Sunday, August 26, 2012

Introducing Working Mama

As you know, we have been living beyond our means. No matter how much I tried to save, the reality was that we were spending more that we had coming in. At that rare of overspend, we had about 10 months left before we were totally broke, so something had to change.

I think I have budgeted as far as I am prepared to go. We could spend less on food, but I want to provide nutritious meals for my family. BB loves fresh fruit. I could get rid of the car, but that would mean a drastic change of lifestyle and really the place I live has little going for it. We could move somewhere where there is more going on, but then our house would be much smaller, and Grandma and Gramps further away. There is only so much I am prepared to compromise.

So, after much deliberation, I decided that I needed to work. But I really don't want to go to work. I had a Work Focused Interview  at the Job Centre (routine here when your child turns 1) on the 7th August and discussed the idea of becoming self employed. By doing 16 hours a week I qualify for working tax credits and of course I will have my earning too, so providing I get some work I should be better off.  I am working as a Virtual Assistant doing freelance administrative tasks for small businesses. I already have my first client who has enough work to keep me going for a while, and hopefully in that time I can also build a website and start to promote myself a little wider. Initially I am doing this at home when BB is sleeping, which is a bit of a challenge to fit in around the toy tidying, washing and floor mopping, but possible. 

We are going to have a look at a nursery on Tuesday though as I am aware that this is not do-able long term. I do need some Me time so that I can be at my best during Mummy time. It would be good to have at least a couple of evenings free. I have been thinking about taking BB to nursery for a while.  It is widely accepted here that attending nursery gives you a head start at school, something BB may need as he will be one of the youngest in his year. I like the idea of the structure, and the development of social and sharing skills. There is also BB's personality to consider, he is a social little chap and loves to get out of the house and do something every day. When we have BB2 this could be hard for him, so having a couple of trips to nursery each week could be a bit of a saviour in those early weeks. 

Practising administrative skills at the wobbly table
Finally, to explain the long silence. It is quite simple: BB + wobbly table + unsuspecting friend's cup of tea = sudden computer death! That was another surprise as I really thought it would recover. BB spewed on it once when he was really small and I just turned it upside down on a towel for a day and it was fine. I expected the same to happen this time, but, to my horror, nothing! 

This did make my first two weeks of work quite a challenge as the incident occurred about 1/2 an hour after I made the phone call to register self employed. Still, it was possible thanks to my mum and DD who let me use their computers when I needed. Fortunately too, it turns out that I have a brilliant insurance company, I now have a replacement laptop. Better still some clever geek was able to extract the hard drive from my old one and load it on to the new one so I even have all my files. From now on though, the laptop stays in the office until BB is sleeping soundly - at least until the wobbly table is replaced.


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