This spouse-as-your-coworker thing not all that you imagined it to be?
We’ve noticed a trend in our client sessions about friction at home, because your home is now your office (and your spouse’s office too). It’s hard on many levels, so we thought we would look to our co-founders to give us a little insight. Angie and Sean have been working from home together for the last eleven years. They’ve been there, done that, and have lots of wisdom to share.
We would love for you to check out our vlog series over on our Instagram and Facebook (@christiancounselingco), but for now, we have boiled down all of their advice to these six tips!
1. Get Real With Your Time
Get real and honest with yourself about how you need to break up your days. Angie has gone back to using a paper calendar to help layout when she is working, when she is home, and when she is taking time for herself. Be sure to not stop with just a plan, but to diligently execute that plan daily. If you say that you’re done with work at 4 PM, don’t let yourself check email real quick after dinner–you’re done!
2. Set a Space to Succeed
When we don’t have an organized work space separate from our living space, it’s easy to feel suffocated. If you haven’t done so already, setting up designated spaces in your home can help you feel more productive while you are working (and more relaxed when you’re not).
Talk to the people you live with about space boundaries. “This is my get-stuff-done-work-spot,” or “In this space, I don’t want to talk about work/politics/parenting/etc. at all so that I can unplug.” It’s simple advice, but you’ll be amazed about how you and your partner can see eye-to-eye if you have these easy conversations about “zones” in your house.
3. Negotiate Chores
We’re home more these days which means, more dishes, more trash, more laundry, more stuff! A common trend we have observed is the good ol’ fashioned roommate tiff–arguments that have absolutely nothing to do with being married and everything to do with sharing space. To remind you what your Freshman RA said: “Living with people is hard and you have to create a division of chores for this to work.” Reimagine how you and your family can divide chores–it’s 2020, there are no rules! You can eat ice cream for breakfast, and you can say “Tuesday’s I’ll do dishes all day, and you can take Wednesdays.” What worked before might not work now and that’s ok!
4. Let’s Talk about Sex
Many couples have expressed low sex drive or having sex less frequently–aren’t you glad to hear that? You’re not alone! There’s no magic trick that we could write to magically fix this for you, but we do want to point out that you’re spending a LOT of time with your spouse. Maybe a drive or walk to get some alone time will help you feel more comfortable connecting later. Sean and Angie point out that a good way to transition from work mode to friend mode to intimacy mode is by cooking dinner together. Do you need to connect as friends first? Do you need alone time? Do what works best for you (and encourage your spouse to do the same).
5. Remember the Lighter Side
In the last few months, we’ve watched Covid-19 numbers yo-yo in all different directions. We’ve watched an especially tense election, wildfires, political unrest, and so much more… life has been serious and overwhelming. But we want to encourage you to seek out fun! Laughter is a way to process emotions (and we have a lot to process…am I right?!). This is your permission slip to laugh during the good AND bad times of your life. Find something to do together that is only for fun. Dream up a Covid Bucketlist, knowing that there are limitations to your current situation. We want you to know–you don’t have to wait for 2020 to be over to enjoy life with your spouse.
We hope these quick tips encouraged you! We would love to know MORE of your questions. Send them to us on Facebook and Instagram.