Four and a half years ago I started a blog. I wrote an introduction, started documenting LP’s weaning journey and wrote about whatever was on my mind at the time. It was cathartic and it turned into such a lovely hobby.
Just over a year later, when Little Man was tiny, I decided to go self hosted with the aim of making my blog into something. I stopped hiding my blog and instead started shouting about it, letting real life and the blog merge for the first time. It felt good to be out in the open with it and I started what was to become a labour of love over the next few years.
Three and a bit years on from going self hosted and I have decided that something’s got to give. Anyone that knows me knows how busy I am. How busy we are as a family and how constant our lives are. I work 19 hours a week across three days, two of these days my lovely in laws have the children and the third day is always Dave’s day off. We mostly work opposite each other to save on childcare costs and because of this we are often like ships passing in the night.
On top of this we have a house, two young children and now school and preschool drop off and pick up each day. And then there’s this blog. So you can see, something really has to give.
I have spent the last three years working 19 hours a week, putting over forty hours a week into this blog and running a home, sorting out the children and spending as much time as possible planning adventures to fill the rare occasions where we do get time together as a family, booking annual leave to try and extend that family time and trying to hang on to the times where all four of us are in the same place, at the same time for more than a few minutes. We have been living for those times where we are all together.
And now, after three years, something is going to give.
Last week I gave in my notice at work. My notice period takes us to the start of November where I can enjoy the build up to Christmas and the school holidays with the children. The timing means that next year we can start afresh. Next year is a brand new start for all of us.
Next year sees me going from being a part time working parent to being a work from home parent – with me being fully self employed. It will be the first time since I was 14 that I haven’t been employed and it will be the first time I have worked purely for myself. It will also be the first time I haven’t had a guaranteed monthly income.
But, a good friend of mine said to me a couple of months ago that giving up my day job wouldn’t be giving up that guaranteed income, it would in fact be investing that money into a better work/life balance for our family, more time to invest into moving this blog forward and more free time on the calendar to go on more adventures as a family too.
I am looking forward to the New Year and the start of a whole new life for all of us. I am looking forward to full weekends with the children, whole school holidays with them and investing those 19 hours a week into making memories with the people that I love the most.
This is a huge change for us but it may well be the biggest adventure yet. I’m not going to say that this decision has been easy to make – but I am proud of myself for getting us to the point where we had options to choose from. Richard Yates once said “If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want”.
I didn’t want to be working every weekend, I have always wanted to be at home with my children but the last three years have been about building foundations to make that life, and dream, a reality. Who knows what the future will bring? But we have all been working hard to lead the life we want – and I am starting to think that we are pretty close to that life already.