How have we made this work? Commitment is number one. It’s a commitment to one another, beyond the traditional marriage vows, to literally share every piece of ourselves with the other person. It’s a commitment to consistently communicate, to talk multiple times a day and to support everything that is important to the other person. To not be scared to confront issues, to not be scared to love well, through the good and the bad. Nothing in this world is easy, but if you have that trust that your partner has your back no matter what, anything is attainable. Instead of competing, we are teammates. We have no option; our children, our employees, and our family members outnumber us, so our only option is to win together. We have our moments, but our first priority at the end of every day is to make sure we are on the same page. We have to be together emotionally, financially, socially, culturally and when it comes to our schedules. Because we are business partners, we are so highly connected that it allows us to both dream and do with little explanation. I would encourage every couple to take the time to understand how to connect on a level that is beyond day-to-day responsibilities. What does he or she love? What is important to them? How can you laugh together and cry together? When you finally find the time, how do you maximize those alone moments?
Kids break up the simplicity of life. Those few times where we have them watched for a night, where we can leave the office, sneak in a workout, then head to dinner are almost non-existent. Now our nights are instead packed with meetings or charity events.
Growing up is a brutal blow to our time alone. I laugh sometimes when I am alone and it’s quiet; I don’t know what to do with myself! So many ahead of me have warned that life only gets more hectic, and now I finally believe them. To get in a workout, it has to happen at 5:30 in the morning before work meetings. After work is dinner and the night routines of 2-7 year olds, which always last longer than expected. Matt and I have now resigned to the fact that almost every minute of our 18-hour day (we push to get 6 hours of sleep during this season) is full. We know we have to make the most of every free moment, so we plan lots of time with friends (the more the merrier). We say “Come over whenever you want, and bring kids and friends”; this season is so crazy we may as well add to it and make it fun! We love having parties as much as possible, and we have a pool, so come as early as you want and stay as late as you want. One of us will be on our turntables, and somebody will probably be singing karaoke. And you know what? Our kids sleep through it all!
When we have time with our kids, it is the BEST. We laugh, we creative play, we character act, we dress up in costumes, we dance, we make huge messes and we don’t worry about the cleanup. We take them to the hippest restaurants, at every age, during prime time (they need to experience this as much as we do). We each travel on airplanes alone with all 3. We play traditional sports in moderation, and they are in acting and art classes. We vowed in our commitments to one another to always pray and raise our kids with activities they are actually gifted and interested in, not just what is typical or expected. We tell jokes, wrestle, and being silly is a requirement! You will find all five of us on most Sundays in the winter piled into one bed watching movies. Healthy habits are essential, and trying new things is mandatory (the kids tried mussles and oysters tonight at our 5 year-old’s birthday dinner and loved it). Fitness is required – think yoga moves, straight up fitness, and of course lots of dancing. We teach them design in all aspects of life.
Our bottom line as a couple is CARPE DIEM, literally in every sense of the phrase. We work and play hard, and we are deliberate with our time by staying organized, and by scheduling every 30-minute part of our day. We always pick up our phones, we try to pack every moment with productivity. We are always learning (TED Talks and the Go-Giver are a great place to start). We want to always have vision and a plan, to love beyond our limits, inspire people around us, to always be connected, and never become negative. We schedule date nights and we love our kids for who they are as individuals. We hope to always be humble enough to start at the bottom and earn everything (and then share it all). Our goal is to remain childlike amongst the madness and to know that when you are giving your best, you are your truest self.
Thanks for letting the Baldwins share our crazy lifestyle! Best Wishes, Happy Father’s Day and beyond!
- Kids are always the number one priority
- Include your kids as much as possible
- Don’t resign to being a typical parent
- Always build in time for yourself
- Be deliberate in your time with friends
- Travel to stay inspired
- Work with your spouse
- Be involved in only things you are passionate about
- Stay educated and seek out mentors
- Maintain vision both personally and professionally
Professionally, Matt and Emily Baldwin are the founders and owners of Standard Style, a designer retail clothing store for women with two locations in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and Baldwin Denim, a denim line for men and women carried in retailers internationally and at the Baldwin Denim flagship store also in Kansas City. Personally, they are the proud parents to 3 adorable babes ages 2, 5, and 7.
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