Tales of a Work-at-Home Couple

by Abby on October 8, 2012

Work-at-Home CoupleMy husband has started working from home a couple days a week. If you think that sounds awesome, you obviously haven’t experienced this arrangement. Two work-at-home spouses are like Clark Kent and Superman – they can’t exist in the same space at the same time.

C. set up shop in the room formerly known as the nursery. His desk in one corner, our 6yo son’s desk in another. It’s pretty cute, actually. So the first morning, C.’s shuffling around in there getting his computer and lamp set up and I’m getting nervous. I don’t like someone messing up my routine. And maybe I don’t want him knowing what I do every minute of the day, OK?

Like now, at 10am, the kids have been dropped off at school and I’m home from the gym, toasting a bagel to take upstairs to my desk. But what’s this? Someone has finished all the coffee? Home-office foul. Grrr…

C. and I spend a few minutes arguing about the breakfast dishes before we go our separate ways. I have just torn myself away from email and Twitter and related distractions and gotten down to the business of writing when C. barges in. He starts chattering on about something and I sigh. “If this is going to work, we’re going to have to lay out some ground rules,” I say. He leaves.

Around 11:45, I’m getting bored with the medical research I’m doing for a story and wander in to his office. “Wanna go get lunch?” I ask him. “Can’t. I’ve got a call coming up.” Well, damn. Does this working-at-home-together thing have any perks at ALL? We nuke our respective lunches in the kitchen side by side, then shuffle back to our desks.

OK, this day is REALLY dragging. My next phone interview’s not for a couple of hours. I feel like popping over to Marshall’s to see if they have any cute flats, but I don’t want C. thinking I do nothing all day. He probably thinks I have it so easy, going to the gym, shopping, checking email… Why can’t this be one of those days when the dog throws up and the school nurse calls and I’m on deadline? This is really not a fair representation of a typical day.

My work time’s over, the groceries are purchased, and the kids are now home from school. C. makes the fatal mistake of showing his face. Now the boys know he’s home and won’t leave him alone. Rookie. When I worked from home and the boys were small and downstairs with a sitter, I wouldn’t ever go downstairs or even flush, so as not to alert them to my presence in the house.

It’s 6pm and C. is done working. We all gather round the kitchen table – this one’s whining, that one’s knocking over his chair, I’m threatening someone with no dessert if he doesn’t eat his veggies, C.’s pouring the milk and checking work emails on his iPhone. Everyone’s here for a nice family dinner. This quality time is what working from home’s all about, right? Although I’m starting to think there’s a reason Lois Lane worked in an office.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Nadine Feldman October 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

My husband and I both work from home. Recently I took my computer into the guest bedroom and SHUT THE DOOR so I could focus. That didn’t stop him from opening the door to talk to me. Anything important? Nope. He just wanted to chat. Grrr…

Still, we have “date lunch” every Wednesday, and at times like that, I feel very, very lucky.

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Abby October 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

You’re a special breed, you work-at-home marrieds. 🙂

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Kathleen Basi October 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Ha! That’s hilarious! We’ve only done this once or twice, and mostly I have to accept that if Hubby’s home, work will not be done.

Although Alex is home from school today, and I’m feeling the same way… :/

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Abby October 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Yeah, kids & husbands ruin everything. Think of how much we’d get done without them! 😉

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Blue March 9, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Wow, that’s a really clever way of thnnkiig about it!

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Malia Jacobson October 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I NEVER alert the kids that I’m home if I’m working and they’re present (which isn’t ideal to begin with…if I’m working and they’re home and awake, I really need to leave the house to get anything done.) When I’m desperate I use a small closet/makeshift office under the stairs, which has a doorknob they can’t operate.

My husband’s sister and her husband co-host a morning radio show together–they are TRULY together 24/7 and they make it look easy! I don’t know that I could do it. I think it’s vital to miss your partner now and then…:)

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Abby October 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Office under the stairs? That sounds like a Harry Potter situation! Although if it makes you anything like JK Rowling… go for it!

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Vicki March 9, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Your answer was just what I nedeed. It’s made my day!

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jetts31 October 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm

I tried working from home for a little while. It didn’t take. I would much rather be in an office of any kind.

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Abby October 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

My husband agrees with you. At home there’s no one to talk sports with or laugh at his jokes.

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Corey Feldman October 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

I would love to work from home. I’d find away to make it work despite our relatively limited space. very funny post though.

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Abby October 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm

The grass is always greener! It does have its perks, though.

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