Failing Motherhood

Entrepreneurship, Having a 4th + Fighting for My Marriage with Steph Pellish

February 06, 2024 Danielle Bettmann | Parenting Coach for Strong-Willed Kids Episode 141
Failing Motherhood
Entrepreneurship, Having a 4th + Fighting for My Marriage with Steph Pellish
Show Notes Transcript

Whether you’re trying to decide whether to have another child, hoping to salvage your marriage, on your way to creating or owning your own business, or are just desperate to not feel so alone without family support - this is your episode.

Steph Pellish is a wife, a mom of 4, owns 2 businesses, and  has always been a dreamer with big ideas. After feeling lost and lonely, Steph has built a community of entrepreneurial women who come together regularly to grow, learn, support and collaborate with each other. 

In this episode, Steph chronicles her reckoning with wanting to have a 4th child, having that child 6 weeks before lockdown, and her husband telling her 6 weeks later that things weren’t working. 

In the most relatable of ways, she shares the journey into healing she went through personally and in their marriage to come back stronger, while finding the support she deserved.


IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVERED...

  • The clarity Steph needed when deciding whether or not to have a 4th child when she and her husband didn't see eye-to-eye
  • What it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur
  • The importance of finding like-minded women, not just the other moms who happen to be in the play groups

DON'T MISS-

  • What people kept telling her when she was struggling that made her feel crazy!


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Steph Pellish  0:00  
We've worked really well together because I can see where we're going. And then he can help put all the pieces together. But when I would say something like, we should have another baby, and he was like, here are all the financial reasons and all the logical reasons why we shouldn't. I was like, Yeah, we shouldn't. But then why do I feel this way? And it was really the biggest thing that we fought over because emotionally, I just could not let it go. And at one point, my therapist said to me, she's like, Steph, emotion and logic, like one is not right. And one is not wrong. One is not better than the other. They're both just as valid. And a lot of times the emotional decision is actually more valid. And for me that changed everything.

Danielle Bettmann  0:45  
Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood, I mean? Have too much anxiety... Not enough patience? Too much yelling, not enough play? There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right. This is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you. You feel like you're screwing everything up. And you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud. This podcast is for you. This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann. And each week we'll chat with a mom ready to be real. Sharing her insecurities, her fears, your failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough. And you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend. We're so glad you're here.

Danielle Bettmann  1:58  
Hey, it's Danielle. Quick reminder, if you're new here to find our most listened to episodes on failingmotherhood.com. And if you're not new here, this is your reminder to leave a review so more moms know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing on a daily basis. And today's guest is no stranger to that feeling. Today I'm joined by Steph Pellish. She's a wife, a mom of four, owns two businesses and has always been a dreamer with big ideas. After feeling lost and lonely, Steph has built a community of entrepreneurial women who come together regularly to grow, learn, support and collaborate with each other. She's passionate about bringing community and support to women all over the world to help them follow their dreams with the support they need. 

Danielle Bettmann  2:38  
This episode is a beautiful conversation about the highs and loads of not only motherhood but entrepreneurship. Steph chronicles her reckoning with wanting to have a fourth child and having that child six weeks before lock down. And then her husband telling her six weeks after lockdown that things were not working. In the most relatable of ways she shares the journey into healing she went through personally and then their marriage to come back even stronger. Since she's also a pediatric OT, we also ended up talking about how important working with the whole family is for the child's success. The whether you're trying to decide whether or not to have another child, hoping to salvage your marriage, or on your way to creating or owning your own business or just desperate to not feel so alone without family support... this is your episode. So let's dive in.

Danielle Bettmann  3:30  
Welcome to Failing Motherhood My name is Danielle Bettmann. And on today's episode, I'm joined by Steph Pellish. Welcome. Thank you so much for being here.

Steph Pellish  3:40  
Oh, thank you, Danielle. I'm really excited to be here. And I'm excited to dive into all the ways that I'm failing and succeeding in motherhood. Yes,

Danielle Bettmann  3:49  
I have brought a magnifying glass. So we will be inspecting that. But I already shared your bio, but just go ahead and reintroduce yourself. Who are you and who is in your family?

Steph Pellish  3:59  
Yes. So I'm Steph. I am a pediatric occupational therapist, life coach, motherhood coach and just recently became a business coach and run a business networking group for female women entrepreneurs. Many of them are moms. And so that's kind of what I do. And I also have my husband, who I've been together with since we were in high school. And we have four kids together. They are 13, 11, 9, and almost four. So we've got the teenager, the preteen the middle schooler and the toddler. So we're in like all of the stages right now.

Danielle Bettmann  4:39  
Oh my gosh, you are stretched thin. Yeah.

Steph Pellish  4:43  
Does it feel like doing the splits a lot having to be all these fun places?

