Warning: This post contains the odd swear word. Because I’m talking about work.
I’ve recently re-entered the world of work and I’m going to be pretty honest- I’m not doing that great at it.
A while ago I wrote a post about the fact that I had too many choices as a privileged, educated woman living in a OECD country. I had the choice to be a Stay At Home Mum which I’d taken up with gusto for the past seven years. I made that luxurious choice mainly because we were in a financial position to exist comfortably on one income. But as the kids don’t seem to be slowing down on the growing up thing, the nappy change rate has dwindled to (almost) zero and financially I’ve started to resent having to justify hide my coffee intake since I’m not up throughout the night anymore, the idea of paid work has started to look appealing again.
This blog, whilst almost as hard to justify as those coffees in the financial stakes (since it’s costing, not making, any kind of money) has been instrumental in giving me the confidence to put myself in a space which doesn’t involve a potty or a high chair. The internet is a bloody big place and the very fact that I can post a rant or anecdote of day to day life and have a couple of friends and the odd stranger laugh or say “Me too!!” or “I do xyz,”… well that’s been a very gentle easing into the thigh high mud of writing professionally.
So what am I doing? I’ve got a job writing regularly for a small educational publication and I’ve manage to sell a few articles to websites and an actual print magazine. It’s been outrageously daunting and wonderfully liberating all at the same time. Like standing on the edge of a cliff you’ve just climbed up, looking down and thinking “Shit! That’s actually quite high.”
Here’s just a few of the ‘Shit’ moments I’ve had so far in my career as a SAHM who has attempted to enter a new employment field with some small kids running around in the background:
- I realised (after not getting paid for a month or two) that you actually have to invoice people if you want them to pay you.
- Children don’t care that you’ve got to finish something on the computer “just quickly” ever. Never ever. Ever.
- I’ve just received my ABN after going through the application three times, only to delete it at the last step each time because having an ABN is “scary”.
- I’ve worked out that a fantastic way to really piss people off who work at a magazine you’d like to contribute to is to send them half a GB of photos to their inbox. And then CC every other staff member and send it to them as well.
- Vacuuming is only a good substitute for actually cleaning the floor for about a month. Then you should really think about cleaning it. I’m still thinking about cleaning it. (That’s code for I haven’t cleaned it.)
- You can’t ‘wing it’ for dinner more than three times in a row because scrambled eggs becomes boring really fucking quickly.
- Trying to write an important email five minutes before leaving the house for school or daycare pick up is only-ever-every-single-time going to end in a second email which begins with “Dear Mrs Important Editor, Please disregard my previous email…”
- Apparently there’s also someone called ‘My Husband’ who requires acknowledgement of his existence from time to time.
I’m new to this whole being professional malarky. I’ve been operating on a pretty fluid time frame for the last few years and suddenly trying to fit in a professional working part to my SAHM status has been pretty bloody shocking for everyone in this family, not just me. The lovely Robyna at Mummy and the Minx always has sensible things to say on this subject and I know plenty of amazing mothers who work FULL TIME (WTF?? HOW???) but I’d like to know how they fit it all in.