Back in early March, I was having a conversation with my friends about this “Coronavirus thing” and how it could potentially close schools for a couple of weeks. At that time, I was in shock and disbelief that they could close schools for that long. “There’s no way. That will NOT happen. People just need to wash their damn hands.” Boy, was I wrong.
Here we are in mid-September and most schools in Northern Colorado are still closed to in-person learning. It’s been 186 days (as I’m writing this) since my kids have stepped foot in their elementary school. Audrey was supposed to be going to third grade with the friends she’s been in school with for three years, and Blaire was FINALLY going to be in kindergarten at the same school. Everybody was looking forward to it.
So here we are, like so many other families, juggling life as we know it today. While being a mom, wife, friend, teacher, and business owner during these times is challenging, I’d love to take a moment to dig into some GOOD things that have come out of this pandemic, in no particular order:
Life has been extremely busy for me, especially the last four years of running M Rock Creative and adding our son, Miles, to our family. I was the busiest I had ever been just prior to March 2020. When Colorado shut down on March 13, it’s like I hit a wall…a wall that I needed to hit. We spent that next week traveling to Texas to visit my sister and brother-in-law, relaxing at the lake house, and just enjoying “The Nothing.” Upon returning to Colorado, Wellington was essentially completely shut down. I was sad for my business friends who were forced to close their doors, but I was happy to see the creativity that came out of slowing down.
Businesses Coming Together
While my business never officially shut down, many of my friends’ businesses closed their doors temporarily. During this time, we came together to come up with creative solutions to help one another.
Erin, my friend and owner of Trim Salon & Boutique, created a Shop Small Wellington Facebook event, encouraging people to purchase gift cards from local businesses. To tag onto her event, I created a website for local businesses to include information on how to purchase gift cards.
In addition, the Wellington Main Streets Program was a great support. They pulled together a business resource page and were in constant communication with businesses regarding the Small Business Association and Paycheck Protection Program funding that was coming out.
I can’t remember a time in my life where our family was together all day, every day, for more than a week. I was able to be around my husband, Mick, and the kids, nonstop, for a few months. Did I want to pull my hair out some (most) days? Yes! Did I annoy my kids? Duh, of course! But, I think when we look back in ten years, there will be more good memories than bad.
Through the nature of my business, work-life balance can always be a challenge. I CAN work at any hour of the day. Do I WANT to work at any hour of the day? Nope! Through this pandemic, I’ve found that I need and appreciate balance. To help with that balance, I’ve recently rented an office space in downtown Wellington. This space gives me an opportunity to get away from the distractions of working at home.
At the peak of closures, during the first phase of the pandemic, Mick and I really had to be flexible with each other and make individual sacrifices. He was finishing up his bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University and had just gone to a virtual model. He needed quiet time for lectures and presentations. Meanwhile, I was running my business and needed time to work and meet with clients virtually. We had to figure it out and we did! Mick graduated and got an awesome job at Forney Industries, and my business hasn’t slowed down.
Now that school has started for the girls, we had to make a few more shifts for our family. Mick and I literally sat down one evening and scheduled out the next three months. Who was going to oversee school for the girls? Which days do we have standing meetings with co-workers or clients? It’s been a team effort, but we’ve managed to come up with a positive solution. As a result, our communication is super solid right now– it has to be to navigate this time in life successfully
As always, I’m thankful to have an awesome support system, both personally and professionally. Juggling the kids, my husband, my clients, elementary school, the business, and my friendships isn’t easy… but I’m fortunate to HAVE these things to be juggling.