I’ve been doing my new life for about two weeks now.
It’s still pretty surreal. I know I’m not on vacation (though sometimes I need to do a quick check to remind myself), but I also don’t feel like Evan’s business partner yet.
Some of that is my own doing. I requested time these first two weeks to do some things around the house that I have been putting off for, well, years. Mostly, I’ve been cleaning out the house: giving away baby items we no longer need, paring down the toys, and clearing out closets and drawers. I strongly believe that if Evan and I are both going to be successful working from home, we need to create a comfortable work environment, and for me that means streamlining the amount of stuff in the house.
I’ve made the house my priority these last couple of weeks, but to my disappointment, getting our space where I’d like it to be is taking much longer than I originally imagined. Prioritization and following my to-do list has been more challenging in my new life. I’m learning that when you work from home, there’s always something…
I share this not to complain, but to recognize and appreciate that this is my new normal. I have three days per week dedicated to working for the business, but I’m learning that when you work from home, no day can be all work. There is always going to be something important pulling me away from the work I need to do. I can’t separate my work and home life like I used to; they are intertwined now.
And to be clear, this is exactly what I wanted: flexibility. It’s been very satisfying to reclaim some of the household responsibilities from Evan, and my additional time with my kids has been wonderful. I love being able to linger a little longer at Riley’s preschool drop off, and when Kaleb was sick a couple weeks ago, there was no question that I would be the one staying home with him. This new way of living is wonderful in so many ways, but it is also very different from the life I lived for many years.
Truthfully, I don’t quite know what to make of it all yet. I’m still adjusting.
And I don’t know what to tell people when they ask “how’s working with Evan going?” How do I answer? Is what I’ve been doing these last couple weeks real work? Am I helping us achieve our collective business goals? What will people think when I tell them I haven’t really started “working” but I’ve been been busy cleaning the house and managing our family? (though let’s be real, if you came to visit, you would hardly know I’ve been cleaning because the house explodes by 8am every day)
This brings me back to my first point: I don’t feel like Evan’s business partner yet. Where I come from, jobs have titles and position descriptions. Currently, I don’t have either of these. Evan keeps telling me I’m his business partner, and I know he has a vision for how we are going to work together, but it’s hard to feel like a business partner when all I’ve done so far is chauffeur kids to school and clean the house.
Perhaps I’m having a professional identity crisis!
It’s hard for me to know who I am right now. This change is not just redefining what I do every day; it is redefining me. Who am I now? I’m not a higher education administrator anymore, but I’m also not a business partner yet. My roles as mother and wife are evolving too. Who is going to emerge from this transition? I am very curious to find out.