Are you trying to balance being a business owner and a parent? Do you feel overwhelmed sometimes and need guidance? What are the steps that you are taking to find balance?

In this podcast episode, Veronica Cisneros speaks with Jessica Tappana about how to balance both your career and family life.

Meet Jessica Tappana

When she had her second child 3 years ago, Jessica decided to follow her dream to open her own private psychotherapy practice. Since then, she’s grown her private practice to include 7 clinicians and a client care coordinator. However, she didn’t stop there.

Jessica learned to optimize her website so her private practice now dominates Google and now she helps other small business owners learn how to use their website to reach their ideal client, serve a wider audience and grow their business. She’s constantly balancing her two businesses, her role as a wife, parenting her two young children & taking care of her own needs.

Visit her SEO website and counseling website.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • How to share tasks with a spouse
  • Confidence to speak up about your needs
  • When did you know you made it?
  • Advice for moms who feels stressed and disconnected

How to share tasks with a spouse

We’re okay with each other having their own thing. I think it is important that people have their own things and respect for the other’s independence and have ways that we rely on each other and things that we share in our relationship.

Jessica and her husband are constantly renegotiating the roles, exchanging the tasks, meal preparation, and childcare between the two of them. They each move through periods of change in their careers and communicate these changes with one another so that they can support one another while maintaining their work responsibilities. Taking the time to explicitly communicate schedules and allow for balance so that each person has their needs met both within the family unit and on more individual levels.

Getting to this point may be tricky at first, but like everything, it is a work in progress. Jessica and her husband take time to actively check up on their relationship and assess any issues that may be in the pipelines. The main foundations are really caring for and valuing your partner and being flexible to help one another where needed.

Being interdependent and independent simultaneously; knowing that you both work as a team and in a relationship together while within that, you both have individual identities and passions of your own. You honor that in each other, alongside your shared interests.

Confidence to speak up about your needs

If you just open up a little bit, it can get you so much further than just creating an internal dialogue about what’s going on in your head.

Being vulnerable and being confident share roots in the same foundations. It is a decision and you also get a say in it. Have intimate conversations with your partner and revolve around ‘it’s not just about me but about us’ – and when you feel that you need extra support, communicate that as soon as you can because you are functioning as a unit, the unit is only as strong as its internal members; you and your partners’ communication.

You have to decide if what you have to say is worth it, or that your relationship is worth it. Sometimes its not even thinking about ‘am I worth saying this?’ but is this relationship important enough to me that I don’t wanna let resentment build up.

When did you know you made it?

Jessica talks about there being so many small moments, that there is no singular peak to strive towards. These moments of taking a deep breath and realizing where you are and how much you have achieved are small, fleeting moments.

How to know you have made it? For Jessica and perhaps other working parents, it is when what is important to you is what you are actually doing. Even if it is for 5 minutes or an afternoon, even when it may still be difficult to do, you are enjoying the process of doing it because it is a dream, a passion of yours.

Advice for moms who feels stressed and disconnected

Find one good moment, let go of all the expectations, forget the bigger picture for one afternoon or for 10 minutes even, just focus on the connection or focus on something that feels right.

This could be reading, seeing a friend, going for a long walk. Do something that feels like you and do not think about anything else for a few minutes. Be sure to make space and time for yourself amongst the to-do list.

Use the code “Empowered” to get 20% off any of Jessica’s online courses – click here!

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist. Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on iTunes and subscribe!

Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[VERONICA]:
Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a family of podcasts that changed the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Imperfect Thriving, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Have you ever thought, how did I manage to lose myself? Being a mom is so hard, especially when we’re feeling stressed and disconnected. We exhaust ourselves trying to create this perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your marriage and your kids, without the stress perfectionism brings. I am going to teach you how to identify who you are, outside of all of the roles you play.

Hi, I’m Veronica Cisneros. I’m a wife, mother of three, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I am on a mission to teach women just like you how to become empowered and unapologetic. Welcome to our girl gang.

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[VERONICA]:
Hey ladies. Welcome to Empowered and Unapologetic. I’m your host, Veronica Cisneros. Today’s guest is not only a member of our girl gang, she’s also a complete badass, balancing two businesses, her role as a wife, parenting her two young children, and taking care of her own needs. After she had her second child three years ago, she decided to follow her dream to open up her own private psychotherapy practice. Since then, she’s grown her private practice to include seven clinicians and a client care coordinator. However, she didn’t stop there. She learned how to optimize her own website so her private practice now dominates Google. And now she helps other small business owners learn how to use their website to reach their ideal client, to serve a wider audience, and grow their business. I have to admit, I’m a customer. Because she completely redid my entire website and I’m also dominating the Temecula area. Thank you so much, Jessica. So please help me by welcoming the owner and president of Aspire Counseling, and owner and president of Simplified SEO Consulting, Jessica Tappana. Hey, Jessica.

