Whether you’re a freelancer or small business owner who works from home, people sometimes assume that your job must be pretty chill and they envy you for all the free time you must be enjoying. Well, that’s not always the case. Check out this article for a list of annoying things people say when they hear that you work for yourself.

Working from home can be both awesome and horrible, as the Oatmeal perfectly put it in this comic. I’ve been a freelancer for two whole years now, and I’ve had my ups and downs along the way. I love the freedom that comes with the gig, but I’m still not a big fan of isolation. I love the fact that I’m my own boss, but I hate that I don’t enjoy any employee benefits. All and all, it’s been a bumpy ride. However, I don’t feel ready to return to a 9-to-5 schedule just yet, and maybe I never will. I enjoy the luxury of making my own hours and choosing my projects way too much.

That being said, the assumptions people make about my daily routine and struggles often baffle me. They sometimes mean well, true, but when you hear the same annoying questions/remarks over and over again, it eventually gets to you. Here’s a short list of the most infuriating examples.

1.  So… Can You Fire Yourself?

Or any other kind of similar silly jokes. No, I can’t fire myself, but a client can surely fire me. Plus, a freelancer might realize he or she is the worst boss ever. I don’t organize meetings for me, myself, and I, I just brainstorm silently or shout at the computer when something goes wrong. And yes, I do write reports for myself, because it’s always best to have a thorough record of everything you’re working on.  

2.  What Do You Do All Day?

On, you know, I wake up, sip some tea, and spend a couple of hours reading my favorite steamy novel from Ravenous Romance. Then I go for a jog or catch a movie. If I have any work scheduled, I can probably get it done in a couple of hours, while watching the latest episode of Mad Men at the same time.

Jokes aside, a freelancer’s routine doesn’t differ that much from the one of a regular employee. We wake up, drink our coffee, work for a few hours, maybe hang out with friends in the evening. The only difference is that we’re not physically required to leave the apartment. Which is great indeed.

3.  Is It Fun to Work in Your Pajamas?

My friends actually bought me a new pajama as a gift when I first embarked on my freelance adventure. We laughed and laughed.

When you work for yourself, you need to come up with a routine in order to be productive. Spending the entire day in your pajama will only enable you to procrastinate even more. So no, it’s not that much fun.  Most freelancers I know change their clothes before starting to work.

4.  I Don’t Know How You Do It, I Could Never Handle the Insecurity!

This one is pretty much a back-handed compliment. As long as you don’t dive into freelancing full-time without a solid savings account and you budget religiously every month, freelancing isn’t less secure than most positions. After all, what if your boss suddenly decides to fire you next week? Moreover, responsible freelancers usually have multiple streams of income. If we lose one, we’ll still have some money coming in.

5.  Can You Look After My Kid Tomorrow, Since You’re at Home Anyway?

Personally, I hate this one. Especially when I have to explain to the person in question that I actually have deadlines and to-do lists that can sometimes go for miles. So, no, I can’t look after your kid. Mostly because I don’t like kids, but also because I have to, you know, work.

6.  When Are You Going to Get a Real Job?

Working for yourself is a real job. You have clients, perform a service, send invoices, get paid. I can’t be any cleared than that. It even took my parents a few months to truly comprehend this though, so I usually don’t have high expectations from those around me.

Working for yourself can be highly rewarding, but it’s also extremely challenging at times. There’s nothing more irritating that having someone assume that you just sit around all day, that you lack discipline, or that you’re not taking your job seriously. When people do, tell them how a typical working day looks like. It’s unlikely they will bring up the subject again.