There's a saying we hear often behind every strong man is a strong woman. My experience has been that the flip side is also true.
I never had success the way I have it now. Previously it was false success. I was in a very senior role, six figure salary, apartment with a Jacuzzi; but lonely. My husband came into my life just as I was about to turn 30, and I certainly would not have been able to found a tech company, hold down a full time job, run, do yoga, be a mum and wife without him.
The story of finding my husband will let everyone know the right person is out there, but I will leave that for another time (I did say at one point I would be a nun)!!! There are clear things he does that have enabled my success.
1. He is comfortable with fierce successful women, and in fact has always encouraged me to go out and slay everyday in what I am passionate about. In fact, as a viking (Danish) he would just say in the old days we would go and send our women to fight with us. This mind set frames every conversation we have as an equal, or that I may be going into battle first. The decisions we make are about what is right for the family and not about egos. He is comfortable with me earning more, and is more concerned with our passions and happiness.
2. He draws me back to the important things. He keeps me true to what is important even if I am passion orientated and we speak every night. In those conversations he is so good at holding a mirror on the importance of the little things, family and let's just say he has the best humour I have ever come across. So even when things are tough I go from my office to his and I get perspective, and often come out with a smile.
3. We enrich each others goals. If we consider a big or significant goal we talk it through. We talked through the decision to undertake a doctorate. Recently reached one of our dream goals together, we both wanted and visioned a place in the South of France where we had time as a family, and we finally did it.
4. We are a team. Sometimes life does not go as planned but the other one is always there. We have a aim to be at the dinner table each night as a family it is our time contract as a family. There are times when we need each other to share the load for a doctors appointment, a school event, something happens in the middle of the night with the kids, pesky chores that cannot be automated or just give one or the other times because there is a peak at work. We are there for each other. Motherhood for our family is also parenthood and that involves both Mum and Dad.
5. We debate and give each other a sounding board. Ever since I met my hubby we talked and debated the world to rights. We met by accident on a roof top bar and after many mojitos and steak tartar we looked up and the whole place was empty. We often read different things as he reads the Danish newspapers. He is able to get me thinking in different ways on each of my goals. I remember when I was formulating the App he was getting me to think about points of the design, and getting me to have members of the Facebook Group test out functionality. I've also got into coding, so now we are both geeking with Python together. Sometimes our worlds come together, and even when they do not the diversity of thought makes us better together than we are apart.
6. We cuddle up at night. He's a late owl and I'm an early bird, but we somehow still seem to find each other at night. When I wake up in the morning I have so much gratitude when I see his face, and often one or two of the kids have snuck in.
Chantelle Brandt Larsen, mum of two and founder of WhatifIhadaPA