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    • #8377
      mixed-up mum

      Because I am ‘self-employed’ and work from home – and my clients come to me – which at times makes it difficult to have any kind of private life as I have people coming in my house at all times.

      Well because of the reason for the breakdown of my marriage I couldn’t tell people what really went on – and so people have no idea why we broke up – nor what I had to put up with while I was married – and what I have since had to ‘deal with’.

      So they have no idea that I still have good days and bad days, days when I can’t get up, days when I can’t get dressed, days when I don’t want to see anyone or speak to anyone, days when I can’t tidy up etc – and so I’m not always able to be ‘open’ 9-5 like a ‘normal’ business.

      Plus of late my father has passed away, so still dealing with that too – and yet people think they can turn up on my doorstep at any time of day and just walk in to my house – I feel at times because of the nature of my work, I’m in a ‘goldfish bowl’ – no private life – they just expect to be able to turn up on my doorstep 24/7 – as and when it suits them.

      OK so I now most ‘normal’ people are not still in their nightshirt and doing the dishes at 1pm – but at times that IS ME – that IS how my life can be.

      Now I know most ‘normal’ people don’t live like I live – but people should respect my privacy and not turn up on my doorstep at any time of day.
      Do I not deserve a private life, do I not deserve time to myself – Im NOT open 24/7 – and they should not expect me to be.

      What sparked this off now was the fact that at 1pm a client came to my door and tried the handle (thankfully it WAS locked or she would have been in my house) well I’m not yet dressed and the house is a mess – but then I had NO clients today, and I was not expecting anyone to come past – so do I not have a right NOT to be dressed if I want to – do I not have the right to get in a bit of a mix-up (as we all do from time to time) and do I not have the right to a bit of privacy that folk cannot just walk in as and when they please – oh don’t get me wrong I know my house is also my business address – but at times it is hard having no private life.

      I AM thankful that I can do this from home, as it is my only means of making money and supporting my family, but I hate how people can just turn up at random times and walk in my house – she would most likely have come to make an appointment – but can’t she just phone me!!!! She did not even knock and wait ’til I came – she knocked and then tried the door all set to walk right in – I could have been doing anything – yes its my business but also my HOME – I was just lucky today that my door WAS locked!!!!

      I know I’m a few years ‘down the line’ now – and because none of my clients know why my marriage broke up – they don’t see nor understand – that I do still have good days and bad days – and so I put on a public face to all my clients – they only ever see me the one way – bright and breezy, happy and chirpy – that’s how THEY see me……..

    • #8385

      Hi Hun

      JUst saw your post, i know how hard it is when u self employed and work from home, not sure what u do for work, def keep your door locked at all times and can only suggest you bring policy in place that people need to make appoinment before they come around and see you , and phone pre hand if is an emergency

    • #8409

      Sorry, mixed up mum, I think it’s that self esteem again. You need to set clear boundaries with your clients. I cannot imagine any line of work where walking in to a premises that is also someone’s home is acceptable. Confused is right about introducing a policy and keeping the door locked.

      I’m also self employed and less than 3 months in. I’ve just explained I’m facing “Considerably challenging personal circumstances”. Beyond that they don’t need to know.

    • #8866

      Hi Mixed up mum,
      I just wanted to say that in time, hopefully you will be able to think of yourself as a ‘normal’ person again. For a long time I thought that I would always be this strange person who was separate from normal society, but I think I have finally reached the point where I can be this normal person that something terrible has happened to.
      I think everyone likes to take the opportunity to lounge around in their pyjamas all day sometimes. It’s what being at home is all about. I know that having to keep your door locked when you are inside may feel like you are trapped, but it is infinitely better than people walking in on you. Just remember to keep your keys in the same place so that when you need to go out, you can find them!

      • #8887
        mixed-up mum

        Hi ladies and thank you all for your replies – sorry I’ve taken so long to get back to you.

        Well it happened again today and thankfully enough my door was locked again – so she didn’t get in.
        It was 11-15 right enough, but I wasn’t dressed still.
        I’d been up late with my daughter and her coughing – and I feel I cant sleep until she’s settled, I know shes a teenager, but they still want mam to look after them when ill.

