This post originally appeared in my old blog, www.the-alice.co.uk
The last week involved a lot of soul-searching and decision-making for both of us; having been set on one path for such a long time and not expecting to deviate from it, Will’s redundancy was a big shock and really made us question our future.
Will was Head of Promotions at matter, a big music venue at the O2. We moved down to London two and a half years ago from Nottingham when he got approached to do this job – booking bands and DJs – and he was so good at it.
He worked ever so hard and a typical day would involve him leaving the house at 8pm and returning 12 hours later, plus there was the weekend work (9pm Saturday night through to 8am Sunday morning and often the same on Fridays, urgh). The perks of the job made up for the fact that we had limited time together, it really helped that for me most upsets can be cured with Laurent Perrier Rose. When I got pregnant I was worried that his job wouldn’t be so compatible with family life what with the long days and late nights, but it’s what he does, he loves his work and I didn’t want him to do a job he didn’t enjoy. Plus he’s always been a provider and has worked as hard as he can for our family – that’s just what he does.
When we got back from Greece to the news there was upset at his work, I truly didn’t believe it. There were murmuring about redundancies on the Monday and all was to be revealed at an all-company meeting on the Tuesday. When I got that phone call on Tuesday morning telling me he’d lost his job I literally fell over. I cried and felt sick. How were we going to cope? I knew he would get another job fairly quickly, but if he was out of employment for even one month it would make life incredibly difficult; he’s always been the breadwinner and we’d planned our finances so it would just about work for me to be off for 6 months maternity leave without earning. It’d be tight, but we could manage. I was terrified and had visions of having to leave my 8 week old baby to return to work (remember De Niro’s Mannery Gland in Meet The Fockers? That’s what Will was wearing in my deepest darkest nightmares).
We worked out we’d be eligible for some sort of housing benefits soon, plus tax credits and job seeker’s allowance so Will made an appointment to sign on.
Then he started getting phonecalls. He got offered a couple of events, and then some consultancy gigs. 2 weeks of work booking a venue in Liverpool, a Polish festival that needed a headline act. A London warehouse party, ongoing work with a record label. Suddenly it seemed silly for him to work for a company when he could be earning more money by cutting out the middle man and going out on his own. Will’s dad was a brilliant entrepreneur and his last wish was that Will used his skills to start his own business – the chain of events relating to Will’s redundancy kicked off on the day his Dad died and we can’t help but think that fate has played a big hand. We talked about it, and decided there was no time like the present for us to start a business.
The tenants who live in the house we bought 5 years ago in Nottingham coincidentally moved out a month ago, leaving us with an empty house and an extremely cheap mortgage (the only time low interest rates are good!). If Will’s working between the North and London it makes sense to be half way between the two, plus we’ll have more than enough space for an office for Will and a nursery for baby. So we’re moving back there as soon as maternity leave finishes and taking away our London rent removes a massive strain on our finances.
At first the thought of leaving London terrified me, but we haven’t been enjoying the city as much as we used to (and wouldn’t have been able to afford to once the baby came along). We’ll be returning to a city we know well and somewhere we have plenty of friends. When we found out we were having a baby one of my biggest regrets was that we wouldn’t be able to bring baby home to a house place we owned rather than rented and I am so pleased we are able to do this now.
Even better, Will is going to be working from home so will be around for cuddles all day rather than for a couple of hours in the morning; he won’t be missing bathtime and bedtime as we’d expected him to. He is over the moon at the prospect of being a more hands-on dad, and so am I. I won’t have any pressure to go back to work within a certain time frame and can concentrate on looking after our new family.
We’re going home, and I think it’s going to be the right thing for us. I can’t wait.
(and I’m not nervous at all at moving cities at 36 weeks pregnant, noooo not at all…)
Isn’t it a lovely looking house?