As we hit July, I realized it’s time to (at least attempt to) define our new normal. It’s hard to believe we’re going on month five of being home. The lack of a routine from work to childcare to personal life has really been weighing on me.
We’ve been super fortunate to have help from both sets of grandparents so we can take time for ourselves.
Matt and I also decided to take the leap and get a babysitter to help a few days a week so we could start working more consistently again. Last time I checked in, we were still deciding what to do about childcare. Since then, we made the tough decision to take Emmie out of daycare. We don’t have it all figured out yet, but the constant transitioning has been tough on all of us and we’d prefer to get to a routine we can stick to until there’s a vaccine. [insert mindblowing emoji here]. It probably seems dramatic, but it’s what’s best for us.
If I’m being honest, this time has been particularly challenging for me personally in running my own business, starting a new business, navigating motherhood, etc. I am not complaining because I recognize we all have our struggles right now, but the lack of routine is making my brain do constant front flips.
The blessing and the curse of running your own business is you can work as much as you want to. I constantly find myself wondering if this is a time to take a step back so my family can function ‘normally.’ On the other side, I LOVE to work. I get so much energy from it, and I’ve worked so hard to build a platform that I not only love to work on, but can help other people. I saw an interesting article about how many women are considering a step back within the next year because of the pressures of childcare and work. We’re natural caregivers, so I get it, but there has to be a better way.
I’ve been super protective over my time because of this (and probably drive my business partners crazy over it). We’ve been fortunate that The Marketing Greenhouse has generated a lot of interest and quite a few clients quickly. I think the three of us have many ‘pinch me’ moments. I also know, from doing this for a few years, that when you catch the wave, you ride it until you can catch the next one. So, as I tell Tracy all the time when we talk about capacity, “Don’t worry. I’ll find the hours, and we’ll make it happen.” Hopefully, this marathon isn’t too long…ha!
Navigating the new normal
I cringe thinking about the new normal… On the one hand, it’s been wonderful to really deepen our relationships with family. Family has become so important during this time that we really treasure our time together. On the other hand, navigating friendships particularly with our friends who have kids is hard. We’ve socially distanced with a few friends, but it’s primarily with people who don’t have kids. Toddlers are not really conducive to COVID particularly ours who likes to lick items when she doesn’t get her way. We’ve seen a few friends with kids, but it’s exhausting trying to keep them apart. I’m not sure we’re on the comingling kids page yet… maybe soon?
In the meantime, I’m focused on what aspects of life I want to keep. What (and who) is really important to me? I’m trying to think of new ways to connect with people, and also take time for me. Sometimes we just have to take care of ourselves and that’s OK.
Normally, I’d make a whole bucket list for summer. This year, I’ve learned to be more go with the flow. I’d really like to go to New Buffalo, Michigan for the day and watch a few movies on our deck. I wanted to turn our deck into an urban oasis knowing we’d be home most of the summer and we have. So, I mainly want to take advantage of that! We have a few date nights planned, but other than that it’s really about enjoying a slower pace for us this summer.
Affectionately known to her friends as Millennial Martha for her love of DIY and decorating, Jen can’t help but pour her heart + soul into everything she touches. She’s loved to entertain since acquiring a table and chairs, and giving gifts is one of her favorite hobbies. Jen is the creator of Girl Meets Party. Her dream is to share her passions with the world in hopes to inspire others by making the seemingly unattainable attainable.