You cringe every time you hear those words: "So, what do you do all day?" or: "Since you're at home, can you do this/pick up that/babysit Johnny?" You know they're innocent questions, but you also realize what you actually do all day. It's not:
2) watching soap operas and;
3) eating potato chips
Although humiliating and annoying, these kinds of questions are actually a great opportunity to talk about what you really do and why you need a set block of time to get your work done. Seize the chance instead of creating a rift the next time you hear these questions. Here's how:
Question: "So, what do you do all day?"
Answer: "I work."
The only way that people will know what you do all day is if you tell them. Call a family meeting as soon as possible. Make sure everyone sits down in a common area that's somewhat formal. Don't make this a casual meeting. Casual equals "not serious". You actually work at home, it's a serious job with serious money on the line, so make it a serious meeting. Hold the meeting in your home office or work area, if necessary.
Question: "Why can't you just pick the kids up from school this afternoon?"
Answer: "I'm sorry. I can't because I have an important project that needs to be completed by_____."
You don't have to be antagonistic or adversarial, but you do have to be confrontational. In other words, you have to confront your children and spouse (even friends and family, if necessary) and tell them that what you do is important to you. If they value your happiness, then they'll listen and take you seriously. However, if you become adversarial ("you vs. them") you may only alienate them. Set the tone as friendly but firm. If you're asked to do something during your workday, politely decline and explain (and reaffirm if necessary) that you're at work right now. If the household chores seem overwhelming, consider outsourcing or delegating these. That will show your serious commitment to getting your work done.
Question: "You're home all day right? You can do ____, can't you?"
Answer: "Yes, I'm home all day. However, I am in my office working. It's very important to me that I get my projects done on time. Even though I work out of my home, I do have strict deadlines that absolutely have to be met. Other people depend on me, and I depend on my work for income."
Some people can't wrap their heads around the whole "work from home" thing. They think that money somehow comes out of your laptop's (or desktop's) disc drive like an ATM machine. You don't have to go into much detail if you don't want to, but tell others that you have firm deadlines. This is like any other job. They wouldn't leave their job in the middle of the day to run errands and neither can you.
Question: "What do you do with all your free time?"
Answer: "It sounds unbelievable, but I really don't have much free time at all. My work hours are from ______ until _________. When my spouse gets home, I have to _________. Then, ________. Then, ________."
If your friends or family don't seem to understand when you work, tell them. It might be helpful to pin up a calender (or create a calender online that's sharable with the whole family - i.e. Google calender or another free service you like). Don't be afraid to block out whatever time you need. Make sure your family understands that you are totally and completely unavailable during these work hours.
Victoria Heckstall earns her income from working at home. She has learnt to deal with tricky spouse and family demands on her time. She enjoys passing on her insights on various work from home blogs. Visit Paid To and discover some unusual ways to make money online.
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
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