At the start of 2012, I made a New Year’s promise to my children. A promise that this year will be different. And I’m determined to keep it.
But how will I make 2012 count? I have a plan.
Up until now it’s been my secret plan.
I’ve been a bit reticent about telling people other than my nearest and dearest about it; while I knew exactly what I wanted to do and had most of the details set out in my head, I wanted to get my idea much more ‘fleshed out’ and on paper before revealing any aspect of it.
So, what is my plan?
Let’s be clear right now that I’m talking about my professional life, not my personal life. I have no intention of getting rid of my husband just yet, he still has his uses. Oh yes, and he puts up with me and my tantrums. I don’t think many men would.
Let me explain what I really mean. I’m due to return to work next month. In fact, I’ve technically returned already. My maternity leave has finished and I am seeing out the last of my annual leave from 2011.
It’s a scary thought, returning to the world of work. I have loved every minute being at home with my 2 little ones. It will be difficult to adjust to the role of working Mum again.
The problem is that I’m not sure I want to be doing what I’m doing anymore. I’m not talking about my job – I love my job, I really do – but the commute is a right royal pain in the you-know-what. The amount of time that I will spend travelling to and from home means I won’t get much time to spend with the children during the week. Another issue is the distance between home and office; if something major were to happen to one of my children, it would take me at least an hour to get to them.
Going back to work full-time after my daughter was born was fine. I accepted the situation without question and was happy to return to the workplace. But for some strange, inexplicable reason, now that I’m a Mum of 2, I’m not sure I be away from my children for such a long period of time each weekday. I know we all have to make sacrifices for the sake of our children, but surely there must be a better way?
This is why I’ve decided to do things differently. This year, I will be beginning my journey into the big, scary world of…*gulp*…self employment.
There, I’ve said it. There can be no going back now.
While I’m not going to quit my job just yet, I am going to explore freelance opportunities alongside my current role with a long-term view to forming my own agency. I’m going to take it slow, try to build up a client base and from there…who knows?!
But what will I do? More or less what I’m doing already, except I’ll be working for myself. I have many years of experience in PR and communications behind me and there’s no reason why I can’t use the skills I’ve acquired to best benefit myself and my family.
Yes, I know that my income will become unstable and that I’m likely to end up working more hours than I would do normally, but I honestly think this will be a near-perfect solution. If I can work from home, I can be near my children. They will still be cared for by my mother-in-law but I will be on hand to do the school -run and the childcare arrangement could become more flexible to take pressure off my in-laws as they get older. I won’t feel like I’m missing out; if I’m working from home and my son decides to take his first steps while in the care of my mother-in-law, I can be over there in 5 minutes to see him.
The other upside is that my husband and I would get some time together. He is a sports journalist so works a lot of weekends. My job, on the other hand, involves me working in an office Monday to Friday. It means we won’t see a lot of each other when I return to my job. But, if I work from home and schedule my time properly, we should be able to spend time together during the week; not just us 2 but the four of us as a family.
I know things are difficult at the moment, that the economy is struggling, but I have confidence that I can offer organisations something unique and beneficial. I guess there’s only one way to find out…
…Wish me luck.