Becoming a Work From Home Mum – 6 months on

April 11, 2019

The end of last month marked 6 months since I quit my job to become a work from home parent. It was my plan to do this for so long but the convenience of my job meant I stayed there much longer than I should have done. It was right on my doorstep, the hours of both mine and Liam’s shifts meant that we never had to worry about childcare, it was a guaranteed wage each month and we always had weekends off together.

But the job made me miserable. It made Liam miserable. The management was awful and the company’s reputation was getting worse. I was embarrassed to tell people I worked there. Even now, it’s not listed on my LinkedIn profile.

There were some diamonds amongst the rough. One particular manager would always go out of his way to help, offered sound advice and would take an interest in my personal life too. I’d like to think that he was a friend.

I met Aimi and Sarah, the only two people from my original team that consciously made an effort to keep in contact with me when I went on maternity leave with Dexter – And still do, 6 years later! And then when I went back after mat leave and joined the evening team, I actually had some really enjoyable shifts with the lovely friends, I made there. We weren’t supposed to talk but we did and despite getting in trouble for it, I actually belly laughed so much.

My new desk. My own personal workspace. Lovingly crafted by my husband Liam

But there was always something – my holiday got cancelled for stupid reasons on more than one occasion. I was called into meetings over stuff that was nothing to do with me. Nothing was ever celebrated, everything was always so negative, people were put down in front of their colleagues and belittled. Aggressive emails were sent round almost daily and our team was left out of EVERYTHING. We were rarely told of changes, never included in any fun days organised by the rest of the company almost never included in training, (when we were, we never got the same level of training as the rest of the teams) and generally just forgotten about. For quite a while, we didn’t even have a first aider on the team, despite myself and a couple of other putting themselves forward for the role and pointing out that our other first aider had left and would need replacing. They literally couldn’t care less! – I have so many stories of bad conduct that I could share with you, one of which includes an actual fire, but I’ll hold back on this post.
It was not a good place for anybody’s mental health and after witnessing my friends being signed off with stress time and time again I knew I was coming to the end of my time.
When I went back after my mat leave with Bridget last March, I vowed to myself that I would not see another Christmas in that place. Then in October, something happened. Something happened that filled me with so much rage that not only did I hand in my notice the very next day, but so did Liam. That was it. We were both leaving. Neither of us had another job to go to, we had three kids depending on us, bills to pay, rent to pay and Christmas was just around the corner but we just couldn’t do it anymore. We had finally hit the point where we could not take their shit a moment longer.

Once I’d handed in my notice, I felt instantly free. I started wearing makeup to work – something I rearely did. I had a spring in my step. I was happier. I Literally couldn’t wait to get out. (Since leaving most of the rest of the team has left too, a team that used to have roughly 16 people is now down to 5!)

We worked out our money, worked out what I would need to earn from my blog each month to break even and Liam set about looking for another job.
He was offered a few different jobs so he had a pick and we didn’t struggle too much in the transition however his new job pays every 4 weeks rather than monthly so it has thrown us off on our direct debits a little bit. But once we’re up straight we’ll be fine and we’re pretty much there.

So, how has life changed since we left ‘that place’?

Well for a start, we are much more present! Our children are getting so much more out of us. I am able to do school runs without rushing home because I have to leave for work shortly after. We now hang around more in the school playground so that I can gossip with other mums and the kids run around and climb and play with the other kids until the caretaker kicks us out. When we get home, the evenings are much more fulfilling. We have a chance to read with Dexter and get dinner ready without a rush. Bed times are a million times smoother and the routine we have there is working so well.

Basically life has slowed right down. We have time to enjoy our children, to do own own work and to spend time together. The money side is definetly more stressful, I won’t lie there. But we’ve been out more, we’ve seen more and done more as a family.

When Dexter is at school, I just have the girls so sometimes I am able to get my work done around them. If not, it’s not a problem because they are generally asleep by 8pm latest and then I have the rest of the evening to work. Paisley is starting Preschool in just over a week so I’m planning on moving Bridget’s nap to the afternoon while Paisley is out to give me more work time in the day too.
If Liam is on a late shift, it gives me 3 hours of alone time to do whatever I need to which is perfect.
It also means he has more work time too because he either has a few hours in the morning or can work in the evening if he’s on an early shift.

For the last couple of months, we have been going to a local meet up together and actually socialising with other adults. It’s been fantastic to be able to get out and be us again.

Dexter at the National Space Centre

It’s not all been plain sailing. We have struggled a bit getting used to the different pay dates and with my money not being a guaranteed wage any more it has added extra pressure – but I would take that pressure and more, over going back to what we had before. You can’t put a price on watching your family grow and being there as they do. We are very fortunate to have been able to put ourselves in this position and not have to worry about sending our kids to child care so that we can both work full time.
I mean, hats of to you if you make that work but it’s not for us, it’s never been our plan and we are so glad that we are doing this – for us and for them.
You only get one shot.

Living their best lives. Getting outside more, taking their time and enjoying time with their cousins and friends.

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