When was the last time you were frustrated with your husband because you felt like he didn’t support you enough in your practice?
Was it like… last week?
Maybe right this very minute?
We’re gonna get real about the husbands here.
Keep an open mind and an open heart.
In last week’s blog post, I briefly mentioned that I previously leaned on my husband far too much for support in my practice. Can we talk more about that?
I am 1000% certain that having an impeccable team of support is essential for us as both chiropractors and moms to grow our practices.
So I realize that it may sound counter-intuitive when I tell you this:
Your husband cannot provide all the support you need and deserve in life nor practice.
I can only congruently speak this truth because I’ve BEEN THERE.
Listen, in 2012 I gave my husband (who has a full-time career and also works as a basketball official November through March) a job title and put him on my payroll.
His title was Director of Business Development. Since one of my target markets is pediatric athletes AND he has relationships with tons of athletic directors and coaches, I expected him to be talking about how I could help kids with injuries. Everywhere and always.
The craziest part of this is that I never even asked him if he wanted to have this job title. I just handed him the box of business cards and instructed him to carry them with him to every game he refereed.
This is only one example of how I expected (and nearly demanded) that my husband support the growth of my practice.
Nevermind he has his own full-time job.
Nevermind he works a seasonal part-time job, too.
Nevermind he has his own personal goals, plays baseball and runs triathlons.
Somehow I let it be ok for me to put that added pressure on him.
When I look back five or six years ago, I see now how desperate I was for a strong support system. Yet, I didn’t have the words for what it was that I truly needed and wanted.
Fast-forward 5-6 years and life is a lot more balanced for Team Eaton.
I invested a lot of time and energy (and quite frankly, a lot of money) learning how to make our family life and my practice work together.
Here’s where this gets sticky…
The one thing I can say was absolutely missing from our relationship half a decade ago was a willingness on my part to give my husband exactly what I wanted from him.
See, what I wanted was to know that he totally had my back.
I wanted to know that he would be a safety net for me in case I fell.
When one of my mentors Marci Lock suggested in 2015 that if that was what I truly wanted from my partner that I must first give the same support to him, it felt like a bit of a punch in the gut.
If I allowed myself to be totally honest, I knew that I certainly hadn’t shown my husband the love, kindness, and support that I had wanted to get back from him.
So, what did I change moving forward?
Yes, the only thing that I have the power to change.
I started sending my husband a text message every day to share with him one thing that I appreciated or loved about him.
Also, I made the commitment that we would have a date night together every month (even though I’d had soooooooo many excuses for why we couldn’t do that before!)
And guess what happened next? Bit by bit, my husband started to seem more understanding, more appreciative, and more supportive of me, too.
Meanwhile, I leaned more on amazing friends who are also moms running their own practices and online businesses.
I often now turn to them when I have a problem come up in practice or when I start to feel scared about reaching a new level of growth.
Because let’s be real: often even when I do my best to be totally open with husband about how I’m feeling about something, sometimes I still feel like he just doesn’t "get it".
But you know what? He hasn’t ever been a mom, and he hasn’t ever been a chiropractor.
How could I really expect him to empathize with everything I experience?
Lately I listen to my husband chatting with his friends who are also officials about rough games, rude coaches, or unruly fans, and instead of getting huffy and puffy that he’s on the phone talking to a friend after he’s been gone working for 14 hours, I chill out. I recognize that I could never totally “get it--what it’s like to be in his shoes--and that whether he’s conscious of it or not, him chatting with his buds about technical fouls is a way for him to feel less alone and more supported. Like there’re people out there that are going through the same stuff.
Because there ARE! But we don't know it when we isolate ourselves from the people we need (and who need us, too).
Do I ever vent to my husband these days? Absolutely. But I also leave a lot more space for us to simply enjoy each other as husband and wife.
Now I’m able to let my husband be there to give me a hug on a rough day, to remind me of my why or to call me out when I’m getting in my own way.
Most importantly, now I do my best to GIVE to my husband the kind of support that I want to RECEIVE from him.
Now I know the importance of having a tribe of other women who can completely relate to my experience as a mom and a practice owner.
Thanks to Aligned Women, I now have that support system.
And we’re here for you, too.