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Becoming my husband's PA

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Ellsiedodah Tue 23-Jan-18 00:06:43

Hi all

I'm in a weird life situation which I guess happens to a few of us sometimes... Would love to hear thoughts and experiences around the following scenario. I gave up a long term career a year ago but the new one didn't live up to expectations and I was forced to resign on account of nothing about it was working. We were also beginning assisted fertility treatment and were into the second round - it felt like a moment to remove work stress and not try to find the answer to 'so what's next?' -career-wise... I fell pregnant.

We began to explore how I could help make my husband's work life more productive and effective because for years he's been suffering enormous stress trying to balance the pressures of a creative freelance career where so much admin also has to play a role. For reasons I can't quite work out,, we found it nigh on impossible to lock down any kind of working arrangement. With itchy feet and a realisation no one would hire me pregnant, I decided to study, with the aim of extending the skills I gained over my earlier career and hopefully laying the foundation for a career post baby/s.

We're now in the same discussion we were in where my other half desperately needs help to make his freelance career more profitable (he's just not an organiser at all and can't handle what is a very split role of creativity and admin). So we're seriously considering whether I should give up this course to try again with him but wondering if it's the right thing... I'm opinionated and being a PA has never felt a natural fit (the work actually might sometimes give me some opportunity to bring strategy into my role on occasion) on the other hand I have always been convinced I cannot be both a career girl and a decent mother and that the stress of managing a home, career and baby would tip me over the edge... So on that basis a job working from home, helping him, not full time, all seem like attributes of a good situation. Plus I have little conviction that any future career would tip me into the kind of earning power that would make it really worth me returning to work, when you take into account childcare costs. It's a re-prioritisation of life I guess but I'm struggling to get my head around the best foot forward. Any inspiration / experiences would be massively appreciated! Thank you ladies.

OP’s posts: |
Kazzyhoward Tue 23-Jan-18 14:04:54

Employee family just because they're family rather than based on qualifications, ability, etc isn't a good idea.

If you were a qualified/experienced PA/manager/administrator, then fair enough - you'd have skills to bring to the table and could help drive his business. However, if you don't have those skills, then it's an additional strain on your OH to teach/train you, and if he hasn't those skills himself, then it may not end well.

I see it all the time. As an accountant, I have loads of clients whose wives "do their book-keeping" and it's usually a pretty poor attempt as they're usually not qualified/experienced book-keepers. So instead of the freelancer themselves making a hash of it, their wives make a hash of it instead, making the same mistakes etc.

Administration, organisation, management, etc aren't just easy jobs that people can pick up from scratch with no experience/training.

Personally, I'd carry on training for your own future independent career. Never a good idea to be too reliant on a partner - what if you split up, what if his business folds?

If he's struggling so badly, then there's no shortage of professional help he can use, i.e. freelance book-keepers, virtual PAs, etc.

Ellsiedodah Wed 24-Jan-18 16:26:58

Hi Kazzyhoward, thanks so much for your straight answer. Appreciate your thoughtful response. You make a good point for consideration.

I was a manager then an account director, and have also been a project manager so I have plenty of skills to bring to the table. I have also in earlier years been an office assistant in various guises so admin tasks are no stranger. But I agree on principle and haven't been a PA before. My best mate, who is a high flying PA, says I could do it but questions whether it's right for my personality. The thing with this is that the role will have 3 faces - PA, project manager and strategist at times... (which actually might make things even harder as we flick between boss and subordinate and equal partners).

I think it's interesting to consider the virtual PA scenario too.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

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