Hi friends, I wanted to share some words of inspiration with you all as we doggie paddle our way through a pretty momentous change in the way we live, work, feed ourselves/families, connect with friends, workout, shop, and well, there’s nothing really untouched by COVID-19. I’m a partner in a business with 14 employees, I’m a mother of 2 (12 & 14) and I’m a wife of nearly 20 years. This new reality has impacted us in just about every way.
In the hope that it might help even one or two of you who are doing the work/wife/mom life like me, I’m going to share with you my tricks on thriving in each of these facets of life.
Thriving the Work Life
We sent 14 employees home to work. First, I want to acknowledge the fact that for the time being, I get to keep my team, and I am blessed. Our clients are in an industry that is essential and continuing to work, which means we are working. This may change, and we are planning for the unknown while focusing on the present.
We are facing a lot of challenges on the work front but the biggest as a business owner (next to cash flow, which my partner gets to cover) is forging the path for everybody to try new ways of doing things (both old and new things). And, when I say everybody, I mean both our employees and our clients. One of the first things I did was email a personalized video to nearly every client. There’s no time like a pandemic to jump in and try some new communication tools. I wanted them to see that we can jump right in and handle this new direction to reach out to each other and consumers. It may not be perfect but it can be done fast and we will all get better as we go. It’s essentially doing what we already do, just differently than before. Our clients, and our employees, both need to see that I am not afraid to try new ways of doing business to accomplish everybody’s goal of making sales. I’m a believer that great leaders lead by example. If I’m not willing to try something new, then why should I expect anybody to follow suit? Hence, I hopped on the BombBomb and made unique videos for each of my clients so that we can all start trying out these new ways of communicating.
At this moment, we’ve all had to change how we are running our businesses and accomplishing our goals. There’s no way of knowing what’s perfectly right, so we, as entrepreneurs, must lead and try new ways of doing things. It’s time to lean into our fear of the unknown and to inspire and instill confidence in our teams.
Thriving in Your Marriage
Listen, I’m not going to delve into the day-to-day of my marriage today, but being someone’s wife for nearly 20 years has taught me a few things. Each and every one of you wifey’s out there knows that some days are easy and some are hard. In fact, some spells are easy and some are hard, forget days alone! And, I was being sarcastic when I said ‘wifey,’ never call me that, lol! Today, since we are mostly ‘staying at home’ we are spending a lot more time together. Um, I love my husband and children, but I’m used to being away from them for at least 8 hours a day, and now there are people around every single thing I do (thank goodness I can escape to my office now and again since we sent the employees home, again GRATITUDE).
Here’s my advice for those of you that are challenged in this new way. First (and only) of all, take one day at a time, sometimes just take it minute-by-minute. Each and every day that ends and I still mostly like, even love, my husband is a 100% win. That is what I believe, that is what I know. Nothing else matters to me on the marriage front while this madness is happening in the world. If we can both do enough to like each other at the end of the day, then we are winning. Every fight, every annoyance, just about every single thing (within reason, my dears) should be forgotten or immediately forgiven. I read something online about mental health recently and it said to give everybody in your household a wide berth right now. That really resonated with me because I was getting annoyed much more easily than normal at everyone and that idea just made me feel at peace with my people and my attitude. In the words of Elsa, “Let it go!” I hope to take this lesson with me as we move out of this COVID-19 world in which we are currently encapsulated.
Thriving as a Mom
In many ways, this has been the hardest transition for me. I went through some strange 4-week cycle that went something like this:
> The kids are home from school, this won’t be so bad
> Umm, hanging out with the kids is hard (shout out to every stay-at-home-mom)
> Oh shit, my kids are not dealing very well with this, like, they actually need my help
> No really, I’m going to have to use my own time to help them
> Ok, I think can handle this
> Let’s do this!
Let’s dig into this a little bit because what needed to happen was a huge mind shift for me and I’m not kidding, it took a month for it to happen! Every mother is not going to with these feelings, understood. But those of you that run a business and a household with children, might be feeling me right about now. If I know anything, I know that I absolutely canNOT do it all. I’ve always had help, and I love our help. But especially with the kids, we’ve been so fortunate to always have a nanny for them since both my husband and myself own our own businesses. This kind of help has been an essential part of our success. Nowadays, our kids can mostly manage the few hours between school and when I get home from work independently, other than needing rides here and there. But today is a different day and the kids need me in a way I have not had to give of myself in the past. They need more. Which means, I need to somehow make room for more, and herein lies the transition I needed to make mentally.
Now, my head is telling me that I have a business to run. I’ve got people to manage who are learning new things and I need to be in touch with them, and the clients, and all that. Who has time to teach the kids how to do all their stuff at home too? Not me. Well, although I was making the transition to being at home, I was still working the whole time, unfortunately not helpful to children. It took my daughter crying on and off for 3 hours during “school time” the other morning to realize that she needed all the same support from me that she had been getting at school. And it clicked, I got calm and knew that I needed to be part of her morning school schedule and then move on with my day. The reality is that most everything I do can wait a few hours.
The thing that’s hardest for me during this pandemic is putting together a new plan on how I spend my time. Not the literal writing down of a new plan, I’m talking about the one that has to happen in my mind. The one I have to believe is not only right but that I am capable of committing my time towards. Sure, I can create a schedule no problem, but if my mind’s not in it, then I’m not either. My shift happened slowly in terms of the short time we’ve been going through COVID-19 craziness, and that’s ok. Look for the little moments of insight, be open to that peek at a new perspective, and follow the path that’s shown to you. Use these nuggets as a guide and breathe into them. That’s what I do to thrive in this ever-changing reality.