When we hear stories of women who have been done wrong by their spouses family after the death of the spouse our first response is always

*“That’s why you need to have a source of income as a wife”*

Without us knowing this continues to push the narrative that what stay at home mums are doing is not valuable and makes women rush into business with fear without properly thinking through what business entails. I understand that we cannot plan for death and more so how the family will react in this but what we can do is also try to make sure some things are in place in our families in the event of the death of any spouse. 

“Go and start a business” should not be the default answer because starting a business will not take care of the humiliation you’d feel from your supposed “family” or the fact that someone will come out of the blue to take everything you’ve built with your spouse for donkey years! No, having an income won’t take that hurt away! However, business is HARD!! It’s risky, it’s uncertain and you don’t want to be caught in a business that is just about money because that is hard to sustain - what if the “money” doesn’t come for a few years? You’d run to the next thing? At the expense of being able to fend for your children?

Here are some practical things to implement to limit the power any family can have over what you and your husband have built;

  1. Have an honest conversation with your husband: The place to start is to have an honest conversation with your husband. Let him not think you’re praying for him to die but it’s the reality of life. What will happen when you die? What will happen when I die? Let it be stated and let it be put in motion all the things that need to take place. 

  1. Start the process of including each other in legal documents: Yes, each other. Who is your next of kin on your documents, who is his next of kin on documents? Does anyone own a property before marriage? What are the steps needed to include the other party on the documents? 

  1. If your husband has a business, get part of the shares and be documented with your kids as directors or create a holding company: I don’t exactly know how this works but I know that someone that doesn't have shares cannot push you out. What is the process to add you to the list? This is not saying you’d do the business now, but just be included in the legal documents.

  1. Let properties be bought in the company name; If you have to now purchase a property and there is a business, buy the property in the company name (recently heard this from an older couple in business) that way with you and your children as the directors of the company you can always decide what to do with the property. Of course, we know that the legalities of business don't allow for one to make sauce decisions like that on the fly but the idea is that the husbands family cannot just decide without your consent.
  2. Life insurance: I know this is not exactly cheap but I know you don’t also have to pay it once, with life insurance you get a certain amount when your spouse dies.
  1. Let there be a will: Most importantly, let there be a will. You might think this is not important or you don’t have anything but it will be the only legally binding document that will make anyone backoff. When it is created, it will just be reviewed as time goes by. Asides from the husband writing a will, you as the wife should also know who the lawyer that is the custodian of the will is, this is to ensure that you are in the loop of things and nothing can happen behind your back.

All of this is said under the assumption that you are in a marriage that is between 2 people who are submitted to one another as it should be. I know it’s not the ideal situation for everyone and in those situations, I would still say keep having the conversation but don’t go into a business fueled out of fear of “what will happen” know that what you are doing as a stay at home mum is valuable and worthy of note.

Another thing to note is, anyone that thinks they need to take other people’s property because they are in a vulnerable position is absolutely in the wrong and will be held accountable to God and humanity. 

I am not saying stay at home mums shouldn’t run a business or earn money, I also know people who have had to let go of doing business for this journey of being a stay at home because it’s not an easy thing to combine. 

So, if you think you can run a business while being a stay at home mum ensure that you have the right information of what you need to know before you do start and I really pray and hopes it works out. 

Please let me know what you think.