Coparenting (Gratitude – Day Five)

Today I am grateful for my husband and a favorable balance of work and coparenting. Today. Not every day, but today.

People often look at me funny when I mention working with my husband – as in, we co-own our marketing agency – I get it. It usually goes like this:

"So what do you do?"
"My husband and I own a marketing agency that powers online growth for small to medium sized businesses."
"Wow. So you work together…all the time?"
"Yup. And most of the time we work from home, which is easier for me because I can work around the kids' schedules."
"So you spend a lot of time together." 
"Oh yes. We are together. All. The. Time." 

I would say most of the time the conversation ends there, and about half the time is met with the same reaction as if I said "well I am legally his first wife, but he has a few other wives and children that live with us as well because it really does take a village to raise a child and all that."

Is working with my husband easy? No. Did it take a looooong time to figure out how to work together without yelling (him) or crying (me)? You bet. But it works for us, and here's why – we believe in coworking and coparenting. He helps me with the kids more than 99% of the dads I know; I help him with the business more than 99% of the wives I know.

There are times where I think we are crazy. I miss having coworkers to grab coffee and gossip with. But I am endlessly grateful that when we had the kids, he listened when I said I wanted us to raise them the majority of the time and we found a way to make that work. And at the end of the day, I love working with my husband and coparenting with him because it feels like there is someone who has my back. All. The. Time.

Especially on days like today, where even though it was my turn to get up with the kids, he did. After the first full day of daylight savings – and we all know the second day is worse. Today, I am grateful for that.

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If you are considering working with your husband – and we have friends who have asked our advice on this – keep these things in mind.

  • Know Your Limits: This is probably the most important thing – I know married people who love each other but their relationships often benefit from time apart. Most people need time to breathe and be on their own. For many people, that means going to work and having a professional life completely independent of a spouse. If that's you, do NOT consider working with your husband or wife.
  • Leave It At Work: It is important to leave work stuff at work. This is a "do I say, not as I do" tip. We are horrible at this one, and I hate to admit how many nights we have dinner out or fall asleep at night talking about work. But with two tiny humans running around (see above, working from home) sometimes that is the only time we can get an uninterrupted word in. But try not to do it. Seriously.
  • Don't Take It Personally: It took us (me) the longest time to figure this one out. Any time R criticized me about something work-related, I would cry. And he would be like, "seriously? Crying? Have you ever cried when a boss yelled at you before?" For me it was a challenge, and for him the challenge was speaking to me like a coworker and not his wife. And we both still slip, but we have gotten exceedingly better at it.

Working with my husband is often work and always a work-in-progress. But it is the right choice for us, and for the tiny humans, right now.