I loved the job I was in before I had my first child. I was deputy editor at a magazine. I had a great boss, I got to interview really interesting people, and there was a lot of cake in the office. I was planning to take maybe six months’ maternity leave, then put my baby into childcare and pick up right where I left off.
Only it didn’t quite happen that way. I had the kind of baby who wanted to be held all the time, and who would breastfeed for hours every day. When she was six months old, she didn’t seem ready for childcare. To be honest, I wasn’t ready for childcare either. So I quit my job.
But I had no plans to give up working. I knew what part of my job I loved the most – writing – and I decided to go freelance.
Freelancing can be stressful. There are times that you worry that you’ll never get enough work, and times you worry you’ve taken on too much. But it was the best choice for me, because I could write from home and fit it in around my baby.
I can see why a lot of women become self-employed once they have kids. Even though there can be a lot of work involved, you’re in control of your hours and can be with your kids when you need to be.
I learnt to use my time well. When my little girl was asleep or breastfeeding, I would focus totally on my writing. When I was bogged down in all the boring bits of parenthood – cleaning up endless amounts of poo and vomit – my mind would drift to whatever articles I was working on, thinking up angles and headlines.