We have lot of people in our life, and don’t mistake me, we love it. We have a very busy work life that bleeds and combines with our social life but that’s theatre.
Someone asked us the other day whether it got too much sometimes; on an average week, around five days out of the seven we have people round, which usually involves us making food or at least clearing up a lot of stuff afterwards. In honesty? We love our life and we choose the chaos, something I know some people can’t understand because they prefer a more routines or less hectic day to day. And in the main, it doesn’t get too much. But sometimes, especially now we have two children, we do sometimes have to admit we’ve bitten off a bit more than is ideal. I think it’s a slight curse of the freelance worker, in the beginning, you become so accustomed to accepting every work offer and taking on everything you can; that when you become established and busy, the idea of turning down work makes your heart jump into your throat! And as the majority of our work is about people rather than money, if we’re unable to do a job or put our all into something, we really feel the pressure of letting the people involved down.
Our two daughters are now our number one priority. So we’ve had to start looking at our schedule and saying, ‘do you know what, although we promised to try and fit in an evening to talk to this person about a documentary project, it can wait, and tonight we’re going to watch the Let It Go music video eight times, be there for Bathtime and then both take on characters in a made up bedtime story.’ Because those little things are the reasons we’re doing most of the work. We sometimes spend eight hours of a day in the car to be able to do a really important piece of work, but it’s so that we can then have that precious bedtime routine for the next four nights.
We also couldn’t do it without each other’s support, my husband needs my help with the administrative side of his work, to bounce ideas off and to assist him with various things; and similarly I need him for inspiration, motivation and as an overwhelming source of support. And the hectic social side that comes with it? The dinners, the games evenings and other extras that come with both our careers? It’s what makes it all worth it! Money isn’t our main drive, we’d always much rather work with people we work well with and enjoy spending time with, rather than go for the highest paid activities, for us that’s what gives us job satisfaction.
Saying all of that, our other big priority is time as husband and wife. Not Mum and Dad, not Colleagues, not Organisers, not Vice Chairman and Secretary. Each day we try and ensure some of the day is kept sacred as husband and wife. Recently (with a particularly hectic work schedule and accompanying social timetable) we realised that we hadn’t prioritised it enough. We were getting to bed near or past midnight, going straight to sleep and then starting back with the rest of our roles the next morning. Once we’d realised that our roles of husband and wife had started slipping down our list of priorities, we cancelled an evenings activity and went out for dinner. And then we came home, had a glass of wine and just sat on the sofa together. It was AMAZING! And then on nights we finished at 10/11pm, we stayed up an extra hour just to spend a bit of time together. It makes a huge difference. It means that when a houseful leave and we’re left with more mess, instead of getting uptight, we clear up with a smile. When Scarlett’s screaming at us because we won’t let her get her own way and baby Holly is crying for a feed, it’s not overwhelming. We can smile through the chaos, because the very core of that chaos is my husband and I, two people in love taking it all on together. And when the core is strong, you can deal with all the rest, it’s like the foundations of a house; as long as they’re in place, you can easily build extra rooms above.
It’s not easy, sometimes it’s hard to separate those roles, and sometimes we forget those vital important parts because the other bits of life can pile up and distract you so easily! So although our schedule sounds like hell to some people and it can often be hard work, it works for us. The bottom line is, as long as our kids are being prioritised and our marriage is at its core, we will continue with this ridiculous chaotic production that we call life!