It’s been an incredibly fun, challenging, inspiring, exhausting 18 months – and I don’t regret one second.
Learning to juggle what is effectively two full time jobs (I’m self-employed) alongside motherhood, a relationship with my husband, seeing my friends, drinking wine and waving a wet-wipe at the dust in my house has been – at all times – eye-opening.
I’ve experienced the tiredness that can only come with getting up at 3.45am every morning, commuting 45 minutes to work, coming home, looking after a demanding toddler, working until 10.30pm and doing it all again the next day. And I’ve survived. More than survived actually – I’ve enjoyed it.
People who work in radio often joke that “there’s nothing like radio”. Truth is, when I left my permanent job in radio to go on maternity leave with my little bundle, I didn’t really miss it. I had achieved all the challenges I set myself in that job and I was ready for a new phase in my life.
It wasn’t until I started covering as a freelancer that I caught the (so-called) “radio bug” again. I remembered what it feels like to suddenly look at the clock and realise you’ve spent four hours laughing and chatting without even realising it. I remembered how good it is to make people feel happy, simply by talking about something or playing a tune on the radio. I was hooked again.
It’s a great medium to work in and I’m sure I’ll miss the daily banter and the ridiculous things I got up to while in the studio. But I’m ready for a change. I’m ready to take life at a bit more of a “normal” pace and discover evenings with my husband again.
I’m not saying that’s it for me and radio. The door is not closed. I still love it and I know I’ll go back. I’m lucky enough to have worked as a presenter, journalist, researcher and producer in my career so far, and I know I’ll return to one of these roles again in the future.
But, for now, I’m going to concentrate on my other work projects that will see me writing and editing full time, from home. I’m going to enjoy taking my toddler to nursery myself, before settling her into a new pre-school in our new home 200 miles away in Devon. I’m going to just be, without the rushing from one thing to another at 100 miles an hour.
When you’re self-employed, it’s easy to take on every project that’s thrown at you. And when you have a financial target in mind, it’s easy to forget to give yourself a bit of breathing space. I don’t want to make that mistake so, for now, I’m setting my sights on a couple of pretty huge and exciting writing projects, which I will be working on from home.
Oh – and I also have the small task of finding a temporary home to rent for the next few months while we buy a house in the idyllic corner of Devon that we have set our heart on.
Wish me luck – I think I’m going to need it!