Insider Exclusive: Life as a Content Creator’s Wife

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As a married couple, you share a lot of things. A bathroom, for example. The right to change the music in the car.  A shared hatred of stepping on Legos on the floor in the middle of the night.  You also share a vision for your family. You share and encourage each other’s dreams – after all, this is for life, and who else knows you the best and can be your biggest, most honest cheerleader?

But what if your spouse has a dream that requires you to need a translation manual? What if their dream job didn’t even exist 20 years ago?
Hi, I’m Lyndsey, nice to meet you. Welcome to my world.

A Day In the Life

Like more than a few content creators out there, my husband does this on the side around his regular work schedule. That means a lot of early mornings, taking full advantage of work breaks in his day, picking it back up in the evenings, and working most weekends. It’s gaming, but also staying up to date on certain movie genres, the entire gaming industry, keeping up on social media channels, generating podcast content, leading and communicating with his team, researching and writing articles and videos, and basically giving the people what they want when they want it. It’s hard work, and I’m so proud to see how his dream for this community you’re in right now has become a reality. Mulehorn Gaming has humble beginnings, and the exciting thing is it’s not done growing yet by any means. As a wife, it’s a special privilege to watch your husband take a hobby and turn it into something much, much bigger, while also connecting with people all around the world. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t just fall into your lap. 

Content creation ain’t for the faint of heart. It requires time, creativity, time, an almost constant sense of urgency to share said content with the interwebs, and did I mention time? For us, this is my husband’s side hustle, yet it makes his heart come alive. It’s a constant juggle that honestly has stretched us in ways I didn’t anticipate when we said “I do” 12 years ago. I’m nothing if not a type A planner, and in many ways, this feels like walking through uncharted territory. I’m not great with directions in general, so you can imagine the fun “discussions” we’ve had over the past 4 years figuring this thing out.

I’ll never forget the day this journey started. “Sweets,” he said one night while gaming, “what if I did this full time? What if I started something that could draw people in and create a community for them?”

What in the heck was he even talking about?

All I envisioned was him finally finding a way to play video games 24/7. We had 2 kids at the time, soon to have a 3rd on the way, and I’ll be honest – I had perfected the look of death I’d shoot him as I worked from my laptop in the evenings while he kicked back and “relaxed” watching YouTube videos or playing video games with his friends online. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for our marriage, my husband is one of the most direct, straight forward people you’ll ever meet, so my passive aggressive powers are no match for him. They bounce right off that Invisible BS Reflector he’s got going. I wanted to encourage him and did, but it took me a good while to really understand what he was doing and why.

As a wife, you want to be invited into the adventure. You’re not meant to stand on the sidelines and just watch – you’re created as a wife to have a vital part in your journey together with your husband. So what do you do when your husband comes to you for support and encouragement in an area you know nothing about?

You have two options:

    1. Drag your feet, nag, complain, and essentially squash the dream that makes his eyes light up and that he can’t stop talking about, or
    2. You can get on board.

I chose option B. But it wasn’t easy.

Option B meant a lot of good things – watching my husband’s creativity boom as he dove into more games, creating a podcast and website, and just embraced more general geekery. It also meant a lot of hard things. Our daughter was born right at the early stages of his podcast, and there were many nights where her cries were front and center as they tried to record (thanks for the editing work, Circuit!). It’s meant learning which seasons will be busy for both of us, and which seasons will be “calmer”. In those busier times, we’ve had to learn how to adapt our normal expected schedule as a family to allow more time for Wade to focus on writing, gaming, etc.

While loving our family well.

While also not dropping any balls.

Sound impossible? Just about! But here are a few things we’ve learned along the way that hopefully are helpful: 