[JESSICA]:
Hello. Thank you for having me on. I’m excited to be here.

[VERONICA]:
Absolutely. So I have to say, I am so impressed by your ability to serve others, all while maintaining your household, and finding time to practice self-care. That’s a big, big issue for most of us moms. And one other thing I admire about you is your dedication to help others and your passion for what you do. So if you can, tell us a little bit more about yourself.

[JESSICA]:
Yeah, I think you summed it up pretty nicely. I have a private practice where I really, really love helping people who have been through some kind of trauma. I especially love working with people who’ve been through some sort of sexual assault find healing and meaning, and learn that it’s possible to feel awesome again in their life. And then, after I started that practice, it kept growing and growing and so I added clinicians, and started learning to do my own search engine optimization. And so then about a little bit less than two years ago, I started also helping other therapists around the country with their search engine optimization. And now we help people that aren’t therapists sometimes, too. And so I have those two businesses. But more importantly, I did all of that so I could balance the rest of my world, the rest of my life. I have a by the time this airs, she’ll be three so that’s…

[VERONICA]:
Oh my goodness.

[JESSICA]:
That’s about to happen, I have a three-year-old and a six-year-old and they are my world. They are amazing, amazing children, and a very, very supportive husband. I think you have to have a supportive husband – you and I have talked about this before – if you’re going to have a small business. And so I have all of that going on and kind of I like to think of it as I’m kind of living the dream these days. But it’s so imperfect.

[VERONICA]:
Yes.

[JESSICA]:
It’s [unclear].

[VERONICA]:
No girl, own that, own that, yes. Living the dream. And so tell me more about that. How are you living the dream?

[JESSICA]:
You know, I think that maybe… so last week, my daughter was really sick with the flu. And I was able to take off to take care of her. It was not easy. I had my mom help us out a little bit so I could go do a couple of appointments. But to me, like, that’s the dream, right? Being able to be there for my kids and still run my business and yeah, I mean, to me, that’s what the dream is about. It’s being able to find that balance and being able to make decisions based on where I feel like I need to be. Sometimes in my gut, sometimes it doesn’t even maybe make total sense to the rest of the world. I think one of my favorite things about life right now is that I’ve learned to let go of a lot of the expectations I used to put on myself. I used to really feel like my house had to be perfect – and I still like a clean house, do not get me wrong, like, when my house is in order, I feel a thousand times better. But there are days where I’ll pick my kids up from school because I’ve rearranged both businesses so I can pick them up three days a week. And there are days where I’ll pick them up from school, and we’ll be going home and I have this intention of cleaning and making this nice dinner, but it’s nice outside and I’m like, screw it, we’re just going to the park.

[VERONICA]:
Yeah.

[JESSICA]:
The ability to do that. It’s incredible.

[VERONICA]:
Yes. And I think that’s so important. You mentioned having this business, right, and being able to go ahead and work these hours so you can pick them up from school three times out of the week. You know, I remember when I was working and girl, I mean, you and I’ve talked about this, I was working about forty-six, fifty-six hours a week, it was just nuts. And I remember being so upset and resentful because my nanny was able to drop off the girls and my nanny was also able to pick them up. And I remember feeling so much guilt, right? And then getting to a place where we’re now able to set our hours, and we’re able to do the drop offs, and we’re able to do the pickups, and taking it that next step even further with, okay, if this is what I’m feeling, and I want to go ahead and just say screw the workload, and just enjoy my time with my kids, I think that’s so important. So, so important.

[JESSICA]:
And hard to do sometimes.

[VERONICA]:
Yes. How did you do that? Because that’s where a lot of us, there’s this hiccup. And even for the moms that do work crazy hours, like, how do we get to that place? What was it in your life that you… either you made the decision or you realized that, okay, wait a minute, life is more important?

