In which I realise the highs and lows of the stay-at-home girlfriend

Well, not quite the stay-at-home girlfriend. It implies a certain easygoing style that totally consists of poached eggs and crumpets for breakfast. The reality is sadly far from it.

Of course, when you’re jumping up at ungodly hours to join the rest of the proles going to work, dealing with office politics and the frustrations of a thankless manager and coming home too exhausted to cook, you often muse about the shiny, happy place called the ‘home office’.

I joined that elite club this year. Bravely moving from the ‘stability’ of an employed environment to the thrills and spills of the self-employed. To be fair, the move was brought on by a fair amount of planning and careful consideration (although it was hastened by complete an utter burnout). So, there I was…waking up in a brave new self-employed 2012 and planning a routine for myself of OCD proportions – after all, I will have so much more time to do things right. Or so I thought.

Look, let’s face it. It’s not been long enough and I’m not the most patient person…so, the routine will come. In the meantime, working from a home office is quite a scary new (read: exciting) place. I have been delighted and mortified to discover that life does not magically fall into place when you’re working for yourself and with the highs, there are lows. The difference is your attitude to those lows.

For instance:

I have had a total of zero poached eggs and crumpets since I started working from home – I still just swallow cups of coffee and forget to eat until a plate is plonked down in front of me.

Stormy – favourite dog and trusty companion – can’t believe her luck and has taken full advantage of the situation by securing a prime spot underneath my chair while I work (I have tripped badly four times in an effort not to wake her. It’s all about YOU, Stormy).

The dogs will bark. They will not care that you’re on the phone with a Very Important Person.

Unless you watch yourself, you’ll work all the freaking time. Start early, finish late. Reply to emails in between. A very slippery slope.

You do worry constantly that you might lose your creativity and get stunted because you’re not surrounded by other creatives. Well, I do. I’m an ambitious bitch and I’m concerned that I might lose my edge.

On the other hand – I can still get into a good routine any day of the week; I can cut down on coffee and start eating like a normal person; I am incredibly fortunate to be loved by this furry thing that trusts me without reserve and wants to be wherever I am (more than most guys!); and I won’t lose my creativity if I take responsibility for my stimulation – read, write, experience, and et voila…create.

So, all is not lost and it is still great that I am not experiencing the daily headaches and stress of the last few years.

The best thing? The very best thing… I can make poached eggs and crumpets every day if I wanted to.


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