image courtesy of Mrs. Beehaving Photography
In case any of you don’t know, my husband technically “works from home”. He doesn’t have an office, he has a company car and he drives, you could say, for a living. But he’s on call so there are times when he’s home….a lot. I think for me this has been one of the biggest struggles because I like routine and having a schedule. But it’s hard when neither of us really know what our schedule is going to be like from week to week. And for him it’s day to day! I was excited to spend time with him and get to hang out but I also knew I needed to work. So what was that going to look like? It has taken us some time but I think we have gotten to a good “working relationship” and here are some things that I think have helped us not strangle each other when one of us is trying to
watch the Real Housewives edit and the other is on a work call.
This is huge in any relationship and our situation has forced us to be even better communicators (even though we’re still not that great at it). It’s important we talk about our schedules and and keep each other in the loop with what’s going on, when there other will or won’t be home, who’s going to take care of the dog that day, will we be home for dinner, will one of us be going to work in a shady part of town at night (and we both do!) and on and on. I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t over communicate because for me over communicating is probably as much as the normal person communicates.
2. Share a calendar
Google calendar has been a life saver for me and I quickly got Michael on board when working 2 jobs was becoming a little hectic and I needed another way to keep him in the loop in case I forgot to 😉 We share a calendar where we put all of our work and life events on it so it’s the easiest way to quickly see if one of us has something going that day. I live and die by it more than he does but at least I have the excuse of “it’s on the calendar!” in case I forget to tell him something 🙂
3. Review your schedules weekly
This is important, vis a vis the statement I made above. Michael tends to use the Google calendar less so it’s a good idea to sit down with each other at the beginning of each week and review your schedules for the week. That way it helps each of you plan and make better decisions. It also brings up things that may not be on the calendar, tentative plans, or the topic of things you’d like to do together that week. We usually (not lately *hand slap*) do this on Sunday since it’s our slowest day together.
4. Plan dates
We are SO bad at this! I know some couples are really good at this but it’s so hard for us. Michael can work really late sometimes and it’s hard to plan anything with our schedules. We need to be better about it since quality time together is so important and even though we may spend many nights eating dinner and watching TV together, it’s not planned quality time. I’ll take anyone’s suggestions on how to do this. I have definitely been better about not scheduling shoots or work when I know what his days off are and that has really helped. That way we know we’ll both be off and we can try and do something together that day.
5. Put your relationship before work
When you work from home it’s hard to draw the line between where the work stops and family life begins. It’s so easy to keep checking your email and want to edit pictures on the couch. But I’ve come to realize that the time is much more meaningful when computers and phones are put away. Even if you are just watching TV. Plus your brain (well mine, anyways) needs a break and you need to be able to shut work off at a certain time and allow yourself to relax. Plus I can easily substitute work chores for house chores and then the house becomes neglected and I wonder how it got that way. Even though he may still be on call during that time, I owe it to him and myself to be present and get out of work mode for a while.
6. Be respectful
And up there with communicating, is being respectful. Always put the other person first. We work in the same environment a lot and it’s easy to get annoyed at each other or forget that the other person has to work at the moment. Talk to each other with kindness and respect. I always think about how I would want Michael to talk to me or how to say things in a way that wouldn’t offend me. It’s better than giving them the cold shoulder and the evil eye to get your point across that you don’t want to be interrupted. Which I never do by the way…. It also related to being respectful of each other’s schedule and time. Like letting the other person know if you’ll be home for dinner, letting your spouse know if you’re stopping at the store and checking to see if they need anything, asking if it will bother them if you put music or the TV on……You get the point!
So it’s something we’re still working on. I think it’s a never ending process but we’re figuring it out. I’d love to hear things that have helped you if you and your spouse both work at home.
And now for what you’ve all been waiting for! The winner of my 1 Year Anniversary Giveaway is…….
Yay! Congratulations, Chelsea! And thank you to everyone who entered!! I am so thankful for all your support and encouragement and can’t wait to see what the next year holds!