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When I woke up this morning I could smell autumn so an autumn family fun day was decided upon.

First off we hit our favourite local conker tree…

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Then we went to go and show Grandad our haul and managed to collect another adventurer for our walk out (Auntie Lauren, my youngest sister)

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We cleared Thirsk out of conkers, acorns and all things autumn-like while enjoying a fab mild autumn day.

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Later me and the kids sorted through our haul, adding extra bits and pieces from the garden as well as some fab smelling rosemary to make our autumn table centrepiece (lentils and nut shells at the bottom, rosemary, leaves, conkers, acorns and bits and pieces)

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This afternoon Auntie Lauren came back for some conker painting fun..

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One child played long after the others finished :)

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Days like today remind me why I love autumn so much!

 

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I am an incredibly lucky woman. I have two healthy and happy young chaps and a fabulously supportive and loving husband. I work for myself, writing a seemingly impossible number of words each week and yet absolutely love the work I do. Damn I am tired though!

As with anything there are pros and cons associated with working for yourself and thankfully for me the positives far out-weigh the negatives. What I do find difficult however is taking time off. When you work for yourself you don’t get sick days, there is no paid annual leave and even Bank Holidays are at risk of being snatched up by yet another impossible (but always met) deadline.

Basically if you don’t work you don’t get paid. In theory us self-employed people are supposed to squirrel away funds so that they may “pay” for our time off however I’d love to hear how many actually do that. For me there is always a client that I just can’t let down or even a project too lucrative to let go of. I’m my own worst enemy.

As well as working far more than the suggested weekly working hours I’m also determined to be Mum, wife and keep house as I would if I was a stay at home mum who wasn’t undertaking paid work, inside the home or otherwise. I take the boys to school / childcare every day and am always there to pick them up, I never miss school plays, the class assembly, harvest festivals or sports day and during the hols when the kids aren’t at a play-scheme or similar I am there, being Mum.

I insist on proper family mealtimes, cook from scratch (which includes a hot breakfast for everyone), date nights for the hubby and I and the house clean and (sometimes) tidy. Don’t get me wrong, Roy and the boys more than do their fair share but you know us mothers, we like to do most of it ourselves.

Is it any wonder I’m cream crackered? My mum calls it burning the candle at both ends however for me it is just life and life the way I want to live it. I want the earnings I bring in, I want the enjoyment and achievement that comes with my work, I want to be on hand when the kids need me, to enjoy conker hunts and cuddles under blankets… I just don’t want these eye bags.

Some would say that I need to delegate work-wise (not as easy as it sounds when you work alone) so it does look like I’m going to have to bite the bullet, be strong and book a proper holiday. Once I’ve actually steeled myself to do it and *gasp* handed off work to someone I trust I know I’ll have a fabulous time. My dream is to enjoy time just being me; Nicki, wife of Roy, Mum and not the freelancer writer and copywriter who in incapable (or unwilling!) to say not to work. I could get use to the idea of being the Nicki who is waited on hand and foot though.

I’ve always said that when we take our jollies next time round that it’ll be self-catering again or camping. I like being in control, don’t mind cooking when away and I like the freedom self-catering offers for families. That said bloggy-friends of mind have over the past year or two have been reviewing cruise hols and I have to say, I do quite like the look of it all. Between fabulous activities for the kids, shows, sports, luxury rooms, more different types of food that you could possibly imagine and more you can see why the idea appeals. I’ve just heard that one ship has bumper cars on board. It would be worth booking the cruise for that alone in my opinion.

This could all be a dream, after all I know myself well enough to know how difficult taking a proper break is however I’m not the only one who would be getting away, and there are Roy and the boys to consider too.

Right now I’m enjoying living the dream work and family wise and dreaming a dream of a proper holiday. Will it come off and will I book one next year? We’ll see.

Sail away

 

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