3 key insights the Change4Good quiz revealed about me and my husband’s dual careers and home life
Hannah Bradshaw, Executive Coach & mother of two, trials the Change4Good Quiz tool with her husband during the UK’s lockdown. Sceptical at first, as one of ECC’s resident ex-lawyers, she was overwhelmed by three key insights the quiz revealed about her and her husband’s work and family life balance at home. Hannah shares her experience of doing the quiz in a short, insightful blog and encourages other dual-career couples to try it out as well.
No, this is not another Zoom pub quiz…
Your general knowledge, or lack of it, will not be exposed in front of a screen full of your friends and family. I promise you, this is not ECC’s attempt at online “organised fun” either.
Instead, it’s a tool for dual career couples who may be struggling to find the time, inclination or emotional capacity to have open and honest conversations. Even just the thought of that probably sounds exhausting to a dual-career couple struggling to juggle work, childcare, housework and home-schooling. That’s certainly how I was feeling. The thought of a deep and meaningful conversation with my other half, after a day of entertaining a one year old, home-schooling a five year old, replying to emails, multiple zoom calls, frantically changing between “shifts”, trying and failing to cook food my kids will actually eat, cleaning said food from walls, floors and windows… just writing all that makes me more exhausted than a Joe Wicks PE class. In recent times, once our kids are in bed, the closest to a deep and meaningful conversation we’ve been experiencing is sitting next to each other on the sofas with our laptops out.
But, having told my husband I was “trialling a new tool for work” it’s wasn’t actually that hard to squeeze in ten minutes at the end of the day. While this “quiz” may not expose your lack of general knowledge, it will expose more than you think.
I was sceptical but was overwhelmed by the insights it gave us. My top three were:
In all the chaos, we’d stopped trying to understand how the other was feeling. We’d started to compete over who was more tired, whose day busier, whose chore list higher, whose job more important… This quiz enabled us to step back and understand the other, whilst also be understood in return. Because it’s not you asking the questions, it’s the neutral, third-party “quiz”, no one feels put-out or defensive.
Unconscious decisions we’d made
The quiz challenges you to think through whose career you’ve prioritised as a couple.
While my husband felt both careers were equally supported, this lockdown scenario has made me realise that we’d unconsciously prioritised his career because he earns the most. What I hadn’t realised is quite how resentful this was making me feel. Bringing this unconscious decision into the open and discussing it enabled us to make a conscious decision together. As if by magic, that resentment has evaporated!
Stopping to appreciate the now
The quiz asks you which one thing you would keep from lockdown. We both agreed more mealtimes together as a family. Pre-Covid, between work, school, kids’ birthday parties, swimming lessons, gym classes, early bedtimes, plans with friends and family, etc. we probably ate 2 weekly meals together as a family, if that. Now, it’s all of them! Those meals all together do feel like a real privilege – a feeling we try to come back to when we’re cleaning most of it up from the floor afterwards…
Sometimes, I think us parents forget that we still need to take time to check in with ourselves and our partners about how we’re building our family, and how we feel about where we have ended up so far. It sounds like a big chat, and it definitely is, but I was surprised at how even just spending a bit of time before turning on Netflix has sparked something for us. Now, back to Ozark…
Hannah Bradshaw, Executive Coach at ECC