Steph Pellish  4:47  
Yes, but I also have ADHD. So sometimes it's really good because I'm like, Oh, great. Here we go. All the things. Yeah. And also all the things where I can be really overwhelmed and very quickly dive into one thing, realizing that I completely forgot something else. My kids are very active, they're involved in a lot of things. And so we can dive into this in a minute. But when I had three kids, it was super overwhelming. And they were all close together in age. And now with the fourth, there's a gap. And so I rely on my older kids a lot to help with the younger one, which has been a huge, a huge blessing and also sometimes challenging. 

Danielle Bettmann  5:31  
Fair. Yeah, I can only imagine. No, I had two for a reason. And that was all we can handle. But I could totally see the ends of that spectrum of being like, Yes, this is great stimulation, and then immediately, nope, this is too much. And then Okay, we're back again. This is good. Yeah.

Steph Pellish  5:49  
That chaos cycle, I call it. Yeah. When I can keep my chaos outside of me. And I've learned how to do that much better. But when it comes in, it's,

Danielle Bettmann  6:00  
it's a struggle, for sure. Yeah. Well, my husband and I are hers highschool sweethearts as well. So very cool. Love that. You already started, you know, segwaying into it. But I always like to give that disclaimer right off the bat for my guests, though. Have you ever felt like you were failing motherhood?

Steph Pellish  6:16  
Yeah, So I said, I have four kids, but I'm also the oldest of four kids. And I work in pediatrics, as an occupational therapist, I always babysat, my cousins were all younger than me. I was around kids my entire life. And so going into motherhood, I knew what to expect in terms of the physical demands, I knew all the things that I would need to do as much as you can. I was extremely overwhelmed by the emotional piece, day one, I really struggled to bond with my first my daughter had a lot of anxiety didn't know it was anxiety until I had my fourth. That's interesting. But didn't know it was anxiety, just felt really overwhelmed. Didn't really know how to bond with her. I took an infant massage class, and found, like this amazing connection with her when she was about six or seven weeks old. I then had two more babies. And we had our third baby. We moved, we took the money that we were going to put into the house that we're in now and bought a business, that business very quickly failed. Oh, no, I was overwhelmed at work. I was showing up for these families and helping their kids. And the moms would be like you must be an amazing mom. And then I would go home, my house was a mess. I was fighting with my husband. We were up to our eyeballs in this business that wasn't going well. I was screaming at my kids. And I was also at the same time saying I want another baby. And so things that our house were not great for a long time. And then we closed the business with a lot of debt. My husband finally said, Fine, we'll have another baby got pregnant. And so that was 2019 and 2020. I had a baby in January. Six weeks later, we went into shutdown. And six weeks later, my husband said this isn't working. This is not going to work. And I was like, Oh, great. Now what? Yeah, yeah, I had a lot of time of feeling like a failure as a mom. And that was the point where I was like, No, right? Because like I said, we had been together since high school. So we had a lot of unhealthy patterns that we needed to break and move through. It did work, we're still together. So that's, that's the good news,

Danielle Bettmann  8:51  
Spoiler Alert.

Steph Pellish  8:52  
But it was a lot of hard work. And I also, you know, I was really burnt out in 2019. And I thought, you know, I'm gonna go on maternity leave, I was a contractor. So I didn't really have a leap, I was going to take time off. And then when the kids went back to school in September, my plan was to figure out what I was going to do while I was on this leave and go from there. Well, my whole life fell apart in 2020, as did a lot of people. And so I just kind of started rebuilding myself. And along the way, I realized, oh, moms need more support. I need more support, I actually need real support. And so that's kind of where my journey started in. Getting out of feeling like I was a failure as a mom every day all the time.

Danielle Bettmann  9:38  
Oh my gosh, yes. So relatable. And I love how you kind of share that progression because it's never just like you know, it's cupcakes and rainbows one day and then you know life transformation happens next and then here we are on a podcast talking about it. This is years yeah years of your kids childhood years of your marriage. years of your adult life that you're just kind of summing up real quick. But that's, there's a lot to that. 

Steph Pellish  10:06  
Between 2014 and 2019. I really struggled. It was fine. And even after that, right, like, I was still in a struggle trying to come out of it. Yeah. But I would, I would say to my husband, like, I just don't feel good. And he was like, well, you're always this miserable. And he wasn't saying it to be mean. But he was like, Well, this is just the way you are. It's like objective at this point, right? And then I would say something to my mom, and my mom would like, talk to my mom about how overwhelmed I was or how much help I would need. And she would kind of like, oh, well, you're doing such a great job, like, just pray more, or well, you just have to do it. And then I actually talked to my doctor about it, too. And my doctor was like, You're such a supermom. And I'm like, like, okay, like, I really felt crazy, because I was telling people that I'm struggling. And they're telling me I'm always miserable. They're telling me I'm doing enough. They're telling me that I should pray more. They're telling me I'm a supermom, than why do I feel like this. And so I didn't have anybody to validate that feeling of unworthiness of not being enough and doing enough, they just kind of like, glazed over that. And so that's really where I now don't glaze over it and talk about my struggles and talk to other women who have similar struggles, and are going through, you know, the challenges of motherhood because some being beaten on your own there are enough life challenges. And then I have four kids, now I'm responsible for all their life challenges, too, right?