[JESSICA]:
I’m really big on values. And I think that where we struggle is that most of us have so many things we value. I really, really firmly value offering really high quality services in both of my businesses, and really making a difference, helping people achieve their goals. I literally like… it’s such a high to like be able to help people. And when you hear their expressions of gratitude. And so I really value my career. At the same time I really, really value my children. And sometimes I even [unclear] like, it’s easy to say that you put your kids first; it’s a lot harder to actually do it. And I value a clean house.

So I have all these values that matter to me, but then when it becomes difficult is when they come up against each other. When, like last week, I have things that need to be done, like, literally things that keep running my business need to be done, and I have a sick child. How do I balance that? Where do I come up with it? And there were times where I had to ask myself like, which is more important? Okay, right now, I am going to feel better about myself if I stop and hold the sick baby – well, she’s not a baby, she’s almost three – but I’m gonna hold my sick child in my arms while she’s like burning up with a fever, with influenza, and just hold her, and sing to her, and not even checking my email while she was in my lap. But then I would balance that with like, okay, now I’m gonna stay up a little bit late, or my mom has this little spot of spare time – I’m gonna go do this work, and just do the bare minimum of what has to be done. But being okay with not being perfect in any of those roles at the same time is kind of what it comes down to for me. And once I’m able to accept that I can’t perfectly do everything at the same time, it’s very freeing.

[VERONICA]:
Yes. Absolutely. And there’s guilt associated with that, right? Not being able to do this level of perfection. And I hear this often with moms – well, if I don’t do this, then this and this is going to happen. And, you know, I can’t rely on my husband, and I have the kids running around, and I have all of these tasks, and it’s like they wake up to the checklist, right? And we’re a prisoner at times to the checklist because, well, if we don’t get it done, who’s going to get it done? And so, how have you been able to maybe assign or share tasks with your spouse? Did you guys have this talk? What did this look like? Because I’m assuming with you running two businesses and girl, I’m right here with you. I mean, this is what makes us really good friends is you and I both have two businesses that we run and it’s extremely demanding. And you mentioned having a supportive husband, which I agree a hundred percent. How did it get there? Because I find most women have that trouble with even asking for help.

[JESSICA]:
Yeah, yeah. And I really have troubles with that. I think, until this point in my life, I was always that person that like, I just knew if I tried hard enough, I could do it. And so at work, other people would be totally overwhelmed by case loads, and I’d be overwhelmed, but somehow I would find a way to do it. And now I’m at that point in my life and my career where sometimes that’s just not enough. Just having the drive doesn’t mean that I can literally get done everything I need in a day for both businesses, both children, and the household. And so my husband and I are kind of always renegotiating the roles, if that makes sense. So like right now – he just started a new job – so right now he’s really trying to establish himself and so I literally am taking off every single time there’s a snow day, which apparently Missouri just can’t handle snow and there’s like two inches and they cancel school. I mean, we’re in Missouri, it’s kind of expected that it’s going to snow, folks. I’m glad they’re being safe, but there have been a lot of snow days, there have been a lot of sick days, there have been a lot of days that school’s off, and so right now I’m taking that on.

But last week, at the end of the week, my husband and I had a talk, we’re like, okay, I can’t keep that up forever. So it’s going to look like this. Every time there’s a sick day you’re going to take off. I’ll take off for every snow day and every plan day. But that’s also just a season. We could renegotiate that in a couple of months, I don’t know. In fact, with my counseling business – well, with both businesses – I only figure out my work schedule for one semester. We’re in a college town, and so for one college semester at a time – there’s fall, there’s spring, and then there’s summer – I will figure out like, what’s my schedule going to look like? And during that time, my husband and I will negotiate the roles. So we’ll say like, okay, I’m going to work Tuesday evening, so I need you not to be on call on Tuesdays. He’s a nurse and so sometimes he’s on call. So he’ll have to work that out with his work, and then you’re gonna do dinners on these days, and I love being the one to meal plan. But I’ve also had to accept that like, if I’m working at night, we may need to talk about either making food easier, or me doing a crock pot meal, things like that.

But I just accept it’s all a season of my life. At the end of this semester, we may have to talk again about what’s working and what’s not working. I got to one point where I was working three to four evenings a week. And I was kind of okay with it because I actually at that point had a lot of afternoons and stuff with the kids. I had some time with them throughout that wasn’t in the evenings, and that just wasn’t working for us. And my husband is like the sweetest, most polite, most supportive guy in the world, and he was so careful in how he worded it but basically said, like, this isn’t working. This is not what you want to do. And I’m like, you’re right. And we just had to renegotiate, and refigure out, like, what’s that balance gonna look like moving forward? And there are months where I’ll tell him, I’m like, this is a sprint month. This month I’m going to work more, but we’re going to make up for it by… we’re getting ready to go on a vacation together in April. And so like, okay, in order to do that, I’m going to need to work a little bit more now. But that communicating, that balance, so it’s explicitly said, I’m working more evenings one month, so that the next month I don’t work any, or I work very few, that sort of thing.

