Podcast

Navigating business and marriage with my husband (Part 2)

by Michaela fong

Podcast

Navigating business and marriage with my husband (Part 2)

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Q&A on navigating business and marriage with my husband (Part 2) - Small Biz Babes Community Podcast

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It seems like so many business owners feel the struggle of navigating business and marriage. Whenever we step into the New Year, we always have the goal of wanting to balance work and personal life and that can be a challenge, right? 

So by request, I’m bringing back one of my favorite guests, my biggest cheerleader — my husband, Wes! Today, we’re going to talk about the little things we do to support each other and make our lives easier. Perhaps you can take a thing or two as inspiration to incorporate in your own relationships. Okay so here’s how we’re going to do this: 

I’ll share things both Wes and I have brought to our relationship that have made it easier to navigate marriage and business. Then I’ll talk more in detail about what it looks like for us, so this should be fun! Ready? Let’s get into it. 

I set up a schedule with ideas for us to do during the week or month 

In the past, we didn’t plan much for activities we wanted to do together. As you know, when you run a business, you usually pour all your time into it — especially during the beginning stages. That’s what made it hard for us to prioritize planning activities to spend time together as a couple. So, by the time Friday came around every week, we were too tired to come up with something to do. We were stuck in this rut for a while. 

Now that we plan activities ahead of time, even if it’s as simple as going on a walk or going out for dinner, it’s guaranteed that we have time aside in the calendar to spend with each other. 

We’ve done this for the past year or so, and it’s really helped our marriage by making sure we have fun and don’t burn out by working all the time. 

We’ve also made sure that it’s not just me coming up with all of the ideas. I’ll usually ask Wes ahead of time about the activities he’d like to do or try out. For example, we’ve recently gotten into bike riding and we’ve even gone horseback riding too! Little adventures like that have really made a difference in keeping the fun alive.

Wes leaves his phone outside the bedroom at night

This is a recent change that Wes has made. Personally, I only leave my phone on the other side of the room so it’s not right by my bed. That’s because, in the past, I had a bad habit of scrolling on my phone before I fell asleep because naturally, I’m an evening person. 

Ever since I made it a habit to leave my phone on the other side of the room at night, I now stay off of my phone 2, sometimes 4-5 hours before bed and in the morning. 

For the longest time, Wes wasn’t like that. For years we’d go through this cycle of him not being able to fall asleep and feeling tired in the morning, only to realize it was because he’d been on his phone late the night before. 

Finally, Wes decided that enough was enough. He’s recently taken the extra step of leaving the phone out of the bedroom at night and it’s significantly helped his sleep. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, right? Well, when it comes to building habits, yes you will fail at times. But it’s all about trying to make progress little by little that will help you have a better life — leaving the phone out of the bedroom has been one of them.

I introduced Notion to help plan our personal life

I’ve talked plenty about Notion and how it’s made my business life so much easier. But honestly, it’s made our personal lives easier too! I use Notion for many things, however, it’s been especially helpful for our meal planning every week. 

Let me tell you, I used to HATE our process for meal planning. On a Sunday, I’d ask what we should eat for the week. Then I’d go on TikTok for ideas. Next thing you know, I’d be on TikTok “meal planning” for two hours because I’d get easily distracted. On days we didn’t plan ahead of time, Wes and I would end up having something like cereal for dinner. 

Once I got into using Notion, one of the first pages I created was a page designated specifically for meal planning. Now, anytime I find a recipe, I’ll save it there. I also plan our meals according to my menstrual cycle to make sure I eat different ingredients that support my body and any hormonal imbalances (Wes doesn’t mind!). I’ve even listed the ingredients I need to eat based on my cycle, so I can sync them up with meals for the week.

SO instead of two hours, meal planning now takes me a grand total of 5 minutes because I can look up ideas and find recipes right in Notion. How neat! 

Wes came up with the idea of an Accountability Hour

Well really, we came up with it together. But Wes is really good at making sure we follow through every week. It often feels like there’s not enough time to improve on the routines and tools we know could make our lives easier later on. So something we’ve been doing to help with that is by taking an Accountability Hour where we both work on them together. 

For example, sometimes that means tweaking the menu list in Notion so our grocery shopping is faster. But really, it can be anything. 

The point of the Accountability Hour is to address ideas we’ve had on how to make our personal lives easier, and for once, finally get to them.  We have a rule for the Accountability Hour too — it isn’t time to work on leftover tasks from work or house chores. It has to be spent working on something we can invest in now to make our lives better in the future. Otherwise, it defeats the whole purpose. 

I introduced the idea of a morning meditation 

Taking a few moments for morning meditation really helps us kick off the workday feeling in control, calm, cool, and collected. And because it’s become a routine thing we do every day, this calming mindset translates into our personal lives too. I can only take care of MYSELF. Wes can only take care of HIMSELF. By taking care of ourselves first, we take better care of each other. 

For the longest time, I had this tendency to fill up my days with something to do and always something to work on. The problem is, it never gave me the time or space to slow down, think, and reconnect with myself. 

When I first started meditation, it felt foreign and I didn’t really know how to do it. Honestly, I only started doing it because my therapist recommended I try. Now after doing it for months, I don’t know how I lived without it! And if you aren’t sure where to start, meditation can be anything you want it to be. For example, I enjoy meditating in the summer by sitting outside, listening to the birds and trees, feeling the sun on my face, and focusing on my breath.

Meditation helps you slow down. By slowing down, you’re a calmer version of yourself. You’re calmer for your partner, you feel more centered in your work, and you can make better decisions because you’re not constantly in a state of fight or flight. Morning meditation has truly changed both of our lives. 

Wes creates heart-shaped latte art for me every morning  

It’s too easy to take our partners for granted. So in the morning, one of the ways Wes expresses his love and appreciation is by putting a little heart on my latte. It’s his way of reminding me that at the start of my day, he’s thinking of me. Wes is so sweet to do this. It’s a really small thing that he’s been doing for years and it always brings a smile to my face. 

Especially when life gets busy, it takes extra effort to make sure we nurture our relationship, communicate, and show support for each other. Even if you can’t spend as much time together as you’d like during busy seasons, it’s important to make the most of the time you do have to show love to your partner. And I’m glad to say, Wes does a great job of this. 

I hope this has inspired you with some ideas on how to make this year better for yourself and for your relationship, and that 2024 is everything you wish for. Happy New Year! 

If you want more ideas on how to navigate business and marriage with your partner, tune in to today’s podcast episode here 🎧

Talk soon,

Michaela

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