Danielle Bettmann  11:40  
No pressure.

Danielle Bettmann  11:43  
And yeah, that that dismissiveness or, you know, real gaslighting there for a while. That's, that's so detrimental. When you need solidarity, you need true validation, and you need real support. So looking back in hindsight, what do you all feel like was contributing at that point, because it's always multiple factors.

Steph Pellish  12:06  
A lot of it was we had three kids within four years, we bought a house, we had a business that was failing, my husband, and I had no real support. I tell people, and I say this, like, we had a summer where I had 12, different babysitters for my kids in three months, oh, my God, because we don't have family close by, we didn't have a babysitter that was consistent, I would find someone and then they would get another job. I was literally pulling the lifeguard from the Y to come to my house, the babysitter from the Y to come to our house, I was taking the kids to the Y for two hours so that I could sit and work and get something done. But I couldn't see clients while they were there. And so my husband and I were fighting about who was going to go to work and who was going to stay home with the kids. And then I wasn't working so then I couldn't pay babysitter. So how do I it was such it was such a stressful time for us. And again, it comes back to that support. And we talk about No, there's so much talk about it takes a village. It takes a community. And we really didn't have that. And I heard recently someone say it takes a paid village. And now we need to teach people how to create that village and also recognize that we have to pay for it and what that looks like. And that's tricky. When you know you're you've got money going out in every direction. And now you need to ask for more help or pay for more help. It's a tricky, it's a tricky balance.

Danielle Bettmann  13:39  
Yeah, I mean, nothing is getting cheaper these days. Understatement of the year. Yeah, no, but like, how was there any conflicting feelings, then when you were trying to decide to have a fourth about, you know, can we do this well, or do we have the resources? Or, you know, how did you kind of wrestle with that decision?

Steph Pellish  14:01  
So we thought a lot about having a fourth. For me, it was there are things in my life that I just know to be true. They're usually like the bigger things. And I knew I was meant to have a fourth baby. I knew it was going to be a girl. I felt crazy, because I was like, we have so much stuff going on. We probably can afford it, but it's not a great financial decision to have another baby. And yet, it was this obsessive thing for me. And I think part of why it became obsessive is because again, I wasn't getting that validation. I wasn't feeling heard. But also I just had this like, I knew she was meant for me. And my husband was really afraid because he was like if we have a baby and it's not a girl, we're not having anymore like it took I say it took six years to get him to agree and not that I wanted to be pregnant in those first two or three, but I continually talk to him. And so he could see all the logical reasons why it was not the best idea. And I mean, she, she is just the sweetest thing. And she's just like, she's also almost four, and I want to pull my hair out every day with her. But she really was, she was like, my therapist, at one point was like, she's kind of like your emotional support animal. Like, I don't know that that's healthy. But she really, she just came into my life. And she made me a better mom, she grounded me in ways that I didn't have with parenting my other three kids. And it just is a very different connection that I have with her that has improved and greatly benefited my other kids and my connection with them. Hmm,

Danielle Bettmann  15:57  
I love hearing that. That's like, you know, the best case scenario for the end to that journey is that it was exactly kind of what you were feeling it would be and it really meant that place of intuition for you. And it really benefited the whole family. And that's what we that's what we dream for. And it takes a lot of work to get there. And so I'm gonna take you back to where you left off before where you said, your husband and said, this isn't working, like six weeks post COVID lockdown to take us back there. What did you do, like logistically emotionally all that. So

Steph Pellish  16:32  
he kind of felt like I was choosing having a baby over having a marriage, having him. Like he felt that I was so obsessed with wanting another baby that I just needed him to have another baby. And it wasn't that way. For me. There were days where I was like, I have such a strong feeling of wanting a baby and he doesn't like is this the right relationship. But at no point did I feel like it was the wrong relationship. Or I was supposed to like go find someone else to have. And like that was never it for me. But I also really struggled to find how they could both live together or be together. And so when he said we'll have another baby, I really did panic. Because I got pregnant right away with all of my kids, we were really lucky and blessed that way to just not have any problems. But he was on his way to work. And I called him and I was like, we're pregnant. And he was like, that's great. And I was like, he thinks that's great. Does he?

