William Durrant shares his experience on finding that hallowed parenting-career middle ground.
Men are encouraged from a young age to find a career, to find the lifestyle they want, while getting married and having children along the way. The pressure is truly on to ‘have it all’ and be happy. However, how do you build a career, keep sane at home and spend quality time with those we love?
Entrepreneur William Durrant is founder and director of Herringbone Kitchens, husband to Elly and dad to Freddie, aged four, (with another one on the way). He shares his experience of building a business from scratch, beating dad guilt and working with his wife – at the same time as trying to keep everyone, including himself, happy.
Working as husband and wife: sharing responsibilities
Working together as husband and wife can be challenging, especially with all the pressures that come with owning your own company and raising our son. I started the business on my own, and for the first two years it was mostly just me, then my wife joined three years ago and now we are a team of 25.
A lot has changed in the business and in our relationship because of working together. It has been the best thing we’ve done, but also the most challenging. The key for us is sharing all responsibilities – school run, cooking, bedtime, team meetings, planning and strategy. We don’t see husband and/or wife responsibilities as gender specific, we work together to make all of us happy.
Overcoming guilt: flip it around to be a positive
Dad guilt is a real struggle and I must admit it’s taken some time to figure out how to deal with it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to offer perfection and that does come with late hours and sometimes missing our son’s bedtime/time with my wife. However, I love that my child (soon to be children) get to learn work ethic, understand what your own business can bring you and what it takes to create something.
You have to see the positives in a situation and I get to bring my son up in the workshop, and now he knows more about carpentry than most of my friends.
Work-life-balance: work on it
This can of course be tricky when you own and run your business as you are always ‘on’. However, we offer our staff flexible working allowing them to condense their hours so work works for them and we try to take advantage of this too.
In addition, we work on making sure we have regular date nights, spend quality time with Freddie over the weekend and give our business it’s all during the week. Building a great team and investing in them as helped us relax more on the weekends. It’s not perfect but we wouldn’t want it any other way and with another kid on the way, we’re only going to need our weekends even more.
Herringbone Kitchens is a bespoke family run furniture and design manufacturer owned by husband and wife team William Durrant and Kelly Simmons. Check out more information on it here.