I love my fellow business ladies and fellow business mamas. I really do. There is something immediately special about understanding what each other do and are going through.
But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want our spouse to understand or be interested in our business too, right?
Through my business groups, mom groups, and friends, I’ve seen so many posts with frustrations regarding spouses. This doesn’t mean we don’t love them, but we want to feel like they care! I thought this would make for a perfect and perhaps controversial WAHpreneur topic.
To best fill this post with how WAHpreneurs want to be supported, or need to be supported, I’ve called in a bunch of friends – friend friends, business friends, mama friends, all of the above friends. And if you find yourself nodding along with these quotes, be sure to go talk to your spouse and explain how they can best support you. Or show them this post and have them read it here first. I support you. We support you. And we all know how it feels to want a supportive spouse. (And sometimes it’s not even about supporting our business! See below for more; we have a great mix of responses).
Beth: “I’m a work-at-home-mom. My baby is only at school 10 hours a week. I feel like the biggest thing my husband can do to support me is helping out with either taking care of the baby or stuff to help around the house as well. It’s a full time job to stay at home and take care of kids and the house; but when you’re trying to add working on top of that, you don’t have time to do it all. So, sometimes it’s the housework that is not the highest on my priority list. Helping out with things that are usually on my to-do list, really helps take the pressure off of me.”
Lynora: “First, when my husband says, ‘Let’s just order dinner tonight so you don’t have to cook and clean.’ I love those words. Those words can make my whole entire night – it saves me so much time. And the second thing, is my husband saying on the weekend, ‘Let me take the kids out for a couple hours, so you can get some peace and quiet to work.’ ”
Dana: “I am in this stage where I only have one daughter and she is in school full time, so at this point I don’t need the support with the childcare as much as I used to. But the one area that I could use more support in is the household stuff – doing stuff that is everyday stuff: clean the house, go to the grocery store, make a meal. Helping with that takes a lot off my plate.”
Alex: “My husband is super supportive of what I do. But the one thing that drives me bonkers is when he starts out in the morning asking ‘Are you busy today?‘ …aka ‘Can you run 18 errands for me?‘ So, having him remember that even though I’m home, I do work full time and that doesn’t mean I can rearrange my whole day to [run] errands. Rephrasing and conversations have been really helpful for us.”
Marsha: “It took me being a bit vulnerable with my husband and sharing the draft of my book before he really got it. I needed him to know what I had been working really hard on and then I needed him to support it and think it was good. I was hesitant to share because he hadn’t taken a lot of interest in my stuff, but it was a huge breakthrough for us when he saw it and then gave me his positive feedback. So, I guess my answer to your question is that we need them to be interested and be a safe place to bounce ideas off of. We need them to try to get it even if they are not our target audience.”
Kassandra: “My husband wasn’t supportive at all for the first few years. He has only recently begun to be supportive when he saw that I wasn’t backing down. Failure after failure, I never quit. It took 3 years of failing forward for him to stand next to me. Even at times, he still doesn’t get it. Honestly, I think what we need in a supportive spouse is to simply not NEED them to be supportive. Find a different supportive group, keep your head up, and continue to focus on the good that you are doing. Just like we don’t NEED them to pick up their laundry in order for us to feel happy, we can’t NEED them to feel the way we do about our businesses.”
Glenneth: “I would say my hubby is very supportive, just not very interested. He’s not into social media and that’s pretty much what he thinks I do all day. I have been getting him more involved now that I bought the company and am solely responsible for my salary. What I really just need from him is for him to listen to me if I need him to. Not necessarily solve anything – but listen. and lately some of the bigger items I have been running past just for another opinion.”
Jess: “I’ve been thinking about this a lot. My husband is kind of a rock-star and I’m so grateful that he’s so supportive of me and believes in me. I’d say what’s most important is listening and providing genuine feedback when asked. When you work at home, by yourself, for yourself, there is literally no one else to bounce ideas off of or celebrate little wins with. Okay, so not entirely true, there are our business groups, but point being, you don’t have a team of co-workers that you interact with all day long. Sometimes he’ll walk through the door and I’ll have a zillion things to tell him, in part because we like talking and also in part because I don’t have people around during the day to tell.”
Kat: My husband believes in me more than I do and I wouldn’t even have this business if it weren’t for his encouragement. And I’m super grateful! He works in digital marketing, so it also helps that he understands way more than just the basics and is always willing to help me with what I need. But at the end of the day what I need/want from him is a listening ear for when I want to talk through something, vent about something, etc. And, one of the best things we’ve done for our communication (in general, not just about my business or work) is that when I’m telling him something, he will ask, “Am I in listening mode or advice-giving mode?” Just clarifying that from the outset helps both of us know what to expect from the conversation and he’s not trying to give me advice on how to fix something if I don’t want it.
I loved chatting with each one of these ladies. And whether you need more support from your spouse regarding your actual business or the things that would make you run your business smoother – hello, household work and kiddo work, that’s SO important – communicate your needs and wants with your spouse. Maybe reading these ideas from fellow WAHpreneurs will help you gain clarity into what you need. Maybe reading these ideas from fellow WAHpreneurs is something your spouse should do to help them get it. Just know you’re not alone in this and that so many of us are navigating the same exact feelings in this WAHpreneur life.