Zoey is 15 months today. She is no longer a tiny, cooing baby. She’s a sassy pre-toddler with an infectious smile, irresistible laugh, and deeply knowing eyes (seriously, the way she looks at me sometimes…).
She can say simple words like ball and shoes and dada (still working on mama), but her comprehension is terrifyingly accurate. I can’t say ‘outside’ without her running to the front door or ‘toilet’ without her following me to the bathroom (the motherhood trope of never going to the bathroom alone is unfortunately very accurate).
I’ve been working on and off since she was born but I’m still struggling with my identity as a working mum. I think it’s because I’m self-employed and I work from home in my ugg boots. I don’t have set office hours. I feel like I’m always working (it’s hard to switch off) yet somehow not working enough. I want to work more but I also want to sleep, read, and spend time with my friends and family.
Being self-employed is a blessing in many ways (no cranky boss, no need to call in sick) but it’s also challenging because it requires an immense amount of willpower – and some days all my willpower is used up trying to feed Zoey breakfast. Some days I dream of going into an office, enjoying some water cooler banter, and clocking off at a set time each day.
(But then I remember it’s frowned upon to wear ugg boots out of the house).
Being self-employed can be incredibly isolating. Right now I’m working from home while Zoey is at daycare and I’ve barely spoken a word to anyone all day. Some days my world feels very small, but whenever I take the time to write (and share) my musings, the world expands again. Publishing this blog post is my (very introverted) way of reaching out and seeking to be seen.
I’m craving connection with mothers who are in the same boat as me: working for themselves with a young child. I feel as though we face unique challenges and opportunities and it would be bloody nice to celebrate and commiserate together. Is this you? Is this someone you know? Consider this an open call for connection. I’d love to exchange notes on life as a self-employed mum (or at the very least get some tips on how to get my sassy pre-toddler to eat breakfast).
I have many, many more words to write on this topic – but for now it’s time to close my laptop and pick up Zoey from daycare. I can’t wait to see her cheeky little face and steal kisses (she doesn’t give them freely and kind of hates being smothered with affection, but what’s a mum to do?).
Jess O'Connor is Made of Words. She also goes by the titles of copywriter, content writer, blogger, ghostwriter, editor, proofreader, word nerd, oh, and mum.
She specialises in blog posts, web copy, and email newsletters. She also specialises in reading Hairy MacLary and Slinki Malinki to her 1-year-old daughter.