1. Communicate

Everyone’s favorite, right? What husband doesn’t love it when their wife comes to them saying, “We need to talk.” Kidding. But in all seriousness, generating content requires a lot of hard work and a lot of time. Time is valuable to all of us, and we all get the same amount of hours each day. How you choose to use those hours as a content creator determines a lot, and needs to be discussed with your significant other. Regularly. No one is a mind reader, so don’t be afraid to discuss your plans. While overcommunicating can feel annoying at first, it’s the only way we’ve found to take away our assumed expectations we were placing on each other and hash out the details to find a more reasonable middle ground. If there’s major news dropping during the week that he needs to focus on, that’s discussed beforehand. If I have plans that conflict with something in his schedule, we discuss and adjust however we need to.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve had to learn to communicate when I see him needing to come up for air. Being focused and driven are great qualities, and I can appreciate the work he’s doing. However, when that starts to take over into family time or I see him not taking time for himself, I speak up. This has taken tremendous work on both of our parts to a) not come across as a nagging wife, and b) to listen to this advice as a receptive husband. Easier said than done, to be honest! But given the stigma this industry has of people spending hours and hours lost in a game, shutting out the world, it’s good to take a moment to check where you’re at mentally. Is this cutting into my time with the kids? Wife? Friends? Am I giving myself some space and time to recharge? You’re not nagging or holding them back by asking these questions. Recently, we realized Wade had scheduled something every single night in the week. Things needed to be moved around to clear up some time for us to have an adult conversation! If we hadn’t had that discussion, you can bet it would have been a tense week around here with scattered interactions – not quality time by any stretch. Nothing can ever be perfectly balanced, but it’s so important to know and communicate clearly and regularly with each other the priorities of your family. At the end of the day, gaming isn’t gonna be the one folding your socks.

2. Ask Questions

When communicating with each other, ask questions. Learn something from each other. Take an interest, even if it’s not something you’re especially keen on. This can also help you when navigating those busier times when you’re both stretched thin (remember those assumed expectations I mentioned earlier). Real life example: the last video games I played regularly were when I was growing up, and I played them on the SNES (once that toggle thing was invented for the N64, I was out. Way too frustrating for me, and who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned directional pad? Why mess with perfection?!). Those games were worlds different from the epic open-world concept games of today. It took me years to understand that in most cases, you can’t just jump in, play a quick game for a few mins, and then jump out. It can take hours to hit one goal or develop one character, and once Wade explained that to me, it helped me understand more clearly his time commitments. In turn, it also helped give him an opportunity to let me know how much he appreciates my support and “running the show/circus” while he’s buried deep in recording or gameplay. His appreciation was genuine from the get-go, but had we stayed in our patterns of not discussing and just assuming, I never would have expressed my frustrations to him of what I saw from my perspective, which would have never allowed him to openly communicate to me how aware he was of what this was required of me.

Asking questions might also lead you to something completely unexpected. In our case – I started taking an interest in Star Wars. I never disliked the movies, but now I have a much deeper appreciation for just how large that epic story really is. I know way more about that universe than our own, probably (but really, isn’t Star Wars our own universe anyway?). Any time Wade brings up a new theory or obscure fact, I’ve learned enough from him now to start with the question, “Wait. Is this canon?”

3. Respect Each Other

It should be a given, but it’s crazy how respect for each other can fly right out the window when you’re running on coffee and fumes. 
For both of us, we are very driven, focused people once we set our minds to something. My job allows me to work from home, and I do so around our kiddos schedules. Often times, this looks like working throughout the day but in larger chunks at night. Nighttime is also the time when Wade’s working on content, so if we’re not careful to respect the need for our times together while respecting our time each doing our own thing, we’ll never see each other. We’ve also been very honest with each other with our own needs. In the past, I didn’t care if he gamed for hours because my idea of unwinding after a long day is spending time in a good book or with my favorite Netflix shows (The Great British Bake-Off, anyone??). That’s still true post-kids, but also, I need uninterrupted, adult conversation with my favorite gamer husband more than ever now! In contrast, his love of epic stories and adventures naturally finds a place in gaming. Knowing how each other ticks, respecting each other, is big. Waking up on the weekend and going straight into content creating ain’t gonna happen if we haven’t made eye contact with each other first. It ties in with the other points I’ve already mentioned. Communicating, asking questions and listening, while respecting each other is how this works successfully.

Do we have this all figured out? Absolutely not! Did my husband just leave me home alone with 4 kids 8 and under while he went to see Avengers: End Game with the guys? He sure did! (But in all fairness, it was on the calendar!) We still run into hurdles, although not as majorly as we did in the past. And I’ll be honest with you – these principles aren’t just for being married to a content creator. You need these in your life for marriage, period. If you’re in a relationship where one person is heavily involved in gaming, it can be frustrating. There can be some long nights and weeks. I’d encourage you to try these points I’ve mentioned here if you haven’t already. My hope is that it opens up deeper communication for both of you about what makes your hearts come alive!

So remember guys: when in doubt, blow it up.
But carefully. Don’t hurt yourself. Or anybody else.
And don’t make a mess because you know I don’t have time to clean that crap up.

– Mrs. Mule

So what do you think – are we onto something or are we just plain crazy? Leave those questions and comments below! Let’s keep this conversation going!

Wife of the Mule, First of his Name. Mother of 4 dragons, and keeper of all the things. I mean everything...

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