When Both You and Your Partner Work From Home

by Rose Maura Lorre
Originally Published: 

For the uninitiated and/or curious, here’s what life looks like when both you and your partner work from home.

1. You have a built-in proofreader, sounding board, IT guy, printer-ink replenisher, and (if you ask sweetly) second-pot-of-coffee maker. Who needs interns?

2. Texting’s no longer part of your communication repertoire. Occasional work trips aside, we’re never apart for more than three-ish hours at a time, and when we are, I know exactly where he’s going and when he’ll be back. Believe it or not, I even gave up my cell phone years ago. Which is great, because texting sucks.

3. Your internal monologue becomes externalized. For example, if I worked in an office, I’d never randomly shout out, “Fucking rice pilaf farts again?!” At home, not only does that kind of remark fly out of my mouth on the regular, but its sole intended audience knows exactly what I’m talking about. Because he also ate the rice pilaf last night.

4. You become an incredibly boring person. I miss office gossip immensely. I know nothing about anybody other than myself, my husband, and my daughter, and I’m sick of talking about all three of us. When you run into me, please don’t ask me, “What’s new?” Because the answer is always, “NOTHING.”

5. Date nights lose their luster. The last time my husband proposed a date night, I actually blurted out, “With you?” It’s not that our work arrangement makes me love him, like him, or lust after him less. It’s just: How many hours a day am I supposed to spend with this guy?

6. Lunch dates are hot. I luuuurve going on afternoon dates with my husband. They can be spontaneously planned and they feel like playing hooky—they’re basically everything sexy wrapped into one outing. Plus, movie theaters are always empty during matinees, which means you don’t have to worry about elbowing some stranger while you’re making out.

7. You have to listen to him talk about whatever it is he does. If I worked at an office, maybe I’d find the majority of my coworkers annoying, but at least our collective focus would be on, you know, things I find interesting. I honestly can’t tell you exactly what my husband studies and teaches, because I’m usually on “uh-huh … uh-huh” autopilot when he discusses it.

8. You’ve always got someone in your corner, figuratively and literally. Yes, my husband and I are on top of one another a lot, and not in a good, R-rated way. In fact, when we upgraded from a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom, I was adamant that our offices be located in separate rooms, even though that means my daughter currently shares her nursery with a desk and a fax machine. The truth about freelancers is that we’re rarely financially flush enough to afford the kind of living quarters that would let us really spread out our workspaces. We’re also on our own a lot, blowing in the wind as we wonder when we’ll hear back from that potential client and whether we’ll have to survive next month on a single box of no-name crackers. That’s easily what I love most about working at home with the hubs. We are by each other’s sides to lift one another up all day long.

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