Two years ago -- to the day -- I left my office job for my second maternity leave. And as we all now know, said mat leave never really ended. My EI payments ended, but my time at home with the kids did not.
It was a pretty big shock when I got the news last year that my job was being eliminated. I never dreamed that my job wasn't secure and, although I wanted to stay home with the kids, I never thought that it would be because I didn't have a permanent position to return to.
Cue the passing of yet another year and I can honestly say I'm happy with how things turned out. I'm happy to be home with my kids (except the days they drive me crazy and I want to sell them); I'm happy not going into an office every day; and I'm happy with my part-time career as a freelance writer (especially since it's going well and I'm getting a steady stream of part-time work).
So happy in fact, that it's very tempting to not go back to work at all.
I'm not saying that I want to stay home with the kids forever. But instead, I'm saying that in a few years, when the kids are older and are in school full-time, rather than pounding the payment in search of a full-time job, I'd try to make a go at a self-employed career.
When I decided to stay at home full-time, I said I'd do so at least until Austin went to school (this September) and likely until Alex started school (in two years -- four if our home school doesn't get full-time Kindergarten in time). But in reality, I didn't really think much about what I would do when that time came. I figured I'd find another job. The problem is, I just don’t know what I want to do at another job.
Right now anyway, what I want to do is write. And I don't need to work for someone or somewhere to do that.
Had you asked me 10 years ago that I would be considering a future in self-employment, I would've laughed. Back then, I didn't have the confidence in my work and my abilities to even think I could pull something like this off. But now, it seems like a viable career option. Yes, it's a scary career path, in the sense that you don't always know where (and when) your next pay cheque is coming from. But it's an exciting prospect. And something I think I can actually pull off.
But there's still at least two years until I can move from doing this part-time to pursuing a full-time career at it. Maybe by then, I'll change my mind or talk some sense into myself.
Then again, Ryan supports the idea, so maybe it's not so crazy after all.