It is hard enough to start your very own home-based business, but it is three times as hard to do it when your husband or partner is not supporting your venture. You may need him to watch the kids to meet a deadline or to help out getting supper on the table when you need to deliver fifty gift baskets first thing the next morning.
But many moms find that their husband just won’t help out or even offer any emotional support when it comes to starting a home business. But why is this?
Some husband’s feel threatened with the possibility of your success. What if your home business really takes off and you become the family’s prized breadwinner, with your husband’s income suddenly becoming the supplementary one?
Others just don’t want to see you take time away from household duties. You might be able to live with the bathroom being cleaned every other week, and grocery shopping becoming a once-a-month ordeal, but your husband may view it as the fact that you are neglecting your “wifely” duties.
Other husbands just can’t seem to get their mind around the fact that just because you work within the home doesn’t mean that you still have the same number of hours to devote to household chores every week. And they will resent when they are asked to start pulling their weight around the house such as loading the dishwasher or taking out the recycle bin.
If your business is generating enough income, you might even consider hiring a person to come in and do the “nitty gritty” cleaning once a week or a couple of times a month. You may find that it is more cost effective to hire a cleaner rather than lose those hours of working time on your business.
The unsupportive husband
This one is tough. While we want to be independent women with your independent business the fact is we are wives and mothers first. Believe me when I say no business will be a success when you and your spouse are at odds over it.
But what can you do to help solve this situation? So how can you get the spousal backing you need? First and foremost, you must both sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk. Start with a well built plan and a lot of enthusiasm (remember if you love it so will everyone else).
Don’t do this after he has just finished yelling because there is a science project growing in the bottom of the fridge, or after you have accused him of not helping out enough. Doing it then will just result in barbs being thrown back and forth with no real solution being found. Some moms suggest having this discussion in a restaurant, as it will keep yelling to a minimum (hopefully!) and prevent most from just getting up and leaving, effectively ending any discussion on the subject.
Explain how you will set you priorities and “fit” the business in rather than fitting the family in. You may suggest involving your dear husband in the business as well so you can share your business triumphs as a team! Give him time, start slow and as he sees the results he will be more likely to give you the extra encouragement you need.
But some just will never change. Whether they are old-fashioned, secretly terrified of your success, or just plain resentful that you get to stay home all day, some will just never change. You will have to come up with your own personal compromise, or evaluate how you can run your business while still running your household with little disruption.
Below we touch on a few of the potential underlying causes and give some tips for overcoming them.
When money is the issue:
Leaving the workforce and giving up a steady paycheck can often make finances tight at home in the beginning. If that choice affects your financial lifestyle, it can often result in resentment of the business.
Sit down and talk with your husband. Show him your objectives and how you plan to meet your goals with your business, and how it will result in an income that will contribute to the household. Often times, seeing that things will only be tight for a certain amount of time gives them a light at the end of the tunnel and can do wonders for their patience.
Take the time to learn the tax benefits you will receive by being a home based business owner. Explain those benefits to your husband once you have solid details from your tax advisor.
Work on your family budget. Try to cut costs where it makes the least impact on your lifestyle. One of the biggest budget areas you can cut with some innovation and good recipes is your grocery budget. Look for cheaper rates for your long distance, your car insurance and your health insurance.
Take a look at your spending and cut it in any way you can that doesn’t make a huge impact on your lifestyle. Showing your husband that you are finding ways to keep costs down while you get your business off the ground can often make them see that living on one paycheck is not as bad as they think.
When quality time is the issue:
When working your business to realize your goals, you can often become consumed by it. This can leave your husband feeling neglected and unimportant.
Establish a period of time daily that you can devote just to spend time with your husband. Show them that even though you are busy, you still make it a priority to make time for them. Try not to “schedule” this time and make your husband feel like they need to be “penciled in“. Instead, be aware of times when you have the ability to take a break and get some quality time in with your husband.
Do something special for your husband at least once a week. Make their favorite meal or watch that football game or a movie with him that he loves. Give him a back massage or go out on a date. Just show him that you care enough to do something just for him.
People working a business from home are famous for “burning the midnight oil“.
Once a week, be sure to turn off that computer or put down that paperwork and head to bed at a reasonable time with your husband.
When household duties are the issue:
Anyone who works a business from home and is still responsible for the majority of the housework can tell you this is not an easy task to do with success. A spouse working outside the home can often become less than appreciative of their work from home partner’s business when the household is not being kept in decent shape. Often times, small things can make the difference.
Find out what household duties are most important to your husband and be sure to have those done on a regular basis. Maybe it is having laundry clean and folded or the dishes done. Having the things most important to your husband done on a regular basis can often help in him being more patient with those that aren’t “pet peeves“.
Schedule your household work into your day. An hour a day consistently can get a lot accomplished and keep your house looking organized.
Talk with your husband about what he can do to help.
Often times, we expect that our work out of the home counterparts know what we need from them to keep things running smoothly in the home. Many times, just sitting down with your husband and being honest about what you need help with can make wonders.