Why I Decided To Take The Plunge And Go Self Employed After Baby Number 5

Today marks our 3 year Anniversary of being self employed. And i’ve never looked back.

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This Is How It Happened…

In January 2014 I returned to work after my maternity leave with my 4th child. I worked 30 hours a week over 3 and a half days.

My husband, Matthew was a Home carer. He would work the early shift 6-8am, come home and I would go out to work 9-6. I would then return, only for him to go back out to work. He worked the late shift 7-11. On weekends I would work 9-1. We were like ships passing in the night. We had no choice but to work around each other. You can’t imagine the childcare bill we would’ve had to pay. Our family wouldn’t have benefited from working.

In March 2014 I found out I was pregnant with baby number 5! Matthew and I were over the moon. It was a miracle that we had even managed to conceive, we hardly saw each other!

pregnant self employed

I happily announced my pregnancy to my manager and colleagues. Really, I can’t say I received a positive response. I had not long since returned from maternity leave from baby number 4.

Over the following 7 months I worked there before taking maternity leave, again. I was given disciplinary after disciplinary for taking time off for sickness. I was struggling with morning sickness. Being high risk and under consultant led care, I had more than the average number of check ups, scans and appointments.

The management staff weren’t too pleased with this and it put me under a lot of stress. Which isn’t healthy, even more so in pregnancy. I even ended up having a full on argument as I was told that I was taking the P**s! I don’t understand how, I argued my corner by explaining why I wasn’t and that I needed my job to support my family. Why would I do that?!

A massive error of judgement!

Over the years I had numerous issues within my employment. Upon returning from maternity leave with baby number 3, I was demoted because I wasn’t willing to go full time upon my return even though previously I was part time. Which I now know was very wrong of my employer.

I had also been a target of bullying which wasn’t acted upon. Amongst other issues.

My job satisfaction was very poor.

I loved my actual job, but I couldn’t wait to go on maternity leave.

I didn’t want to be there.

job satisfaction self employed

While I was on Maternity leave with baby number 4 I used my time to do a childminding course with my local authority. I registered as an OFSTED registered childminder. Wanting to expand my knowledge, I started studying a diploma through a home learning course.

I always wanted to work with children. When I was younger, I had dreamed of being a teacher. But after leaving school I became seriously ill with anorexia and then I fell pregnant with my eldest son. You can read my story HERE

I missed my opportunity to finish college, let alone go to university.

While I was on Maternity leave with baby number 5, I completed my diploma.

study self employed

It was coming to the run up of my ‘back to work’ meetings. I seriously couldn’t bring myself to go back. My actual job was amazing. Good pay, amazing holiday entitlement and fantastic company benefits including pensions and bonuses. But knowing that my employer wasn’t family friendly, I knew I was going to have more trouble than enough.

Matthew and I had loved being at home together. Seeing each other more. Our boys loved both parents being around together. Not passing each other on the door step. Plus 2 of my sons were going through the process of CAMHS and I knew that we would be having lots of appointments, meaning time off work and the added stress of juggling it all. Read an insight into our CAMHS journey HERE

I made the decision to start my own childminding business.

Little Rocks Stars Childcare.

I wanted Matthew to be my assistant, so I got him DBS checked, safeguarding trained, his level 3 paediatric first aid certificate and suitability checked by OFSTED.

We both handed in our notices.

We jumped in at the deep end, registering as…

Self Employed!

 PIN ME FOR  LATER

Why I Decided To Go Self Employed after baby number 5

It was a huge risk, a massive decision, going from a reliable, safe and well paid job to going self employed. Where an income isn’t 100% reliable. I have to say I was very nervous. My family depended on me to make this work! But at the same time excited and determined to take on a new venture.

I had to do what was right for my family.

Now 3 years on, we have never looked back. We have gone from strength to strength. Gaining a ‘very strong’ GOOD on our first OFSTED inspection which was 6 months after we had actually opened our doors.

It is the best thing that I have ever done!

The job satisfaction is like nothing I have experienced. Giving children a safe, home from home environment to stay, learn and play while their parents go to work to earn to support their families.

Watching the kids in our care flourish and grow is amazing. Plus its a huge honour for their parents to have chosen us to take care of the most important thing in their lives!

Being here, at home for our boys. Giving them stability. Plus they have made loads of friends! My boys and our mindees are like one huge family.

I get to work with my husband. We get lots of comments about us being ‘mental’ to work and live together. But, believe it or not, it actually works for us. (I’m not sure what Matthew would say)

The only downside I can think of is PAPERWORK! But it’s not too bad, compared to the happiness and family / work balance I get. It’s a small price to pay!

I would advise anyone to…

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Follow their dreams and work hard.

Anything is possible!

You can achieve if you believe!

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Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

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