Danielle Bettmann  17:34  
You're like second guessing it.

Steph Pellish  17:35  
Yeah, a hundred percent. And so, you know, part of part of our journey during my pregnancy was we weren't very supportive of each other. We had our own things going on, I was exhausted, my self worth was zero. I was, you know, working, but then coming home and not able to do anything. I was sitting like at the kitchen table, doing nothing scrolling on my phone, ignoring the kids, my husband would be like making dinner, and he would get frustrated. He's like, I need your help. And I'd be like, Oh, okay, but then he was doing so much that then I didn't have to do anything which made my self worth even go down lower. Yeah. But he was doing everything and picking up all the things that I wasn't doing. And so it just really wasn't working. And so him kind of saying like, this isn't working, I started therapy, he also started therapy. And we just, I found myself where that's really where I needed to realize that I was deserving of the things that I wanted, I was deserving of a better relationship, he was deserving of a better relationship. And that if we wanted to make it work, we needed to actually put the work into our marriage, and not just living in all of the things that were happening every day in our life because it was so busy. And honestly, like I say COVID saved our marriage because our busyness really stopped. And it allowed us to be at home. It allowed me to be at home and to heal, and to figure out how to get through all of it. And then and then all of the other activities picked back up again. Now I have better coping skills, I now have a better way to show up for myself first or build that time in for myself first. My husband and I do regular dates. He works from home a lot now too. And so even during the day, if we're both working from home, we'll go for a walk. We'll have lunch together. We're doing things together more often.

Danielle Bettmann  19:44  
Instantly. Yeah. COVID was the catalyst. Right. So the catalyst could have pushed you one way or the other. And at least we had a little bit of this space to realize it in real time and You know, make that what it probably needed to be. Not everybody's is like the same. I don't even know if you would say happy ending, because in some ways, maybe a divorce is the best case scenario. And you know, that's exactly what you need your family needed. But for you, it sounds like it was the thing that really made everything go on the table. And you could you could have the time you needed to be able to address it without the busyness of life just clouding it up and creating that chaos and that noise and just perpetuating the same old same old for more years, where until it kind of gets to an unsustainable place that you can't, you know, surface it back up again and save it at that point.

Steph Pellish  20:43  
Yeah, it also taught me to that my voice mattered because I would, in our relationship, I would voice something or I would have an opinion. And when my husband had a different opinion, for many reasons, I always thought that his was the better idea because he would use logic. He's an he is very logical. He's also very good with details. I am a big picture, I'm a dreamer, said I have ADHD. So I'm here, I'm there, I'm all over the place. So I miss a lot of the details, which means that we've worked really well together because I can see where we're going. And then he can help put all the pieces together. But when I would say something like, we should have another baby, and he was like, here are all the financial reasons and all the logical reasons why we shouldn't. I was like, Yeah, we shouldn't. But then why do I feel this way? And it was really the biggest thing that we fought over, because emotionally, I just could not let it go. And at one point, my therapist said to me, she's like, Steph, emotion and logic, like one is not right. And one is not wrong. One is not better than the other, they're both just as valid. And a lot of times the emotional decision is actually more valid. And for me, that changed everything. Because it changed the dynamic of how I saw my husband as this person who was not better than me, but who had more say, Hmm, and so it gave me more of an equal footing in our relationship, and changed the dynamic of our relationship for the better.

Danielle Bettmann  22:23  
Yeah, oh my gosh, that's something that I think will sit with people. Anytime you have one of those big gems and takes away takeaways from therapy, it's like, pass it on pass on the free therapy, we all need to take it in our own direction. But that was gonna be my next follow up question. So you're already kind of half half answering that is, when you alluded to there's there's unhelpful dynamics or kind of patterns or habits that we had, because we've been together since high school, is there any other kind of illustration of that, that you feel like you had to work through just like that one,

Steph Pellish  22:58  
That was a big one. The other thing too, was, we both like I was 17. So my husband note knew me as a 17 year old, I am very different than that now in my 40s. And we both had these preconceived notions of who each other were and who we expected the other to be. And so it was kind of reintroducing ourselves to each other, like, first, we had to figure out who we were separate from each other. Yeah. Because my whole adult life, I've been in this relationship as a partner, as a wife with this person. And same thing for him. And so we needed to figure out who we were separately, and then kind of back come back together and say, Hey, this is who I am. And then does this still work for both of us? You know, that doesn't mean that our relationship is now perfect. And we're both like, you're the most amazing person ever in the whole world, right? Like, we still get frustrated with each other, we still there are still things that he does that I'm like, Man, he's still does that thing that didn't change, right. And he says this thing about me too, but we also have both, you know, I'll speak for myself, but like, I've also gained so much self awareness over the things that used to make me feel shame and guilt that I wasn't good at them. Now I'm like, Oh, I didn't do that the way that you would, because my brain thinks differently than your brain does. And that doesn't mean that it's wrong. It just means that I'm like, he can get up and go plan a meal, cook it, put it together and clean up in about an hour. I might plan the meal for an hour, and then we probably have a practice that I'm late for. And so now we're gonna throw leftovers in after practice because I never executed but instead of shaming myself for that, I now have tools to help me so that it's not an hour of me planning. It's okay. I can't sit here for an hour. I know that's what I want to do, or that's what my tendency is to do. But yeah, so a lot of it has been finding that self awareness, finding those things that make me who I am and leaning into them versus trying to change and be better.

