The past year has been full of so many changes both in my personal and business life. I went from being married to being separated and on my own. Then from starting a new relationship to getting pregnant and single in less than a year when I thought I was in the relationship that was going to be my last. On a business front, I took on a position as a manager of a Facebook group to supplement my income as I got my life coaching practice off the ground. Little did I know that my life coaching would support me in my new role rather than helping float me over until my business took off. Within six months I was promoted from Facebook Community Manager to Business Manager.
The promotion was unexpected, exciting, and demanding. It’s taken a lot of time and energy but the thing is, I don’t mind. I feel incredibly grateful to have a job I love so much! It did come with obstacles and challenges like learning how to find balance. I was juggling two roles and various responsibilities within each of them. I had a hard time being good in both areas of my life at once- business and personal. I felt that the more I excelled in one, the greater I failed in the other.
That also led to some difficulties at home. You see one of the challenges I face as a work from home mom is the expectation of being a homemaker. While I’m physically home, the key word at play in that role is work. Yet somehow, I’m supposed to work, take care of the kids (whom I homeschool), AND have the house looking like it could be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens in the same amount of time others literally just go to work. This is an expectation that’s been put on me in my past two relationships and I just can’t wrap my head around it.
As silly as it sounds, division of household labor is something that has been a struggle. Battling the reality that as a working mom, I can’t live up to the expectation of keeping a home the way my stay at home grandmother did as a homemaker. The reality is, I know what comes with running a household but I have no desire to be homemaker hence why I choose to work. I have this silly notion in my head that being in a two income household, that means that the brunt of the household labor shouldn’t be on one partner. If that’s the case, it’s really not much different than being a single work from home mom…
Although this seems like a little thing, it can really start to wear on you. I’m all about pulling my weight and doing my fair share. But honestly, I did much more than my fair share only to be chastised when things weren’t up to par. Instead of receiving some grace and understanding knowing that if something went undone it was because there wasn’t enough time in the day, I’d either get criticized, belittled, or it would get done and be thrown in my face. I do the best I can and while I don’t need praise or applause for taking care of responsibilities, it would be nice to get some credit for the things I take care of instead of criticism for what I don’t. And I guess it’s a stretch for the few things that weren’t done to be taken care of with a smile, a good attitude, and a helping hand.
One thing I know is that everything is a lesson. In this case, I know exactly what I don’t want when the time comes to enter a new relationship (not that I’m entertaining that thought at all at the moment). Although this was something that we discussed prior to moving in and I thought we had an understanding and agreement on, I’ve learned that it’s not just about who is responsible for what. It’s about the mindset and perspective around expectations when it comes to division of labor and support within a relationship. Sorry if this felt like a petty venting session. That wasn’t my intention. This is just something that’s been bothering me for a while that I’ve tried to just grin and bare but the truth is, it annoys me and I had to get it out.
I’d love to know what your thoughts are when it comes to division of labor and responsibilities in a relationship. Do you both work outside of the home? How have you managed to find a balance that works? I’ll be taking notes for future reference since as a single mom, it’s all up to me.