So, after months of deliberation, preparation and strained nerves, I’ve finally done it. I’m now officially self-employed (after spending a few minutes on HMRC’s website).
So here’s where the journey begins – the challenge of finding flexible work, of being there for the boys and not missing out on any more of those (ahem) precious first years, and generally having a bit more balance and a bit less shouting.
So, day one. I’ve done the school run, organised some social stuff, put in a few freelance calls and the house looks kind of tidy. The children are fighting but not as much as usual. It’s all looking under control. Just then, as I am wiping the bottom of boyB he turns round and says:
“Mummy? Why do we need parents?”
Obviously a little stumped, and apart from the obvious answer, I’m a little thrown. But hey, this is obviously because his parents have been at work a lot. And now they’re at home right?
So yes, leaving a 9-5 is weird. Saying bye to childminders is weird. It’s weird to pack up your desk, to say bye to the people you’ve got to know as friends, to leave the warm fold with tea and a BRAND, to go it alone into a dark, rainy study surrounded by toys, but you know what it’s all pretty good. This MAY have something to do with a sneaky weekend to Berlin to act as a bookend between work and the rest of my life (or the next few months), but generally life is much calmer.
Having said that, now I have time to think about things a bit more, I’ve realised I’m still not entirely sure what it is I want, which is part of the challenge I guess. Yes I want flexibility but I also want a career rather than picking up random bits of work (unless they are VERY well paid). But at the moment, I’m feeling good.
I’ve picked up a bit of freelance work (done by bribing the smallest with Paw Patrol and biscuits so I could make the phone call in the day and write up at night), I’m managing to have a few hours of childcare on a Tuesday to enable me to work and study for a marketing diploma, and I’m looking to do some swaps with a friend so we can both have a few hours to ourselves when we get work in.
I read something recently about how to tackle stress, which simply said bring yourself back to the present. It’s probably all timing but this really resonated with me. Although I’ve heard this advice many times, this is the first time I’ve really acted on it. Rather than worrying and planning and running around in 100 directions trying to make a decision, I’ve decided to do the opposite. To ease in, rather than lean in, and to keep all options open. Who knows what will happen next…
Anyone else on the same journey?