Danielle Bettmann  25:18  
Yeah, I've put quotes up, but nobody can see me.

Steph Pellish  25:22  
...better or different, right? I'm just gonna see more like him, but like, more chin in the way that he does things. But yeah, we just we do things differently. And that's for the better for all of us.

Danielle Bettmann  25:28  
It is, yeah, it's the ying & yang that, you know, we all need in our relationships where there is that opposites attract factor that is real, if we really married the mirror image of ourselves, that would be really weird. Wouldn't work.

Steph Pellish  25:49  
It might or might not work. Yes.

Danielle Bettmann  25:55  
But there is just a natural than friction and frustration when the other person's brain does not work like mine. And that's not my favorite way of doing this. And that doesn't feel right, or that doesn't feel efficient, based on my perspective, and the way that I'm seeing that problem. And that's something we have to deal with all over our marriages. But I really do relate, it sounds like we're married to the same person. Well, I have to keep this conversation going offline.

Danielle Bettmann  26:38  
So big emotions from little people are running the show at your house. Is that right? Do they fall apart when something doesn't go their way? Just once, why can't they accept the fact that the answer is no. Am I right? The struggle is real, you're not alone, and you're in the right place. When your days are filled with relentless push back, it is so hard to feel like a good parent, especially when you're in laws aren't shy and sharing how they think your kids just need a good spanking. Every time you lose it, when they lose it, you feel like a failure. The worst part is, without addressing the root of your child's behavior, you're doomed to play a fruitless game of Whack a Mole reacting rather than preventing the next conflict. And next time, nothing's gonna go differently. The good news is, when you have a handful of effective discipline tools in your pocket, you're able to step into full confidence as their parent, parenting actually becomes a whole lot easier. I promise, you're not failing them, you just need more tools. So if you have a tiny human, who's full of love, and yet so, so difficult, if you can only be so nice for so long. If you've tried everything and still feel defeated on the daily, I free class, authentic and unapologetic is for you. In this free training, I share five huge misconceptions in parenting strong-willed kids that inadvertently invite defiance for mistaken goals, they're using their behavior to meet and what to do about it. How to let judgment roll off your back and truly feel like the parent your kids need, and why what you're currently doing just isn't working and isn't going to anytime soon. So go to parentingwholeheartedly.com/unapologetic To access this exclusive free training immediately. That's parentingwholeheartedly.com/unapologetic The link will be in the show notes.

Danielle Bettmann  29:07  
I've already learned so much from you in just that that self awareness piece and you know, being able to validate your emotional side of things and knowing that that's just as important as the logical factor. I think that that's so we can be so quick to dismiss ourselves and our own voice because we don't have someone else advocating for it. So yeah, it's just gonna go to the wayside.

Steph Pellish  29:32  
You know, I had, I had some really good friends and I feel like sometimes I talk poorly about them in the sense of I had really good friends who were friends of convenience. And I don't mean that to be rude. I just mean, they were the friends that were available. They were the ones who had kids the same age. They were the ones who were off the same days I was off and so I loved hanging out with them. I loved being around them. And it was great. It was great for me. But also, they weren't having the same kinds of feelings that I was feeling. They also weren't big dreamers like I was. And so I didn't even have the friendships to support what I need it. And I've felt really insecure in my female friendships as well in my female relationships. And so one of the big things that has also helped me is finding friends and finding women who are big dreamers, who are in community with me, and want the same thing that I can show up and be my whole self. And not just my mommy self, or my overwhelmed wife, self.

Danielle Bettmann  30:48  
I can be all of it. Hmm. How did you find that?