[VERONICA]:
Absolutely.

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[VERONICA]:
Hey, ladies. Are you loving this episode? Because if you are, share it with your friends. In addition to that, I want to personally invite you into my private Facebook group, Empowered and Unapologetic. On this page I want you to post what was your favorite episode, what lessons have you learned, and what was your greatest takeaway on there. It’s an interactive page where you’ll find women just like you learning and growing.

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[VERONICA]:
So it sounds like you and your husband are able to communicate effectively. And in addition to that, you’re both able to be vulnerable in that, you know, this is what I have, this is what I have lined up, and you’re open to anything that he might have. And you guys have this dance that you guys do where you’re able to kind of give and take, but it’s both negotiable. No one is compromising themselves. It’s this negotiation that you guys both come to an understanding, and an agreement too, right? How do you get there? Have you always been that way? Because I’m thinking of you guys, and I’m like, oh my god, this is a perfect couple.

[JESSICA]:
No.

[VERONICA]:
And [unclear] think the same thing. So how did you get there? Like, how does one do that?

[JESSICA]:
He’s gonna laugh so hard when he hears you say that, because no, no, we’re definitely not perfect. And I think we’re in that season of our lives where we’re seeing a lot of couples that we thought of as being really strong too starting to go through divorces, and we’ve had a lot of talks, and we want to support all of our friends, and we’re talking about it, saying like, wow, let’s do like a relationship checkup. Where are we? And what are the things that we’re struggling with? But we’re not perfect. We definitely have very different communication styles. I will talk his ear off all day. If I see something wrong, I need to diagnose it, we need to talk it, we’re going to sit down at the table and hash this out. And he is like, I need to go chew on this in my own brain and put my thoughts together just perfectly before I express them. And over the years – we just celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary – and we’ve had to really negotiate that. A big thing is like, if I feel like I have to talk about something right this minute, he’ll say, I need to go think about this, and I’ll come back. And he has to give me a time, because by golly, if he doesn’t, I’m going to be checking on him every five minutes. Have you had enough time to think about that?

But yeah, so it’s just really caring and valuing each other. And both of us have moments where, if we see the other is really affected by something, it just stops us in our tracks. And so I think that we’re both really flexible, that’s a huge thing. We both know that we came from very different families. We both love both of our families. Oh my gosh, we both got really lucky in the in-laws department, but they’re so different, that we are aware of that and that means that we both bring with us to this marriage, like, a different idea of what marriage, and life, and finances, and you name it looks like. And so just knowing that we come from different places, and knowing that we really care about each other, has helped us to be able to renegotiate and be flexible when we need to be, which is every day.

[VERONICA]:
Absolutely. No, absolutely. So would you say that in a relationship – and this is something I preach over and over and over again – in a relationship, you have to be both independent and interdependent?

[JESSICA]:
Yes. When Andrew and I started dating, I… it was really funny, the first weekend I ever met his brother, his brother gave me a ride home on a three hour, like, three hours away. We’d gone somewhere for my now husband’s 21st birthday and I met his brother and I needed a ride home. My friend was gonna drive three hours out of the way to take me home and he’s like, well I could. And so, during that ride I was like, you got married at twenty-two or twenty-three – he was very young – I’m like, how does that work? And he essentially told me… I don’t remember his exact words, but he essentially told me, like, they both have their own identity. And in watching them all these years since, I realized how true that is. They both have their own identity, but they have common interests and shared values and the things that are important they agree on. And so, yes, I think when I’ve looked around at marriages that are successful, each person has their own thing and they have their things together.

My husband has sports, he’s obsessed with sports, like, it’s really funny. You ask him any question and he knows all this random trivia. I will go to sporting events with him, but I’m not a huge sport… I’m probably the least sports focused in my family. So it’s kind of his thing. I’m very supportive. I’m okay with the fact that every time I look over, he’s checking the latest scores, because I know that’s his thing, but then he’s okay with the fact that I wake up and the first thing I do is check my work email, so that I can be prioritizing emails on my way to work in my head, you know, because that’s my thing.

