Does working from home deem women worthless?

You can relax if you have a man’s job.

(NOTE: This and several upcoming posts were written several years ago when I was married. I thought it would be fun to share them.)

I have worked just about every type of job under the sun. I have been my own boss and run my own home businesses off and on over the years, sometimes making just as much or more as I would if I left the house and drove to an office. Like anyone who has had their own business, I am fully aware of how long it takes to establish oneself. However, those who depend on weekly paychecks do not. For some reason, people are inclined to think that working from home is a worthless job. Especially if you’re a woman.

When I first started my latest business three years ago, I was told by my mother that I needed to find a job in order to help my husband (he makes a decent income but likes to spend it all at once). This was coming from a woman who was unemployed throughout most of my childhood because she gave up her career in medicine for a jealous alcoholic, and then later settled to work at a retail store when she finally decided she wanted to get out of the house.

The other day I was told by my significant other that I don’t work a real job because:

1. I don’t have to leave the house from 8am-5pm each day.
2. My income is irregular, and it’s not a “real” paycheck.
3. I can do laundry at the same time I am working.
4. Because of all of the above, I am considered “unemployed”.

This became a very heated topic. Since my home-based business has provided our family with tax write-offs, flexibility for me to be a wife and mother as needed, and “fun” income, I decided to be the worthless woman he thinks I am. I closed my business. Now he will see what me being unemployed really means, especially when tax time rolls around in six months… and the laundry isn’t clean… and the dishes aren’t clean… and the house is a mess…

And now I will take MY vacation.

When Memories of Your Ex Dredge Up Annoyance

Sometimes you don’t notice things about yourself until someone else points it out. One of my friends pointed out that she’s noticed I have been mentioning a little about my ex husband more so than usual, mentioning things that he did that pissed me off. I guess I had been obsessing more with OC and anyone else in the past five years rather than concentrate on my divorce and the issues I had with my ex. But I didn’t see the need for it at the time, and I had pretty much doused my brain in alcohol to deal with it.

One of the things I mentioned to her the other day was the fact that my ex used to ruin things for me that I worked very hard to get. For example, when we were first married and had a brand new house, he decided he wanted a dog, even though he was working too much for the responsibility of one. So guess who ended up taking care of the dog, cleaning up shit and dirt and everything else that goes along with having a pet? Well, I’ll tell you it wasn’t him. The dog even tore up my things – sentimental things – and not his, which obviously made me fume. It actually made me resent my ex, because I thought it was unfair to put the responsibility on me when I clearly said I didn’t want a dog. (The dog turned out to be great, but that’s not the point.)

I was trying to run a photography business out of my home, but my domestic duties and caring for the dog was really getting in the way. My ex had no idea how to run or build a business and thought that since I was “home all day” I did nothing but “play on the computer”. (I guess writing two books, having a clean home and laundry, and doing everything else just magically happened.) I had created a portable studio in the house and was offering portraits for families, children, and women. For women, sometimes they’d want a maternity shoot or a boudoir shoot – something intimate and personal – and I wanted to be sure everything was professional so they’d feel comfortable, tell all of their friends, and I’d gain new business.

There was one woman that wanted a boudoir shoot for her husband, and she brought her friend with her, which I highly recommended as a safety measure. Since they would be coming to my home, I told my then husband he had to be gone when my client got there. It was imperative that when they arrived, they’d feel at ease without a male presence around, because from experience, sometimes that can be creepy. So what did he do? He stuck around until they got there and made sure he introduced himself to them. I let them know he’s leaving right now and glared at him to get the hell out.

I was super annoyed that he did that; it made it seem unprofessional to me. Looking back, he did all sorts of shit that sabotaged my career and a lot of other things I did. And now that I’m rebuilding everything from the bottom up and see him around town doing just fine and living the high life, I get angry, because I was there to boost him in his career.

Shortly after that incident, I found out he’d been searching my computer looking for the photos of my client, which really set me off, but I was very good at “hiding” the content under various folders, and he wasn’t as computer literate as I. But it made me mad that I couldn’t trust him, and I thought it was rude and creepy… and that I couldn’t even do my job without him interfering. I felt that he crossed a boundary, because my clients entrusted me to their personal needs. I feel that by him just being at the house when the other women arrived, it hurt my business.

I know that no relationship is perfect, and he had a lot of good things about him, but now that I’m divorced and sometimes reminded of things, I think why was I with this person? How did I not see he was either competing with me and one-upping me on everything (I’ll write about that later) or sabotaging what I was working to do? I guess I was blinded by love, because he was the only guy that I had dated at the time that was nice to me. But sometimes that “nice” is just to get what they want.