All The Crap That Falls On You When You’re The One Who Works From Home
If you work from home, and your partner does not, then you know how often work-from-home professionals are misunderstood. People just assume your life is easy because you work from home—that you’re available at a moment’s notice and have no real responsibilities. People, including your romantic partner, often just don’t respect your workday the way you respect theirs, all because you don’t commute to an office to do your work. When you work from home, and your partner does not, almost everything regarding your home falls on you. You become the groundskeeper/housekeeper/plumber/cook—you name it. Your partner doesn’t mean to do this to you; he’s just stuck at work and can’t help out. But here is all the cr*p that falls on you when you’re the partner who works from home.
Dealing with the landlord
If the landlord needs to stop by and look at something, if the landlord needs to pick up rent checks, or if the landlord simply needs to notify tenants of upcoming construction, you deal with it. It’s your work call that needs to be put on hold for 20 minutes because the landlord is there, inspecting your old AC unit. It’s your document that has to be saved because the landlord needs to tell you about construction.
Getting the mail
You’re naturally the one who gets the mail. Could your partner get it? Sure. But you’re the one who hears the mailman dropping it off. You’re the one who sees the packages down at the mailboxes. So you’re the one who stops what she’s doing to bring up the mail.
Emptying the dish drainer
Fact: both you and your partner eat breakfast and dinner at home. Fact: the dish drainer is full of two meal’s worth of dishes by the time you need to clean up your lunch. Fact: you’re the only one who empties the dish drainer or else there’d be no room for your lunch dishes.
Noticing anything wrong with the home
If there are termites, if the water pressure is low in the kitchen sink, if the guest room window won’t close properly…you’re the one to notice. Why? Because you spend more time at home. This also means you’re the one who has to stop what you’re doing to call the landlord or the appropriate handyman.
Making home-related phone calls
On the topic of calls, you’re the one who has to call the electric company, the water company, the Internet company, the plumber—you name it, and you’re the one who has to call them. You don’t have a boss standing over your shoulder, so you can wait on hold with the Internet customer service for a half hour. You don’t want to, but you can, so you must.
When you work from home, your lunch break isn’t your lunch break. Your lunch break is when you run to the store and buy new dish soap, new Swiffer pads, more toilet cleaner and more foil. Your partner just assumes you have time to run errands in the middle of the day.
Doing the laundry
You’re sitting right near the machines and you’ll be home when the laundry needs to be switched over so, of course, you have to do the laundry. You have to set the alarms and stop what you’re doing to strip the beds and throw the sheets in the wash. You, subsequently, have to fold the dry laundry because it’s covering the couches and tables you need to use during the day.
Food prep work
You get to preheat the oven. You get to take the chicken out of the freezer to defrost. You get to chop the vegetables. You wind up having to do all the little prep work that goes into your meals, all because your desk happens to be five feet away from the kitchen.
Making the bed
Since your partner is always rushing out the door, you’re left making the bed. You also have the luxury of sleeping in a little past your partner, but that also means you have to make the bed each day.
Sometimes you would have time to run an errand or go for a jog during your workday. But you don’t get to, because the couch is being delivered some (very vague) time between 9am and 4pm. So you have to stay where you are. You are a hostage of the house.
Preparing for guests
There are a hundred little things that have to be done before guests arrive. Between changing the guest room sheets, making sure there is almond milk for the lactose-intolerant guest and vacuuming the room for the friend who is allergic to dogs, there’s well over an hour of prep work for guests. And you get to do it, because you’re home.
Taking care of houseguests
Speaking of houseguests, you have guests…in your workspace! When your partner invites his cousin to stay at your place for a week on vacation, guess who is there, with that cousin, all day? You. Guess who needs to stop what she’s doing any time that cousin wants to know where you keep the coffee or how to get downtown or where to get good tacos in the neighborhood? You.
Checking on things
As your partner thinks of things, throughout the day, that he would like to have in stock, he calls you to make sure they’re in stock. Several times a day you have to stop what you’re doing so you can tell your partner whether or not you still have ice cream/mouth wash/beer.
If you and your partner have a pet, 90 percent of pet care falls on you. Your partner said he’d do the morning and evening walks, but then he’s always running late in the morning as is, and stuck in traffic at night. So you pick up those walks to help him out.
Keeping the space perfect
In general, when you work from home, you’re expected to keep the place in perfect condition. Your partner gets to spread out his documents, use the bathroom and make lunch at an office—where janitorial staff cleans up at the end of the day. But you’re your own boss and janitorial staff and are somehow supposed to make lunch, clean the kitchen, get dressed and put all your clothes away in the middle of a work day each day.