[VERONICA]:
Yeah.

[JESSICA]:
He loves his career too, but mine is a little all-encompassing sometimes because of two businesses. But we’re okay with each other having our own thing. And then this weekend, we’re going wine tasting together, and taking that time together, because that’s one of our together things that we really enjoy. And so, yes, I completely agree with you. It’s a really wordy way of saying that I think it is important that people have their own things, respect the others’ independent thing, and have ways that we rely on each other, and things that we share in our relationship.

[VERONICA]:
Yes, and you mentioned in so many ways, the vulnerability of a marriage. We take for granted our husbands, we take for granted our time with our kids, and we get so caught up in all of the things. I know I personally have been guilty of it. I’ve gotten so caught up in one of the businesses, or so caught up in this other business, and really establishing that level of independence and interdependence where you can still communicate with your partner, hey, these are things that are going on. And this is kind of what it looks like for right now, if you can just hang tight, I’m working on it so that we can spend this time together, so that we can have this time, in this place. And I think with all of that, it can be difficult if you’re not in a position where you feel confident in your relationship to have those conversations.

And I think that’s where a lot of some of the listeners, they get trapped, they feel trapped in having to do everything all of the time. And working towards this level of perfection, because they don’t want to interrupt their partner, because maybe the mom’s not working. Maybe the mom doesn’t feel like her job is at the level that her husband’s, you know, or is providing as much income as her husband’s position is, and comparing, and feeling less than. And I think in those times when we’re not able to communicate all of these feelings, or any of these feelings, I think that’s when we start to disconnect and resent.

[JESSICA]:
Yeah, that resentment.

[VERONICA]:
And, right, that resentment comes in and, you know, you talked about divorce – all of us, in some way, shape or form, I mean, look at the statistics. All of us in some way, shape or form, that can happen, that can take place. And I’m not saying to go ahead and be in a relationship out of fear. What I’m leaning towards, and kind of what you’ve been expressing, is being able to have those open, honest conversations and being vulnerable with your partner, and trusting where you’re currently at, so that you don’t feel completely dependent on the other individual.

[JESSICA]:
Yeah. And I think the same can be true even about other relationships in our life. As you were talking I was just kind of applying this to like a conversation I had last night with one of my team members, where we were talking about something on the phone and their tone of voice, like, I felt like maybe I’d offended them, but the conversation didn’t seem appropriate for that. It didn’t seem like I’d said anything that did. And so, I mean, I’m a pretty blunt person. I’m a nice person I hope, I try to be, but I’m also kind of blunt and I was like, hey, are we good? Like, I’m, something [unclear] this, and it turns out that person had their own stressors going on. But if I hadn’t just called it out, I think that all night I would have been like, was she upset about what I said? Like, that was… basically I was saying like, hey, can you redo a piece of paperwork? And I would have been like, well, that’s their responsibility, you know, I would have come up with this whole narrative in my head that would have been very different than me just being like, hey, like, what’s going on here?

And even in friendships and interactions with extended family, I’m like, being able to be that vulnerable… there are some relationships, don’t get me wrong, where that’s not safe. Those are not usually the relationships I choose to have close to me. There are people that you need to walk on eggshells around, but the vast majority of people, if you just open up a little bit, it can get you so much further than just creating an internal dialogue about what’s going on in your head.

[VERONICA]:
Yes, exactly. Would you say that you have to have some level of confidence to do those things?

[JESSICA]:
Yes. And you have to decide that what you have to say is worth it. Or that your relationship is worth it. Sometimes it’s how I think of that. Sometimes it’s not even thinking about, like, am I worth saying this, but is this relationship important enough to me that I don’t want to let resentment build up?

[VERONICA]:
Oh, girl, yes. Yes. I love that. I love that you were able to say that. And in addition, I appreciate you saying it’s a decision and it’s my decision. I get to decide. I think most of us are trapped in believing that, well, it’s the other person that calls all the shots. When in reality, we get to make that decision at any time. And, I would highly recommend you asking yourself that question. Is this relationship important to me enough for me to have this deep conversation? And then you get to assess it from there. I love that, Jessica. Yes.

