That was the week that was

A lot has happened since my last blog post. There has been joy. There have been tears. It’s amazing how quickly your life can change.

On 27 September, I became a dad to identical twin boys, Seth Sinclair and Jasper Percy, who weighed 6lb 2oz and 5lb 15oz respectively. It was the most nerve-wracking, overwhelming, wonderful experience and I am completely in love, twice over.

We’re now three weeks on and the boys are doing well, but those first seven days weren’t entirely straightforward. Being slightly premature, both Seth and Jasper struggled to get the hang of feeding and so lost a lot of weight. They also had jaundice, which is common for newborn babies, but can be dangerous if it reaches a certain level.

Though never truly serious, these problems meant that the boys had to stay in hospital for daily blood samples and monitoring. And of course, we had to stay there too. My wife Suzy, performing heroics to get them feeding despite having had a caesarean section, and me changing nappy after nappy, learning on the hoof and sleeping across three pushed-together chairs.

All of this alone would have made it the most challenging, emotional week of my life. But something else happened too. After six years at The Workshop, I was made redundant.

The boys were born on Thursday. The following Monday, I received an email to say that there would be redundancies. On Wednesday, I was called from hospital to attend a meeting, where I was told that my role would be one of those to go. I think it would do me no credit at all to elaborate further than that. So I won’t.

I drove back to hospital to tell Suzy the news. I’d always wondered how I would feel if this were to happen to me. An experienced writer and editor with good contacts and an online presence, surely I would be fine. But that drive. That drive. I’ve never felt so vulnerable. So incredibly guilty.

That was then and this is now. Our families have rallied round and provided support, advice and a whole lot of love. And we have our own family too. The timing of the redundancy simply couldn’t be worse, but Seth and Jasper have provided the most wonderful distraction. They’ve kept us busy and smiling, day and night.

And now it’s time to move on. In the short term, I plan to use my years of industry experience to try my hand at going freelance. I’ve already started updating this site to reflect the change and I’m going to spend this week working on a dedicated page that outlines what I do and how much I charge. I’ll also be updating my various social media accounts, including my LinkedIn profile.

The last three weeks have been life changing. In extremely difficult circumstances, I’ve tried my best to have as normal a paternity leave as possible. We’ve taken the boys to the park, they’ve been to their first museum, and me and Suzy have barely slept a wink. But it’s been brilliant. We’re so lucky to be parents to twins.

From now on, everything is different. I have a new family and a new job, all at once. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m more than up for it. Because life only ever moves forward, and so must we. Together. The four of us.

31 Comments

contact@ckhicks.com 22 October 2012 Reply

First, many congrats on the additions to your family! It is nothing short of a blessing.
I remember a time about 2 1/2 years ago when I signed for my first apartment in a new town. Everything was lining up: I had a decent job, a few friends, and a great start in a new place. Then…my hours were cut from 30 to 5…the day I signed my lease. I walked in to my new home, looked around, and pretty much knew things were stacked against me from the start.

That’s history now, as the last couple years have been an exciting and harrowing time of full-time freelance work. It’s been a time of hard work, prayer, and frustration, but I wouldn’t trade the learning experiences for anything. Sometimes things just *have* to work; so far, they have.

All the best to you and yours – keep up the good work!

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thank you CK, I appreciate the kind words. And I can certainly relate to the *having* to make things work situation. Fingers crossed this will all be a distant memory very soon.

fiona@murderingthetext.co.uk 22 October 2012 Reply

Life has a habit of throwing good and bad in the mix all at the same time, and as far as ‘normal’ goes, there’s no such thing when you’ve got children. Congratulations on Seth and Jasper, and also on your new career move. What an exciting new world.

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

It’s very tough at the moment, but yes, also very exciting!

dan@stuffe.net 22 October 2012 Reply

That is a shocking plot twist, I don’t think I saw that coming at all. However, I have every confidence that a man of your talent and charisma can forge ahead to ensure the deserved happy ending is not too far away. I wish you every luck with wherever your creative juices flow next!

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thanks Dan – much appreciated.

juliamunroemartin@gmail.com 22 October 2012 Reply

Your twins are beautiful — congratulations! And “may the road rise up to meet you… the sun shine warm upon your face” as you four begin the next leg of the journey. I can guarantee this (as a mom for a while now), none is more satisfying or exciting as that of a parent.

