My husband has always worked a full-time job outside the home. However, over our 14 years of marriage, he has tried different ventures to make extra income from home as well. Like mine, some have been successful and some have not. That’s part of the process. He has found his niche and what works for him through trial in error. I just may feature a post or two from him sometime in the future!
Some families are blessed to have both parents working from home. This is a great blessing with many benefits, but there are challenges as well. While I can’t speak to two full-time, work-at-home parents, I do have a few suggestions for overcoming the challenges. Even in our limited time working together at home, I am working through some of these. I thought they may be helpful to you as well.
If you and your husband work from home:
1. Set boundaries together.
I have always been the one working from home and managing the household. When my husband is home, it changes the whole dynamic. He needs time. He needs work space. He needs quiet to concentrate and do his best work.
It is unrealistic of me to expect him to operate without the things he needs. He also has to define some parameters to make sure he still gets time with our family and his other responsibilities. We have had many discussions and find what works best for us so that we meet our goals without compromising our family life.
2. Realize that he is not you.
Like a typical woman, I am often a whirlwind when I’m working. I can clean the bathroom, bathe 3 children and talk on the phone while jotting notes for a blog post or article. Like a typical man, my husband does one thing when he is working. He works.
I have come to appreciate the fact that he is putting his whole focus on his work. If I allow him to do his one thing well, the children and I will receive the benefit of his whole focus when he is done. That may be a practice I can apply to my work as well!
3. Don’t compete.
I thought I was over my feminist tendencies when my husband and I married and decided I would stay home to care for the home and the children. I have voiced my displeasure with man-bashing and the feminist ideology of “I am woman. Hear me roar.” I have championed the importance of the woman’s role in the home and even the church.
However, when both my husband and I began working from home, Satan saw the opportunity to test my resolve. We both kept up our traditional roles of Provider and Keeper of the Home, but when it came to the income-earning side, I felt like I was less important if my husband made more money or if I wasn’t significantly contributing to the household financially.
Finally, my husband’s counsel and the Lord’s conviction convinced me to go back to reveling in my role as Keeper of the Home. While it is fine to contribute financially when I can, that is not my chief area of responsibility. I have left that in my husband’s hands and tried to focus on my primary responsibilities before I work to generate income. We work as a team, and that makes our home and family what God meant for it to be.
4. Appreciate and encourage him.
So often, we women forget or take for granted all the things our husbands do. We grumble about his being at work late when that sacrifice adds extra dollars to the grocery budget we try to maintain. We want him to do more things around the house but are not satisfied with the job he does. This is an easy trap to fall into as wives, but there is a better way.
The Lord has shown me to simply trust my husband. He knows what is best for our family financially. He is a great husband, father and provider. He loves the Lord and seeks His will. I want to follow him, appreciate him and encourage him rather than nag and manage him.
How do you overcome the challenges if both parents work from home?