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Does Working from Home Mean Actual Housework?


This starting-a-business stuff is pretty scary.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am acutely aware that I am not earning as much money as I would if I just sucked it up and got a nine-to-five gig.  For some people, that really is a dream come true.  They want nothing more than to have a stable job where they can sit at a computer and answer phones and wear pantyhose every day. 

I say, “More power to them!”  There is nothing quite like knowing what you want and going for it.  If your desire is to file papers and take meeting minutes, that is awesome.  I truly believe that there is a huge amount of pride that should be taken from doing an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. 

One of my biggest concerns in starting this freelancing business is that my husband might feel like I am not pulling my weight as a partner in our relationship.  I suspect that others of you know exactly what I mean.  There isn’t a regular paycheck or any guarantee of an irregular paycheck, for that matter.  My response to this is two-fold.  First of all, I’m working my tail off.  Having a realistic income is probably the biggest thing I’m shooting for right now.  To do so, our business has to find the work, do the work, and get repeat work from satisfied clients.  Tamara and I are both doing our best to make this a reality. 

My second coping mechanism, if you will, is to obsess about the cleanliness of my house.  I’m not saying it’s always clean, but I do tend to fixate on wanting it to be.  I guess I have some sort of belief that if I’m not bringing home the bacon, I should at least be making sure there’s a clean kitchen where it can be cooked!  I’ve mentioned before that I like to schedule my days, and you’ll generally find “load the dishwasher,” “mop the floor,” or “scrub the shower” on the list.   

Focusing on these two things seems to help assuage some of the guilt I’m experiencing for not being satisfied with an office job.  In the grand scheme of things, I guess it’s a lot healthier than soothing my nerves with vodka and cigarettes, right? 

For those of you who have started your own businesses, I’m curious as to how you have dealt with insecurities about pulling your weight.  Have your families been totally supportive, or have you had to offer some give-and-take to make your freelancing dreams happen?

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    On September 26th, 2007 at 1:07 pm, holli jo said:

    I totally know what you mean about the guilt! I feel like I need to have the house clean, the laundry done, and dinner on the table so that my husband feels like he’s getting something out of this deal!

    In reality, my husband is very supportive of my endeavors (I’m really lucky). I just try to work really hard to generate some income, and I also try to do extra around the house for good measure.

    The guilt factor is hard to overcome…

    On September 26th, 2007 at 4:49 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    This took me a lot of time to work through during my second business - and it didn’t help that my husband at the time was less than supportive.

    You really have to 1 - be realistic about what you can achieve and 2 - be really clear and honest about this with your spouse!

    I have no major words of wisdom - sometimes it just takes time. :)

    On September 26th, 2007 at 5:14 pm, lornadoone said:

    holli jo - I’m kind of relieved to know that I’m not alone in this, although I’m sorry you have to deal with the guilt issues, too. I think it’s time to pull out some of our business goals so that I can realize we really are on track so far!

    Wendy - Good advice. My husband is supportive, but realistic. It’s frustrating when he says things like “you know the heat bill triples in the winter, right?” but it’s also pretty cool when he gets excited over our little “paychecks.”

    On September 26th, 2007 at 10:58 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Yeah, sometimes you just have to be ducky and let things roll off your back. :)

    Thankfully, hubby is 100% supportive today. In fact, I had a moment of weakness a few months ago when a recruiter called and wanted me to consider a six figure job that would be a perfect fit for my background. I mulled it over for days and finally asked my husband what he thought about me giving up my “dream” to bring in the big bucks nowm, as funds were quite tight back then.

    I didn’t even finish my sentence before he yelled “NOOOO!!!!!”. He adamantly said he knew that eMoms was where I wanted to be, and would not let me settle for a quick buck. I cried knowing how hard it was for him to do that - give his unconditional support no matter how much money I was bringing in, and we were borrowing money left and right in order to make ends meet.

    Hhhhhmmmmm… that was a long comment. I should have written it up in a post and sent you a trackback instead. ;) I still might do that, actually!

    On September 27th, 2007 at 4:28 pm, Brandie Kajino said:

    Great post! I know how ya’ll feel. Honestly, for me it was a matter of simplifying what wasn’t important to me. That meant knowing that a 5 star meal each evening was not doable, keeping up on dusting means having less to dust, being sure that I am taking breaks (sometimes that is taking breaks to do laundry). It’s all a matter of what is important to you in your life and business (including commitments to yourself and others). All the rest can go by the wayside. What is that saying? Simplify, simplify, simplify. :)

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