Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Working with Hubby

Image result for teachers holding hands
I work with my spouse. I guess this isn't the strangest thing in the world. Couples who own a business, for example, work together. I have acquaintances who work as a husband/wife team in their real estate business. The winery down the street from my sister's house is owned by a married couple, so those two work together every day.

But there's something different about it when you work at the same workplace as your spouse. Maybe it's because there's a social dynamic with work settings, and now you're mixing your marriage into that. For Clint and I, our jobs are even further enmeshed. Not only do we work at the same school, we both teach 7th grade, we have the same lunchtime, we're both on School Site Council and the Leadership Team, and we're both friends with the same teachers here on campus. Not to mention we commute to work together 45 minutes each way, every day.

So what are the pros and cons of working with your spouse? I don't think I'm even sure about this, so let me write them down and figure it out!

PROS

Shared Interest
Working the same job means Clint and I share a huge part of our lives. Talking about work comes easy when your partner is going through the same experiences as you, and you don't have to pretend to be interested (sorry, that sounds sorta cold).

Carpooling Buddy
Carpooling can get boring after awhile, but working with your spouse means you get to make that daily trip together. I'm especially grateful for this when we have treacherous road conditions due to snowy weather. 

Help on the Job
Technology meltdown? Call hubby. Broken cabinet? Call hubby. Out of glue? Call hubby. Clint has saved my hide in the classroom more times than I can count.


Respect/Admiration
This one can go the other way too--if you work with a spouse who's underperforming, it might embarrass you or make you feel judged by your admin/staff. But in my case, Clint is a creative, tech-savvy teacher and overall fun person who's respected on our campus. It's cool to feel this level of admiration for a colleague, then remind myself "Oh yeah, I'm married to the guy."

Breakfast
When Clint makes his breakfast, he makes mine. I come downstairs every morning to a travel mug of coffee and an egg/avocado/burrito-thing ready to go. (Though honestly, even when we worked separate jobs, he would still make my breakfast, so this is more an 'awesome hubby thing' than a 'working together thing').

Gossip
Clint is exposed to different staff members throughout the day than I am, so by the time we reconvene, we're both loaded with juicy gossip that the other wasn't privy to. And the best part? It doesn't count as gossiping when you share it with your spouse, because married couples are allowed to share everything. ;)

Empathy
Misery loves company. I love my job, but sometimes I'm so tired and drained that the idea of going to work makes me want to curl up in the fetal position. But when Clint and I are both dragging ass at 5:30 a.m--going through the pain together--it makes work an easier pill to swallow.


Friends/Colleagues
Clint's always been a great sport about going to wine nights and other social events with my colleagues. But now that we work together, my friends are legitimately his friends, too. We both love hanging out with people from work, and it feels good that he's no longer tagging along as my 'plus one.'

Flirting
Clint and I have a bit of a "professionalism be damned" attitude at work. We have no problems hugging in front of people, saying "I love you," or even dropping the occasional innuendo. Our colleagues have grown accustomed to our flirtiness and just roll with it (or jump in), and it adds a fun dynamic to what would otherwise be an ordinary day.

Family
Work feels less like work when family is there. I felt this dynamic back when my kids attended my school too. Maybe it's because no matter what curveballs are thrown at you throughout the day, knowing that the people you love the most are nearby, ready to give you a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on...well, it softens the blow.

CONS

Attached at the Hip
There's truth in the expression "absence makes the heart grow fonder." Being together 24/7 means never having time apart to miss each other. Little nuances, habits, etc., can be charming in smaller doses, but can compound to frustrating levels when you never get a chance to hit the reset button.


Toxic Negativity
I'm an upbeat "roll with the punches" person who doesn't like to dwell on negative stuff. My preferred commuting style is to blast my music and ignore any jackholes on the road. So when Clint blows off steam over a bad driver or road construction or whatever, it verbally craps on my entire morning. He also likes to fester in work politics, which I prefer to brush off (why dwell in things you can't change?). If we do get into an argument, there's no way to 'get away' to clear our heads. Honestly, this is the biggest con. I feel like this one should be in bold red.


Leaving Work at Work
In the old days when I came home, Clint and I would spend a few minutes at most talking about our workday before moving on to greener pastures. But now, having our livelihoods in common means work tends to consume all of our conversations. This makes it difficult to "leave work at work." We had to come up with ground rules last year (i.e. No talking about work once we hit the trees, no talking about work in bed, etc.), because living and breathing work from 5:30 a.m until 10:00 p.m is mentally draining. Unfortunately we're still struggling to follow our own rules, so this one's stuck on the list.

No Mystery
Back when Clint worked for the railroad, my job as a teacher held a sort of mystery and prestige (and vice-versa). Things you don't fully understand tend to be an enigma in your mind. I was 'the teacher in the family', he was 'the railroad conductor in the family', and it was cool having our own niche. But now that he's working the same job as me, it's lost its enigma-status. Sometimes that makes me feel less special in our marriage.
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That's about the most I can brainstorm this round. But that was pretty enlightening! I'm happy to see the pros outweigh the cons.

5 comments:

  1. A railroad conductor! ^_^

    This post has warm fuzzies all over it. I work with my family: dad, uncle, both siblings. My cons list would definitely be a lot longer than the pros, but I'm going to stop here so I don't go off on a tangent. Do you sit together at lunch? If I was a teacher and married to a teacher, I would love that. I'm so antisocial. That would be a large pro for me. :)

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    1. Whoa, I had no idea you worked with all those family members Krystal! I am so curious about all of your cons (but obviously will let it go for the sake of being a mature person, haha).

      Yes, we eat lunch together everyday. Sadly lunch is only 30 minutes and by the time we take a RR break and actually microwave our lunches, we only have about 20 minutes left. But I do love eating lunch together. It's like a mini-date every day.

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  3. Sounds like you have way more pros than cons, so that's a good things. I feel like Matt would drive me crazy if we worked together. So, I'm pretty glad we're professionally separate. :D

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