I worked for my husband on Monday, or should I say with? Working for sounds very 1950s. My husband is a small business owner and found himself in one of those small business owner perfect storms that can lead to drinking scotch with a Maalox chaser at 8 a.m. One of his employees had strep throat, he had to let a relatively new employee go last week, and his front desk manager had already planned to take the holiday off to spend with her son.
It was actually, dare I say, “fun” to help out at his shop (he’s into computers, just fyi). I’m not technical at all. I don’t know a gigabyte from a mosquito bite, but I answered the phone and tried to field calls as best I could without hanging up on anyone.
Do any of you have family businesses? And do any of you work with your spouse? For various reasons, including the all important health insurance coverage through my employer, I’m still working in my own chosen career field. So far it hasn’t made sense for me to work full-time with my husband. I’d like to eventually help him out more, but more than likely I’d be wearing my marketing/PR/corporate communications hat and it would be on a part-time basis. And also there’s the possibility that we could kill each other if we worked together full time.
The most eye opening thing for me on Monday was to have more insight into my husband’s crazy day. It’s tough when kids, work, deadlines, obligations, customers, clients, and bills clamor for attention and weigh your marriage down with the heavy burden of responsibility. Instead of empathizing with your spouse you find yourself angry and recalling a simpler time when you didn’t have to be such adults. Sometimes I look at my girls and I recall that freedom of responsibility of being a child.
When my husband comes home at night and says it’s been a rough day, he really means it. Whereas a rough day for me might mean that I had to make a second trip to the copy room to pick up a document or I couldn’t get a primo parking place and it was raining and I forgot my umbrella or I had to wait my turn before firing up our gourmet coffee maker in the break room.
My parents ran a construction business together and legend has it that my mother was doing payroll from her hospital bed shortly after giving birth to her fourth child (that child would be me). Instead of bringing my mother flowers or a pair of diamond earrings, my father brought her the cumbersome company checkbook and an adding machine (remember, it was 1969.) My parents have also been divorced for 30 years.