Steph Pellish  30:53  
So last year, last October, I went to a retreat with my business coach, and I sat at a table with 12 women. And it was the first time in my life that I sat at a table of dreamers of women who were like, figuring it out wanting to build their own business. Some of them were divorced. And I it was interesting, because some of them were divorced. And I feel like they found their power, and then got divorced, and then felt like if I can do that, I can build my own business, some got divorced, and built a business out of necessity. Some were still with their husbands having similar conversations, saying, like, he just doesn't get me he doesn't support me. And in like, in that week, I just sat there saying, I need this, like, my husband can't support me in this way, I need to stop asking him to support me in this way. And so when I came home from that, I was talking to two of my girlfriends that were in a networking group with me a few years prior. And I was like, let's just start meeting on Fridays, we can get together. And we started meeting up on Fridays, for a couple months. And I started talking to one of my coaches about it, and she was like, I want to come. I was like, okay, and she invited people. And so it's now growing. And last month, we had 15 women show up, I have almost 100 women inside of the online community. And they're all local. But we have anywhere from 15 to 20 women come every month and meet and it's, I call it networking. But it's really like a support group for female entrepreneurs, because we do we support each other I, I can't tell you how many women show up and cry at the first meeting that they come to, because they're like, this is what I need, this is what I've been looking for. And it's just because I needed it to I still need it. You know, I'm building this business. And at the same time, I'm bringing it to them and saying, Okay, why isn't this working? I'm asking you guys who are in this business with me? Why is this piece not working? And I feel safe to get feedback. And so many of them are now clients of each other, or are now collaborating with each other. They rent space from each other, like we are building this community. And it's just incredible. And I feel so safe there and so supported to show up and say like, Hey, I want to build a global business. And no one's like, well, how are you going to get the money to pay for that? They're like, Oh, that's so fun. How do we get you there? Yeah. And so that's such a difference in terms of, you know, my husband who wants to be supportive, but he's looking at, you know, alright, how do we fund this? Or how do you how do we do it this way? Or how do you do it that way? And these women are, who are like, Oh, no, really? Like, how do we do this? How can we help you? How can we support you? Yeah. And so it took a lot of pressure off of my marriage to because he doesn't need to support me like that anymore. Yeah, I mean, he still does. And He supports me really well, too, but

Danielle Bettmann  34:04  
in ways that are designed for that relationship, right? Yeah, I know personally, exactly what you're talking about. But for the listeners who might be really early on in a business opportunity, or you know, wanting to be an entrepreneur or being in the first few years, I I know how transformational it was to find those containers and spaces myself, but speak to why you need something that is more designed for it, like more, you know, in more niche more strategic, why do you need that when that is kind of your role right now?

Steph Pellish  34:40  
I mentioned like I had a few business coaches. I had some really crappy business coaches. My first business coach was very condescending, very patriarchal, and talk to me as if he was doing me a favor and was selling me on my own business. Every time I spoke to him When I was like, no, no, I know, I know, this is a good idea. But I need it to work like, I don't need you to sell me why it's going to work, I need you to help me make it work. And so I didn't have a great experience in terms of the coaches, I was fighting for my business. And I felt lonely. And now so much is online because of COVID, that the connections I was making were intermittent, or I was in a big coaching community. And so it was different people every week, or whenever we would meet. And so there was no consistency. And when you're at the beginning of a business, and you're not making the money that you see all of these online influencers, online businesses making in two years, I made $8 million. Well, that's great. I'm trying to make $800. And it's been months, right. And soon, people talk about it. But I think we gloss over the fact that, you know, for two years, for three years, you can own a business and not make any money, you can lose money. And because I had that experience in a previous business of losing money, I was a lot more gun shy this time of investing and spending, but also really wanting this business to be in alignment for me. And so this community really helps me and helps the women who show up to know that they're not alone in that, no, that slow progress is still progress. Hmm. Know that, you know, it's okay that you have a launch that zero people show up for, and that you have to keep showing up. Because we also have women in this group who are very successful. And so it's also seeing them. And one week, this woman said, Oh, every time I raise my prices, I get more people knocking on the door. Like I get more people coming in. And she's like, I'm already full. And for me, I was like, Wow, this woman keeps raising her prices. And every time she does, she gets more clients, but she doesn't actually have room for clients. I need to talk to her about what she's doing and find out how did she get there. And we have people like across the continuum of we have a woman coming to our meeting this week, who doesn't even have a business yet. She just wants, she's got a dream. And so she's coming. And then we have like I said, these women who have, they own their own space, they have a full clientele, and they're good, and everything in between. So you get to see this, this kind of like mentor mentee piece inside of there. It's just the connection will go on all day about the connections.

Danielle Bettmann  37:44  
And it's like a picture of you need to know what's possible. You need to know that you're not delusional, that you think that you can be successful, because when you get by yourself at night in front of your computer, impostor syndrome takes over. You feel very crazy. You feel like what have I done? What am I? What did I sign up for? I regret this. I did not know this was even what I was signing up for. This is not what I thought this was going to be and you just sit with that panic, and you have this responsibility that, you know, you're taking these important resources of your family's. And then, you know, essentially gambling them with self belief. Yes. Yes, that's terrifying.

