Keeping Your Marriage Intact
I'm often asked if my husband helps with the business. I guess that depends on your definition of "help." He has a full-time job that has nothing to do with the business. However, I couldn't run my business without him. When you become a mom entrepreneur, you need support from your spouse more than ever.
As much as we may think of ourselves as Super Moms, we can't do it all. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. If your life was divided into a pie chart, the two biggest pieces would probably represent your business and your kids. Household chores and "proper care of husbands" tend to be neglected. If your husband isn't supportive, it's hard to juggle all the balls. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't move forward or carry on with your business. There are things you can do to inspire your partner to be more supportive.
1. Share the vision with him. Make him feel like your venture is a family business and that the rewards at the end belong to all of you.
2. Help your spouse see the benefits of being at home with your children. Beyond the advantages to your kids, there may be financial benefits if you work from home and can reduce child-care costs and write off home business expenses.
3. Create a family planner. Make sure all parties are in agreement about work time, family time and who's taking your son to soccer.
4. Have a weekly--or at least monthly meeting--with each other. My husband once commented that I have time for meetings with all of my staff but rarely have two moments for him. We started having lunch meetings when we catch up on calendars and communication. This is different from date nights when we rekindle romantic feelings for each other. This meeting is for communication.
5. Let him know how he can help you. Instead of nagging him, do your best to let him know how he can help you be successful. Ask him to honor your work hours and not call you at those times or to help out with certain household chores so that you can have some extra work time.
6. Draw the line. Most entrepreneurs tell me that they are never without their Blackberry or laptop, even when in bed watching TV. It doesn't make for a happy marriage when the wireless connection is stronger than the one with your husband. Have at least a few nights per week when work is truly turned off.
An entrepreneur's personality is very different from that of most. We are risk-takers, dreamers and maybe a little impractical. My husband couldn't be more opposite. He is practical, logical and very conservative in his decisions. Yet he believes in me and in the journey we are taking. Just be understanding when he has trouble understanding you. The differences between you may be an asset to your business. Use your spouse as a sounding board and be open to answers that are different from your own.
Being an entrepreneur means risk, time away from your family and a lot of hard work. The only way to succeed is with team work. I feel extremely lucky for the support of my husband. On multiple occasions, I have thought of throwing in the towel because things were just too stressful. If he had agreed, I might have done it. But my husband always encouraged me to keep going. You are a mom entrepreneur for your family. Keep that in mind so that you share the journey together.
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