My husband and I are smack-dab in the middle of buying a house. From chasing down the right property to taking off time for the home inspection, the past several weeks have really driven home how differently the two of us handle the details—and I’m pretty sure it’s related to our work.
While I run my own business
…my husband has a 9-to-5. He has a job description that is pretty specific, in a pretty big department. Where I might be handling both the marketing and the bookkeeping for my business, he does the same thing day in and day out. He has a set schedule and—this is the biggest difference—when he leaves work, he really leaves work.
The question of flexibility
When you run your own business, friends and family tend to assume that you have a very flexible schedule—after all, you set the hours.
But we’re actually subject to time constraints far beyond those of the typical employee: we have to match our schedules with those of multiple clients, manage paperwork and handle anything else that comes up.
Our real estate agent, mortgage lender and everyone else involved in getting us a house have my phone number, because I can pick up during the day without a problem. This has lead to more than a few evenings when my husband comes home to a list of things that need to be done related to our new house: while I can pick up the phone, actually getting to all those tasks seems impossible when I have clients on and off the phone.
Beyond work-life balance
For many entrepreneurs, the important people in our lives don’t really see what we do day-in and day-out. While the balance of our work and home lives can be a complex issue, it’s not always work that’s throwing us off balance. It’s very possible for our home lives to overwhelm our work if we aren’t careful. I won’t say this is more of an issue for women, but I think I’ve heard more about it from other female entrepreneurs: there’s a certain feeling that, in addition to our businesses, we need to be taking care of things at home.
Anyone can get overwhelmed by responsibilities at home as easily as they can get overwhelmed with work and anyone can point out the problem. In my case, I think my husband figured out that the paperwork and details of buying a house were stressing me out before I did, to the point that he took off time from work to handle some of it.
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(Image “Dimitris Georgiadis’ House” by Klearchos Kapoutsis)
Guest post by Thursday Bram. Thursday offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She blogs about the shift between freelancing and business through her personal blog Thursday Bram and can be reached at www.twitter.com/thursdayb.