If you’re currently on maternity leave, you will probably have had a conversation with your spouse or family raising concerns about the cost and inconvenience of trying maintain a career around young children. Maternity leave itself can be a joy – you get x amount of your salary per month to basically sit on a blow up ball stuffing your face with chocolate éclairs while watching daytime TV. And when the baby arrives, there’s that relieving grace period where no matter how sleep-deprived you are, you don’t need to worry about lugging your tired butt onto a bus and heading into the office after 1.5 hours sleep. But, as the end of your maternity leave looms and your child is a) sleeping no better and b) clingier than ever, you might begin to worry about how you’re going to juggle all that wonderful life-stuff without declaring bankruptcy.

Let me show you some figures:

In the UK, the average cost of part time childcare for a child under the age of 2 is £122.44 per week, and full time average costs are £232.84 per week!

The average UK woman earns £25199 per year. This comes to a net take-home of approximately £394 per week depending on individual circumstances. So, in essence, around 58% of the average woman’s take-home pay goes on childcare. Now, many women have partners who can contribute, but with rising house costs, utility bills and all the expensive baby essentials you’re going to need on a weekly basis, the average family are probably going to struggle to maintain childcare costs amongst everything else.

So what choices do we have?

Freelancing is one.

Unlike conventional employment, freelance writing can help you to bring in income while looking after your child and avoiding high childcare costs. It can even bring you in enough money that putting your children into childcare can become more manageable, giving you some much-needed alone-time in the home to work and (let’s be honest) catch up on your favourite midday soaps.

Another option is to reduce your normal working hours right down to the bare minimum and freelancing on your days off to bring in extra spending money. This will allow you to continue your career and bump up your bank balance through freelance writing.

This is exactly what our group member Maxine is thinking of doing. She came to us nearing the end of her maternity leave, unsure how to proceed. In just a couple of days, she has set up her online presence, pitched for freelance writing jobs and is in discussion with a couple of clients. It didn’t take her long at all – just a couple of days to get set up! You can read her story here.

So, if you’re on maternity leave and freaking out, take a deep breath and get in touch with us instead. Email me personally on emma@learnfreelancewriting.com and let’s talk about your specific circumstances and how freelance writing can help you to manage better.

I look forward to hearing from you!