There are some aspects I truly love about working from home. I mean, I don't have to wear pants, I get to spend more time with my kids, and my husband also works from home and that's, for the most part, totally awesome. As much as we love being "co-workers" (for the daytime sex alone), though, there are fights every couple has when both parents work at home and we've pretty much had them all.
Don't get me wrong, my husband and I love each other deeply and always try to respect each other's need for space, quiet time, and boundaries at home, during both work and non-work hours. But when you spend 24 hours a day with someone, even someone you love, you are bound to disagree every once and a while and sometimes at the worst possible moment. Some of your fights will seem like normal office spats, like the ones you might have with a coworker when they drink the last of the coffee or eat your lunch from the office refrigerator. Others are more like stereotypical parenting disagreements, like when you both try to avoid changing a poop-filled diaper. And then there are the arguments that are more like lover's quarrels, usually related to whose turn it is to do the dishes.
When your partner is also your office mate, and the only other adult you might see every day, things can get complicated, petty, and intense. The good news is that when you fight with your partner while working from home, in my experience, it's pretty impossible to hold grudges, and you have the added bonus of being able to kiss and make-up afterwards. At least, after your partner makes you more coffee, of course.
I am the type of person who needs a cup of coffee to function and be able to do things like, well, make more coffee. So when my husband drinks the last cup, or worse, uses the last of the coffee without buying more, it's bound to make me a little emotional. I mean, how rude.
We're lucky in that our kids' school bus stops in front of our house each morning. However, when the kids manage to miss the bus, one of us has to take them to school. I will rock, paper, scissors my partner for it. (He always picks paper, so I always win).
There's also a myriad of problems to overcome when a kid is home sick from school. Figuring out who will go and get them, care for them, clean up vomit, and take them to the doctor isn't always easy. We don't like having to decide whose job is more important, and who can afford to take the day off, no one really would choose to clean up vomit, and what if you get sick, too? The struggle is real.
You know when a coworker keeps coming over to your desk to chat, but you are busy and don't know how to set boundaries with them without sounding rude? Yeah, it's like that, but the coworker is your husband.
Of course, it totally sucks when the shoe is on the other foot and you read something cool or have a great idea for the next family vacation, and your partner just doesn't want to talk about it.
Some days both of us are productive. Other days one or both of us is feeling stressed, facing deadlines, or not getting important stuff done in a timely fashion. It's hard not to take it out on your coworker (I mean partner), especially when they are super distracting or feeling chatty.
If both of us are on the phone or a web-conference with clients, the baby will inevitably wake up from his nap, start crying, or vomit everywhere. It's like a law of nature or something. Then my partner and I are stuck trying to figure out who can step away long enough to take care of the baby. Of course, that argument usually happens right when someone asks you for input on the call. Sh*t.
We play this long game of what I like to call "dishes chicken" in our house. I am the type of person who hates when the sink is full of dirty dishes, so if I am trying to work I will probably get distracted by the mess. It infuriates me that my husband doesn't really care, and seems to hate cleaning out the dishwasher and putting clean dishes away. This passive aggressive game of who will cave first seems to happen once a day.
You both know the baby pooped. You can smell it from across the room. But, you are sure that you changed him last time. Maybe if you pretend not to notice, your husband will change the baby and it'll all be over soon. It's the least he can do for not loading the dishwasher, right?
One of the things I hate about working from home is that I don't often get a chance to go out for lunch with other adults. Most days I am stuck eating whatever my preschooler leaves on his plate, or a granola bar. So, when we have leftover Thai food or pizza and my husband eats it before I have a chance, it's war. Lucky for him, his "coworker" usually forgives him. At least we get to kiss and make-up.