How to run a business after losing a baby?
This is a question I have typed into Google approximately 48579 time since we lost our baby in January, and I still get the same answer.
It didn’t matter how much I re-worded the question there was still nothing, nothing that was going to give me a bit of insight to how I was going to deal with this all and get back to the job I had started to carve out for myself.
So like anyone in my position would do, I decided my only option would be to make my own path to follow.
Running a business is hard when it all plain sailing. I’ve been very fortunate, until now I hadn’t experienced anything seriously traumatic that had stopped me from working for myself. Which is partly why I’ve been feeling like a deer in headlights for so long as it’s so unfamiliar to me.
Nothing about what is written below is easy! It’s not a quick fix they do not exist. It’s 100% something I’m not doing successfully all the time and I still have days of “sod this” I’m not facing the world today, but stick with it. It’s taken me 6 months from when we lost our baby until now to even be able to write this post. As they say if you want something enough you will find a way if not you will find an excuse. The fact you found yourself here it’s clear you want to find a way too.
Here are the things that I have found most helpful when I’m trying to remember how to run a business,
1.Give yourself time
This one I learnt the hard way. You really cant rush yourself and your feelings to how you want to be feeling and to do the things you want to do. I tried on so many occasions to just push it all to the back of my mind and push through to be my “normal”, “Old self” again. The only place it got me was more resentful from what happened and the harsh reality that I just wasn’t ready yet.
2.Get the support you need
Whether this comes in the form of support from your, partner, family, friends or talking to a counsellor. Don’t deprive yourself the support you need from fear of over talking about what has happened. You need an outlet.
There is no right or wrong form of support, it’s very personal and deep down you will know what the right thing for you. Just listen.
For me it was counselling. After losing our baby on my 30th birthday and a close family member having a baby a week later I knew I couldn’t deal with it without professional help, only talking to my family and friends although they were all so supportive just wasn’t enough.
3.Have a plan
Before you jump right into where you left off, have a plan of what you now want to achieve. You might be surprised to note that your goals have moved and what you were aiming for before this all happened isn’t now the right goal for you. It’s important to remember you have changed and that’s ok! So it’s ok if your dreams have changed too.
I decided that I wanted to start raising more awareness about ectopic pregnancies as I was surprised by how many people weren’t really sure what it was or how dangerous it had the potential to be.
4.Set achievable goals
This is a hard one. When all you really feel like doing nothing, but to sit in front of the TV, switching between the re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy and Suits, eating all the chocolate, tea and comfort foods just to take your mind off that numb feeling you just cant shake. But goals are the key to shaking that fog you find yourself in off. Start small. Mine consisted of the first day getting back into it, designing a new bag. The next day, making the pattern of said bag. The following day, start making the bag. By the end of the week I had a bag that I didn’t even know I wanted to make at the beginning of the week and I started to remind my brain how much I loved making things and it made me want more.
Start small and make it achievable. Below is the actual bag I made and this little love is one of my new favourites.
5.Ease yourself in
Now this is one I personally really struggled with. Anyone who knows me in really life will agree, I’m an all or nothing kind of girl and “easing” myself into something just isn’t my thing. However, the overwhelm of looking at the to-do list was so daunting at the start of getting back into things i would end up sitting in front of my huge list doing nothing. My head was and still is in a fog sometimes and things that i would never have thought would be a trigger now leave me feeling all the “what if’s”. I’m starting to get comfortable with those and feel them and try to let them go as quickly as they came. ( This has taken a lot of practice).
Little steps forwards everyday will make the milestones, as they stay.
6. Exercise and Eat well.
I know, this is not one you want to be reading and being honest it’s not one i wanted to be admitting.
But you need to PUT DOWN THE COMFORT FOOD!
It’s not helping you, its only keeping you exactly where you are. It was only once i started swapping my breakfast slice of Cake ( yes, i said Cake, there no judgement here ) for my normal bowl of porridge laced with honey and fresh banana that my mornings started to feel more achievable. Once I began swapping my lunch and dinners from 20 chicken nuggets or a greasy burger for a whole grain pasta salad with veggies and or sandwich that my afternoons started to become more productive rather then a downward spiral of tiredness.
7. Be kind to yourself
I’ve left this one until last but for me personally it’s actually the most import one.
Be kind to yourself. This is hard. Plain and simple.
I wanted to go in full force, get back into working like nothing had happened and it only made things worse, even now 5 months on it’s a challenging maze of self doubt, heartache and this burning need to get back to the job i love doing.
Be kind to yourself and take the little steps needed to get to your end goal what ever that might be for you.
As always there is no right or wrong way how to run a business successfully it really is down to what works for you, however learning how to run a business after a traumatic event is going to take time so always try and bear that in mind when you’re having a down day.