Article | Fabulous Women

Is self employment a solution to child care challenges?

Posted on 30/08/2012

On the 23rd Aug I was a networking meeting (Fabulous Women Esher/ Oxhott) where local MP Dominic Raab was a guest speaker.

Dominic presented some interesting perspectives, some of which sparked a lively debate in the meeting and which resulting in some interesting discussion. However, one of the views he presented was the view running a business is a viable option for parents.

I agree.  The cost and availability of suitable child care can make it very difficult for a couple to both work full time. Talking from experience, it is no fun. It seems there is a non-stop sequence of sick children, inset days, holidays and various other days when children cannot go to school.

Having enough leave available is a challenge. Consider school holidays are around 13 weeks of the year, plus at least a week or two for inset days, sick days and so on. If you are a couple (single parents have even bigger challenges) between you there are likely to be only 8-10 weeks of leave.

Presumably, you want to spend time together on a family holiday for at least two of those weeks. This leaves at least 5 weeks of the year with a child who needs somewhere to go during the day.

Yes, holiday camps abound. Yes, nannies are available as are au-pairs. Yes, child-minders can sometimes help out. The reality is a relentless juggling of priorities which spell S-T-R-E-S-S. And one more: G-U-I-L-T.

And that is putting the cost of childcare to one side. Factor this and a couple may be left wondering why both parents are working full time.

Even part-time is tough.  Ideally both parents need flexible employers and flexible jobs. Self-employment may be a viable option.

The biggest pro:  Fantastic flexibility.
The biggest con: Having the confidence and know how to get going in the first place.

For me working on my own business, in my own time and working around my family commitments has meant a far more relaxing life and far less stress and guilt.

The Big Business-Get-Ready is the place for those who would like to explore self-employment. Or who are already self-employed and need to fill in a few gaps. I would love to see you there.

In the meantime... what do you think? Good idea/ Bad idea? What have been your experiances: good/ bad & ugly... post a comment :) 

Back Author : Charlie Shirley

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