        So it must have been 3-30 before she got to sleep with the constant coughing. Then I was up at 7-15 with my son for school – and after he went out at 8-00 I went back to bed with a cuppa, by 9-00 I was almost asleep, and so thought I have an hour (until my water heats up for a shower)
        Well because I had no clients I didnt have to rush and so was not dressed at 11-15.

        It’s very difficult for me to set boundaries – I have NEVER been able to say no to people, and because of the area I live in it would not go down well if all of a sudden I started ‘ laying down the law ‘ saying when people can call at my house – I would get talked about and people would wonder what on earth had happened me – telling folk what they can/can’t do and at what times.
        That would be frowned upon in the community I live in.

    • #8882

      First of all I would set boundaries for “office hours/ days” I would have an answer machine on the phone, a business email and calendar and a by appointment only system.
      Yes there will be a few who will complain, but once people get used to it they will find it easy enough.
      You need to separate your business hours from your personal hours as you say you are not on 24/7 call out.

      Sorry to hear about the lost of your father. There is no time scale to grieving.

      What do normal people look like? The normal people I know will stay in the PJ’s all day if they have a day off and they want to or are ill.
      The normal people have messy houses; houses lived in not like show houses.

      Do you have one room in your house that can be your work room? That is easier to keep tidy than a whole house.
      Everyone has off days.

      Yes people should respect your privacy, putting boundaries in helps them know when they can or cannot pop around. It also gives you something to be able to politely and not feel guilty when you say I’ll just get my diary and we can see when you can come around, before wishing them on their way. Or saying I’m closed today try again tomorrow.


      • #8889
        mixed-up mum

        Hi Suntree – or replies ‘crossed’ – you had replied while I was typing up mine.

        It’s just the thing of being a doormat – I have never been able to speak out and speak up for myself and say no – and the fact I lived in a controlling abusive marriage for the teens of years ( where I COULDN’T say no) that hasent helped me or my confidence.

        I have no confidence to speak out and say actually THIS IS WHAT I WANT……

        Battery about to go……

    • #8896

      Learning to put in boundaries is hard. It feels wrong to start off with. It will get easier.
      That’s why you sit down and work out what your business times are.
      That way you aren’t saying no. You are giving others a chance to make another choice.
      It all about changing the script in your head.

    • #8903

      Hey Hun
      Can you write out and put your opening hours on your front door
      And / or just put by apt only please call to book and your mobile number on it.
      Big hugs x*x

    • #8923

      Hi Mixed up Mum, Just want to say well done for managing to keep your freelance business going with everything that you have been through. I am freelance too and my business took a huge hit when my marriage broke up and it still has not recovered as yet.
      I got one big client and have been working from their office. I would normally work from home but found that working in their office was better for my mental health. That said there are still days I struggle to work and in the early days I did not think I would manage.

      I agree with what others have said about putting up boundaries. I think calling to make an appointment and having opening hours would seem sensible and reasonable (although I don’t obviously know what you do). I can not see why either of those changes would raise any objections as they are just want you expect from a business.
      I know it can be incredibly hard to set boundaries, especially after what we have been through but you may be surprised if you bite the bullet it may end up being easier than you imagined and people might respond better than you think. You have a right to have those boundaries and you do not have to “please others”. Abusers take that away from us so that we think that we cannot do it or that we are somehow being selfish etc.
      My advice – feel the fear and do it anyway!! you will probably be surprised by the results!!!

      I wish you well with it…. let us know how you get on !

      • #8949
        mixed-up mum

        Not too good today, got this cold/flu my daughter has – not feeling like working today, had 4 clients booked in, so 4hrs work.standing an my feet all the time, sweating and aching all over.
        Because my clients are all elderly, I rang them all up to let them know I was ill, and gave them the option to cancel rather than risk passing it on to them, well they all decided they would come regardless!!
        So had to work today when I did not reel up to it……oh the joys of being self-employed!!!!!!

        In bed now having a rest, want to do my replies to you all, but may need to have a sleep first…..try and get to you all later on. x*x

    • #8995

      Congratulations on telling people that they may not want to come around. I know they came anyway but I bet it was hard to do, so go you!

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