Business

How we’ve designed a life we love as a Husband and Wife Team

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In January of 2019, Jeremy officially left corporate America and has been working with me from home ever since. Since then, my Insta DM’s have been filled with questions about how we make our schedule work with kids, and life, and all the business things that need to get done. I figured it would be easiest to just write it all down in one spot to show you how we schedule life and business as a family!

Our story is a little unique. A little less like the typical American family as we know it and a little more like two older spectrum parents of the millennial generation who question everything. 

Questions like:

Why work 40 hours a week in an office away from our family when we can creatively make money on our own terms?

Why spend the majority of your life doing something just to make money if you aren’t absolutely in love with doing it?

Why do we need SO MUCH MONEY? Why can’t we just make what we need to make to support ourselves?

Why do we (the collective American population) always feel inclined to chase more? More money. More square feet. More fancy things. More. More. More.

And the most important question: What is truly important and are we spending time there?

Jeremy and Megan Martin

We’ve spent hours on end discussing questions like this over the past 9 years. Our family life hasn’t always looked like it does now. We had full time jobs. Jeremy made over 6 figures in corporate America selling commercial real estate. We were on the path to the American Dream as we grew up knowing it.

But we kept coming back to, “What is truly important?” And the answer was clear that with our direction toward the American dream, we weren’t spending our time there.

For a long time, Jeremy and I felt like we were living separate lives. He would go to work downtown in his fancy slacks and button down and I’d stay home in my leggings as pants and yesterday’s shirt juggling mom life and trying to grow this creative business. By the time 6:00pm rolled around everyday with Jeremy walking in the door, we were both spent in different ways.

We became more like roommates than husband and wife. We’d kiss goodbye and then try not to rub each other the wrong way from 6:00 – 9:00pm lest we end up in an irrational fight and harbor frustration for days.

Except the fights did happen. A lot.

And those hurt feelings poured into our roles as parents. Parenting is not easy. Even when relationships are picture perfect. Add in bitterness, loneliness, and frustration into the mix and parenting crashes and burns.

And so we questioned, “What is truly important?” 

Our answers:

God. Our marriage. Loving our babies. Taking care of our emotional and physical well-beings. Having space to cultivate friendships.

But we were stretched so thin with the stress of the (financially comfortable) life we were living that we weren’t spending our time actually pouring into those things.

So we made a plan to get off the typical path.

Changing our entire life wasn’t an overnight thing. It took almost a year for Jeremy to leave his career in commercial real estate in order to help find a new person to take over his role and finish out the projects that were on his plate. And it wasn’t a big blind leap of faith, either.

Over the course of the first 8 years in our marriage, Jeremy and I had been creatively leveraging our dollars and the mortgage system to buy residential real estate properties. We purchase them as primary residences, move in, fix ‘em up, and then flip them into long term rental properties while moving on to the next. We’ve moved 8 times together (we rented 3 times and we own 4 homes) to make it happen and play the financial long game. We’re under contract for home number 5 – We live in house number 5 already, but the sale is still pending because of a long probate process.

Our rental home

In all that real estate, we have about $100,000 in equity lines. While some save up cold hard cash as their cushion, we chose to take a leap of faith knowing that we could draw on that equity up to a certain percent if need be. If we had to draw up to 50% on the equity line, he’d go back to corporate America.

Having that security was a big reason why J felt confident enough to step away from his career in January 2019. When the mortgages of our rental properties are paid off and after taxes, insurance, and maintenance, we will still have plenty of money to live on when we’re old and gray. 

Despite only averaging around $76,000 after taxes per year for those first 8 years of marriage, our wild adventure in moving a bunch to acquire real estate in a creative way has resulted in growing our net worth to over $470,000. 

You can hear more about our real estate journey and learn how we turned 80k into a portfolio of 1.4 million here! Jeremy is building a course to share exactly how you can replicate our process backed by his extensive experience in the real estate, lending, construction, and rental industries. 

We celebrated finally seeing the dream of the two of us being 100% parents and 100% entrepreneurs together realized with a sale we lovingly dubbed The Milestone Sale.

This was our first official day together as a husband and wife team! 👇 😭 🙌

Husband and wife team

And then I do what I normally do… I spent the rest of the year pursuing my creativity and didn’t look at the numbers. 🙈 I’m just not a money gal. Thankfully Jeremy is on top of that stuff. 😂

I’ll never forget the moment I learned the results of our first year at home together. I was at a conference in November of 2019 hosted by Shanna Skidmore and she prompted us to write down our numbers. When I say I don’t look at the numbers, I mean I literally don’t even know where to look (just being real!). So I sent a text to my CFO (aka Jeremy) in the middle of the session and asked what we brought in up until that point.

Over 6 figures. And I was working less than ever before while actually ENJOYING our life and cultivating a more intentional and intimate marriage and family bond. 

With our long game covered and the business growing, we are truly loving being on this journey of home and business life together!

Here is the basic run-down of how we manage our life and businesses on a daily basis:

Our Home Life

Jeremy and I are polar opposites. He is Type A to a Tee and I’m well… not. I don’t need schedules or plans or really anything organized to be happy. He does.

As opposites, our home life is where most of the day to day tension comes into play. We joke, but our fights in marriage aren’t over things like money or values, but rather who will do the dishes. J and I are both babies of the family and it shows. In our first year of marriage, we would have these silent battles of the will to see who would do the dishes first. Dirty plates would pile up for days on end in the fight to see who would cave.