[JESSICA]:
And sometimes the answer is ‘no’. I mean, there are relationships, like, if it’s the person at the grocery store, you may decide they seem to have an attitude. But this is not a relationship that really matters to me, I’m never going to see this person again, I’m not going to call them out on their attitude, I’m going to keep walking. But if it is a relationship that’s important, I think if we see it as like, oh, I need to stand up for myself that can really get into our own stuff a little bit. But if it’s not about me, it’s about us, and our relationship, and this is someone that , if I lost them, that would really hurt… resentment’s bad for relationships, and if you’re going to feel resentment if you stay quiet, and it’s a relationship that’s really important to you, then sometimes it’s a service to the relationship more than us. By helping yourself and getting your own needs met, by addressing whatever’s going on, it’s also saving this relationship that you value.

[VERONICA]:
Yes. So with this level of confidence that you now have, right, how were you able to go ahead and take that and not have only one, but two businesses? How did you do this?

[JESSICA]:
Man, it’s taken me a second to answer that because I feel like it’s slowly crept in, but in reality, I know that it’s been less than three years that I’ve built the two businesses. But really, it’s just about being able to follow my passion, and also thinking, I have these two young kids and when they grow up, I want them to follow their dreams. And I want them to do the things that matter to them. And I want them to find their calling and what they feel that they were put on this earth to do. And the only way they’re really going to learn that is by watching me. I remember the day I got married, I thanked my mom for two things that she did. And they were two things that other people at times had maybe told her that were selfish. One is she married my stepdad who raised me and who I saw was my dad and I said, you know, thank you for marrying him and giving me that example of a relationship. And the second thing I thanked her for was for getting her PhD. And I saw how hard she worked for that. And seeing those two things, like, by doing those things that were important for her, it showed me how to do that for myself.

Now, I think that I’m trying to do the same thing with building these businesses for my kids. I love helping people, I love doing counseling, there are days now where people have even said to me, like, why do you still see – I see about ten clients a week for counseling – they’re like, do you have to do that? And I’m like, well, no, probably not. But I’m never going to give up counseling. I say never, now it’s like in recording, so if I ever do, you’re gonna like play this back for me and be like, you said you weren’t going to. But I love doing that, and it matters to me, and my kids are seeing me go and follow that dream.

And then I’m passionate about helping therapists get connected, not just with any clients. I see therapists and other small business owners who, out of desperation, will work with people that aren’t the best fit, because they feel like they need to. And when I’m able to help therapists with their marketing, or chiropractors, or small business owners, with their marketing, and they’re able to just work with the people that they’re most meant to work with, that excites me too. And watching that grow, and every step that I’ve taken has been kind of following that passion in a well thought out way. Asking for lots of help where I need lots of help. But I do want my kids someday to see that I did what was important to me, and that I did it in a way that was important to me.

Could I grow my private practice more? Yes. Do I want to? Not at this point. At this point, I don’t want to move. I would have to change locations, or move to two locations. I have this nice little tight knit group of therapists who I love, and so that just isn’t following my passion, but I’ve made the purposeful decision right now not to expand a bunch, and that’s okay. And that’s based on what I’m really enjoying and really liking and what’s important to me, and I want my kids to do the same thing. So that’s been a huge driver of all of my growth, and of all my decisions, too, is how do I set the kind of example for my kids that my mom set for me?

[VERONICA]:
Yes. And I really appreciate that you said that because so many of us moms, we encourage our children to go ahead and be the president, or be an astronaut, or be that engineer or scientist, whatever they want to be. And very rarely do we model the work ethic, the discipline, very rarely do we model that. We can achieve those things, too. We’re so focused on encouraging and uplifting our children, we don’t take time out for ourselves to do the same. And so how are our kids going to know how to be that entrepreneur if they’ve never seen it modeled for them? How are they going to know to be all of these great things if their mother or father were completely intimidated by fear, and that fear of failure kept them from living out their dreams? If anything, now you’re modeling how to pay attention to fear and how to let it guide you. And I think we don’t realize that.

And although it’s not our intent, we really do have to pay attention to what we’re modeling for our kids. And I hear you when you say that – I do the same thing with my girls. I remember when Willie would be, you know, he’d be deployed in Afghanistan, and there was one time Aaliyah woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and I think it was like three in the morning, and she’d seen my light on and there I am, typing up, typing away. She’s like, Mom, what are you doing? And I was like, well, I’m doing schoolwork. And she’s like, you need to go to sleep. And I was like, I did. I went to sleep at eleven. I woke up five minutes ago. And I’m like, this is what it takes, this is what it takes because this is what I want. This is what the end result… and I didn’t give her that, you know, in depth conversation at three o’clock in the morning. But I believe I was modeling something for her and I’m hoping and praying that she’s able to use that to go ahead and achieve whatever the hell goals she has, which you’re doing the same thing.

