What is it really like to own a bed & breakfast (continued)?
Thanks to all of you other crazed couples trying to do the impossible: work together AND sustain a romantic relationship at the same time. I received several inquiries about how–yes, specifically, what do we do–to avoid escalating hostilities. This has, clearly, been one of our most daunting challenges in running our bed and breakfast! Over the years, home has been our sanctuary. We could leave the stress of work behind us at the office. We could complain about our bosses and all the other nincompoops we have had to deal with all day.
Now, we are the bosses. We are also the nincompoops. And the stress of our work surrounds us 24 hours a day. Our first year we found ourselves sounding more and more like Ralph and Alice Kramden. So, we put an emergency plan into place.
1. We need to carve out time together. We try to make time in the evenings to be together, just the 2 of us. Often, this “together time” happens between the time our heads hit the pillow and the snoring revs up.
2. We keep the computer out of the bedroom. Checking to see what reservations have come through is not my idea of foreplay.
3. We often go out for a quick dinner just to escape from changing the laundry, answering the phone, paying bills, mowing the lawn, etc. Staying at home and NOT changing the laundry, answering the phone, paying the bills, or mowing the lawan, simply, add to our stress.
4. We divide and conquer. It’s become well-choreographed who does what in the mornings. But, at first, we really needed to decide who was chopping the mango that morning and who was serving the coffee.
5. We do not offer each other helpful suggestions while preparing breakfast. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that point.
6. We cover for each other. We respect each other’s need for solitude, a scarce commodity around here. This means that I cover for Bill while he watches the NY Giants lose and he covers for me while I try to figure out 17-across.
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