Steph Pellish  38:31  
Right? And I know, and maybe you've experienced the same thing. But for me, the people that I'm following the, the influencers, or the coaches, or like the big business people, a lot of them don't have children. Oh, yeah. Or aren't married, or are divorced. And I really struggled with finding someone who valued their family who wanted their marriage who had more than one or two kids. I have four kids. That's a lot of kids. Right. And so part of it is I want to be the role model for other women to save their marriage to have a healthy relationship with my children, to build businesses that support my family. And so that's what my goal is. That's what I'm doing. That's what I'm trying to do is show up and be like, hey, if I can do it, you certainly can too. And no, it is not easy. It really does take years. It doesn't take two weeks, like yeah, oh, I had a course. And it went viral. And I made $500,000 in six weeks. No. Maybe you did, but how much time and work did you put into? I've been an entrepreneur for 20 years. I haven't had my million dollar year yet. Right? But I keep showing up. I keep finding what's in alignment for me. I keep doing the thing, believing that what I'm putting out there is what I'm supposed to be putting it out there and is what the women in my community need.

Danielle Bettmann  40:04  
Yes. knowing you're not the only one finally finding those people, it is a game changer. And if we haven't reiterated that enough, there's this conversation, you need to find your people if if you are resonating at all with this, because it is crucial. It is life saving, in some ways, because there are huge highs and there are huge lows in entrepreneurship journey. And so much of it is so similar to parenting, because you didn't know what you're signing up for. There's a ton of impostor syndrome. And every day you're solving problems you did not know you're gonna have the next day, keeps you on your toes and keeps you humble 100% of the time. So what are your businesses? I think you mentioned you're a pediatric OT, is that one of them? 

Steph Pellish  40:51  
Yes. So I am a pediatric OT, I work with families locally and online. But I, a lot of times OT works directly with the child, I work more with the family. So I do a lot of holistic, a lot of systemic. So I'm looking at the whole family dynamic when I'm working with a child, I'm looking at, usually what's going on with Mom, I want to connect with moms, I want to connect with mom and see what's going on with her so that I can then help her show up better for herself so that she can then show up better for her kids. And when you have a kid who's neurodivergent. That's tricky, because they probably have three different therapists, they've got extra therapies every week, they need extra support at school. And there's nobody to hold Mom's hand to take her through all of those steps. And so that's also, a lot of what I do is I help moms find the resources for their kids, I help them find, you know, the right language to use when talking to schools, I help mom find the support to get a babysitter so that she can go on date night. Like those are things that we talk about. So you know, there, I get phone calls, saying, oh, I want you to come see my kid for OT and I'm like, Well, we're going to talk about date night, we're going to talk about your relationship with your husband, because a big passion of mine is protecting marriages. I mean, that was so important for me for my own marriage. And I see where, you know, women, moms put themselves to the side, especially when you have a kid who has extra needs and you know, extra schedules and needs all of these things in place for them. That's where all of her energy goes, right. And then dad starts to feel resentful because mom isn't paying attention to him. But then mom's resentful because dad isn't even on board or doesn't understand what's going on. And so one of the big things that I do is help them to find some communication help them to find some connection over how we can show up as a team to support the whole family. That was that was a long piece of my OT.

Danielle Bettmann  43:03  
But that was that was how we originally connected because usually the impression for OT is it's for the child. Yeah, right. It's teaching the child coping strategies. It's teaching them, you know, emotion pieces that teach him how to regulate. So for you, how did you make that isn't even a leap? To me, it makes 1,000% sense. So that's why I do what I do. But why is that? Why is the whole family piece so crucial? 

Steph Pellish  43:30  
Yes, so my background in pediatric OT is in early intervention. And here in Pennsylvania, early intervention is a coaching model. And so it's zero to three. And we coach the parents on how to help the kids. So it's not really direct service. And it was such a natural, like, I'm already coaching moms. But I can do so much more if I don't have the county, looking at each goal. And if I don't only have to address these two goals, if I can talk to mom about, you know, I can show up and I'm here to see Johnny but I show up in mom's like, oh, Susie has just been all over the place this week. I can just help mom with Susie this week, or mom's had a really rough day I can help mom regulate. And then we can talk about Susie or Johnny or whatever it might be. And so it was kind of a natural lead into that motherhood coaching that life coaching piece for me. And then like I said, with this networking group, and I have 20 years of entrepreneur business experience, it kind of became Oh, I can also work with women who are dreamers. Like, this is fun. I can talk about this stuff all day long. And so it just keeps naturally expanding. And like I said, it's been in so much alignment for me. And that has been the biggest piece because in 2020 and 2021 I was like okay, I know I need to like do something else. But I didn't know what it was. And I Part of it was I showed up on, I created a group on Facebook. And I just started sharing my story. And I just started saying like, hey, Mama, you're doing great. This sucks. Like, your dishwasher broke today, and your kids are screaming, and your house is a mess. But you're doing great because you're showing up. And I think that's the piece that so many women don't hear enough. So many moms don't hear enough, you're doing a great job. Like when I talk to somebody, the first conversation that I always have with them is you're doing enough, you've done enough. And every one of the moms is always like crying. Thank you so much for saying that. But it's really my favorite part of connecting because, you know, moms are calling because they don't know where else to go. And they don't feel like they're doing enough. Because they don't know where else to go and who else to talk to. So validating that they're making the right decisions or finding the right supports. Because it's a struggle. It's hard.

