The Goal: Take our partnership as parents and expand it to include working together
The Reason: We make a great team and we wanted to create a balanced family life where we work together towards one common goal.
The Result: It has been harder than we thought as while we work on the same things we rarely get the chance to work at the same time on one of our tasks.
The Problem: We are living parallel lives that only a few times a day come together without the kids there as well. The kids take so much of our time that Lisa and I never get time to really talk about work.
I don’t think I realized just how hard it would be for Lisa and I to sit down and have a meeting to discuss work or maybe I underestimated just how important these discussions would be. Either way it is hard to find time during the day for us to talk without interruptions? We would have to wake up ridiculously early to have time for a good morning discussion and even then I am not sure if they make coffee strong enough for Lisa to be coherent that time of the day. After the kids get up only one of us can work while the other looks after them. After lunch the twins go for a nap and Annika can play quietly by herself but we never seem to get very far before there is some sort of interruption. Before we know it the twins wake up, if they fell asleep at all, and one of us has to be with them. The time between dinner and bedtime is family time with no time for an adult conversation. The time after the kids go to bed is the best time to discuss things but it can be hard to really settle into serious talk when we are both worn out from the day. If our discussions get too involved then it is hard to stop or let your mind relax enough to fall asleep. We often stay up way too late as we have so much to say and this can completely wreck us the next day. It may sound like I am whining about such a little thing but this has turned into our greatest challenge.
So why are these discussions important? Working as a team is far more productive then working as individuals. We need to know what each other is doing so we can each add our own perspective and come up with better solutions. When you are partners at everything there is a lot to talk about. Being parents we want to discuss what the kids are doing and to make decisions together as to how to overcome certain family issues. We are always learning how to be better parents as we go and it is so much easier to face these challenges together. As house owners there are many chores that have to be done and since neither of us particularly enjoys many of these tasks it is better if we share. We have also learned that we need to have fun together. Lisa is my best friend and the person I chose to spend my life with. We need some time to have fun together and have some time to just sit on the couch and talk about stuff not related to our kids, home, and work. With so little time to be alone together and so much to talk about outside of work we have found that it is extremely hard to sit down and have a good discussion about work.
We are working together on everything except rarely are we working on the same thing at the same time together. This is a problem we have to overcome and we are unsure of which direction to go. Do we work at separate ventures and work with other people? Do we get people to look after the kids periodically so we can have work related meetings? Doing so much together has not strained our friendship at all; in fact it has strengthened it. Since we are going through everything together we can relate to each other so much better. In the past if I had a bad day at work it was difficult for Lisa to understand as that world was so different than the one she lived in that day. There are so many things that are fantastic about our life right now it is hard to admit that it comes with its imperfections. We knew this wouldn’t be easy and there would be a lot to figure out.