Does the title of this article sound funny to you? To some, it may not only seem funny but downright silly. To others, it may be offensive also. On the surface, it does sound like a funny topic for an article. When we look deeper, it can be a very serious problem that needs to be addressed.
Now I’m sure that most of us have either heard, or even personally known a family that has been damaged because the husband/father pours all of his time and efforts into a job or career. His wife never sees him. His children don’t know him. He may try to make up for it with all kinds of “worldly” gifts, when all the while what is really needed is him to be there.
I know what you are thinking. This couldn’t, or shouldn’t, happen with a home based business. I am here to tell you that it not only can, but also it does. It doesn’t matter if the husband/father is devoting all his time to his career away from the home or tucked away in his cozy office at home. The outcome is going to be the same.
The question that needs to asked is “How can a father/husband run a home based business, at times while still working full-time outside the home, without causing irreparable damage to his marriage and family?” Hopefully, the following things will help him keep his priorities in line and not be “sucked in” to the “succeed at all costs” mentality that is so prevalent in this day and age.
1) The most important recommendation I can offer, the reason it is at the top of my list, is to trust in God to provide. If we learn to trust HIM rather than feeling that is all up to us, the better off we will be (I used to struggle with this BIG time).
2) If you are building a home business while working outside the home, you MUST understand that your family needs you. I’m not talking about being able to purchase the newest home video center to keep everyone busy either. Set aside some time to spend with the family. Make your wife feel special (surprise her with a rose) and remember that you kids are only kids FOR A SHORT WHILE.
3) Set your goals according to the items listed in #2 above. Don’t let your goals run your life. Goals are important, but they are worthless if you lose your family in the pursuit of them.
4) Try to get your wife and/or children involved in your business. The home should be a place of commerce. Children are a blessing, not a curse. Let them bless your business. Our oldest daughter has designed her own line of jewelry that we sell on our website. It started as a hobby, and then naturally progressed into a small business. Let your children do things for you, even if it is just filing papers or searching a topic on the Internet that you may need. Make them feel like they are a part of the business and it will go a long way to keeping your family together.
There are many other things that can be done to keep your home business from adversely affecting your marriage and family life. Some of them are OBVIOUS while others are not. A good rule of thumb is to remember that your family should be the most important thing in your life next to your relationship with God. If you keep this in mind, and work your business with this as your primary “goal”, not only will you not cause damage, but I truly believe you will be blessed in whatever endeavor you are undertaking.
Craig Binkley – husband, father and home business owner assisting in the restoration of the “traditional” family through home business ownership.