Amber McNaught‘s weekly column on newly married life.
As well as living with my husband (well, it would be a pretty strange kind of marriage if I didn’t live with him, wouldn’t it?) I also work with him. Given that we both work from home, running a business together, this means that we’re together, just the two of us, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, with no one else there (other than the dog) to talk to (or to stop us from killing each other).
Now, you would think this would be a recipe for disaster, and had I not tried it, I would be inclined to agree with you. Strangely enough, though, it works for us. Somehow, Terry and I manage to live and work together without driving each other clean off our heads. I have absolutely no idea how we manage this, so even although it seems to work for us, I probably wouldn’t advise trying it at home…
Appropriately enough, Terry and I met at work. We both spent a large chunk of our respective youth working weekends in a call centre (don’t try that one either if you value your sanity) in order to pay our ways through university and, later, to help us save up enough money to buy our first house together. So, we’d had a lot of experience of working together – enough, in fact, to never want to do it again.
You see, as much as we enjoy working together from home, we hated working together for someone else. I’m not sure if it was because it was a terrible job anyway, or because we were both doing exactly the same role, but we would argue our way through each weekend, and breathe huge sighs of relief when Monday rolled around and we were back to doing our separate things. If you had told me we’d end up working even more closely together than that, I’d have called you a liar. And laughed.
Running our own business together, though, is completely different. We both do completely different things (he’s a web designer, I’m a writer) so although our desks are side by side, we don’t have the same clients or tasks, and have working lives which are more or less separate. At the same time, though, we share the same goal of building up our business and making it more successful, so although I don’t interfere in his work and he doesn’t interfere with mine, we’re both working towards the same end. This allows us to be together all day without feeling claustrophobic – and, of course, we each have our own friends and hobbies to give us a bit of breathing space, not to mention Terry’s headphones, which he remains plugged into most of the day.
So, somehow we manage to make living together and working together actually work. And, as an added bonus, we get to watch Neighbours together every afternoon…
Amber McNaught is a freelance writer and Shiny contributor. She works from home, and yes, sometimes she does wear her pyjamas all day