self employment can drain the family(40 Posts)
It is supposed to be liberating and a job is like someone else having your life apparently - but self employment seems to me to take over life, family life...seems to be very time consuming for little money.
YANBU. It is hard to get the balance right.
I guess it depends on the situation on what it is perhaps. Mine seems in this delusion that it is giving control but seems to do the opposite. It seems to be eating into out family life and we all seem to revolve around it at times, but cannot suggest otherwise as having a job is 'giving up'
I think the first 5 years are very hard because you need to get established. It does depend on the business. It can be very frustrating. I tell myself it will be worth it. I hope I'm right. Good marketing is very important but expensive. It is important to support one another and keep communicating. Can you organise time as a family?
Yanbu. Dh went self employed 4 years ago to fit in with dc who have health problems and sn because he kept getting a disciplinary in his normal job for taking parental leave for hospital stays. Flexibility is so much better but pay is a lot worse for the same hours.
Time is life, life is time, it's yours and no other person's, so spend it as you please.
I've been self employed, an MD and employed and I know what I prefer. If I choose to work 7 days until 2am it's a choice I'm happy with when it's my own. However 40 hrs salaried plus 20 hrs unpaid dancing to someone else's tune makes me irrationality angry and miserable.
I think also if you are self employed doing something you enjoy then work life balance is never an issue you yourself consider.
It's not easy though for partners. I've recently insisted I become self employed again. DH was nervous as he's always been on a salary. However in three weeks I've worked less and earned more already.
I feel my life is not my own when I've been emptied.
I love it. I can have time off when I want, do a job I love, can employ my children as saturday kids if they want a bit of extra cash etc. The downside is no holiday/sick pay but I save a regular amount for that so when I was ill recently I just transferred it over.
It wont work for everyone and I'm lucky that mine works for me but i would never go back to being employed.
It drained our family life and I have never been happier with DH having a paid job again. He worked 6 days a week for a pittance and I had to do everything in the house, for the kids and worked 3 days. We have a much more of a balanced life now, and more money.
Yup. And I don’t know about the first 5 years. My parents are on year 32 and it’s harder than ever and retirement is not in sight despite them being in their 70s!
It shouldn’t be if you are doing it well. Are you running a business or operating as a sole trader. There are tax and legal advantages of registering as a limited company. You also need to consider your time management. Why are you working so much? Is your work too unprofitable to work less? Are you wasting time on tasks you could delegate? Are you job t managing cash flow properly causing you to need to work more? Are your lifestyle expectations incompatible with the kinds of work you are doing?
DH has been self-employed for 15 years. The lack of sickness pay and holiday pay is a pile of shite, but the rest works very well for us. We have time to:
Walk the dog.
Do a big shop while the supermarket is empty.
Go to IKEA not on a Saturday.
Go for a morning coffee and bun after dropping ds at school.
Be at home for deliveries.
Help his dad out.
Get washing in if it's raining.
Have lunch together, every day.
He has ds every evening and takes him to rugby, to swimming, they go to the park, he chats with other parents, he isn't lonely/isolated.
Plus he can work in his pants when it's fricking hot!
and we have lots of sexy time
If you can stick to clear regular hours like a normal job and be disciplined about not looking at emails at weekends/night time then it's ok.
However, DH finds this impossible and never truly switches off from his business.
DH and I have been doing it for over 30 years. People comment on our lifestyle, but don't realise the hours and responsibilities that we have BOTH absorbed over the years.
At the end of the day, the buck stops with us.
I think the spouse of someone self employed long hours can end up doing a lot more of the wifework
I should probably say my parents run Residential Care for children and young people with complex mental health problems (schizophrenia, various personality disorders etc). They are finding that staff trained under the old system were better experienced than those who have degrees but less practical experience and younger staff seem to be lacking in common sense and aptitude as well as a willingness to work hard and spot warning signs and take early intervention. My parents take their responsibility very seriously and obviously it’s a 24/7 job. It’s also not about the money for them so there is a strong emotional pull.
After many years of DH having the kind of job that is only possible when a partner plays a supporting role, he used his skills and experience to go self employed three years ago. Our life has improved so much it is unbelievable. There have been a few dicey cashflow moments but in general he works so much less for so much more money. We do fun things together on days when neither of us work, take more holidays (with and without kids) and his relationships with our kids, though always good, have got better because he has more time to get involved. I know we are lucky and it doesn't always work out like that. Looking back now the pain was worth the gain, we do not live in the UK though which might be relevant (thought most of the tough years were spent there).
self employed can mean anything and everything, so YABU.
You can be self employed and still commute, or be stuck with office hours. Others can chose their own hours and days and work from home, saving 2 or 3 hours a day.
My parents were self employed. We had a good, comfortable life with private schools sometimes....and nothing others! We were lucky in so many ways but o can only remember one holiday we had as a family, they used to take it in turns to take us as one of them had to run the business.
Makes me sad even now.
I love being self-employed and would choose it hands down over being salaried any day, but sadly yes it can encroach on family life and vice versa. I find quite a bit of tension tends to be generated in my life when work creeps over into home life, but frustratingly it happens in reverse too - I've been doing this for years, but DH, and my elderly parents who live with us, all seem incapable of understanding that just because my work is flexible doesn't mean it's infinitely flexible, or that it isn't necessarily flexible to their whims. It's created a lot of friction tbh, which all seemed to go away magically when I was salaried for a year, which tells me that people don't really respect self-employment as real work, however much they claim they do. Sorry, bit of a whinge but it's an issue that's been looming large recently. It is still worth the hassle to be self-employed, but it's not without its problems, is all I'm saying.
Dh has a full time job as an employee but also has a business on the side. Hes hoping in the future to leave his job and work in the business full time. The business takes up so much time and he has to be available 7 days a week when customers call/make orders. Also when it's busy he's working 7 days a week. I don't know if it's really worth it in the end. I think it would be a lot less stress for the whole family if he just stayed in his current job.
The early years can be hard, but if your business plan is solid, then it can be a great life with a lot of flexibility. My dh is self employed. It’s been great. The first year or two took some effort to find work/life balance, though I imagine the same could be said about many careers.
6 years later, his income is about 3x his previous salary when he was employed. Most days he leaves the house at 8:30 and is home by 5. He does occasionally have to work a weekend when it’s busy. But it means he can now do the school run the days I work long days and he’s able to take a day off to be at home with our 1 year old so I could take a new job I love.
But it does take hard work to start and you actually have to know how to start and run a business. Too many people just jump in head first with no plan or business skills.
If it’s not working though, you can’t just drag the whole family down. You have to go back to work at least until you’re able to manage full time self employment.
I love being self-employed, but yes it does 'bleed' into family life a little bit more than I'd like it to.
I find the times DH moans about it to be quite interesting though. Normally it's when he has to do something to facilitate my work, because apparently being self-employed means I'm there to facilitate every other person who lives in this house, including a dog, but that the favours never need to go the other way 'cos flexibility. Hmm.
It does depend on the line of business. There are pros and cons. 🤷♀️
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.