This is my first post after getting posting privileges (thank you!), so go easy on me!
I started a solo business about a year and a half ago, when my now-husband (let’s call him Vildeman in GT tradition) and I got engaged and moved in together. It took me about a year to build up a client base, so I didn’t have that much actual work. I felt guilty that Vildeman was working long hours at his stressful salaried job, and he was supporting us, so I basically turned into this stereotypical 1950s housewife to “pull my weight.” I kept the house immaculate, I cooked breakfast and dinner and packed his work lunches, etc. He loved this and I loved making him happy.
HOWEVER....my business is actually doing pretty well now and I just don’t have time for all that stuff anymore. We also moved into a bigger house, so that’s more work. I’m in a business owners’ mastermind group that had everyone track our time for a month, and I realized that after doing all the housework and cooking and everything, I only have about four to five hours a day for my business. This includes client work, networking to build my client base, and meeting with potential clients. To top it off, my office is in a coworking-type building and the tenants are responsible for keeping it tidy. It was fine until one new messy tenant moved in a couple of months ago, and can you guess who’s been cleaning up after them? I’m stressed like you wouldn’t believe.
At the last meeting of that mastermind group, it turned out that ALL OF US are doing the majority of the housework in our relationships, and we are a mixture of men and women, so it isn’t just a gender thing. Several of us are just about at the ends of our ropes about it. What is it about small business owners that we either (1) attract partners who expect us to do these things, (2) subject ourselves to this work, or (3) some other variable that I haven’t figured out?
Vildeman and I have had several talks about this, and he has agreed to be responsible for his work lunches and occasionally (like once a week) making breakfast or dinner (he’s a meh cook), but that’s all I’ve been able to get out of him. I really can’t bring myself to hire a cleaning lady due to socio-economic and cultural guilt (women in my family typically ARE cleaning ladies, and I grew up with hard-core Protestant work ethic pressure), but something must be done.
Has anyone else gone through anything like this?