I am currently working from home, alongside my husband, and with our 1-year-old toddler energetically running around too. As I’m sure many of you can relate to, this pandemic has forced us into situations we couldn’t have foreseen. When you’re confined to your home with just the ones closest to you, you begin to notice things you would’ve otherwise overlooked about those same people.
In a marriage, and especially once kids are introduced into the mix, it’s easy to go through your day focusing on checking off all the things on our never-ending to-do lists. We rarely stop to really see the people in front of us and take a moment to recognize or appreciate who that person is and how they’re showing up for themselves, for us, or for our families.
When you’re confined to your home with just the ones closest to you, you begin to notice things you would’ve otherwise overlooked about those same people.
Working from home with my husband has not been easy at all. Our schedules often don’t sync up, leaving us both on Zoom calls simultaneously while trying to keep our son quiet. He has the news on 24/7 because of his job, while I’d rather work in a quieter environment (and try to avoid the news most days). And he also likes to read his Excel documents to himself out loud, which is just as annoying as it sounds.
While all of that may be true, being in this pandemic and working from home with him has also opened my eyes to things about him and his world that I often don’t see or pay attention to. These days while our emotions are riding a really wild rollercoaster, I am doing my best to see silver linings and little bits of appreciation wherever I can. Here’s what I’m appreciating about my husband right now.
1. His passion for his career is inspiring
My husband is one of those people who has known what he wanted to do since he was in high school and has carefully paved his way towards his dream job step by step. I, on the other hand, have had a few dream jobs over the course of my life and so far none of them have come to fruition quite like I’d imagined they would. While I’m still finding my footing in my career, seeing him care so deeply about his career inspires me to keep exploring that part of my life too.
Ever since having a child, my vision of success and work has shifted quite a bit. I am currently working full-time outside of the home (in normal circumstances), but within this last year, I have started to be more curious about what success means to me, what I want my career to be and what work looks like for me. Seeing my husband still striving for greatness in his path keeps that top of mind for me even now.
2. Seeing his little work quirks is cute
We all have the little things that we do when we’re working that we think no one will notice and to us, seem quite normal. Maybe your quirk is nervously shaking your leg, taking digital notes versus hand-written notes, or no notes at all during meetings, or maybe something completely different.
As I mentioned above, I had no idea that my husband talked out his thoughts as he worked through graphs, formulas, and Excel documents. I won’t lie, sometimes it can be absolutely annoying, especially if I’m doing something that takes concentration, but other times it can be kind of cute.
I’ve never seen this side of him because we’ve never worked from home together before. So, seeing his work habits gives me the reminder that he is still a whole other person outside of a husband and father. This is important to me as I am also working towards remembering that before I’m a wife or mother, I’m a woman first and have dreams, desires, antics, quirks, and aspirations that have nothing to do with my husband or my son.
3. He also struggles with balancing work and parenting
As mothers, we often take on a lot more work, even if it’s just mental and emotional when it comes to parenting. Many times, by default, our children run to their mothers for things before their fathers. When I was working outside of the home, while that also came with its own bag of struggles, it did create a bit of a break from parenting and allowed me to put my focus mostly on one thing for a few hours.
Now that we’re all home together every single day, I am feeling the weight of being the go-to parent most of the time while also trying to work full-time too. My son is too young to understand “Mommy’s working,” and at this age, we are his main source of entertainment. On the weekends, this wasn’t so much a burden as we often enjoyed having the extra playtime with him after a long work week, but truthfully, it’s been a struggle for me.
Over this last month and a half, I’ve found comfort in knowing that my husband is also struggling with this balance too. It’s less of a misery-loves-company feeling and more so a there-isn’t-anything-wrong-with-me-for-feeling-the-struggle feeling. It helps me recognize that we need to play on the same team now more than ever.
What we are all experiencing right now—mothers, fathers, and children—is not normal. We’ve never been in this situation right now, so it is OK if you’re feeling things you’ve never felt before and are experiencing things you’ve never experienced before. In our family, we are still figuring out how to navigate these unfamiliar waters while both working from home together and parenting full-time simultaneously.
If you’re in a similar boat as us, I hope you can take even just a moment to see a few things about your spouse or your children amongst the chaos that helps you appreciate them and their individual personalities just a little bit more.