Earlier this year, I decided that instead of going back to work, I would stay at home with Ebony. I worked out that we had enough savings to get us through about six months of no income, and then I would start looking for work. Well, it has been six months, and I still think she is benefiting from me staying home with her, so that plan has gone out the window.
We haven’t had to spend a single penny of our savings either, because I decided to take on some freelance copywriting work. This has allowed us to have a bit of extra income, whilst not taking me away from Ebony, so it has been perfect. I work while Ebony naps, and anything left at the end of the day, I do when she’s in bed for the night.
I’m careful not to take on too much, because the whole point of freelancing was to let me stay with Ebony, so it’s not working if I’m having to spend lots of time away from her. When I first started freelancing, Ebony used to have two naps a day. A short 40 minute nap in the morning which I would spend getting dressed, tidying or writing, and then a two hour nap late in the afternoon. The two hour nap was amazing for work, and I would usually be able to get quite a lot of work done in that time. I would occasionally have to work the odd evening, but my weekends were mostly free to enjoy time as a family.
Now that Ebony is a little older, things are getting a bit more difficult. Her naps are unpredictable at best, and it makes it quite difficult for me to plan my work schedule. I have reduced the amount of work I take on, and while that does make things easier, I still have difficult weeks. Last week was a particularly difficult week, and has left me feeling quite stressed.
On the Wednesday, I didn’t manage to do as much work as usual because I needed to get ready to go into Manchester. On Thursday, we went on a long walk and Ebony fell asleep in the carrier 40 minutes from home. She slept the whole way home, and then woke as soon as we entered the house. I wasn’t able to do any work that day. On the Friday, Ebony had a later than usual nap and was overtired, so she only slept for 20 minutes all day. I didn’t get any work done then either. I hadn’t been able to do much work in the evenings because Laurie has been home later than usual for various reasons, and by the time it reached Friday night, I was feeling very stressed.
I’ve had too many late nights, too many unproductive days, and too many jobs on my to do list. And once I feel stressed, every little thing that happens seems to add to that. Not being able to drink a cup of tea while it’s hot, not having the time for a bath, and having a messy house are all things that have made me feel at breaking point this week. I wish I was the size of a toddler, and I had someone the size of a Mummy to give me a big, warm hug to make me feel better.
I love being able to stay home with Ebony, and I’m so pleased to have found a way to earn money while doing that, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. It doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle sometimes to get everything done. If I’m up to date with work, we’re usually living in squalor. If the house is in order, I probably haven’t blogged for two weeks. If Ebony has been having the time of her life on exciting day trips, it probably means I haven’t replied to my work emails for a while.
I know motherhood is a juggling act, but does anyone have any advice for keeping all the balls in the air at once?