Hi, I have 3 kids with baby who is 8 months old. I recently began again doing the consulting work. My older kids are at school. My baby went to nursery for half days. With my first contract I got bombarded by my client but went over and beyond to impress. Staying late hours and prioritizing work on weekends. My first invoice of a very modest amount was challenged and I ended up trimming it meaning between time spent on childcare and all the running around I made no money at all. my client is well aware of number of hours I spent and sacrifices that I made. Not to say it will continue this way but I feel discouraged. It was my first experience after the baby and I just think I may need to accept the fact that I am a mother of 3 now and there is no space for me to move the mountains professionally. I contemplated on quitting my professional life entirely for some time. I know it will make me sad but may be not as sad as me handing the baby to a nursery and missing out on my kids during the evenings and weekends. I fear if I do this it will be the end to me as a professional person! Anyone with similar experience or just with some advise? Anyone also quit and come back? My work requires qualifications that need to be up to date. If I leave I will need to retrain. Or anyone with words of comfort please
I can't speak to whether you should give up work or not, but would say working freelance as a consultant will give you a good way to manage your work/life balance. But you have to manage it. Don't 'go above and beyond' - have tight contracts agreeing the scope of work, charge appropriately, do what you say you're going to do (obviously to the highest possible standard), then leave.
Your client doesn't care about hours/sacrifice - nor is their job to care. Set boundaries, charge appropriately and get that agreed upfront. Then don't discount after the fact. You need better clients I think!