Last week Maria Varallo started to answer whether it’s hell working from home with your husband by explaining how she works from home with her husband Kris. Today she talks about splitting the household jobs and how working from home affects their relationship:
How do you divide up domestic responsibilities?
I do the cooking during the week if I can. Before we had the children and were both employed Kris did most of the cooking now it’s reversed.
If I put on the washing in the morning he’ll put it out if I’m out, he is aware and I think that’s because he also works from home. Sometimes he’ll put the washing on because I’ve been out working a couple of days in the week.
The great thing about working from home with your husband is Kris is far more sensitive to what needs doing. I especially have noticed over the years as my work has grown and become more established how the house becomes very relaxed.
Does it ever cause friction?
Working in the house does not cause friction but can cause stress for me. There are times I find it too much being Mum and wife whilst being a professional all at once.
In hindsight we both agree we should have built two smaller offices in the garden instead of one large one that doubles up as a spare room or guest room.
However I could not share the office with him because we are together a lot and to actually be in the same room working would just be too much for me.
How do you think working from home affects your relationship?
I believe it’s brought us closer, I couldn’t do my work without his support even though he has no idea at times what I’m talking about but he listens which is very important. It’s the same for him, not having a team physically around him to bounce ideas off instead he has me!
What’s the best and worst thing about working from home with your husband?
Sharing and mutual support – flexibility of helping each other out and therefore the family. It’s definitely enriched our relationship and it feels like we’re very much a team. Our boys take it for granted that we’re both around, I’m very proud of our life style it expresses our values. Looking back it’s been such a good decision yet at the time it seemed such a big risk, it was a carefully thought through and deliberate decision while the boys were young.
Most of Maria’s work is for Illuminate, a charity she helped start three years ago in Cambridge. She also coaches private clients, and designs and delivers workshops for other organisations.
Many thanks to Maria for spilling the beans on her working and living arrangements. How do you feel about working from home with your husband?