Meet Georgina Fuller: Journalist
I’m Georgie, a freelance journalist and mum of three – Charlie (8), Edward (5) and Jemima (3). I went freelance shortly after being made redundant from a start-up magazine which folded after the first year. I was fortunate enough to be given a fairly decent pay-out and enough to cover the rent for a few months whilst I road-tested being a freelancer. I’m not sure I’d have been brave enough to dip my toe in if it wasn’t for that! I also always knew I wanted three children (being a third child myself) and that it would be difficult to juggle work and motherhood. I had no idea quite how difficult that would be until I had children though! I consider myself very fortunate to have a job that I love and one that fits around the children but on a bad day, it sometimes feels as if I’m doing a crap, half-arsed job with both. I am still working on the whole work-life balance thing.
I normally work 2.5 days a week whilst my eldest two are at school and the threenager is at nursery but I often end up doing a couple of evenings on top of that. I tend to have a couple of regular blog posts and articles I write for magazines and websites to do, then I usually have a few more in-depth features on the go at any one time too. As well as pitching articles to ball-busting, busy editors on a weekly basis — anything from ghost-writing an article about life beginning after a divorce to why having children has turned me into a secret eater — I’ll be answering emails, looking for feature ideas and scouring my social media accounts. Not to mention fannying around on Instagram and Facebook far too much. I am a bit of a social media junkie.
Today, I’ve been writing a blog post on the importance of being authentic and true to yourself at work for a business website and trying to find people for a One Day feature (e.g. a day or event that has changed your life for better or worse) for an upmarket women’s magazine. I’ve also been frantically going through both my son’s wardrobes to see if they have anything suitable for World Book Day (whilst also wondering whether I really care and should bother) and trying to clean for my fortnightly cleaner who comes tomorrow. This mainly involves copious amounts of baby wipes, picking up Lego and fretting about cobwebs. At 3:30pm, I’ll start bracing myself for the noisy chaos that the children bring before heading out to meet son number two from the school bus, son number one from his after-school club, and my daughter from nursery.
I’m also trying to sort out some decent after school care and find someone who won’t run a mile when she/he meets my three little darlings. Or bat an eye lid at the 45-minute post school/nursery pick up, can cook sausages in the manner in which they demand them (not too burnt but crunchy) and referee between the three of them whilst I hide in my office. Finishing my working day at 3:30pm is just not working out well at the moment.
I have an office at the back of the house but I quite like to work on the sofa with my feet up if the kids aren’t here as it makes me feel as though I’m not really working at all and quite possibly makes me a bit more creative as I’m not confined to a small space. I usually do my phone interviews and calls at the kitchen table too as the reception in the office can be a bit dodgy. If the kids are home and my husband is here, I will cocoon myself away in my office and If I’ve not got any meetings, I usually go to a local café in a nearby town with my laptop at least once a week to combat the cabin fever.
The big problem with working from home (aside from the fact that no one thinks you really work at all!) is that there are very little boundaries between your work and personal life. And that your home is no longer your sanctuary or place of refuge but also your workplace too. I’m also often torn between my mother’s laissez-faire attitude to house work (life’s too short for it, darling) and being distracted by thinking how much better the house would look if I just wiped down all the surfaces, hoovered etc. I now try and leave things like the washing up and ironing (that’s a lie – I haven’t actually ironed anything since about 2007) until after the children get home but it’s not always easy as I also think there’s something in that whole ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ thing too.