An honest account of what its like, working with my husband.
Nearly three years ago, my illustrator husband Ben was desperate to leave his 9 to 5 job in retail. My photography business was growing and I was in need of a second photographer, it just made sense for Ben to jump in and help out. He initially changed his hours to part time, before eventually taking the jump I had taken myself one year previously, and went completely self-employed, helping me with my business as well as focusing on his freelance illustration.
We get asked on a regular basis what its like working together and we politely reply ‘oh, its great, we’re very lucky, we get to spend so much time together’ but the reality isn’t quite the same. There are many positives AND negatives to our situation and plenty of challenges we have faced along the way…
- We genuinely do enjoy each others company most of the time and have found our relationship suffers with time apart
- Both being self employed, we get to choose when we work and when we take time off, so we can schedule in quality time when needed
- It’s great to have another person to bounce ideas off of (it can get quite lonely working from home alone)
- We both 100% appreciate each others jobs and how hard we work as we are working towards the same goals
- Both being creatives, we have a lot in common and can really appreciate each others interests
- Cuddles in the office 🙂
- Spending 24/7 with your other half can sometimes be a little suffocating, its important we have hobbies and spend time apart
- There are times the personal/professional boundaries can be hard to keep clear (heading to a customer meeting after a row over the washing up isn’t always fun!)
- We affect each others moods and productivity, which if one of us is in a slump can result in a unproductive few days for the both of us!
- Both our incomes are changeable and reliant on the business, so we don’t have the reliability of one steady wage
- All decisions are made together, big and small, and all financial decisions or purchases have to be agreed by both (making surprise gift buying a little tricky)
While we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to work for ourselves, doing something we love, it is a constant struggle to get the right work/life balance. There is no denying that working with your spouse can quickly end the romance factor, spending many romantic evenings chatting about our accounts or brainstorming for our next styled shoot.
Our main advice would be, to have strict ‘no work chat’ nights, and time away from the office, as well as your phones.
One of our favourite parts about working together, is that on any day, we can decide on a whim to head to the beach for a stroll or pop to the cinema together. That’s the best part, we have complete control over our lives and how we spend our time!