and once I started doing this I got involved and then thought that I might as well be paid for my efforts.
Newborns sleep quite a bit, so I was able to get a lot of work done in this time. However, being a new mum, trying to keep some semblance of a tidy house and doing work, was pretty stressful. I was going to mother and baby groups in the morning, rushing home to reply to the most urgent emails, and then rushing back out again for an afternoon activity. Armed with my Blackberry, I was ‘always on’ and constantly waiting for a red blinking light, which signalled another email.
When Sofia was approaching one I was very fortunate to be offered my job back part-time; going into the office two days a week and essentially working from home half a day. I LOVED this set up. For me, this was the perfect work/mum balance. I loved the banter with my old work colleagues and talking about topics other than the children. I even enjoyed the commute as I had an hour of uninterrupted time where I could read a magazine or listen to music. On the three days I wasn’t in the office, I had real quality time with Sofia and spread my half-day working from home across the evenings and nap times.
When the twins came along, I knew that working – even part-time – was no longer viable. I totally immersed myself in motherhood and no longer checked my phone obsessively for emails. It was liberating to not be mentally drafting a work email whilst at a children’s group or planning a press release at a play date. I totally embraced and loved this lifestyle change and really let go.
However, the twins are now 22-months, and I have found myself craving something more mentally stimulating to go alongside going to groups, washing, cleaning, cooking and more cleaning. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the fun and laughter we have and I certainly wouldn’t want to work full-time, but I’ve had the feeling that I need an additional challenge and – dare I say it – I’ve been missing work. Blogging has been a great channel since I started writing for TalkMum in November of last year; that inspired me to start this blog in January of this year.
Last week an accommodation company, after speaking to a number of other people, asked me to do its PR. That made me feel good.
Who needs sleep anyway?