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?

I have decided to go it alone.

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.