What If I Only Work 2 Days Per Week? — Episode #160 with Kelsey Kerslake
A Day In The Life with Kelsey Kerslake of Pinegate Road
You all have been asking to hear how other moms and small business owners are navigating the pandemic right now. I’ve been interviewing working parents about how they’ve been affected by the pandemic.
Today we take a look at Kelsey Kerslake, the founder of Pinegate Road. She runs a design agency as well as a coaching business, and has a young kiddo at home. Her husband is an essential worker, so she hasn’t had a minute of childcare or backup help throughout all of this.
A year ago, Kelsey became a mom for the first time. Today, we talk about her experience getting pregnant, the challenges with IVF, dealing with postpartum depression, getting support as a new parent, and finding her rhythm as a business owner who adores working and loves her job.
Then, we dive into how the pandemic has shifted her work schedule and what’s changed—and how she’s dealing with it all.
In this episode:
- The signs and clues of postpartum depression, and how she and her doctor talked about recovery.
- How she wished she’d prepared for motherhood and the postpartum period, knowing what she knows now.
- The breath work practice she learned before having kids, and how she leaned on the breath and bodywork to help with some of the most intense experiences of early motherhood.
- What a day in the life of the business looked like pre-pandemic, and how she’s shifted her schedule and work around now that her time is extremely limited.
- How long it took to build the business, how much money she started with, and what the financial picture looks like today.
The Startup Pregnant Podcast — Episode #152
Some quotes from the episode:
- “I put my son in daycare after about eight weeks. It was as soon as I could, because I was so ready for some personal space back in my life.”
- “The first six to nine months were really difficult. I had a really hard time transitioning and figuring out who I was as a mother and as a business owner and all of these things. I had some pretty severe postpartum depression as well.”
- “I was in a really sad place then. It felt hopeless and like I’d never get out. That would be my forever. I remember thinking if this is going to be my life, I can’t do it. Looking back now, I realize they were just really short little blips that were really hard, but you don’t see the other side when you’re in them.”
- “I think if I did go back to tell myself anything, it would probably be to release some of the self-expectations I had on myself. I thought I was going to be one of those people who breastfed until the baby was over a year. I just had this completely different view, mostly around breastfeeding that just did not come to fruition. Giving up on that expectation for myself was probably the biggest switch.”
- “I went from $200 in my bank account that first year of not knowing what the heck I was doing in business. I have this design degree, but I was like, “I have no idea what I’m doing in business.” I was scrambling and living off of my savings that I built up while I was in corporate. But within three months after that moment, I just hustled my butt off and I had my first 16K month. I went from $200 to having $16,000 in cash that month in my business. Not over the three months, but just for that month.”
- “I think what I’ve realized about myself is I have a lot of tiny micro traumas. Nothing huge, but just almost hiding myself and not speaking up and just different things that have been going on in my life. Breath work has really helped me release a lot of that pent up trauma. I’m very into this energy work. I really believe it’s been able to heal my energy, help me get these downloads that help me access more of my own personal truth.”
- “One of the first things that we do is we calculate your spaghetti number. At the worst-case scenario, what are your bills? What do you have to pay if you had to live off of spaghetti and sauce for all of your food, because that was all you could afford? What is that number that you have to bring into your business?”
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Growing up, James Breakwell never had to think about what jobs he wasn’t allowed to pursue. That changed when he had kids. As the father of four girls — one of whom recently said she wants to be a construction worker, and another who asked if she could be the Pope — he’s had to put himself in the shoes of the females surrounding him at home. As an author and internet personality behind the popular Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn, James is best known for his viral tweets depicting hilarious snippets of conversations with his daughters. In this interview with our first startup dad, he gets real about how he navigates building a public persona based on his family life — including how much to share and what to withhold.
We need your leadership from where you are—as you are. We’ve known for a long time that we need much more diverse leadership, that we need women’s leadership, and that we need new models of power. As Elizabeth Lesser says, we need to embrace “power to,” not just “power over.” We need truth telling, and we need new visions. We need you, your work, and your brave new thinking. We need you to show up. We need you to be who you really are, not what an archaic model of power and “leadership” tells you to be. Take care, take the rest you need, take action, and show up. Even and especially as you are.
School is back in session, and parents everywhere are fatigued, overwhelmed, and still in the lurch. Workplaces are less and less forgiving, and yet the problems created by the pandemic are still here. What’s a working parent to do? Last week, Lions + Tigers gathered a panel to talk about specific steps parents can take to strategically plan ahead for the coming year. I hosted a conversation with Brea Starmer, founder of Lions+Tigers, Shauna Causey of Weekdays, and Blessing Adesiyan of Mother Honestly.
Sarah K Peck
Founder, Startup Parent
Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Parent, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Parent Podcast and Let's Talk, her second podcast. Previously, she worked at Y Combinator backed One Month, Inc, a company that teaches people to code in 30 days, and before that she was a writing and communications consultant.
She’s a 20-time All-American swimmer who successfully swam the Escape from Alcatraz nine separate times, once wearing only a swim cap and goggles to raise $33k for charity: water. She’s written for more than 75 different web publications and and has delivered speeches and workshops at Penn, UVA, Berkeley, Harvard, Craft & Commerce, WDS, and more.