Routine Maintenance: The Miller Family
● By Hood Magazine
Photo courtesy of Sarah Simmons Photography
Work Together – Nicole and Wesley Miller, Ethan Akin (13), Connor Akin (9), Mya Akin
(7), Lennon Miller (2)
The Millers describe their blended family as “perfect chaos”. Together, the Miller’s own Moose Rack Sports in Brandon and Nicole also runs a massage therapy business. With baby Lennon and three children from Nicole’s previous marriage, the Miller’s say they “work hard to bring out the best in all of us!”
As a couple who works together, what scheduling tips do you have for other working parents?
Nicole: I really don’t like the word “schedule”, unless I am booking massage appointments. I would say our lives revolve around more of a routine. We try to take the time each day to outline what we both have going on, what needs to be done at work, who needs to be brought where, what supper looks like, etc. We typically have the same routine each week, like most families.
Wes: It’s hard to try to be everywhere when you are working parents who own two businesses, but we try. By “going with it,” we are able to keep things in perspective and be more realistic on times and places of where we are suppose to be.
How do you help the kids avoid stress?
Nicole: We don’ overload our kids. Depending on their age, we allow our children to do extracurricular activities as long as the activities work with our whole family’s schedule. Our family time is more important than running every kid to everything they want to be involved in.
Wes: Kids want to be involved in everything because that is what their friends are doing. But family is first. If it doesn't take away from the family or one another, we say go for it.
What is the biggest challenge you face, day to day?
Nicole: Meal planning. When I don’t have our weekly meals planned out, it causes more tension for me. I have found that, sometimes, cereal, pb & j sandwiches, and mac-n-cheese are just fine for supper.
Wes: This is pretty much left up to Nicole, but I do a great job of making food on the fly for them when she has something come up. Sometimes, the kids say they like my suppers better than their mom’s!
How do you find time to keep up the house?
Nicole: Chore charts! Everyone has a job to do at our house. Even from when the kids were little they were helping out. Lennon loves to help put dishes away, vacuum and dust! So start them early so they get used to having those responsibilities. And LET GO of the need to have it always done the right way.
What schedule do you follow and how did you come up with it?
Nicole: Our little guy goes to day care 2 days a week and the big kids are in school. In these two days, I jam-pack them full of either massages, designing logos, cleaning the business, doing book-work, or anything else that our business and life need. I schedule massages a few evenings a week. That way my hubby can feel needed at home as a dad. The days we don’t have daycare are CRAZY especially with a two year old running around a store that sells balls, golf discs, and socks.
How do you find time to spend with your spouse and do you make that a part of your schedule?
Nicole: Well, since we both work together, we definitely get time to spend with each other. However, our “business” relationship isn’t what we need for a rockin’ marriage. We try to keep things spontaneous for our date nights which we have at least once a month. We don’t always know when they will be but we love our quality time. Sometimes our date night consists of vegging out watching a movie after the kids go to bed. Other times, Wes will call five minutes before he wants to pick me up for a date. If we can figure out who will hold down our fort for a few hours, we do it. If not, there will always be another opportunity that presents itself. As our kids are getting older, we are finding that we have less “free” time so we make the best of those few minutes we do have.
Wes: Making time for one another seems difficult, but we do everything we can to make sure we can. We know that raising the children right and in a proper family structure is important. Nicole prides herself on being there for them and providing them with the unconditional love they deserve. I may not always have the chance to be there, so Nicole does an excellent job of picking up my slack.