It’s been a tough few months for us financially. Chris and I are both contractors and while that does mean positive things like, we can control the hours we work (to some extent), we are paid for every hour we do work (which means at busy times we earn great ‘overtime’), we earn more per hour because of the risk factor associated with being contractors. Since the kids were conceived I have not actually worked full time. I love the flexibility of my work and the fact that it means I have been able to be home after the kids nap in the afternoon to spend the time with them. That I have been able to go with them to Baby Gym and then Moms and Babes and then Clamber Club. We have had the balance of my income and my time.
But on the flip side being a contractor means no paid holidays, no paid sick leave, no paid family leave, and at the drop of a hat your contract might not be renewed and you could find yourself unemployed for two months.
Yup both Chris and I were pretty much unemployed for April and May!
And the timing was awful. With us having moved house in December the bigger house meant we had to put down almost all our savings as a deposit on the house and so when the lack of income hit we didn’t have our usual buffer in our savings account. But we are extremely fortunate, we did have some savings, we sold our old car (which really wasn’t being used much anymore anyway) and we made it through – just. And as quickly as it happened we are both back at work again and the income is coming back in.
In the aftermath I find myself with such a tough balancing act. We need me to work all the available hours so we can pay off the little bit of debt we built up in those two months (nothing major and in another month it should be gone). We need to build back our safety net of savings so that the next time this happens we can survive it again, that means I need to work all the hours. But I am hating not getting more time with my babies. At the same time I would love them to be going to a class again (like Moms and Tots or Clamber Club) for their social development, but most of those cannot be done with just the au pair (she can’t handle two kids alone, so they require me to take more time away from work, which means less income, which also means no money to pay for the classes. And most of all I just keep thinking how incredibly quickly they are growing up and how the most valuable thing I have right now is my time and the money matters so little in comparison. If only the reality of the costs of living didn’t interfere with that thinking.
Please I do know how spoilt I am that this is such a struggle when most moms just have to go to work full time and that is just life. I know how privileged I am and I hope that me knowing that makes you hate me a little less.