Who Should be Working … You or Your Husband?

Imagine this question were asked fifty years ago? Crazy how times have changed. And for many of you, this may still sound like an absurd question to ask. But if both you and your partner are entrepreneurs without mat and pat leaves, working from home, well then this is a valid – and albeit important – conversation.

Who makes more money?

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Photo Credit: www.naata.org

No entrepreneur (particularly those of the male gender) want to admit that they’re revenues are lacking, that they’re profits are dwindling or that their beloved business isn’t pulling in as much as expected. But for an entrepreneurial husband and wife team who just brought baby into the mix, this is the first and most logical question that must be answered.

Now, on top of being busy, driven entrepreneurs who work crazy hours to make sure their businesses thrive…you’ve got a baby to care for! In other words, you can’t work the way you used to AND be a good parent. Something’s gotta give. SomeONE’s gotta give. And logically speaking, it should be the one who makes less money.

But wait, there’s more.

“There is a ridiculous amount of sh*t to do around here!”

Photo Credit: www.cliparts.co
Photo Credit: www.cliparts.co

Sound familiar? I swear my husband and I say this a hundred times a day. It’s as if each new day that passes brings with it a host of new “chores” that must be done.

What’s funny is that you thought you were busy before. But you had no idea what busy even meant before your little one came along. Now there’s caring for yourself, caring for your house, caring for your husband and caring for your baby. There is an infinitely greater number of things to do now than there were before. Everything that you and your partner already “figured out” when you moved in together has to get revisited and reworked.

Who’s gonna do what?
What are your roles?
Where can each of you provide the most value?
Who’d rather deal with fresh poopy diapers and who’d rather empty the Diaper Genie?
Which one of you is going to be the baby’s primary caregiver?
How is everything gonna get done?

The tradeoff.

Time is money. As entrepreneurs we know and understand this. Intimately.

And there’s always a tradeoff. If you work less, you make less money (unless you’re running a business that totally runs itself, in which case this article is not for you). If you work more, you make more money … but you can’t be with your little one as much. And for a new mama who’s embracing all that motherhood (and motherly bizin’) really is, THIS. IS. NOT. AN. OPTION.

So, you struggle to find some kind of biz-motherly balance. And a big part of what makes that possible is what you “figure out” with your partner.

Now back to the money question.

Let’s say YOU make more money. You may decide that this means your partner works less (to care for your baby) and you work more.

But let’s get down to the crux of the matter. It’s not only about your work time versus your baby time. It’s about allllll the other house b*tchin’ stuff you have to do! I’m talking about the food prep, the dishes, the laundry, the vacuuming…this is where it really all adds up.

How about hiring help?

Even if you already have a cleaning service that comes every couple weeks, all the daily house b*itchin’ chores take up a whack load of time. Once your baby is in the 4, 5, 6 month plus range, you can sit them with you in the kitchen while you slave away, or run to put the load of laundry on while they’re doing a little tummy time in the next room. And now add up all of these little things you do all day long and then ask yourself, how much quality, focused, undivided attention time are you actually giving your kid?!

Yeah, exactly. It’s an eye-opener isn’t it?

There’s another way.

Hire help.

Maybe it’s a part time nanny, maybe it’s a full time nanny. I hate that term “nanny” – it’s so dated and there are so many negative connotations that come along with it. So let’s just call it HELP.

Personally, I HATE the idea.

I’m not the “nanny” type! Here’s why…

  1. I despise the idea of being “waited on”.
  2. It makes me feel like a stuffy, uppity, too-good-for-other-people kind of woman.
  3. I don’t want someone in my house – in my space – allllll the time.
  4. I go about my business and daily activities freely, quickly, efficiently and on my time. I’m afraid this person will be in my way, and even worse, I’m afraid that I’ll feel the need to make conversation every time we cross paths! (I mean, I like to gab just as much as the next person, but all day every day? No way, José.)
  5. We need a bigger house for this!

Why it makes sense.

Ever have a conversation with your loved one and by the end of it you say to yourself, “Damn! This guy is making way too much sense.” In other words, you’ve got zilch when it comes to arguing your side!

This is where my husband and I stand with the HELP conversation.

Here’s how that clever mensch broke it down for me:

  1. We spend hours – yes, hours PLURAL – house b*tchin’ (that’s what he calls anything and everything to do with taking care of ourselves, our house and our little guy).
  2. These are hours that we can’t spend working, being with each other or hanging with our baby.
  3. All of these chores prevent us from giving our little prince our undivided attention when he’s awake.
  4. We can hire someone to do these things for us for X amount of dollars an hour.
  5. We can each make more than X amount of dollars an hour when we’re working.
  6. Now we have more time … To work.
  7. To make more money doing what we love.
  8. To be with our kid.
  9. To spend time with each other.
  10. To enjoy life.

Ah Ha! Okay.

When you put it THAT way Hubby…

Game.
Set.
Match.

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