Ever since the dawn of time I’ve called Matt ‘babe’. I can’t remember when it started but it's so ingrained in our relationship that if I call him ‘Matt’ and not ‘babe’ he automatically assumes that he’s in trouble. The same happens in reverse, if Matt calls me ‘Jess’, rather than ‘babe’, I half expect some terrible news to follow. 

We call each other ‘babe’ so often that when I referred to the kids as ‘babes’ in the car the other day Alice immediately piped up to correct me (her new favourite thing to do) and said, “Mum we’re not your ‘babes’, a ‘babe’ is what a husband calls his wife, or a wife calls her husband.” 

Brilliant. This was wonderful news. Rather than the kids thinking a ‘babe’ was a sexually attractive woman (dictionary definition, not mine) like the rest of the world, they see it as an affectionate way that Mum and Dad refer to each other. I’m not sure if this is considered a parenting win but I certainly took it as one.

‘Babe’ is so normal in our household that the other day I referred to Matt as ‘Matt’ and not babe and the equivalent of a record scratching the party to a halt occurred. A quiet rippled through the house and both kids looked up from their devices (no small feat) to see what Dad had done to get called ‘Matt’. Funnily, my immediate reaction was to say, ‘sorry’ I mean ‘babe’ because I wasn’t angry, I just wanted his attention.

This phenomenon isn’t just confined to the home. I also call Matt ‘babe’ in a professional capacity. For better or worse, it’s yet to be decided, but even at work it still feels overly formal and strange to call him Matt. I obviously don’t introduce him as ‘babe’, that would be weird and unprofessional. We also never refer to ourselves as ‘babe’ or ‘the babe’ (like ‘the dude’ in the Big Lebowski). Rest assured, when we introduce each other to strangers it's regular old ‘Matt’ and ‘Jess’.

From a professional perspective I feel like 95% of people would probably suggest that we keep the cute names at home but I like the affection that follows us from home to the factory. It brings with it a certain type of authenticity that I believe helps us connect to every person that walks through our factory front door. Whether it be a member of parliament, volume builder, CEO or architect (all of which we’ve had in the last two weeks) the fact that Matt and I are a team is an asset to our business.

Being able to call each other ‘babe’ all the time is one of the small yet delightful things that can happen when you work with your one true love.

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