Even though EVERYTHING changes after having children, we still feel the pressure to slot back into the same routine as before. For some this might be possible, but for those who, like me, had irregular working hours before having kids, this is quite a big ask. Going back to working evenings and weekends just wasn’t going to work in the long term, so how did I find a solution?
Talking of ‘family life’ in this instance doesn’t just refer to my kids – my partner’s working hours were also just as erratic as mine (and still are). Finding a solution also meant finding a way to make sure I wasn’t just there for my kids, but also that I got time to spend with my husband too. Here’s how I came to find a job that I could do at home and fit around these family commitments…
Combining My Skills with Something I Love
My background was in wine retail, and even though I managed to go back to my old job for a short amount of time after I had my first daughter, the amount of stress involved meant it certainly wasn’t a long-term solution. I had always loved writing, so I looked into ways I could use my retail skills and knowledge to find paid work in this area.
Looking for Work
I started off by registering with freelance sites and tailoring my profile to highlight my specialist knowledge so anyone looking for written content in these areas could easily find me. Because I didn’t have much experience with paid writing work at the time, I included links to my blog. Some sort of proof that you can actually write well always helps! I eventually found work writing for a shopping site, creating content and blog posts about other retailers and from this, I then got work writing for a specialist wine retailer.
The whole point of going down this route was to find a flexible work solution, so I found it important to be upfront with any potential clients about my family commitments. Many employers appreciate the skills a working parent can bring to the table (time management being a very important one!) and they will also appreciate the honesty if you tell them upfront you won’t be able to work at certain times. And if they don’t, then perhaps they’re not a very good fit for you after all.
Over time, I have managed to build up a steady part-time income that allows me to work around my kids’ schooling, whilst still leaving some time to see my husband every now and again! Going forward, I am now in a position to extend my hours and workload once my children are a bit older and have built up a good portfolio of work. This type of freelance work might not suit everybody, but if you think it’s impossible to find a flexible work solution, then starting with your existing skills and thinking outside the box could mean a new, rewarding career.