Parenting does seem to be divided into two firm camps: those that go out to work and do the 9-5 thing, and those who are stay-at-home parents (for however long that may be) Both have merits and pitfalls, but what about those that do both? Those that run businesses from their home and also look after their little ones? In just eight weeks time, we’ll be a family that does that.
I am a self employed Designer; I’d say 95% of my work is done at my desk in the dining room. Loz is also self employed and, like me, 95% of her work is done at her desk in the dining room.
So what happens when the little man is born?
Nothing, it’s business as usual, but with baby in our full time care! The thing is, it can’t be any other way. We need to work and we can’t afford not to. Of course it would be wonderful for us to take maternity and paternity leave, but the simple fact is we can’t do that. If we stop working, we stop getting paid – and if we stop getting paid, well there won’t be a dining room to sit and work in!
However, the one thing being self employed does offer is flexibility. I don’t have to be ‘suited and booted’ in London for 9am every day, work my a*se off to finally get home at 7pm. My business doesn’t happen like that. I get given work and a deadline, so it doesn’t matter when the work is done – so long as it’s done in time. I do have to go on site once in a while and have the odd meeting, but aside from that, I can work whenever I need to. Again, Loz can be slightly more flexible with her work. She has things to do and so long as those are done, everything will be okay. I’m hoping I’ll be able to help her out with her work so if she ever needs more time, I’ll do my best to help. We’re a team and we battle through things together.
We’ve had this routine for a few years now and it benefits us when DD has been staying with us in the holidays, splitting the days between her grandparents or taking part days off to avoid childcare costs that many parents in full-time ‘regular’ jobs have to fund. It’s ‘easier’ to work from home with older children as they can find things to do and are more independent, but we’re about to have a shock to the system with a newborn (and eventual toddler) that requires closer supervision.
However, I can work during naps, play when he wants a play and get a bit more work done in the evening instead of playing on my xBox or watching TV.
We might well have to look at putting little man in nursery once a week, or calling on family to lend a hand, because realistically, living, playing and working together 24/7 will get stressful at times, and all of us will need a little break every once in a while. I think we do well as a couple spending so much time together, but I’m not daft enough to think it’ll stay just as easy with a baby in the mix! Thankfully though we do have a wonderful support network of family and friends around us.
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