I messed up.
Juggling two kids and a seven week school holiday single handedly, maybe it was inevitable.
As the only bread winner / bacon bringer homer at my gaff, I couldn’t just stop working over the break. Nor could I afford the ruinously expensive and utterly crappy childcare provision on offer round these here parts (£100 for a short day in what essentially looked like baby jail…)
I’ve done the best that I could.
But I know that some of my work hasn’t been as good as it should have been over the Summer months.
And yesterday, a client and I agreed to part ways, because I just wasnt getting the tone of voice they wanted, despite my best efforts. And, if I’m honest, because I kept losing files, and asking stupid questions, and generally coming across like a headless chicken that ate a thirteen year old girl. That’s what happens when you never. get. a. clear. uninterrupted. run. at. anything for more than seven weeks. You f**k s**t up. You shout at your kids, and you disappoint your clients.
It’s never happened to me before, and I’m mortified.
I can write the s**t out of anything…but not when my mind is torn between my children and my work and making sure we don’t fall behind on the bills and giving them as good a summer as kids who have two parents and making sure I put enough away for an astronomical tax bill I know is coming in January and keeping the house vaguely presentable and worrying about my Mum’s progressive MS, that just keeps progressing.
I’m a persona to many on LinkedIn, but I’m also a person. A person who didn’t do a good enough job for this client, and essentially got fired because of it.
Yes. Sometimes freelancers get fired.
Sometimes our head just isn’t 100% in the game.
My clients don’t deserve less because I have family commitments, but I also deserve more than tearing myself to pieces over this one.
If I were in employment, I wouldn’t be expected to give a faultless, flawless performance all day, every day. I’d be able to eff up every now and then. I’d get sick pay and holiday pay too…
But what sort of employment can a single Mum realistically hope to get when she’s bookended by school runs, can’t work for 12 weeks of the year, and needs to be available and flexible for her kids and ageing parents – whilst earning the equivalent salary of two people?
I will work again
and it will be marvellous
I’m a dick head who got the sack
PS Thank you for the overwhelming support this post has provoked. Single Mums get a bad rep, when in fact we carry a huge burden with grace and determination, or grim determination, or both. I receive no benefits, and am proud of it. There are needier children than mine, and I’m glad the tax I pay will support them. I just wish more was done to acknowledge care issues so we didn’t have to dread holiday periods, and our children could be safely looked after without us remortgaging our houses or selling our spleens on the dark web. FIN.