I always thought I’d be completely fine about returning back to work after my maternity leave. I really didn’t expect to be in such a dilemma but 8 months in and with my final statutory maternity payment just around the corner, I found myself confused, upset and even annoyed at the thought of having to leave my baby (for reasons I’ll talk about in this post). That’s when I started to really consider the option of freelancing.
If you don’t already know, we moved house last year and the commute to my previous job just wasn’t feasible, so I made the decision to leave, however I was always certain I would return to work but to something closer to our new home.
In all honesty, I’ve always enjoyed working and have been happy in most of my jobs so the prospect of getting myself back into “work mode” wasn’t really my concern.
My concerns were
Like most mums, the last 9 months have been spent with my baby and life with him feels like how life has always been. I was worried about how I’d cope without him.
This was also fuelled by Arlo going through a bit of separation anxiety at the time and although I got lots of advice from mums who had been through the same thing and who told me that he’d soon adapt to his new surroundings- I guess him going to nursery was still a big worry of mine.
This was a huge concern. I bet we’re all in agreement that to send your child to nursery isn’t exactly cheap. After lots of calculations we worked out that my new job would have had to be paying me a great deal for it to even be worth it.
It’s funny that some of the jobs I looked at, after travel and nursery expenses were deducted, we’d actually be worse off!
Where we have moved to is 1 hour and a half away from our family, so we don’t have lots of people on our doorstep to help with childcare. If we did I guess that there wouldn’t be that pressure to have something flexible. But for us, having something flexible is essential. It was a struggle to even find part time jobs to apply for in my industry, let alone jobs that will be flexible around my home life too.
Doing something I love
I graduated while I was pregnant so I hadn’t had the opportunity to really get stuck into my industry up until now. What concerned me about going back to work for someone else was that I may have not been able to do the exact thing I am passionate about and that I’ll enjoy.
So, with all these things going through my head, with a few weeks to go, I finally came to the decision to take a risk and work from home.
This decision wasn’t an easy one, but for me it was definitely the right one and I can now see why so many mums take control of their lives either by setting up their own business, or freelancing- like what I do.
Of course there are many mums out there that working from home just wouldn’t suit- some mums would prefer going back to their jobs, but I am honestly so glad I made my decision.
Is it for you?
If you are considering doing something from home but worried about the risk, then the answer is yes, there is added pressure (compared to your usual 9-5 job) and yes more often than not, you and you only are completely in control of how much money you’re going to take home each month. But, if you are motivated, determined and up for a challenge then it might just be the best thing you ever do.
Have a strong interest in what you are doing because otherwise it just won’t work- you’ll lose momentum very quickly.
Research your industry and really understand what opportunities are there to be had and make the decision if it’s something you can picture yourself doing.
It’s hard and some days it can be a struggle especially with a baby…
My top tips
Find your own work space- (even if it’s just the kitchen table).
Get into a routine and stick to it!
Don’t get distracted by house chores, they can wait!
Get out more- just to break up the day and you may get some inspiration while you’re out and about!
Still make time for you- you’re important too!
If you are interested in freelancing and working from home I’ve shortlisted 3 useful resources on why you should and how you can…