By KATE HUNTER
Since leaving the full-time workforce 9 years ago, there has been no need for me to go to an office.
I have a great home study at home that looks out onto a leafy courtyard. Our street is peaceful, and my three kids are at school, so interruptions are few.
I don’t have a job as such but I have plenty of work – besides writing for Mamamia, I freelance for advertising agencies, help clients with their social media and sometimes, okay, occasionally work on my novel.
When I was working full time in an ad agency, I dreamed of a life like mine.
But as the kids grew up and started school and I was less caught up in the physically demanding and time-consuming aspects of all-day parenting, I discovered I was going a bit nuts.
Yes, without the kids here during the day, it was quiet at home … too quiet. Except when the dishwasher screamed to be emptied, or that laundry begged to be folded, or I decided there was no way I could settle to my work knowing the children’s wardrobes were such a mess. I’d just sort that out and then I’d tackle that brief. Write that post.
Of course, I wouldn’t, and then I’d be cranky with the kids when they got home from school. All my words remained unwritten and darn it, there my kids were, expecting dinner and asking for help with their homework. Didn’t they realise how FLAT OUT I was?
For the past couple of years, I was monumentally unproductive. I was also lonely.
That was a surprise – before the kids started school, I dreamed being alone. I’d pump out a novel in a month and become the most sought after freelance writer in the country. I’d make a bucket of money, have a tidy house, eat sushi once a week with my friends and still be there, smiling and fulfilled, to welcome my children home. Very possibly with home-baked cookies.
Sometimes that happened, but not often (and the buckets of money part – never). I realised my motivation came from being with people; specifically, other adults.
I didn’t want an office job or even a full-time one. I like the freedom of freelancing, but I need other people – and for me, Skype, social media and email wasn’t cutting it.
For a while I worked in a cafe, but the company was transient and I was getting fat, drinking endless cappuccinos as a way of paying for the Wi-Fi I was hogging.
All a bit pathetic, really.