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  • Colleen Watson

When Business and Family Crash: My difficult journey as an entrepreneur with a family emergency

Business stops for no woman, except when it does. I had big plans for my April, lots of good ideas to execute to grow my business, people to meet and even some fun on the calendar. And it all came crashing down April 6th when my mom took a serious fall. Now, she and I, her caretaker, have months of rehab and lots of questions as to whether she’ll regain full mobility and, if not, what she can still do. It’s a mess. But, I’ve still got bills to pay, a business to grow and a life that needs living. How can I do this? How can I manage it all? Can I manage it all? No idea, bet me tell you what I’ve learned so far.

Image by Gerd Altmann

Not much, I confess. I’m one person and it’s overwhelming, but somehow I get up and take care of her day after day. Still, I have a few bits of advice

  1. I’m authorized: seven years ago, mom got a cancer diagnosis. She kicked its ass, but, for protection, added me to all of her accounts. Thank God! Money makes people feel stress and anxiety without the drama of a major incident. And as uncomfortable as it is, I’m so grateful we created that plan. It is crucial that you know your parent’s financial landscape. You don’t want to be surprised by a reverse mortgage or a tax bill

  2. Protect your most basic asset: your sleep. I won’t repeat the whole oxygen mask analogy, but it’s apt. You cannot make good decisions or manage your volatile emotions without a good night's sleep. And keep as much as your routine as possible. You need the touchstone,

  3. It’s all going to happen before you’re ready. We went from ICU to home in 3 ½ weeks, with lots of healing left on the horizon. In that time I went from lots of care to me on my own, mostly, at home in the blink of an eye. It’s terrifying and you’ll want to fight it, but, like most things, you have to suck it up and figure it out.

  4. Mean Mind: This spotlighted for me, blazing, the ways I’m not kind to myself. Where I’m judgy or have unrealistic expectations of myself, and how they get transferred to other people. I’m working very hard to have grace with myself. It’s a day by day work in progress. Today was a good day. Tomorrow, who knows?

  5. I have wonderful siblings: I have two, both older, one of each. They both did the married and kids route, and both now have grand kids. I chose to stay single and childfree. They both have busy lives in transition, but we’ve become a unit. They are both coming out in June and Bob and my wonderful sister-in-law set up came to visit at the right moment. They helped me get the house ready to go for her.

Today is the first day I’m really doing some work, to reconnect. Be patient. It’s going to be messy and alive and…a journey. Not one I would have chosen. But here we are. Let’s go.

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