I have a third wheel in my marriage – and she’s called Tanya!
For anyone running their own business I’m guessing this will resonate with you?
Starting up a business from scratch could be compared to having a baby. The nurture, care and commitment you give a baby is constant and it needs attention in order to grow. Obviously, a human baby is precious, but the feelings of protection and ownership you have for your business isn’t too dissimilar. For example: lack of sleep; coffee is a necessity; like it or not, everyone will have an opinion; you are dealing with a lot of poop as shit is always hitting the fan; whether it’s a technical problem or customer relation – poop is always happening; it’s expensive; you need to be jack of all trades, particularly during the set up process; it’s an emotional roller coaster – but hell it’s worth it, and the milestones feel so good.
My husband and I refer to Tanya as “She” and she often comes between us. Tanya is our third wheel. There have been times where I’ve been unable to attend family or friends gatherings and birthdays because I’m “stuck with Tanya” – whether it’s packing orders; a pop up shop; networking; promoting or just the shit hitting the fan – I’ve had to miss out in order for Tanya to thrive.
My outlook is a very positive one, but I feel it’s the price I’ve had to pay to help her grow. In the same way that it’s difficult sometimes for a parent to immerse themselves in nights out because they have no babysitters or anyone to look after their off springs!
So for me, any partner who accepts a third wheel is a keeper, and I am very lucky to have a supportive husband – who sometimes admits to wanting to throttle Tanya because of the demands she puts me under – however, he is proud of what we’ve achieved and is 100% behind me.
My husband works hard and also runs his own business on top of working full time, so it’s safe to say like most working families these days, we are grafters. We have always valued family time and annually go on holiday, reaping the benefits of our work.
We have travelled to Florida, which is a family favourite, numerous times; and holidayed in France, Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands too. We’ve also owned caravans or motorhomes on and off as it’s been ideal for our twins growing up and experiencing the outdoors and having camping experience, albeit locally most of the time.
There was one special summer where we had planned on 2 weeks in the UK in our motorhome but the weather turned and so on impulse we grabbed our passports, drove to Dover and crossed the English Channel to toured the north of France for 10 days. This was an exciting trip and we had a big old-fashioned road map; I would choose the destination and my husband would drive. First stop in France was Dieppe; a busy port with a travelling fair and then we headed for Mont St Michelle as it was a beautiful landmark that we wanted to see, which is also mirrored in Cornwall at Saint Michael’s Mount. Mt St Michelle did not disappoint, it’s a small tidal island with narrow streets shops and restaurants leading up to a beautiful abbey. We followed the sunshine and if the weather turned, we would move on.
We travelled back inland and drove through the most beautiful towns and villages we’d ever seen. They were picture postcard and it felt so special visiting independent shops, butchers, bakers and artisan food markets along the way.
Over the years, downtime has been important, especially quality time with the people you love – it’s the simple things in life that are most special.
We renewed our wedding vows in key West Florida in 2015, another special milestone in our 20 years of marriage. Amidst the hustle and bustle of life and running a demanding business and attending to our third wheel it is important to have these moments too. And as the future unfolds, wherever we go, Tanya will come too.