I won most of the time. 😉 

Over the years, we’ve had to find a rhythm to keep the cleaning peace. To be honest, J does most of the house laundry and dishes these days. I do the daily picking up.

Simple life with the Martins

With Type B/ESFP/Enneagram 7 ways, I’ve simplified all routines in life down to a science that actually works with my personality instead of trying to overcome it. We keep the house purged as much as possible so daily “stuff” doesn’t become overwhelming. We eat the same 5 meals every week so meal planning isn’t a thing and our Instacart order happens in minutes every Sunday. My daily list of stupid easy upkeep chores is taped to the wall next to my coffee pot so I don’t forget the little things like how a made bed makes a world of difference in my mood and how thawing meat for the day will make dinner time less hectic. 

When one of us is working, the other is usually tending to our home and taking care of the babies. Either way, our mornings and late afternoons through bedtime are home life hours to connect as a family.

Our Work Life

Most of the time, we both don’t work 5 days a week. There are seasons where we have to put our heads down and get stuff done, but our ideal scenario we try to shoot for is me working Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and Jeremy working Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Work “days” are really just a way of saying one of us is focusing on getting specific tasks done, but since we really live this life at Part Parents and Part Preneurs, we talk and dream about work often outside of set hours.

To keep it from overtaking our lives, we’ve set up boundaries like a home office with a desktop computer. I don’t have a laptop anymore to take with me wherever I want so I get done what I can from 9-3/3:30ish and then I leave the next task for the next day.

Almost 10 years in and I can promise you… it doesn’t matter if you shut it down at 3:30pm or 7:00pm, you’re STILL gonna have another task ready for the next work hour. I used to believe the lie that achieving faster was the way to “win at business,” but the reality is that there is no game to win.

If you have big goals to make 7 figures and buy fancy 2nd homes… cool. You do you. As for me and my house… we just shoot to make what we need. One vision is not better than the other. We are all running our own individual race.

A Day in the Life 

With 4 kids, everyday isn’t the same, but here’s what a typical day tends to look like for us:

5:30am: Crew comes tiptoeing in our room and wakes Jeremy up. Yes…. it is bananas early and we’ve tried to get him to sleep longer. He isn’t having it 😉 

We let Crew quietly watch a show so he doesn’t run around the house waking everyone else up and J opens the computer to look at whatever he looks at at 5 in the morning. 😂

6:30am: My alarm goes off! Time for coffee and quiet time to read the Bible and journal. This is a routine I’m still working on because at the time of writing this post, Claire is still not sleeping through the night at 10 months. Mama tired.

Building this business from our kitchen counter!

7:00am: The kids start rolling out of bed naturally and we start breakfast. Jeremy scrambles eggs for the kids and fries one for me and I prep the kids’ bags for school. 

7:55am: The big girls walk across the street to ride to school with their cousins!

8:00am: Morning chores! This is when I do my simple list of daily chores that make up my “routine.”

9:00am: Work time begins. I open up my simplified Trello board to know what to focus on for the day and get whatever I can done through 3/3:30ish. 

You can watch my “7 Life” Highlight on Instagram where I walk through exactly how I hacked my 7ness to create these routines in both life and business. 

I don’t plan out my work days to the minute or even to the hour. I just do. Lunch and snacks happen sometime in here! Claire also takes naps so there are plenty of snuggle breaks in here, too. 

3:30pm: Close down the computer for the day and give the kids afternoon hugs! I like to unwind from work mode with picking up things left around the house or just chatting about the kids’ day at school.

3:30pm – 5ish: Play with the kids + connect with Jeremy. We live on a cul de sac with Jeremy’s sister and her family plus two other sweet neighbor families with kids the same age as ours. You can usually find the entire cul de sac crew outside running back and forth between our yards.

5:00ish: I prep dinner while the kids and J keep playing.

Sometime before 7:00pm: We eat dinner as a family. This is a non-negotiable for us! Our kids don’t do much extracurricular activities and we are just fine with that. It is often loud and a little crazy with 4 kids to wrangle, but family dinner is one tradition I protect!

Sometime before 7:30pm: Bedtime prep goes down with baths and dinner clean up. I’ve cultivated simple night time chores like prepping the coffee pot for the next morning, cleaning up the kitchen, and a quick house pick up while J does bath time with the kiddos. 

7:30pm: Jeremy puts Crew to bed. I put Claire to bed. Kennedy reads Esley stories until either J or I are done with our little and then tuck them in to sleep around 8:00pm.

The rest of the night Jeremy and I either go to bed super early because we are old people, watch a movie, talk about work/life/philosophy (Jeremy loves to have deep conversations about life lol), play a board game. We rarely work at night to prioritize rest and connection.

Want to design a life you love? Start with your values. 

I’m passionate about intentionally living a life based on our values now instead of waiting till we are retired or 80, but hear me out: designing a life you love isn’t an overnight process. Jeremy and I worked for 8 years to build our long term wealth strategy so we could be set for retirement and it took him well over a year to leave corporate America.

The key is to start with your life values. What is important to you? What matters most in your life?

Start there.

Then evaluate how you spend your time each day right now. Is your time spent reflective of your life values? Or is there room for improvement?

You don’t have to make a major life change like we did. Little by little you can start working to implement small shifts in your daily rhythms to start putting those priorities into your lived reality. Jeremy and I are still at work to be more and more intentional in how we spend our time.

Designing a life you love is a journey that starts with one single step.

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  1. Brooke says:

    Wow, great read! Thank you for sharing!

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