Living and working with your spouse can be one of the hardest things. We know! We have lived and worked together since 2004, so we know a thing or two!
Here are our best 5 tips for blending work and life with your partner to live a happy Parent Boss Life.
Today we will cover these 5 points:
- Become Team (Insert your family name here) – it’s you guys versus the world
- Share the mental load
- Respect each other’s areas of brilliance
- Communicate and watch your language
- Allow space so you can miss each other
- Become Team ___________ – it’s you guys versus the world
You have to be a united team, both physically and mentally. Together you have created the life that you are living. The home you live in, the children you have together, the business you have built, your friends, even the holidays you take. All of this has been decided and created by you both.
After a while, some mental separation between you two can become common. You can get buried under all you have built. It needs to be continually fed by you through your attention, energy, money, and time. And sometimes, for one of you or both of you, that can be in short supply.
So, you unintentionally pull away from the other person, thinking they’re ok and they’ve got it, while you take care of this stuff, and before you know it, a year can go by. Maybe two. And you realize that you are no longer on the same page.
Everything in your life is for both of you.
Even if only one of you is working in your business, that business is for you both, and you need to be mentally involved. The same goes for the home and kids. Even if you’re the primary earner and out most of the day, you don’t get to check out on the home front and leave it all to your partner.
As a team, sit down and:
- Check-in – talk about everything in your life.
- How each of you is doing, and what needs doing.
- How you can help support each other or who you might need to get in to help you.
Once you understand that you are Team _______________, then you’ll want to check in with each other regularly to make sure that your ‘teammate’ is ok and your life together is ok.
Mindset is critical here, so have this conversation with your spouse today.
- Share the mental load
If you follow any Mum groups on social media, this is one of the most common complaints.
“My husband wouldn’t even know anything about our kid’s schedules – he leaves that all to me.”
“I take care of the house, the kids, all their activities, the family events on both sides of the family and I work FT too. It’s exhausting.”
We talked above about the life you have created together – the mental load is the weight of that daily life.
If you created it together, is it fair to have one person carry most of the weight? If you have partnered with the right person, you want to make them happy and care for them.
So, bogging them down with everything in your life because it’s easier for one person, or you don’t understand it, or ‘that’s just what they do’, is a cop-out.
Team ___________ remember? View your life as a whole and help shoulder the weight of making that work every day.
- Respect each other’s area of brilliance.
As said above, sharing the mental load is vital. However, there will be parts of life that one of you is better at than the other.
If that’s the case, you should let them ‘do their thing’. It’ll be something they enjoy, and they will do it faster than you. This is not a pass for you to check out on this, though. You still need to be aware of what is happening with this, and if they get hit by a bus tomorrow, know enough that you can step up and take this over.
Here’s an example:
Leigh is our head baker in our bakery. He coordinates all the production, rosters, ingredient ordering, staff training, the works. I can also bake, but I haven’t in a long time. If something happens to Leigh tomorrow, I could step in and run the production until he’s back on his feet.
I like to forward plan, and having control of our money gives me a sense of security. I pay all the bills, budget, etc., for the bakery and home. Leigh still knows our money situation. He knows how to pay for everything if I get hit by a bus, but he leaves that to me weekly.
We chat about everything – the baking for him and money for me when we check in.
Work out your areas in your Parent Boss Life (I’m sure you already have) but make sure to be aware of what is going on; on the other side, that isn’t your thing. As part of Team ______________, you need to know.
- Communicate and watch your language
To work as a team, you have to communicate with each other. That’s simple, right.
To share the mental load, you have to know what is going on with everything. Again simple.
So, what is a simple way to do this?
We share our calendars. Everything is in there – appts for us, the kids, when the cleaner comes, when bills are due, when we are going on holiday, when the garbage bins need to go out. Everything. We then set alerts on each of the entries so they pop up, giving us a warning of what’s coming up.
One of our dogs, Rodd, is soon due for his annual vaccination. I made his appointment. A reminder came up in our calendar a couple of days beforehand, and my husband and I discussed who was taking him. Leigh is taking him because I am working. Simple and sorted.
We set repeats for weekly things, like doing our bakery’s wholesale invoices and monthly, like filing our cleaning sheets as per our food plan. We have found this to be the simplest way to communicate. We use pop-ups as reminders and share the mental load of EVERYTHING that is going on in the Team Matheson universe.
One other thing we want to say here is that HOW you speak to each other is essential when you’re having these chats too.
It is easy to feel stressed and tired, then find yourself snapping at your partner when they ask you questions about how who will organize something. Familiarity breeds contempt.
If you sat back and looked at it sometimes, there is no way you would speak to a stranger, the way that we sometimes talk to our loved ones.
This person is your teammate. The person with whom you are taking on the world. Your ride or die. And it can be hard to feel that way about your partner when they are yelling at you, snapping out short answers, or completely taking you for granted. It’s easy to do – still doesn’t mean that you should be doing it.
We are all human, and some days aren’t good ones for us but try to remember that this is one of the most important people in the world to you. They are just trying to get ‘life sorted’ when they talk to you about this. Being cranky with each other doesn’t make for an easy Parent Boss Life, so try and communicate NICELY!
- Allow space so you can miss each other.
It can be hard to live together, work together, and do life together. You turn around, and THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE! 🙂
As mentioned before, familiarity can breed contempt. Unfortunately, it IS easy to speak poorly to your mate, take them for granted, and focus on their flaws.
We take this as a sign that it’s time for a time out. One will take the kids out, so the other can veg on the couch and binge-watch something. Or a night in a hotel on our own so we can order room service, sleep in and catch up on ourselves.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as driving in the car with the music blaring, giving us the space, we need. (Because we can’t talk to each other! 🙂 )
By ‘disappearing’ for a bit, your partner can see what life is like when you aren’t there and vice versa. Appreciation for each other can come back in, and you become grateful that they are there with you, sharing the load.
So, if you find yourselves getting snappy, plan some time out. It’s good to not be in each other’s pockets for a while. You’ll see. 🙂
If you liked these tips, and want a boatload more, so that you and your loved one can live a happy Parent Boss Life, consider joining our mastermind.
For 90 days, we walk beside stressed, rushed & tired Parent Bosses who want better work-life flexibility. They want to have more time with their family while still growing a profitable business. Using our Work-Life Pendulum system, we show them how to do that.
We use our system to put tailored strategies in place, at both home and work, so they can take themselves out of the daily grind and get time freedom back.
Click the link here for more information to see if it is the right fit for you and your family.
- If you don’t know how to pivot, you’re going to zero. Yes or No? - 10 August 2022
- Why Enthusiasm is Important in Business - 27 July 2022
- The Burnout that Business Owners face and its damaging effects - 27 July 2022