I was chatting to someone today about being self-employed, and she asked me an interesting question. Now that I’m working for myself and working from home, would I go back?
Absolutely not. But it does have its drawbacks, so here is a balanced view on the advantages and disadvantages of being a work from home mum.
I’m ashamed to say that when I had Libby, I thought I would be fine about going back to work when she was three months old and letting someone else look after her. Owing to my long hours and commute, I hardly saw her. These days I am with both children for the majority of their waking hours. I wouldn’t swap this for the world.
I have made it very clear to all my clients that I work my hours in the afternoons and evenings when the children are asleep or when hubby is at home to look after them. This is an absolute godsend.
3. If I don’t like you, I won’t work for you
Something I hate about traditional employment is that if someone higher up the food chain is rude or obnoxious, it is often seen as acceptable. So when they ask (or order) you to jump, you pretty much have to ask how high. These days, if I am approached by a client who is unpleasant or doesn’t bother to respond to my emails, I don’t have to give them the time of day.
4. You choose your own work
Personally, I’m all about variety. That’s why I have taken on several, completely different freelance roles. It never gets dull, and if it does then I’m free to move onto a different area of work.
I often work until 1 or 2 am. Lia usually wakes up at least once in the night between my going to bed at that time and getting up at around 6.30 am. I need a significant amount of caffeine just to survive. I am working on the basis that things can only get better in relation to that, Lia will sleep through the night eventually… won’t she???
All of my clients could read this blog post and decide never to work with me again. This would be problematic. Please don’t. There is also always a risk when you take on a new client, will they pay? I have been really lucky in that it has taken only six months for me to build up my freelance work enough to earn a good living doing it. This is quite rare though, so you do need to have a backup plan in case there are months where you just don’t earn anything.
3. Time to myself
In this I include time with my husband. I rarely just sit down in front of the TV with a glass of wine, because when other people are relaxing I am still working. I do my best to fit in exercise, but on a bad week I might only manage to get out for one run.
I rarely speak to anyone. I don’t go out in the evenings because I’m working, besides which Lia doesn’t settle at all in the evenings if I’m not there. If you are a sociable person then working from home just might not be for you.