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Take Me Seriously!!!

So I'm hoping to find some people who can relate to me on this issue. Do you ever feel like your friends and/or family don't take working at home seriously? The general opinion seems to be that working from home is easy, to be envied, etc.

The other day my husband and I were discussing our financial situation - or lack of it ha! - and we both came to the conclusion that I need to make more money. He already works 40-50 hours a week with a bad back, so we don't want him to injure it further. Anyway, so I made it a point to explain to him how my day goes, how little time I have available to work and that I will need help with the housework. I believe I explained it to him this way - "If you make all the money, I'll do all the housework. If you want me to make some of the money, though, I need you to do some of the housework." I then started talking about a plan I had cooked up that involved the two of us and the three older children doing a quick pick-up routine after dinner to help me out. All I was asking for was everyone to clean off the kitchen table and then run around the house and pick everything off of the floor in the main living areas of the house. We're talking maybe 10 minutes, right? What do I get? A blank look! No response!I still can't figure out what he was thinking.

I did try this new little routine the next two nights. One night one, my husband helped. On night two, he didn't and after that I gave up. It's more work to nag everyone to help me than it is to just do it myself ... or just let it sit there as the case may be.

There have been many times in the past where family and friends called me up and say "Hey, since you're at home all day, I need you to look up XYZ for me on the computer. Find out X, look up Y, and then tell me what I need to Z." I finally broke them of that habit but it took a while.

I don't know about you, but I think about this a lot. I don't understand what people think I do all day.

  • Perhaps I stay in bed until 10 a.m. (I don't, I get up at 5:30.)
  • Maybe I take a leisurely breakfast at the local coffee shop with friends (rarely happens, usually I eat at my computer while working.)
  • Of course I'm up to date on all the popular daytime dramas (think again, I doubt I could even name more than three).

    When I'm home during the hours when many people are at a "regular" job, I have to take care of children and try to work! This means nursing my baby at my computer and keeping an eye on him while I'm trying to work. This basically involves turning my head to look at him after every sentence I type. I cook food, pick up my Pre-K child from school in the middle of the day, find the perfect show for him to watch, read him a book mid-afternoon so that I don't feel guilty for not playing with him, clean up messes .... and this is just on a normal day. This doesn't include grocery shopping, doctor's appointments or parent/teacher conferences. Why do people not understand this!?

    I'm really hoping to get some input. If you work at home, I want to hear what you deal with - who doesn't take your job seriously? What do you want those people to know about working from home?

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    -- 10/6/10 -- I think many people don't take us seriously because they misunderstand about what it takes to work at home. They might forget that we work at home full time, PLUS take care of the house/family which is another full time job. It's up to us to *nicely* educate those who don't know so they can start to understand what it is that we do all day. What is worse is when you start a home business and aren't bringing in that big paycheck yet it's hard for people to understand what you are doing all day. It's all a work in progress...and the 15 min. clean-up totally works by the way! When I can get my hubby to do this it really does help :). We just have to keep at it until they can understand. ~Roz P.

    -- 10/6/10 -- I understand what you mean! When I first started my La Bella Baskets business, I was and am still working on the computer a lot. My husband commented one day: "There more to life that being on the computer!" Yes, but not when you're trying a new business, da!!! Anyway, I just told him that I'm working this business and there's no way I'm getting off until it's time to take a rest. I said don't mention it again because I'm not listening. Well, he hasn't said another word! Case closed!!! ~Pat

    -- 10/7/10 -- After 8+ years of this wahm life, I think it is mainly because we don't treat it seriously enough. If we did all the extra stuff outside of work hours, it would be a lot more evident that we don't have the time. So still schedule appointments on your day off, make those extra appointments or little extras people ask for outside of your regular hours, and don't work all hours just because it is at home. Also, seriously, make a better compromise about looking after kiddos. Feeling guilty all the time because you're not looking after them properly is only causing harm. ~Marcelle P. @ Online Media Support

    -- 10/7/10 -- Great article. It is true that some friends and family think "work at home" is a bunch of nonsense. They don't think that now when they see my income. LOL! ~Jenn @ Personal Fit Coach

    -- 10/7/10 -- My hsb takes it VERY seriously, with best respect and intentions. My mother however, continues to belittle the work. IE: Hsb says "we have nothing going on tomorrow night" and I reply "are you kidding? there's tons, it's just over by the time you roll in the door" and mom says "Because he's busy working to pay for all the activities for the kids. Someone has to make the money." AAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!! I work from home 9-3, then drive 3+ kids to sports, clubs, etc. Home by 7-8ish. Diary of a Return-to-Work Mom: Going Back to Work After Kids ~Kathy M.

    -- 10/7/10 -- I have a comment for Marcelle P. I guess maybe I made it look like I do not care for my children properly while working. Let me run down a typical day for you. In the morning, my baby naps from 8:30 to 10:30. At this time, my other 3 children are at school. I get as much work done as possible in these two hours. I stop working when he wakes up, I go to the school to get my Pre-K child, we come home, I make lunch and we all eat. I clean the house and watch after the two kids that are home. Yes, my 4 year old watches some TV but I do not feel guilty for that. If the baby is in a good mood and content to play on the floor nearby or naps, then I work some more. If not, then I don't. Do I feel guilty that I'm not spending this entire time playing with my children? Yes! Do I completely ignore them? No! After the other children get home from school, I don't work any more. The rest of my day is dedicated to homework, play and dinner (family time!) At most, in a typical day I manage to get at most 3 hours of good work in. It seems like a lot more than that when I'm doing it though. My biggest complaint in this blog was not getting it all done (or not as the case may be) it's the fact that I have a hard time getting people to take working at home seriously! I get the feeling that they think I can somehow magically work and wash dishes or mop the floor at the exact same time. Ha! ~Sarah H.

    --3/19/11-- Simply awesome. And here I thought my generation was the first to master dry wit. Seems I was wrong. ;) ~Aaron

    --3/28/11-- Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

    --3/28/11-- Awesome, thatís exactly what I was scanning for! You just spared me alot of searching around.

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