Building a business or ministry, especially as a wife and mom is difficult to say the least.
There’s the time it takes away from the family to build it.
There are increased demands on your schedule as you work to balance it.
There’s financial strain as you work to bring in an income while you passionately serve your clients or consumers.
So as someone living through this tension, let me share with you 3 key ways I keep my marriage strong and how you can too:
1. Create Regular Date Nights
I cringe when I hear other married friends of mine say, “I can’t even remember the last time I’ve had a date night with my husband…”
Girl, if you want your marriage to not only survive but THRIVE, you MUST prioritize time for each other.
“But we just don’t have time right now!”
“We don’t have the money!”
“My kids are too little to leave at home!”
Nope, I’m sorry but those are not good excuses in my book.
Sure, you may have to limit certain things due to the season you’re in (like having a quick 1 hour outing due to your need to nurse your baby), but saying you have no way to take 1 hour per week of one-on-one time with your husband is setting yourself up for being disconnected in your marriage.
I think the biggest issue is many believe that a “date night” has to be something fancy like going out to a restaurant and ordering a meal worth $50+/person.
Listen, you do not have to go broke in order to have an awesome date night together. Let me share with you just a few of the creative ways my husband and I have regular dates without it being overly costly:
- Family swap = free babysitting! Have a friend watch your kids one night and you can watch theirs another night!
- Date night in = jacuzzi night, roasting marshmallows over our fire pit, watching a movie at home after the kids go to bed, or having a game night together. The point is you are connecting. It doesn’t matter if you never even leave your house!
- Alternative to restaurant = picnic date, or we’ve even brought wine, cheese, and crackers with us while we watched the sunset on the back of his pick-up truck!
It’s SO important that you invest time into each other, because we all know how all-consuming the role of mompreneurship can be.
So, put it on the schedule, right now. Make sure you connect for at least 1 hour each week without kid interruption and with intentional time and focus invested into just them during that scheduled time (ie. stop putting away the dishes and cleaning while you have your “date night” at home ?)
2. Communicate Your Priorities and Schedule
“Are we doing ok?”
This is typically where it needs to start: honest communication. In order to keep your marriage strong, you MUST communicate how things are going by going over your priorities and schedule so that you can ensure each is being seen and heard.
Recently, I’ve been in an extremely busy season with my work where specific deadlines must be met. I’ve discussed this with my husband and we’ve agreed to a certain number of hours I work each week during specific scheduled times, while also making sure to schedule in some family time as well.
Your schedule will look different from mine.
However, please don’t forget to schedule in some family time even when life seems to chaotic or work seems too overwhelming.
Agree with your husband on what you predict the next week or month to look like. You don’t want increased tension and misunderstandings when you sit again at your desk as dinner is being served saying, “Just a few more minutes honey!”
You must communicate your priorities and set a schedule together. Then STICK with it as much as possible so you can maintain positive and healthy communication and boundaries between work and family life.
3. Reach an Agreement on the Financial Budget Together
One of the largest areas of stress between married couples is the issue of financial stress. If you aren’t in agreement with or haven’t figured out a game plan for your finances (ie. budget) you must schedule a night to sit down and talk about this—especially as you are building your ministry or business dream, while keeping up with the demands of the household budget.
I know this is hard.
I know this may be uncomfortable.
But the more you ignore it, the more stress and tension will build in your marriage preventing deeper intimacy as you continue building your business/ministry dream.
I’d also recommend you set up a separate business account for your business/ministry and then create a budget for your spending/investing into it. This will help reduce relational strain and bring accountability to you as you work to cultivate it. Currently, I have a strict budget for my business as I work to build it. I keep this money set aside in a separate business account so I can track of all my business expenses. We’ve agreed on a certain amount of money, which we’ve put aside in this account and therefore it is now mine to manage and do what I feel it best as I work to grow my business.
If I want to purchase something for my business, I must assess whether or not I have the money to spend based on my business budget. If not, I must practice patience and wait until I have it in my business budget to purchase.
It may mean that you take on a part-time job to invest back into your growing business because maybe your husband’s income isn’t enough to provide extra to set aside for your business building expenses. It may mean that you have to say “No” to certain business courses, conferences, marketing incentives, etc. until you have enough in your business budget to cover these costs.
Regardless, you must discuss this in detail with your spouse and create a win-win or negotiate a compromise so that you are both aware of and in agreement with your overall financial budget.
So, what do you think? What other ways do you keep your marriage strong as a busy mompreneur?