Hair appointments during the day. Functions any time. Afternoon school lifts. Anytime travel.
These have been my choices for the last three or so years, ever since I left Living and Loving magazine as the editor to freelance. As anyone will tell you, working for oneself has its glow and low points. There’s the flexibility and control, but then there’s the chasing of work, and wonky work and payment months if you don’t have regular contract work, and in a sense, having to work harder in different ways.
I loved it – the challenges, the sushi dates with you after school, the new work, and the fact that no day was ever the same. But sometime in the middle of last year, I realised that working in coffee shops with free wifi was filling me with nothing more than caffeine, and that I craved company, and challenging my brain again.
If I think back to my working life, I need change, growth and challenges, and if I get bored, my confidence wanes, and if I’m not busy, I don’t feel all that useful, which stubs out my self-esteem too. Staring into my coffee cup at Motherland, I realised that I didn’t want to be in the same place in a year’s time, and that I needed a change – for my brain, for my heart, for my wellbeing, and for an ever-growing panic about the months where clients didn’t pay and I didn’t say yes to enough work.
So I started looking around for something more permanent, and found a dream job three days a week, working on content for a company and a brand that make my heart glow, and my mind spark.
After a few weeks, a fulltime and more senior position became available, and it took me about 1 second to decide I wanted it. I said yes to an unbelievable growth and happiness opportunity, and one that finally has me excited and motivated.
There are downsides, and of course, and I’m not referring to missing out on hair appointments during the day. I am going to miss you so much during the day, and I’m going to long for seeing your excited face when I fetch you from school or extramurals. I will miss working on my bed in the afternoons with you by my side, and I’m going to miss being more “there” for you during the day.
I am not going to use this platform or post as an argument about stay-at-home moms, working-from-home moms, or working-from-work moms. They each come with the good and the bad, and I’m not sure there is one option for any of us that doesn’t have a drawback.
By now, I have realised that I carry guilt wherever I am. I remember the nights I had to finish up deadlines at home, and all you wanted to do was play with me. I remember shouting at you when you wanted a toy but it was the end of the month and not one client had paid me yet. And there was a time when I felt so unmotivated and bored, that I couldn’t really give you the little attention you wanted.
Perhaps through writing this, I hope that you’ll one day understand my reasons and my choices, and I hope that you’ll “forgive” me in a sense for making choices that don’t include me fetching you from school every day. I’m missing you, but I’m finding myself again. I hope that will make a difference to both our lives.
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