Can Husbands and Wives Get Along in Business?

My husband doing what he does best..

People are often surprised that I work from home.  They get awe-struck when I tell them that my husband does, too.  "So you guys are together all day long?" they ask.  In a word: yes.  And here's how we make it work.

My husband and I have several small business endeavors.  I blog, freelance, market, and consult.  I also help him with the administrative side of our vintage collectibles business.  He does odd handyman jobs and runs our hobby farm, as well.  He advises me on new business, reviews contracts, and give me tough feedback when I need it.  We both homeschool the kids; he handles history and science, while I do language and art.  We both clean, cook, and change diapers (although I admittedly do much more of this than he does.)

The point to describing our responsibilities is not to say that we get along all the time or that it always works.  We fight as much as any other couple, and because we have no time apart and even less time together in a romantic setting, it can be stressful.  I've learned a few tricks over the years, however, that I highly recommend.

Have Your Hobbies

He likes a particular online video game.  I like entering sweepstakes.  We both enjoy crime dramas and sci-fi.  As long as we spend a little time each day doing our own thing (even in the same room), we feel like we can be our own people.

Take Time to Connect

Just because we sit back-to-back in our small office, doesn't mean we actually have any quality time together.  That has be be done with a conscious effort.  Whether it's a special movie we watch after the kids are in bed, or a book that we like to read together and discuss, we have at least 30 minutes to an hour that's just for us.  Taking walks is a great way to get this time together.

Don't Keep Score

I admit that I have days where I feel like I do EVERYTHING.  I know that this isn't true, however.  I never read to the kids at night (he does), and I won't do things like throw the football or remove splinters.  When it comes to burying the occasional dead farm animal, that's all him. Avoid keeping score, or you will always be unhappy.

Change Shifts

My husband is a night owl and often goes to bed after 3 am.  This means he sleeps in much later than me.  I could be jealous, but I know that we are actually getting the same amount of sleep.  It also gives us much-needed space.  It almost feels like we go to work without the other one for half of the day. Even if you stagger your schedule by just an hour, it gives you a little freedom to have the house to yourself and do your own thing.

Do you work with your spouse?  How do YOU make it work?  What would you change if you could?

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