Midweek Musings: Hedgehogs, Childcare and (not) Working 9 to 5

hedgehog-lifebylotte

There were no hedgehogs in Colliers Wood

Did I mention before that we have hedgehogs in our new garden? Every evening they scuttle past the French windows on their way to two doors down, where our neighbour leaves food out for them. They’re really fast as they zip back and forwards! Yesterday Oli did some gardening and we unearthed one hiding under a plant – he didn’t look very impressed to see us but wasn’t obviously injured, so we left him there. I was worried about him though, because it said hedgehogs that were out in the daytime were probably in trouble. And this morning he had moved himself about a foot onto the lawn and was just lying there not moving, so we phoned our local Wildlife Rescue centre and they told us to bring him in. We’ve left him there overnight and we find out if he made it tomorrow. Fingers crossed, poor mite.

In other COMPLETELY unrelated news, today we went to view a nursery. Oli and I have been back and forward on the subject of childcare for Daph – we both work pretty random and unconventional hours. For the past few months I’ve been working one and a half days a week for a company – one day in the office and half a day from home, and then freelancing as and when stuff comes in. So Oli is usually able to look after Daph when I’m working in the office. Then the rest of the freelancing I do when she’s napping or Oli takes her out for the day, or I do it in the evenings. Either way, it’s worked quite well so far, except for when Oli’s been working away and my mum’s had to step in (my mum is a lifesaver!).

However, Oli starts a new job next week – he’s going to be the vocalist for Vincent and Flavia’s (of Strictly fame) new show The Last Tango. Thankfully it’s only in the west end, not a tour (he was offered the tour of the same show last year but given that rehearsals started the day Daph was born, it wasn’t really feasible. Plus I’d been a tour widow for most of my pregnancy and it’s a bloody lonely life so I confess I did do a bit of weepy pregnant woman emotional blackmail). But anyway, he’ll be leaving the house at around 4pm to get to work, which means I can’t work do my full day in the office any longer. Most people would just get childcare and we have considered it, but it’s so expensive and feels like a bit of an indulgence when we can probably make it work with a bit of juggling (luckily my office job is flexible!).

As for work… I’ve actually been trying to work less over the past few months – in hindsight I was crazy to start trying to work when Daph was only four months old. I think it was just my pride taking over, trying to prove that being a mother wouldn’t stop me from carrying on as before. But now I look back and think why the hell didn’t I just have a proper break and relax?! I remember going in to do a freelance day when I’d had about three hours’ sleep – it was such a struggle to get through the day and I just felt dizzy and disorientated thanks to the bucketloads of caffeine I’d thrown down my neck. I’ve turned down quite a bit of freelance work in the past month or so which is terrifying (usually if you turn stuff down you don’t get asked again) but at the same time quite liberating.

I really want to have a proper break and thankfully I do have something incredibly exciting planned for the next six months (more on that soon). But long-term I need to focus on what the heck I am going to do next. As I’ve mentioned before I didn’t plan on having no job to return to after having a baby but thems the breaks. Freelancing is great for the flexibility but boy is it lonely, and I really miss being part of a team and, well, office gossip in general. So, I’m seriously considering retraining, but that’s a whole other blog post…

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Charlotte Duckworth
I'm Charlotte Duckworth, an interiors and lifestyle editor, consultant and general digital media nerd. Once upon a time I also had a novel published. This is my personal blog, about new motherhood, life and interiors.
Charlotte Duckworth

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