If you’ve been reading my blog over the last month or so you’ll have sensed a change in me. Less upbeat. More worried. Definitely more stressed. You’ll also know this is because I felt like I was losing my dream.
So now I think it’s time for a catch up. A proper one. Honest, warts and all catch up on what has been going on in my life this month. As it is real life, my real life. The reason I think most of you read this, although I’m never sure I’ll know why. But thank you so much, as the kind comments I’ve had these last few weeks have truly meant the world to me and kept me going.
As the title of my blog suggest I want to stay at home. For me staying at home means working from home.
For me working from home allows me a lot of flexibility, to be able to spend more time with my son, to not have to worry if he is ill or about making routine appointments. It means doing something I love, being happy and providing for my family it not only a monetary sense but also and emotional and physical one. Being at home simply means the world to me.
I have been doing this nicely for a year or so. Then I lost a client. A big one. This meant the little one off jobs and other smaller clients were not enough to support us.
So straight away I went through our expenditures to work out what I could scale back. To be honest there wasn’t much there. A few weekend days out and meals that could go, but mainly food.
So I imposed a strict £50 a week main shop and £10 a week top up shop budget. I started meal planning. Unbelievably this simple act has cut our shopping bills down from £70/£80 plus top up shops to the budgeted £50 and often less than £10 top up with ease. That even includes feeding the cat and household goods like washing tablets and bleach etc.
Obviously I started pitching for more clients. I became far less fussy. Previously I had only been actively pitching for clients I really wanted. Now I was taking more of a leap. There were a lot of people who never responded. A good amount of no’s. A few potentials and back and forwards. One of which became so increasingly demanding of my time and services before actually paying me I had to bow out. And finally a yes. A brilliant yes. One I’m really excited about as despite it being a working scenario we get on well, I can already see we’ll work well together and I love the product.
At the same time as this I was also applying for more conventional roles, back to being an employee. If I’m brutally honest I was only doing this to show willing. With the job market being so tough at the moment I thought I could safely do that and in the time it would take for me to get a job offer I would have secured enough clients for it to be a non issue. Of course I got offered a job almost immediately. So then I had a decision to make.
This decision has been harder than I ever thought it would be. As whilst taking the job clearly wouldn’t be right for me. It would be right for my family. It’s very hard to argue against guaranteed income, regular hours, pensions and staff discounts. Yet I found myself crying. A lot. Uncontrollably. Even in front of L which is something I said I would never do. He bought me a drink bless him.
So was it so right for my family after all?
I reached out to family, friends, the lovely community of people in my blog world for opinions. I got a mixed reaction. It didn’t really help me come to an answer. I could argue it either way. As could they.
What really helped me come to my decision. One which I have now made. Was my husband. We talked. Really talked and came up with a plan of action. We would continue with our budgeting, in fact we agreed to stick to that no matter what happens in the future, it’s working so well. I would turn down the job. The tole on me and the strain on the family routine we have now fallen so nicely into would be too much.
I will now pitch for work like crazy and unlike previously I would take on any job (within reason), even if I didn’t have time for it. You see previously, if I couldn’t do it myself, I said no. Now, if it is too many hours worth of work for me alone I will get help, I will hire someone temporarily to help me. That way if I lose a big client again I will still have enough for it to not be so devastating financially.
If this still doesn’t work then I will have to admit defeat, but at least I will know, without a shadow of a doubt, I will have gone down fighting.
You see this crazy dream of mine is worth fighting for. It is hard work. It is fluid and changes shape all the time. I can be so busy I don’t know how to cope, then so quiet I can’t cope either. It is stressful and it pushes me to my limits. But it turns out, when it looked like it was all lost, it means the world to me and makes me happier than I could have ever imagined and it is worth the fight.
So that’s you all caught up with what’s been going on. Wish me luck.