Mom’s Most Important Business Partner: Dad

Mom’s Most Important Business Partner: Dad





Why your spouse can be the best asset to your work-at-home job

Work-at-home mom is redundant. It implies that there are moms, and then there are moms with jobs that require work. However, I still can recognize the inherent differences and I consider myself a work-at-home mom because I have outside work for which I am responsible (and I don’t mean the lawn – although I am responsible for that, too). As a work-at-home mom I spend a good chunk of time at the computer writing, on the sofa editing, and in the kitchen sticking notes on the counter as I brainstorm my way through the supper dishes. For the most part I cloud commute, rarely meeting clients face-to-face, but I do occasionally have meetings and appointments that take me away from home. Add in to these responsibilities my main job as Mom, and homeschool Mom on top of that, and I absolutely couldn’t do it without the cooperation of my husband.

This year my husband honored me with a mug emblazoned with Domestic Engineer across it, and we shared a smile as we both recalled the times that aren’t so easy (or fun) when moms like me try to find their way into their roles of work-at-home moms. Along the way I’ve developed some strategies and realized some important lessons when it comes to work and my most valuable partner – my husband.

Be Proactive

Being a work-at-home mom requires the scheduling dexterity of a time-savvy ninja and the energy of an 8 year-old who was fed caffeinated pop at Grandma’s. Sit down and have a positive, non-accusing conversation with your partner and explain your workload. If he is gone during a portion of the day he simply is not there to understand what your needs and goals are. Don’t wait until you are frustrated with an overload and you explode sticky notes and dirty laundry all over the place.

Be Specific

Don’t just say you have work to do and you need some quiet time. Say, “I have at least 3 hours of editing (or whatever your task might be). Please take the kids out of the house from 4-7 so that I can complete this work and meet my deadline.” If you need his help finishing the load of laundry, doing the dishes, or driving the kids to and from practice, be specific and don’t expect him to read your mind and your hectic schedule.

Be Thankful

If your partner listens to your needs or anticipates your needs and actively helps you accomplish what you need to do, let him know! Tell him right away how much you appreciate his efforts. Then make sure you also regularly acknowledge those efforts by reciprocating in some way. Sometimes I even just tuck notes inside my husband’s briefcase that let him know I noticed and was thankful for something as simple as how he swiftly ushered the kids outside when I received an unexpected business call.

Be Present

If you say that you have 3 hours of work to complete that evening, don’t suddenly look up after spending 5 hours at the computer and wonder why he might be upset. Make sure you find a way to devote time and energy to your partner like he sees you devoting to your work. I appreciate it when my husband comes home from work and puts the laptop away for the evening and devotes time to us as a family. It can be challenging when my work always just seem to be here for me to do the same, but I need to be conscious of not letting the lines between work and family get too blurred.

Working at home while actively being a mom is rewarding, exhausting, and empowering. Without the support of my husband, it would be too overwhelming to do each day, and impossible to do well at all.

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  1. Deanna Ditch says:

    Wow, I just read several articles by Chris Oldenburg (of course, while I should have been working), and can’t believe that she has read my mind. I have been a WAHM for 5 years. I have 4 kids, 3yo, Aiden-who stays home with me, Oliver, 8- Brit 10, and Hannah 12. I have come to the realization that I have been so overwhelmed for the past 3 years that I almost gave up. My 8yo is gifted and has a field trip on the 20th. I asked him if he would like me to go with him (he has commented about my parenting skills in the past, and they weren’t positive), and he said, “Do you mean that you didn’t lose the permission slip?” I said no, I have it. Then I went quitely to him and told him that I was so sorry that I haven’t been the best mom lately and I am really going to be better. I used to be a multi-tasking genius, but since the birth of my 3yo and my basic surrender and throwing up my hands with stress, my mom skills had fallen by the wayside. I have, over the last couple of months, seen the error of my ways. I have been guilt ridden. Cried excessively. Gotten behind on work and it has come full circle, and I am DETERMINED to get it together. Thanks for the advice.

    • Chris Oldenburg Chris Oldenburg says:

      It is a real balancing act that moms face everyday, and as a mom who has been a SAHM, working mom, and WAHM, I feel like they all have their benefits and their challenges. As a WAHM mom I definitely feel your struggle – but you’re doing the right thing by trying to find a better way to find balance for yourself and your family!

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