I've just done a very similar thing although condensed so I used all my KIT days in the first three months but was taking it very easy really compared to what I would normally do. Now I have just stopped my MA and am juggling three month old with work so I work when he's asleep and in the evening but I have very flexible work, I very rarely have to see clients and I have a freelance OH who can juggle with me. Then hopefully when I am BF-ing less he can do a couple of days with nanny/nursery. It works fine so long as everyone sleeps as they should in the evening!
Right now we have the advantage of one set of GPs a 20 walk away, the other set a half hour drive (all retired but v busy) and although DHs work not very flexible it is in walking distance too. I guess I'll cover sick days if I'm doing desk work, DH will just have to if I'm away at a client meeting. Bit shocked to hear how many nursery days you're missing though twelve
Sounds good, I am due June (2nd DC) and plan something similar, baby is booked into the nursery from March which is when I'll finish my mat leave. I have parents locally that could cover KIT days prior to that.
When I was on mat leave (from my job at the time) with DC1 I had time to throw myself into the local NCT branch (fundraising, bumps and baby hosting, committee attending, hosptial user group attending - I really did go for it!) to fill the "gap" left by work, so you could find (baby & yourself depending) you have time to business develop towards the end. That lack of opps - as I am now SE - which is my biggest concern for when I am "back".
Are you able/interested in lining up a couple of people you could refer stuff too? Obviously it is a risk, but it does mean you have been helpful to a client/potential and you know who has done the work? I am thinking about this issue at the mo.
I think your plan sounds quite good. FWIW with DD2 I did: 4 months completely off (although of course I got the odd phone call) Next 1 month working whilst DD2 napped/in eves as KIT days Childminder 3 days a week from 6 months and naptimes other 2 days
Theoretically even if you only work for half an hour on one of your KIT days that counts as one of your days. In practice I have no idea how that could be checked. Also, what counts as 'work' if you're SE - research, planning? Pitching? Essentially I just made sure I invoiced for no more than 10 days' work, dated over only 10 separate days, over my MA period.
I would say that MA is the ONLY free money you get as a sole trader, so personally I would take every last penny of it. You won't get any help with childcare vouchers etc so this is it for govt help.
My twins arrived early (I was still in the middle of a massive contract!) so I won't tell you what I did, but what I'd do this time around is 6 months completely off (it will FLY by, honestly), then 3 months using your KIT days and doing a few hours each week of what I would consider non-billable work (getting your banking sorted, researching new clients etc) to get into a routine of sharing childcare, get your brain back into gear etc
I agree you need to get your childcare sorted. The big problem i have found with nursery as self-employed is that when they are ill you not only lose the money for the nursery days, but also the money for the days work. Then I end up trying to work in the night to catch up, but they're ill so they're not sleeping... so I end up completley exhausted. If you have family who could step in/your DH can be flexible at short notice etc that will be a big help, but right now with all the winter bugs I am probably taking up around 40-50% of the nursery days I am paying for <weeps>.
I'm SE, and pregnant for the first time due early Sept. We're not telling anybody till 12wk scan and hopefully no clients till about 20wks but I want to have a plan in my mind anyway...
I have a couple of SE friends with children who I use as a model for these ideas. The whole point of SE was better work/life balance so I don't want to take ages off completely and fall out the loop then go back to working lots of hours/days, I'd rather try to keep a bit going all the time...
So, does this sound reasonable, based on healthy child and healthy birth recovery (obviously all changes if baby or I have unforseen problems):
3 months off totally. No work, not even emails, on MA. (Sept-Nov)
3 months still on MA but working the 10 days I am allowed to work while claiming. (Dec-Feb). Using weekends and DHs holidays for childcare. This is just over 0.75days a week and would allow me to pick up my main longterm client again.
March - Stop claiming MA. Baby 6mnths old. Sort childcare (pref. local nursery) for two days a week, any additional work fits into evenings or weekends with DH as childcare.