Perhaps it may surprise you to know that husbands are not mind readers.
I used to fall prey to the notion that my husband could read my mind. It took me a long, long time to become comfortable with the idea that he just couldn’t.
Not only does my husband not know what I want him to do—unless I ask him out loud—he’s also not necessarily good at divining what needs to be done. As a very good friend once told me, “Men are clueless.” If I want my husband to know what’s on my mind, I need to clue him in.
6 things that husbands of work-at-home moms don’t necessarily know
#1: When your “Do Not Disturb” sign is up – Unless you have an official sign that your family members can see, it can be difficult for them to sense the boundaries between Working Mommy and Regular Mommy.
My husband used to ask me questions when I was typing and I used to bite his head off on a regular basis. It finally occurred to me that he didn’t know how difficult it was for me to switch from typing to talking and back again. He and my daughter also didn’t necessarily know whether I was on an important client call or just chatting to my mom or a friend.
Now I ask everyone to please be quite before I get on the phone. I’ve also gently explained how difficult it is for me to switch tasks. Now my husband knows not to interrupt me if he can see my fingers beating the keyboard keys.
#2: That you are on deadline – When you work in an office, most of your coworkers have a sense of your responsibilities. This isn’t the case with a home office.
If you don’t tell your family (and especially your husband) that you are about to have a busy week, he’s going to ask annoying questions like, “Hey hon, how come we’re out of milk?” and “Hey hon, aren’t you going to cook dinner?”
#3: Why a career is so important to you – Many new mompreneurs tell me that their husbands do not support their home businesses. After asking many questions, I usually learn that their husbands don’t know why these women want to work at all.
Explain that you need a career identity just as much as he does. It’s not just about money. It’s about your peace of mind and your happiness. Once he understands that, he’ll be more likely to support you.
#4: The baby’s diaper needs to be changed – This one isn’t just for work at home moms. It’s for all of the moms out there who have rolled their eyes whenever dad has handed them a stinky baby. Not everyone has the same sense of smell.
If you smell poopy, don’t assume your spouse can smell it, too. “Could you please change the baby’s diaper?” is a lot more likely to get the baby’s diaper changed than is an eye roll or a loud sigh.
#5: Why you are not in the mood for sex – You might have had a hard day. You might have worked until 2 am. You might feel less than sexy because you haven’t had a chance to get to the gym in three weeks.
He doesn’t know any of this. So when you rebuff his advances, he assumes you no longer find him attractive.
#6: You want him to tell you that you are beautiful, smart, competent and a smart business woman – He thinks you know all of these things. He thinks you are a good mother, too. He doesn’t bother to tell you because he thinks you can read his mind.
Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, which tells the story of how she went from wishing her husband dead to falling back in love.