Small Business Owner, Mothering & the Clash of the Covid-19 Crisis

As former U.S. President, Richard Nixon was once quoted in stating, “Life isn’t meant to be easy. It’s hard to take being on the top – or on the bottom. I guess I’m something of a fatalist. You have to have a sense of history, I think, to survive some of these things… Life is one crisis after another.”

One day we will reflect, hopefully sooner rather than later & see we surpassed a scary time in the world. We will look back and have a better sense of life, of self because of what we overcame.

If you told me that I was going to grow up & own my own company I would probably have laughed. I always wanted to go to Parsons in New York & be a Fashion Designer. Instead fate stepped in & prompted me to take risks in life to get to where I am at. As a small business owner I never grew up with that innate sense of entrepreneurship like others. I did however, have a solid work ethic & a constant push for perseverance. Something that I am constantly teaching my kids to strive to be. I started Nichols Virtual Sourcing in 2013 as a means to support my need to constantly be busy & suffocate my hyperactive personality as well as, be at home with my new born. It quickly became a lucrative means for income & I soon settled into cold-calling, reviewing/revamping resumes, scheduling interviews & brokering deals while always on the go.

The Coronavirus of 2020 has placed me at 36 at a cross roads. Im suffering an identity crisis that I can not seem to shake. Who am I with out work? I am a Mother of two, a loving wife, caring daughter etc. But that did not define me. For me work gave me that sense of worth or self & when Covid-19 struck it stopped everything dead in its tracks. Clients I had loyal since 2013 are unable to hire & are laying off. Others have to
“trim the fat” and unfortunately Recruiters are typically the first to go. I’m not at the stereotypical age of 40 or 50 when this presumable “life crisis” occurs but the sense of loss of career is quite overwhelming. I know I am not alone in this feeling either. Millions are suffering across the globe & many are in agony in a much desperate way than I. I do count my blessings each morning & night as I am fortunate enough to have a Husband that is “essential” in this battle & works hard to support our family. However, that is not the case for most people. Right now unemployment rates are soaring even though other industries are in desperate need of hires its for specific industries that can cater to the U.S. in this unparalleled time.

I had been on Spring Break in Colorado with my family & some friends and we came back to Texas with a very different sense of what normal would be. It almost felt like a “twilight zone” type experience. I found out my children would not be going back to school while we were on a hike in the Garden of the Gods. I remember all four adults stopping in our tracks and gasping as news of it broke. After we all answered all the panicked texts from family & friends and scrolled through articles we all walked in silence taking in the absolute beauty of our surroundings as our children played tag on the trails. Who would have know that moment would be one that I sit back and reminisce on. Something as simple as a game of tag & a walk with friends in a great National Park?

Flash forward to a month later literally to this day! All of a sudden a hectic day of phone calls & appointments morphed into depleting negotiation deals with my 7 year old & 4 year old over dinner options. No, we can not have pancakes for dinner! Yes, it is breakfast but not a sufficient source of vitamins/protein for dinner. I think I have stress more with these types of conversations than when it involves a client! Ha. Thinking back on my days a mere month ago when I used to settle into my office with a delayed cup of luke warm coffee and glide peacefully into my work day checking off my To Do List with vigor. The pride & sense of self that comes with my being able to be blessed to work & provide along side my hard working husband is euphoric. To be able to walk into a meeting unmasked or even go to the store because you forgot an ingredient is something I never thought I would take for granted.

Again, I have swapped that sense of importance with a new occupation of being a 1st Grade GT Teacher & Pre-K 4 Teacher. This is a position I never went to University for & never felt truly blessed by God to have the patience to tackle. Both my Mother & older sibling are fantastic teachers & I am humbled by getting to live through this experience. Humbled meaning, please release us from quarantine so my children can have a teacher they deserve, that has more patience than I do! How these amazing individuals are underpaid blows my mind. Thats a conversation for another day.

God plays by no ones rules. God has a lesson to be learned here & it is very much not by what I want but more so for what He knows me to need. Right now the world is suffering & at the same time it is a bittersweet mixture of rekindled relationships & a slowing down of life. I think God knew I needed that, that we all needed that in order to appreciate this amazing & beautiful world that He created.

As my family hunkers down in quarantine since March 14th I have found myself exercising more than usual discipline. I find my mind & body have fused into needing one vital need to survive these uncertain times & that is to be one with the nature. My senses have peaked & soared into over load & are craving more and more outdoor stimulation than ever before. Physical Education a.k.a. P.E. is performed at least a minimum of three times a day in our house hold. I think my children would rather have Miss. Nelson be their teacher from the famed 90’s fiction series than me at this point. My children used to whine & fuss when I asked them to come in because it was a school night & now they cry to please let them go in and relax. It leaves me with a satisfactory feeling knowing that they are not hooked up to their iPads or Nintendo switch, eyes glued & glazed like little zombies.

This is our new normal. Not just my families but yours. So in this new, intimidating & unprecedented time what are you & your families doing to off set the heightened news, the constant anxiety every time your phone vibrates with a news update? Are you in reflection just like me? Or are you struggling for other reasons? Reasons you don’t understand & cant handle anymore? Are you having an identity crisis? Are you battling on the front lines saving lives or sanitizing buildings or developing remote networks & are tired and worn out & facing other battles?

I don’t claim to be all knowing or even have a remote sense of what is to come. I do know that in my Christian faith I do know someone else can handle it all for you, for us & that is God. So let it all go to Him. Let Him take your burdens of not having enough money to pay the bills, your worries over sick loved ones & your guilt of over doing or not doing enough. Let Him do it all. Sit still for the gracious moments God has given & listen. In the calm still of the night take a moment & look up at the adorned beauty in the stars. Stop while you are on your morning bike ride or walk & take in the in the coolness of the morning air & feel Him surround you. Pause, breathe & send it all to Him. He has this. He has us. He always has.