The husband and I decided to do an experiment this year. Over the summer Matt took leave from his job to come on board as my business partner. It is something we thought a lot about, and we felt like it was the time to make the leap with this blogging business I’ve built. He came home in August, right before we took off for 2 weeks in New York.
We came home from New York excited and got right to work. We lasted 10 days. Yes, 10 full days before we made the official call that Matt would be going back to work outside the home. I’m glad we tried it – even though the transition has left us with a bit of a headache. Have you ever attempted to work with your spouse or partner? Some people have great success with it. We did not. However, we did learn a few things along the way that I’d love to share with you.
1) Know what you need
When we talked about Matt coming home, a big part of our decision was to lessen my work load. I had visions of Young House Love style: sharing the work, sharing the love. The difference for us is that instead of my craft being bathroom renovations and sledge hammer heavy redesigns, I do a lot of confetti cutting and garland making. My guy is much more fond of hammers than the scissors! We decided that what I actually needed was an assistant to cut confetti all day long, and a husband to be at work.
2) Know your roles well
Adjusting to new schedules will always put a kink in the way a home functions. In our case, it completely threw our normal routines and roles into question. All of a sudden Matt was running to go grocery shopping and attempting to braid our daughters hair, while I was taking on more time in front of the computer. There are many couples who find an arrangement like this fitting – we are not one of them. I quickly realized how important certain roles in my life had become, and now have great clarity as to what I am, and am not willing to give up.
3) Define your plate size
I once heard an analogy about each persons capacity in life related to a dinner plate. Some people have plates that could hold an entire turkey, while others have salad plates that cannot hold a lot. To find one’s own balance, it’s important to know our individual plate size and fill it accordingly. This enables us not to get overloaded on our daily activities and to not judge each other on what we can fit on our own plates.
4) Separate the handshake and the hug
An important piece to working with your spouse is figuring out how to separate business from marriage. It is tricky and I don’t think we ever fully got the hang of it. Honestly, this was probably the biggest factor in us deciding to have Matt go back to work. We REALLY love each other. We hated being so stressed out that it affected our other time together. Or as Matt so eloquently put it, “I want to complain to you about an issue I’m having with a co-worker, the only problem is that the co-worker is you.” He said it jokingly, and we had a good laugh, and then decided to stop working together.
This post is part of a business series where I’m sharing glimpses of my life/business and tips I’ve learned about freelance and blogging. Hope you like it. xoxo