Have you ever thought about what it would be like to literally be partners with your spouse — in marriage, in parenthood and in business? We can tell you that it ain’t easy. As the parents of two sets of twins, 3 and under, we are also business partners, making us together 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, working with your spouse has its perks — you have more flexibility, you are on the same schedule, you have more compassion for what the other one is going through, but it also has its faults, a lot of faults…
There is no escaping work. If we are having a bad day at work, it’s hard to shut it off and pretend like everything is fine. If one isn’t meeting the expectations of the other, you can’t just shut that part off when you are home. When things go wrong, and trust me they do, there’s no escaping.
Here’s how we try and make working together work:
- We each have our own roles: it’s important to have set roles so you aren’t both doing the same thing. This is easier said than done when running a small business, as it’s all hands on deck.
- We go on date night 1x/week: We do it during the week, since it’s easier to get a babysitter. We rotate picking the activity. We try really really hard to not talk about kids or work (but then sometimes it’s silent) :). Sometimes we go to great new restaurants and sometimes we do random things, like go to Dave and Busters or play tennis.
- We often work from separate places: we have a home office, but most of the time my husband will work from a shared office outside of the home, or a coffee shop.
- We put scheduled 1:1 meetings on the calendar: since we’re always together, it’s easy to fall into a routine where we don’t have scheduled meetings and just interrupt each other whenever we want. We’ve started to put two meetings per week on our calendar so they are dedicated times.
- We pretend to have work trips so we can get family to babysit, when really we just go on a beach vacation… okay, this hasn’t actually happened yet, but we think it’s a genius idea (a perk of working together).
Running a business together gives us the flexibility we need to run a young family, together. However, it’s so important to put your marriage and your partners needs in front of your business. If you have other suggestions or ways that you make it work, when working with your partner, we’d love to hear them!