Support Outside Witt and Company
It’s Baby Audrey’s first birth this month and as I reflect on this last year, the common theme for me is support. Which means I’m officially dubbing the month of April for The Branded Chat: This is What Support Looks Like. In case you missed it, check out more in this series: Support and Team, Support and Education, Support and Network.
Yes, it’s unbelievably important to have support within the container of running a business. But, life inevitably will happen and the lines between business and personal will blur. And as I think back on this last year, getting support for non business-related things going on in life was just as helpful for the operations of WCO as hiring someone onto the actual team.
Partner support. I understand how lucky I am to have a very supportive and present husband. Yes, we still argue about who is going to cook dinner and whose turn it is to give Audrey a bath, but overall, this last year has been manageable because of his support. A big, tangible takeaway that may be helpful for you – this past fall, we started Cleaning Sundays, where he vacuums and swiffers the floors, I clean the kitchen and we both help out with the laundry. It’s been such a great way to start the week on a fresh note and I don’t feel like the household chores are all on my shoulders.
Childcare. This last summer, Brett was working from home as well, so he was able to watch Audrey if I had a meeting or needed some work time. In August we realized that it wasn’t working really well so we hired a nanny to come in two days per week. In October, my mom retired and we started sending Audrey to my parent’s house one day per week as well. Brett changed jobs in November so he’s no longer at home and our nanny ended her work with us in February. So, now we’re hobbling along until a daycare spot opens in May – Audrey is at home with me Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and she goes to my parent’s Wednesdays and Thursdays. It’s definitely not ideal and I’m working more evenings and weekends than I’d like, but it’s where we’re at right now.
Mental health. Postpartum hormones and the long, dark, cold Minnesota winters really aren’t a great mix. Seasonal depression also runs in my family so I feel like I had double the cards stacked against me. I believe it was around October or November when I started to see a virtual therapist to help with all the ups and downs. It didn’t end up being a great fit but it opened my eyes to the benefit of seeking outside help. I tried another person in early January and I can say I adore her. It’s been so life giving to have that unbiased third party help me work through #allthingthings. And, she uses somatic processing to really align your body with the thoughts, feelings, etc. which is so different from traditional therapy – it’s wonderfully refreshing.
You know that saying, ‘It takes a village’? Well as I reflect on this last year, I couldn’t agree more. Running my version of a successful business is not something that is done alone and my hope in sharing this honest, behind-the-scenes look at support, is that we start to normalize the idea that we don’t have to do it all on a lonely island.
I think sometimes there’s this message that we, as business owners (especially for us ladies), should wear the badge of honor that we can do everything, by ourselves. That if we get support, we’re somehow weaker for it. “A Real Mom would be able to handle all the things at home and at work.” “A real business owner would be making a million dollars without needing help.” Blah, blah, blah, I call bullshit.
Yes, you’re kicking ass and amazing at what you do. But also yes, you can make even more of an impact by getting help. Whether that’s inside or outside of your business.
Happy branding, my friends.