From The Straits Times    |
wfh marriage relationship kids

Credit: Estelle Low

Estelle Low, digital editor at Her World, tells us how working from home together with her husband drew them closer, making her a happier wife and mum.

Two years after working from home (WFH) and being under the same roof with our family members 24/7 became the new norm, familial ties have been put to the test. Reduced personal space and blurred work-home boundaries are some of the common issues faced.

While I can relate to that, WFH has benefited my marriage overall. Let me explain.

My husband and I respect each other’s space during working hours – he uses the study while I work in the living room – and we do not engage in personal issues during this time, so if we have personal questions, we text each other even though we’re under the same roof.

Besides allowing us more opportunities to be considerate of each other’s needs, such as lowering the volume if the other person is having a virtual meeting, WFH also allowed us to enjoy our house together. Whether it’s cooking for each other or working together on home improvement projects, these activities have not only helped us to bond, but also understand each other better. Prior to this new norm, we have never shared a physical space for extended periods of time.

It helps that we don’t take a calculative approach when it comes to housework. I appreciate him grocery shopping and fixing things in the house, while he appreciates me cleaning and taking care of our two kids. When there is disgruntlement, we talk openly and remind each other of our contributions. This allows us to constantly see the good in each other.

wfh marriage relationship kids
Credit: Estelle Low

More significantly, WFH has also changed our relationship with the kids, in particular, my husband’s relationship with them. Due to the flexibility that WFH affords us, he became the main person fetching them to and from school, and is able to spend more time with them. I now feel that the child-caring duties are more evenly distributed, and the closer he is to the kids, the more marital satisfaction and contentment I have.

In general, we have fewer arguments now compared to pre-WFH days. And yes, I hope that there will still be opportunities to WFH even as we prepare to return to the office.

This story first appeared in the January 2022 issue of Her World.