[JESSICA]:
Yeah. And I’ll have those conversations too with my kids. Like, family dinner is important to me, so there have been… like, last night I came home, I picked them up from school, I had all afternoon with them, I ate dinner and then around bedtime, I went back to a local coffee shop to catch up on some paperwork, type stuff, and my husband put them to bed. And we’ve kind of decided that that’s how the evening was gonna roll, and both my kids actually, why mommy go work? So that’s my daughter, and my son’s like, why are you going back to work? And I was like, because it was more important to me that I have dinner with you. And so now that you’re going to bed, I’m going to go do this, so that I can go have a weekend with daddy this weekend. Letting them even see how I make decisions in an age appropriate way and I think that’s tricky.

And I second guess myself all the time about like, how am I describing this to them? But I don’t want to keep… I want them to know some of what my thought process is, and I’m always okay with my kids asking why, and I tell them that. And there have been times where my son has asked why and it isn’t age appropriate to explain something to him. And we’ll say that, you know, we’ll say, I can’t tell you why but I’m proud of you for asking why in this situation. But those are really, really rare, weird situations, right? Most of the time, we can give them an age appropriate explanation for how we’re having whatever conversation we’re having, or how we’re making a decision. It’s just explaining it on their level so that they learn more than just ‘because I said so’ type mentality.

[VERONICA]:
Yeah. Right. Yeah, absolutely. So I have to ask you, when did you know you made it? And when I ask you that I’m not necessarily referring to like, you know, obviously money, and dollars, but like, when did you know, like, holy moly, I’m at this place right now in life, like, what was it? I know, for me, I remember my husband was dancing with the girls in the living room. And the girls were so in it, I mean, in it. And I think Aaliyah, our oldest who’s now 17, she jumps on him and he’s just twirling around, and they’re just having so much fun. And it was in that moment that I realized, holy moly, I made it. I made it out of… for me, I had a dysfunctional upbringing. And it was in those moments that it was like, this is it. This is the life I want to live. For you, what was it? What moment was it, or what event was it that you just felt, this is it, this is the way I want to live life?

[JESSICA]:
My first thought was like, I haven’t made it, because there’s no such thing as ‘making it’. But then as you were talking, I was like, there are so many of those little moments where it’s, this is the way I want to live. And so the one that comes to mind is when I had my daughter and was in the hospital and was holding her and that’s just how I always… I always knew I was going to have more than one kid. But then I had kind of a rough pregnancy with my first and thought maybe I was done, and he prayed every night for six months for a sibling and so we gave in and gave him his sibling, and had another rough pregnancy so I think that we’re probably done. But holding her, there was a moment waiting for my son to get there to meet her – it was really important to us that my son be the first to meet his sister, but I had done everything to establish my own business. I’d told my work, I’m gonna come back for two weeks or so at the end of the school year – I was working in a school at the time – and then I’m going to open my own practice. And so I’d developed a business plan, I was well on the way to having my own business. My husband had just started nursing school, he had another undergraduate degree but decided that he wanted to go the nursing route. And I just was like… or no, this was my second kid, he’d finished nursing school. That was my first that he had just started nursing school. But I just was like, he has his career kind of where he wants it to be. I’m literally following my dreams.

I kind of felt like I was jumping off a cliff without a parachute because opening your own business is kind of like that, but I knew that… we had figured out how we could survive on my husband’s income alone for like six months. It was not going to be pretty, but like, I was really that concerned that I wasn’t gonna make a single dollar in my own business. But I was following my dream. Whether or not I was gonna make a penny I was gonna follow it. And I had these kids and I just had everything I wanted, I guess, and not to say that it has ever been easy or ever will be easy. There’s, you know, thirty days later we were back in the hospital with my daughter on ten liters of oxygen because she had RSV, and so it never has been easy. Starting your own business, oh, the hours – you know it – it’s exhausting. But it was like, I’m doing what I’m meant to do.

[VERONICA]:
Yes, absolutely. How did you know that? How did you know that you’re doing what you’re meant to do.

