Family time, ME time…What? Oh yeah, marriage time

I was just at my MegaMoms meeting in Detroit last night (for mamapreneurs), and after we discussed our business challenges, best practices and reviewed some new learning for the group, we talked about family. We spent a lot of time thinking and sharing about family traditions, routines for kids, best meals for families, great outings to build bonds with our children. After that, we took a nanosecond to discuss ME time…(LOL). But we realized we NEVER spend time applying the same consideration to our spouses/partners or to the work of being married. This hit most of us like a big AHA!

It seems to me that one of the biggest challenges mamapreneurs can face is the one that involves giving our marriages the time and nurturing they deserve. My husband told me a couple years ago: “I feel like I’m getting your scraps.” The THUD you might have heard was my heart dropping to the floor. It was a hard thing to hear, but so critical.

He was right. I was up to my eyeballs with motherhood, which I believed was a really hard thing to master. And you know how that goes: whatever we believe is true, right? So motherhood really WAS hard for me to MASTER. I’m sure you can pick up on the negative thinking I had going on there.

One of the things that made me feel better about myself then (and now) was being a coach–having a business, making a difference for my clients, being the best I could be. My work is an outlet for my passion, my ambition, my creativity, and my purpose. And while I was busy putting the best of myself into motherhood and my business, I for sure wasn’t giving my husband my best. It’s not that there was not enough of my best self to spread around (just like no matter how many children you have, you always have enough love for another one). Instead, the truth was that I didn’t have my marriage on the list of my priorities. GULP. Pretty hard to admit, but looking back, I know how true that was.

Since then, I’ve put some structures in place to make sure I don’t give him what’s left of me when I’m totally spent (which is only the whiny, bitchy, frustrated, defensive, exhausted part). We have a standing date night on the calendar every other Saturday. Babysitter is always booked. This has helped a lot. And we enjoy knowing we are going to have our time. And I have a note posted in my office that I see everyday that says: “Give Richard my best.” Visual cues are powerful reminders.

Being a coach and having my own business while raising our babies was a tough (gross understatement) sell to my husband four years ago. It was made tougher by the distance that existed between us as a married couple at that time. When we’re closer, more related, and taking care of each other, then we definitely do a better job of understanding and respecting what is important to each other.

Are you getting some pushback from your spouse/partner? Do you have to defend your work and why you’re committed to it? Do you feel stuck between choosing motherhood, marriage, or career?

Well, you’re not the only one. If you feel like sharing your comments, please do. I feel better having shared my story with you.

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