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thank you – we think so too! It’s certainly been a whirlwind but the boys are just amazing.

me@ianpatrickhines.com 22 October 2012 Reply

I was laid off when my first-born was just four months old, and I know how much of a blow that can be. But remember: you don’t need anyone else’s permission to be successful. You’re incredibly talented and your professional value comes from within — not from your employer.
You’ll be alright. But if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thanks Ian, I appreciate the kind words. Lots of people have told me I’m going to be fine, and I’m sure I will in time, just very daunting and, of course, incredibly bad timing for me. Thanks for the offer of help to. I’ll let you know!

joanna@confidentwriting.com 22 October 2012 Reply

Jeepers, that really was a week and a half. First, and mainly, congratulations!
You have huge talent – I’m sure you will find a way to thrive. If there’s anything I can do – I’m kind of out of the writing world just now but would try and help spread the word or something, anything… just please do let me know.

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thanks Joanna – much appreciated.

nicola.clews@virgin.net 22 October 2012 Reply

Iain I totally can’t believe this news, so delighted about the twins of course but as for the other bit, what a shock – you will of course be brilliant whatever you do, we all have faith, but still, my thoughts are with you and the family xx

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thanks Nicola. A shock indeed. Thanks for the kind words.

joanna@TheCreativePenn.com 23 October 2012 Reply

Congrats on the twins Iain – and hope you guys can get some sleep to help you cope with all the change!I understand about the redundancy thing – in 2008, 400 of us were laid off in one day from our jobs, everyone given a form letter and that was it – but I didn’t have newborns – so my thoughts are with you.
On the plus side, you have a great platform established – and if you want to promote your services on my site, you’re welcome to write a guest post anytime!
All the best, Joanna

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thank you! And I’m sure I’ll be in touch about a guest post very soon…

kwauthor@gmail.com 23 October 2012 Reply

So eloquently written, Iain, which indicates a prosperous writing career, me thinks!And what beautiful babies the boys are!

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Ha! Let’s hope so. And yes they are!

billdaviswords@gmail.com 23 October 2012 Reply

Beautifully written, Iain, and the honest vulnerability further enhances it. What an emotional roller coaster for you!
It certainly DID do you credit NOT to “elaborate further” on the job loss. You made the right call there (and I’m not surprised.) I will be thinking of you and cheering you on as you launch out in your new, non-Workshop phase.

-Bill

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thanks Bill. Less is more. Less is more.

lkeyes@mac.com 23 October 2012 Reply

Ride the wave, Iain. I’ve had a similarly dramatic year and it’s amazing how well you can adjust and grow despite what appears to be a catastrophic setback. My heart goes out to you as you and your young family make the transition, but I have every faith in you. You are a do-er and a go-getter and this is just life’s way of opening up new opportunities for you that you wouldn’t have had time for, and may not even have noticed, if you still had your head down working for The Workshop. Good things are coming your way!

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I too believe that the future is bright, it’s just awful timing and so daunting. But like you say, onwards and hopefully the opportunities will come.

spacemonkeygaz@hotmail.com 23 October 2012 Reply

Firstly, HUGE congratulations.
Secondly, so sorry to hear about the redundancy, but best of luck going forward. I’m sure things will work out. Hopefully ‘Angelica’ sells like ‘Fifty Shades…’ this Christmas!

iain@writeforyourlife.net 23 October 2012 Reply

Now that would be the best possible outcome!

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Siubhanmac@gmail.com 26 October 2012 Reply

Iain,Congratulations to you and your lucky wife on the arrival of your two beautiful boys x
I live in Cork in the south of Ireland & this bank holiday weekend marks the Jazz festival … Last night myself & my husband of 18 years remisiced over ‘Jazz Weekends’ past ….. The one where he broke it off !!…… The one where we found out we were pregnant ( one month into our marriage!!) and the same weekend where he helped out a friend by taking the weekend shift & got fired because he had no union card………
He got a better job , that led on to a better job……
Everything happens for a reason.
You’ll be fine, maybe not fantastic, but fine.
You’ll get there guys !
Keep the faith! ( not the faith in some makey uppy person, but the faith in you;
the Broome family unit)

All the best & sleep tight !

Siubhán

kpinglis@wellsaid.co.uk 29 October 2012 Reply

Iain, I’ve only just seen the news about your redundancy. I am so sorry to hear it. And you are right to have been discreet…. As others have said, you have fantastic credentials and I’m sure will find that work comes your way. I’ll check out your Linkedin and see if there is anyone I can point in your direction or vice versa on the freelance front. Equally I’d say take the time to enjoy your little ones while you have some time….I can tell you now they will be on the rugby field tackling 14 stone men before know it! 🙂

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Anonymous 28 November 2012 Reply

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