Getting people to understand can be tough
When I started blogging two years ago the aim was to help me find a way, any way, to stay at home. I tried a few different things, took a few courses and found myself working as a Social Media Manager. I was able to leave my admin job and am now officially self employed. I thought I would start sharing some of the things I have learnt along the way.
As I work from home I often find that people expect me to be free, free to see them, free to do little favours, available to take on extra work. The expectation is that I am the one to turn to do get things done, in a way that it simply wasn’t when I had an office job. Managing these expectations can be tough, especially when it leads to disappointment. I thought I’d share some of my main issues with you.
- Can you just…. These are words to be dreaded. Can you just nip to the post office, make a phone call, make sure my shirt is washed etc. The trouble with the ‘can you justs’ is that they are followed up by seemingly small requests, when you’ve had 7 of them, well it’s not so small is it.
- Housework. I’m at home so I should do it, right? Wrong. I am working. If I was at the office would be expected to spend my lunch break doing a load of washing, hell no. Housework should be shared, it happily was when I was at the office, but now I’m at home there’s constant tension that it isn’t done.
- Jealousy. This works both ways. One party is jealous that the other gets to set their own schedule, see friends, play with the children. The other is jealous of the break from the kids, the time alone, the hobbies, the getting to leave work at the door. It’s a negotiation, but understanding can be hard to find.
- Sick days. Well blatantly they are luxury I can’t afford, as a mum, or as a self-employed worker with no sick pay. But it’s not my sick days I’m talking about. If the little one is sick, then because I work from home, I should take the time off to be with him? Umm should I? Shouldn’t it be the same as when I had an office job and we discuss who can afford the time of work based on current commitments. Shouldn’t I still be able to call in the grandparents? In reality it doesn’t work this way.
- Weekends are fair game. So I have two days a week that are toddler free to work, and boy do I work, 8am to 6pm at the very least. There are three days a week where it’s the toddler and me, I get done what I can but this varies, widely. Then there are evenings, but I do need sleep to remain productive, so this leaves me weekends, when husb can help with the boy. However, when everyone else is only free weekends, they often don’t understand why you aren’t.
If you work from home do you find the same problems? What can you add to my list?