MARRIED TO THE CEO: HOW DISHES, LAUNDRY AND “THIS IS US” ARE SAVING OUR MARRIAGE
What’s it like being married to a CEO mom? Did you see my lead title? We are crazy busy as a family in every respect of the word. School, sports, practices, homework, meetings, groceries – you know the drill.
But for me, I get to be a part of a world where my wife leads a business that’s mission is to make you known. They serve with passion and purpose, with heart and drive.
Just like in my business world, Heather and I have to have constant communication to make it all run smoothly at home. There are never-ending meeting requests so that we can mark our calendars for who is getting the kids today from school. Have a late meeting pop up? A client in town? A vendor needing your help? You think baseball practice will get rained out? What are we eating for supper? Did you remember to get the birthday present for Thackston’s party this weekend? What about the snacks Dixon has to take for advisement on Thursday? These are questions we are asking each other every single week. It’s non-stop.
For me, though, the coolest part is when I get to see Heather in action. There are occasions where we both work from home and she has calls I can listen in on or an event she’s running where I see her in her element. Her attention to detail for her clients and her team shows her desire to make Choice not just good, but exceptional. I see the clients her team is representing or the events their planning or the media coverage they secure and am constantly wowed. It’s in those moments that I’m bursting with pride. Proud moments like those in this crazy busy life = exciting, amazing life-fulfilling moments. It fills my heart to be a part of it all!
So… how does it work? Here are four strategies we put into place that are saving our marriage:
We share responsibilities for everything in our household and life. I happily do dishes and laundry so Heather can put the kids to bed or run to that after hours AOII meeting. She loves dropping off and picking up the kids from school so she can start their day well and hear all about what transpired while they were there. I love taking them to sports practices so I can see them work hard, learn and succeed. And listen, I’m watching how my boys respond to having a CEO Mom. I love knowing that Dixon and Thackston have a strong, accomplished woman modeling for them what it’s like to be a successful and invested mom and entrepreneur.
We are intentional with the time we have together. And we make time for it frequently. We have (listen up here) planned date nights. They must happen. It’s important to our marriage and more importantly it shows our kids that we value spending time together just as much as we enjoy spending time as a family. Our world does not entirely revolve around the boys. We take vacations – just the two of us. We sit on the couch together snuggled up for “This is Us” every week with a glass of wine. We attend UGA football games in Athens. We have friends over for dinner parties. But, every single thing is intentional.
We allow each other individual time for our passions. Taking care of the kids, getting to practices, folding laundry, washing dishes – it all has to happen. And time together is a must. But, there’s no way we would have the marriage we do if we didn’t allow each other time to fill up our tank individually. For Heather that means giving her time to focus on her other passion: serving and leading young women. Of course she does that with the all-female team she leads at Choice. But, she has also been a sorority advisor for the last 19 years for Alpha Omicron Pi. And, the last 15 have been at my own alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University. Working on my end so that she can have time with “her girls,” is something very minor that pays big dividends – both to Heather and those AOII women. I’ve also noticed that when she’s deeply invested in AOII (like this week when recruitment starts on Friday) she comes home recharged in a different way. She’s usually exhausted but overflowing with joy.
We put Jesus at the center of it all. Lastly, and most importantly, we have Christ-focused time injected throughout our every day. The foundation of our marriage HAS to be Jesus. And it flows into everything: prayer with the boys, time with our life group every Sunday, serving at our church where we experience community like nowhere else, the way we parent, the way we handle conflict.
And the kids? I am a fan of them…naturally. But how cool is it for them to have a CEO Mom? How cool is it that they witness firsthand the continual force that is women in business in America? Pretty damn cool if you ask me. Our “dudes,” as we lovingly call them, are so proud of their mom. They see a leader and entrepreneur, a servant and a go-getter, an organizer and a spur-of-the-moment kind of gal. The know the mom that’s screaming at the top of her lungs at a baseball tournament sitting in the hot sun, to the mom that says the words lovingly every time they walk off the field “Daddy and I love to watch you play.” And through all of this, they get an amazing mom that makes a mean dinner and loves her kids with a deep love that only a mom can have. They love her deeply because the smile they have when they see her is a smile you just can’t make up. She’s also their biggest confidant. Sometimes that’s hard for a father of boys. But, I realize that it’s a trust and a safety like no other – talking intimately and privately with their mom.
I am not going to lie… it’s hard some days. Because life doesn’t stop in our household just because our CEO Mom is out doing her thing. Dishes and laundry have to be done. Our boys change clothes what feels like 10 times a day. Anybody else deal with that? But how else better can I serve the person that I love most and who does so much for our family and her company? Easy peasy… throw those dishes in the dishwasher, clothes in the washing machine, and love on her and the kids. Bring home that bottle of wine for “This is Us” night. It’s not that hard folks……..even if you do put the utensils in the wrong way sometimes.