Family & Business

Let’s set the story. I work from home with my wife Ailsa. I have done for the past 4 years. We spend 24 hours per day, 7 days a week together. It sounds like a nightmare but it really isn’t. We are friends before anything else and it just seems to work. I’m not going to analyse that.

Working from home has a lot of perks. Not like starting when you want and disappearing to go for a walk for a couple of hours type of thing. More like; no commute, no expensive lunches, not having to endure the rank smell of smoke off work colleagues, in fact, not having to have any irritating work colleagues (Ailsa may disagree on this). You work your hours and that’s it. Although you never really fully switch off but that’s another subject for another day.

But what happens when you work with your partner and you decide to (or accidentally) have a baby? This fundamentally changes everything about everything.

In our case, we decided to start a family and we ended up having twins. Yep that’s right, twins.

In all honesty, the first 3 months were the hardest. Morning sickness, tonsillitis (that’s wasn’t part of the pregnancy, it was just bad luck) and no one else to help you. It’s something that you never think about. Thankfully, months 4 to 9 were plain sailing. Oh, and on a side note. When people tell you that it flies by. It doesn’t. It drags on and on and on and on.

How can parents run a successful business together? I read a lot about it all and it seems that there is no real solution. I didn’t know what we were going to do. We just had to go with the hand we were dealt.

When Remy & Indy came along Ailsa and I had to keep working. We just had to figure out our own way to make it work.

5 months on we have our own solution. I work Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Ailsa works Monday and Wednesday. Tess our script writer works Monday and Wednesday, Helen our illustrator works Saturdays. Tom, who is helping out with editing, works 2 days a week and Stuart our neighbour is working 2-3 days per week developing websites.

We’ve also had to alter our pricing structure, introduce deposits and update our project turnaround times. Thankfully all of our clients accepted the new way we worked and all we need to worry about now is keeping the work coming in. So that’s the same as usual.

If you’re in the same boat then I wouldn’t worry. Each person will work out their own solution. Family and business does work. The difficult part if figuring out how it can work. As Monty Python say, “We’ve come from nothing and we’re going back to nothing, so what have you lost? Nothing!”

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