Up until the end of December 2016, I had spent the entirety of my marriage working from home. While I usually had at least two hustles going that each required travel, I did the bulk of the nitty-gritty of my job(s) in my kitchen, my living room, and, more recently, my office. Because my work was so intimately enmeshed with my life (I was also a work from home mom), my husband and I always talked about it, because there was truly no way to escape it. As my own boss, it was easier to check out mentally and take weeklong breaks from work when we traveled, but also as my own boss, a lot of our family trips were centered around cities I was shooting a wedding in, or were near a conference I needed to attend.
In January of this year, I started working in office at APW, and all of a sudden I made a stark shift from work-at-home life to going to an office, working there, and peacing out at the end of the day. I still work from home once a week, and my kid is generally welcome to hang out at the office as needed (hashtag grateful), but I’m living the flip side of work life: work stays at work. It’s all quite novel, and I love it.
As much as I worried that transitioning to working in an office would mean I’d be sad and miss my kid (and I do!), I’ve realized that I am hyper-productive when I’m there, and having a physical (and mental) separation between my life and my work is killer (in a good way). But the emotional separation is the one I’m still figuring out, especially when it comes to talking about my job with my husband. He’s in healthcare, and we talk about his job a lot (as far as we can, what with HIPPA and all), for so many reasons: it’s physically demanding, exhausting, and he has to deal with a lot more at work than anyone else I know. I’m also weirdly fascinated by his job, in that I-could-never-do-it kind of way.
But when it’s time to talk about my job, I kind of don’t want to. I often give him a breakdown of what’s moving in the big picture sense, of various projects I’m beginning or about to begin or that other people are working on. But beyond that? I don’t even know how interesting my job is to him (he says it’s interesting, but doesn’t he have to?).
Since I’m new to this work-for-someone-else game, I’m curious about how those of you who have been in it longer than I have talk about work—with anyone. Your kids, your mom, your partner. A big part of me wants to leave at the door when I exit each day because we have other things going on in our lives in addition to work, but I also want to loop in my husband when he’s genuinely curious.
do you and your partner talk about work a lot? how detailed do you get? are there any work-related things you don’t talk about or that you tend to avoid? how much do you care about what your partner does for work?