Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Getting a break

When I used to tell people that my business partner was also my life partner I was met with ‘wow I could never work with my partner’ I didn’t really think that much about it – we have a set of skills that are very complimentary to each other and we are also both able to switch off after work. Pre-baby we both also had ‘interests’ outside of our business and relationship.

We have never really been ‘child-free’ either. With Craig I acquired a 10 year old step-son who was week on and off rotation between his mum and dad prior to living with us full-time for 3 years. Circumstances saw him leave us when I was about 3 months pregnant. From this I knew what sort of father Craig was and also to some degree the type of ‘parent’ I could be. I had certainly learn’t that when I opened my mouth to discipline that it was most likely my mother’s voice coming out – so I have already dealt with that shock!

So when baby comes along I am in a very fortunate position that my ‘life and business’ partner understands the pressure on both a domestic and a business level – he is also living in that pressure. Our biggest ‘arguments’ we have ever had have come from within that pressure.

‘They’ tell you to take time for yourself and also your partner. Our time together was spent juggling a baby so that work commitments could be met, ensuring the domestic world happened and then catching up on sleep – as interrupted as it always has been.

I had and still have separation issues with my daughter – she has been caught wailing at the back door because I have gone to the office (30sec walk away); screamed when I left the house for the first time to get a massage (45mins); she will only be sorted overnight by me. It has only been this year when she was 4 that I have been allowed out at night for work or to socialise. We are yet to spend a full night apart.

For me I got a break from Sophie when she was with a babysitter or at childcare so I could work. I soon updated this to allow myself time to get my hair or nails done or to have a massage – which are all treats to myself. I am also known to use ‘work-time’ to catch up on cleaning, washing or cooking. Because I am self-employed and I am able to do that.

Craig and I have also been known to have a ‘working lunch’ together or sneak to the movies while she is at childcare to get some ‘us’ time. When you lack free babysitting this is what you do.
When you live together – work together – business and home are the same place – and you are parenting together – time is so precious that it is hard to spend time with each other and also yourself to nurture those loves.

In the last month Craig has gone back to full time work – this has meant big changes for both of us – and less time we actually see each other. He rings every lunchtime for an update.

The important thing to do is to try and pre-empt any issues and make changes to the routines so that you can spend time together.

How have you managed to get a break? Your tips from escaping domestic duty, 'wife/husband, mum/dad, business duties?

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