I’m a work-from-home mama and R. J. works full time outside of the home…but if there’s something we both agreed on before having a baby, it’s that we would completely co-parent. And making that decision is the reason we are both able to chase our dreams while growing our family.
Let me paint a picture for you…R. J. works full time and he’s about to take on a traveling supplier liaison position, he also works on the side for his dad, he is actively involved in lodge (Freemasonry), and he’s currently going to school part-time for his master’s degree. I work full time running a business, I’m the Director of Advocacy Programs for The Asservo Project, an organization that combats human trafficking globally, and I’ll be applying to go back to grad school full time for my master’s degree next fall. We also have a 2 1/2 month old baby girl, and we are in the process of buying a new home…to say we are a little insane with our schedules is a bit of an understatement. But because we work together, we get it all done. Here’s how we do it:
- We take turns…Even though we’ve agreed to co-parent, I am the one who’s home with Jemma the most but it’s because I work from home. But when R. J. is home, he jumps into daddy mode 100% without question and does an awesome job! For example, today we were both home all day long. I have a pretty big week coming up social media wise with the business and so I needed to get a ton of computer work done. R. J. had some end-of-the-semester work that needed done for grad school. We both took turns all day caring for Jemma, giving each other the time we needed to get our work done. And once R. J. finished his school work, he kept Jemma, only handing her to me when she wanted to eat, so I could finish my work. Because I was able to get everything scheduled for the entire week, this now opens up my week for less stress and more time with my baby and taking care of daily household needs.
- We prep for the upcoming week…R. J. and I share a Google calendar so we can see each other’s schedules all of the time. This allows us to schedule different things around each other. When he has lodge, I know I need to be with Jemma so I either plan to be home or plan something where I can take her with me. If I have something on the calendar where I can’t take Jemma, he knows he needs to be home for the night with her. We openly communicate daily about what our schedules look like, and we constantly check-in with each other to make sure whatever we are planning is okay out of respect for each other’s schedules.
- We check in with each other emotionally… R. J. and I are firm believers in love languages. Adjusting to life with a new baby isn’t easy and you have to make time for you marriage. This doesn’t just mean date nights, it includes making sure you’re holding up your end of the deal in the marriage. R. J.’s love languages include acts of service, so it means a lot to him when he comes home and I have the house tidied up and the laundry going. For me, my biggest love language is words of affirmation, and R. J. is so wonderful at making sure he helps me to feel confident in myself and is always reminding me that I am beautiful no matter how I may be feeling about myself that day. We also make sure to give each other the down time we need. R. J. is especially good at coming home and just telling me to take some time for myself while he spends time with Jemma so I can have some self care.
- We always push each other…Like I said, R. J. is currently in grad school, and I’m applying to go to grad school. We are both in full support of each other’s dreams all of the time. We discuss what they are, we talk with feelings of excitement for our futures, and we push each other to constantly better ourselves. I’m so proud of R. J. for how well he’s doing in his first semester of grad school and I’m so thankful to him for being supportive of me going back to school as well. We set goals for each other, and we never hold each other back. In the beginning of 2020, R. J. will be starting a new job rotation as a supplier liaison which requires a lot of travel and I couldn’t be more excited for him as this helps him take another step closer towards his career goals. On the flip side of that, he’s helped me figure out our game plan for me to quickly grow the business even further before it’s grad school time.
- There’s no such thing as overusing, “I love you”… We tell each other we love each other ALL OF THE TIME. It could be the most stressful day with 1,000 things going on but R. J. will pause, look at me, and say, “I love you”, and all of a sudden the stress just melts away and a sense of calm arises. There are days that are tough, there are days when we get frustrated with each other…but we always say, “I love you”, and we never go to bed mad.
Don’t get me wrong, our life is far from picture perfect and there are days that are so hard…But when we work together as a team, it makes life so much easier and we work so well together. There are still areas in our life we are working on improving. For example, in 2020 we have a few goals such as paying more debt off, embracing the zero-waste lifestyle, and losing some weight. But we know that these goals will be better achieved if we take them on together. And that’s what we plan to do.