[JESSICA]:
When what… and each time I have one of those moments, it’s when my values, when what’s important to me is what I’m actually doing. When that… when you can tell by looking at me, or looking at my life. Maybe not everybody who doesn’t know me, but you generally can tell what’s important to me because those are the things I’m spending time on. At that point I was developing a business plan, had gotten a loan, all of that, like, you could tell, I’m creating that business because that’s important to me. I was doing additional trainings because evidence-based counseling is important to me. I was holding my new baby girl and I was bringing my son in before anybody else got to meet her because those were important to me.

All of those… it’s any moment where my values, where what’s most important to me is what I’m doing, those are the moments where I feel like I’ve made it. Even if it’s for five minutes before the phone rings, or get a text, or somebody’s sick, or whatever. Even in those difficult moments. I’m thinking of when family members have passed, and I’ve gone to funerals, and I’ve had to drop things. As terrible as those moments are, those are moments where it’s like, well, I have the freedom to do this and this is important to me and I’m doing it. And even in those hard moments sometimes it can be that kind of I’ve made it in that I’m able to do what’s important to me, even when it’s hard.

[VERONICA]:
Yes. So I have to ask, and it’s something I asked all my guests, what are you doing right now to live the life you want to live? Right now.

[JESSICA]:
Well right now I’m petting my cat, and that’s important to me because she’s at home with me and I’m working from home today, so that’s one thing. But it’s really, on a more global scale, similar. It’s finding that balance. This weekend, going wine tasting with my husband, that’s investing in something else that’s important to me. And last week, it was dropping everything and taking care of my daughter. So yeah, just continuing to put myself and my family first, and meeting our needs.

[VERONICA]:
And what advice would you give to the mom who feels stressed and disconnected?

[JESSICA]:
Find one good moment. Let go of all the expectations. Forget the big picture for one afternoon, just for ten minutes even, just focus on the connection and focus on something that feels right. Maybe it’s reading, maybe it’s having somebody else watch your kids, even if it’s calling a friend to come over for ten minutes just so you can read a book, or do something that feels like you for a minute, and be mindful of it, and forget the conse… well, not forget the consequences, you know, don’t go buy a yacht if you can’t afford it. A version of this that would not be… you know, but find something on a small scale that feels like you, and don’t think about anything else for a few minutes, and just be mindful of doing that thing that feels like you. I think that we lose track of who we are. And for me, what feels like me sometimes is pushing my kid on a swing, but sometimes what feels like me is just sitting in my backyard in the silence while my kids aren’t home, or my husband’s playing with them, or whatever. But just finding a moment, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. It doesn’t have to be a huge life shift. But we’ve got to feel like ourselves sometimes.

[VERONICA]:
Absolutely, absolutely. I agree a hundred percent. I think that’s so important. Because if not, you’re right, we do lose ourselves. And that’s so easy for all of us to do. I know for me, and I’ve shared this with the group, I lost myself in trying to find my identity in others. It just was this complete mess. So, yes, ladies, listen. It is crucial that you put yourself first, even if it’s just for a brief moment, just for a brief moment. So Jessica, how can we find you?

[JESSICA]:
Yes. Well, you can find me by doing a Google search for Jessica Tappana, or you can go to my private practice website is aspirecounselingmo.com, or my search engine optimization business is at simplifiedseoconsulting.com.

[VERONICA]:
Awesome. And you are also giving our listeners a free gift. Tell us more.

[JESSICA]:
I am. If you go to simplifiedseoconsulting.com/empowered, then you’ll see I’m going to give you a discount on any of my search engine optimization online courses. We’re up to three and we’re going to have a fourth one pretty soon. But you’ll be able to, if you do have a small business, if you are in that DIY phase and you are wanting to learn to do something new yourself, you’ll be able to get started at a discounted rate with kind of learning how to take control over your own business.

[VERONICA]:
Absolutely, absolutely. All right. Well, thank you so much, Jessica, for joining us.

[JESSICA]:
Thank you for having me.

[VERONICA]:
You guys, live with intent. Take care.

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[VERONICA]:
What’s up, ladies? Just want to let you guys know that your ratings and reviews for this podcast are greatly appreciated. If you love this podcast, please go to iTunes right now and rate and review. Thank you, guys.

Many women lose their own identity in the shadow of being a mom and a wife. We are a community of women who support each other. We leave perfectionism behind to become empowered and unapologetic. I know you’re ready for the next steps. If you want to become empowered and unapologetic, get my free course, Unapologetically Me over at empoweredandunapologetic.com/course.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests, are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.