Every so often, on a Wednesday, we ask a mum how they manage their work and family. This week, Annie Ridout gives us her approach to feeling like she’s ‘got this’. (Sometimes.)
Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
I’m a freelance journalist (the Guardian, Telegraph, Stylist, Red etc), founder of parenting platform The Early Hour, co-founder of women’s app @clementineappuk and author of #TheFreelanceMum: A flexible career guide for better work-life balance.
What is your most embarrassing parenting moment?
D’you know what? I can’t recall one. I think I’m so regularly embarrassed in public - exploding nappies, tantrums etc - that it no longer makes me blush. I just accept that it’s a normal part of parenting; that everyone goes through it - so I forget about it and get on with my day
How do you juggle motherhood, with your business?
It’s a constant work-in-progress. This week, my husband is settling our two-year-old son at nursery, which might be a slow process. But once settled, he’ll be out of the house three mornings a week, as he has one morning with a childminder.
I work nap-times, evenings (if necessary) and some weekends. But we're working towards me doing a three-day week, and my husband doing the same. We’ll then share the childcare between us, with a few nursery/childminder mornings.
Our four-year-old daughter is at school, so that’s that sorted. But then we’re having another baby late summer, so it’ll all be up in the air again. However, with the other two, I found it fine working from home when they were young babes. It’s when they start waking up a bit more that it gets harder. But I’ll deal with that when it happens.
I’ve set myself up as a freelancer so that I can be around for the kids, so I’m happy that we’re managing to find some kind of balance of time with each parent and time with other childcare providers (who do the really fun stuff).
The kids seem happy (mostly), we are happy (mostly) and the work is going well. We’re earning enough, just about, to live the life we want to - so I think we’re as close to the ideal work-life balance as can be.
You can follow Annie here @annieridout, and immerse yourself in numerous articles of other parents making work happen around their kids at The Early Hour (I found it when feeding Will in the early hours!?). Annie’s book The Freelance Mum can be found in all good bookshops.