Danielle Bettmann  45:56  
Again, understatement of the year. Yeah, I always tell tell parents, when they you know, when I get to meet them face to face to like, I you're already a phenomenal parent in my book, just by the fact that you are willing to reach out and have this conversation with a stranger, it says so much about who you are, and how much you care about this kid. And how hard you are trying. And it is not for lack of information or effort. Yeah, that we are here talking about how hard it is like, that is real. And you need to know that. So that you stop making it harder on yourself by beating yourself up. Yeah,

Steph Pellish  46:34  
that was that we said I was doing. I was beating myself up constantly criticizing myself telling myself I wasn't doing enough. And that was really hard to overcome and stop doing that. And even now, like there are days where I'm like, oh, wait a minute, that's not real anymore. I don't have to listen to that. Like, alright, I noticed that I hear you. But nope.

Danielle Bettmann  46:55  
We don't believe that. Yes. So what is one or two of like your favorite mantras or something that you try to remind yourself of as a little pep talk?

Steph Pellish  47:04  
You know, I do a lot of reminding myself that I'm doing my best. And that the way that I'm doing it is the way that I'm doing it, because that's the way that I'm doing it, you know, versus saying I should have done it this way. Or I should have done it that way. I really do have this perspective of, oh, I didn't get it done, or Oh, I didn't do it that way. Or I didn't do it the most efficient way. I can learn from this. And I can do better next time. But also I can give myself grace. So learning to give myself grace and reminding myself that I'm giving myself Grace has definitely been a huge piece. Yes.

Danielle Bettmann  47:47  
Because the energy spent on ruminating over that that wasn't the most efficient way or whatever is not going to make you more efficient. No.

Steph Pellish  47:56  
No, it makes you much less efficient. Actually, ironically,

Danielle Bettmann  48:00  
yes. But that of course, that's not you know, the thought process. That's not where we're coming,

Steph Pellish  48:04  
Beating yourself up for not doing the thing actually makes you do less things than if you put it aside and say, Okay, how can we do it better next time? Or how can I like move forward?

Danielle Bettmann  48:14  
Yes, more efficient. That's the quote right there. So okay, how can how can listeners connect with you offline? Where are you at?

Steph Pellish  48:24  
Yes. So on Facebook, I'm Stephanie Pellish P E L L I S H, I do have a Facebook group that is called Motherhood, Life and Business Coaching with Stephanie Pellish that you can search and then on Instagram, I am thriving_through_motherhood. So it's thriving through motherhood. Because I just found, you know, so many of us are surviving or drowning. I felt like I was drowning for such a long time. And I wanted to learn how to thrive. And so that was, that was the name of my business for a while and now it's a little less exciting with coaching, but trying to figure out how to thread through motherhood. 

Danielle Bettmann  49:04  
Love that. Okay, so we'll put those links in the show notes. It's easy to click from, but I have to ask you the last question I asked every guest that comes on, which is how are you the mom your kids need?

Steph Pellish  49:14  
I am the mom my kids need because I'm the woman I want to be. I'm showing up for myself. I'm doing the things that I know I need to do for me, and therefore I know that I'm modeling for them and showing up for them in the best way that I can every day.

Danielle Bettmann  49:31  
Sounds good? Yes. I love that. They are lucky to have you. And we are lucky to have you today on Failing Motherhood and I feel like we could genuinely talk for another three hours because there's so many things that we connect on but we will wrap it up there so that they can get back to the laundry and the dishes and all the things but thank you so much for your honesty for being able to be so vulnerable and open, open book and share your story because it's so incredibly helpful to be able to see yourself have mirrored in someone else and to be able to relate and to be able to feel seen. And to know that there are a road and paths forward towards where you want to go and you know, you can follow someone's footsteps there. So, thank you so much.

Steph Pellish  50:14  
Thank you for having me.

Danielle Bettmann  50:20  
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong-willed child, and invest in the support you need to make it happen. Schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai