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How Much Housework When You Work at Home?

Jun 28, 2008
There are a lot of challenges to working at home. You have a lot to get accomplished in the day and many distractions. It's easy to have very high expectations of what you will accomplish on a particular day, and it's not always realistic.

Worse, you probably feel guilty at times for focusing on work rather than on keeping a clean house. You're home and you may feel like it's a part of your job to keep that house clean. Traditional duty of the stay at home parent (especially moms) and all that.

But being at home should not mean that it all falls onto your shoulders. You need to look at what the appropriate divisions are.

The struggle often comes from it being unclear how you should divide the work up. If you feel like you aren't contributing because your home business isn't bringing in much money yet, you're going to feel bad if the hours you work keep you away from keeping a perfect house. Yet you can be working long hours trying your best to make it work, and simply not have the time or the energy to do it all yourself.

I know I'm good at giving myself a guilt trip every time the house is a mess and I feel that I'm too busy to clean it up. Sometimes I think feeling guilty is simpler than feeling good about what I've achieved. After all, I can always compare myself to people who are doing better.

Somehow it seems to be easier for most of us to compare ourselves to those who do better than to recognize what we have achieved. There are all the things we dream about accomplishing, after all. Looking at what others have managed to do as we struggle along is just the way things go.

One thing all families should do is figure out who will be responsible for what. Working in or out of the home shouldn't matter so much as the fact that one is working. That's not always the reality of people's expectations, but it's a nice goal.

Get your spouse involved. Get the kids involved. Don't let all the housework fall on one pair of shoulders.

Figure out what you will do at which times. Housework that needs to be done can be scheduled just like anything in your home business.

How well all of this works can tell you a lot about how supportive your spouse is of your working at home. If you both work a similar number of hours, yet you're at home and expected to do a significantly larger chunk of the housework, you may need to have a talk to make sure that what you do is being taken seriously. Sometimes it's not. Other times it will just be that your spouse hasn't quite realized how much work you're doing.

And if you're earning enough and feel so inclined, hire a maid service to come once a week or so to do some of the heavy duty cleaning for you. This can be really helpful. If you're earning enough it will be well worth the money. Sometimes it's worth it even if you aren't earning that much but need a break from feeling like you need to get that housework done.

There are a lot of stresses that come from working at home that other people don't always recognize. The part of it related to a clean house can be controlled somewhat with a little effort.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.homewiththekids.com/blog about working at home. She offers more tips on successfully working at home at her site.
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