We had the good fortune of connecting with Patience Riley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patience, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work/life balance…. What is that? My business has transformed over the years, and I’ve had to get creative in finding ways to devote time to work, myself and family. When I opened my private practice in 2017 I was in a completely different space than I am now, and had more time to devote to my side hustle. I still spent an endless amount of time with my husband and friends, and created a schedule where I worked in my business around my full-time job.
Then, I had a baby and moved three times between 2019-2020 as I’m a military spouse and we go where the military tells us.
The flexibility and time I previously had to devote to my business went out the window and I found myself on the slippery slope of finding work/life balance. My full time job changed from a flexible counseling position to being a full time stay at home mom. Since babies don’t allow you to clock in from 9-5 I had to get creative in how I viewed work/life balance once I decided to start working in my private practice again.
The first step was changing my mindset and how I view the concept of work/life balance. Honestly, I don’t like using the word balance as it no longer fits my circumstances. Instead, I prefer the word harmony, as it is more fluid, free flowing, and forgiving. This may be the Therapist in me, but I believe our mindsets are the catalyst in how we view ourselves and circumstances. So, now that I’m a full time stay at home mommy and my private practice has progressed to more than a side hustle I understand each day may look different, and that is okay.
I try to spend 30-60 minutes on work related tasks every morning before getting my son ready for the day, and set aside time to work on Saturdays since my husband is off. Showing myself grace and the fluidity that my day may change at a moment’s notice has been a game changer on how I incorporate work/life harmony into my life.
One day I may be in full mommy mode where I’m chasing a toddler, teaching letters, changing diapers, cleaning up messes, and unable to devote any time to my business. While others are filled with meetings (which may include my toddler side kick), administrative tasks, meeting with clients, or creating content. My current schedule seems to work well, but I’m sure our flow will change once again as I’m about to enter a new season of life. In the upcoming months I’ll be transitioning from a mommy 1 to a mommy of 2, so it’s going to be imperative to have the flexibility of work/life harmony.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business has grown in ways I never could have imagined. It started as a simple private practice where I rented an office, saw a few clients for individual therapy, and that is all I thought it would be. Nothing more, nothing less.
After having my son, I realized I could reach and serve clients not only as a Therapist, but through my passions of speaking and writing as well. He is hands down the reason my simple private practice transformed into the brand it is today.
Through my platform, WHOA MAMA, I equip women with simple but effective ways to incorporate mental health techniques into their day to day life. With a decade of experience as a Licensed Therapist I use my personal and professional experiences to advocate, empower, and work with expecting & current mothers, professionals, and the public to equip them in dealing with mental health issues throughout life and motherhood.
I offer virtual mental health counseling to GA, FL, and NE residents as well as coaching to women in the USA who want to stop surviving, and start thriving in motherhood and life without compromising their mental health. In addition to offering individual services I have a signature program for pregnant women, A Postpartum State of Mind. This program is offered as a 6-week group or 3-hour class to educate, normalize, and validate the changes that occur to a woman’s mental health after having a baby. My favorite part of the program is every woman who participates leaves with a detailed postpartum recovery care plan to share with her support persons. The care plan was designed to ensure every woman has the information, tips, tools, and referrals to ensure her fourth trimester is truly a period of recovery.
As a speaker I serve audiences by offering keynote speeches, workshops, and panel discussions on a variety of mental wellness topics such as boundaries, burnout, maternal mental health, mindfulness techniques, stress, and self-care strategies. Some of my previous partnerships include organizations such as Postpartum Support International, 2020Mom, Virginia Tech, and Brazelton Touchpoints Center.
As a writer & expert I have been featured in Vanity Fair London, maintain a blog, and have contributed pieces to magazines and brands such as Mantra Wellness Magazine, Military Spouse Magazine, More than a Mrs, and Wounded Warrior Project.
Becoming a mother was the catalyst that changed the course of my business, shook my world, and opened my eyes in so many ways; therefore, whether I’m working with a woman in a individual or group setting, speaking to her at a conference, or she’s reading one of my articles I want her to feel empowered, equipped, and encouraged to prioritize her mental health.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a tough one. My family relocated to Perry, GA which is right outside of Warner Robins/Macon during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, it may not be a surprise that we don’t know much about the area. I’ve been a bit of a hermit since we’ve gotten here. Before getting married I lived in Atlanta for 6 years, and even though it has changed A LOT it still feels like a second home. This won’t help the folks in my area, but I’m going to share a few places I plan to visit in an upcoming trip.
Since my son will be joining me on this trip and he is obsessed with animals, we’ll be going to the Atlanta Zoo, and I plan to grab lunch at Hawkers afterwards. I love that you can sit outside and the food is DELICIOUS. Some of my favorite things to do in Atlanta back in the day when I lived there was munch on pizza at Antico’s downtown location which is BYOB, hang out at Piedmont Park with my friends and our favorite spirits, and catch shows or concerts at Center Stage or the Fox Theatre. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to dedicate my shoutout to my husband who constantly brags about my accomplishments and is by far my biggest fan, mom who is the cheerleader I wish everyone could have in their life, father who is beyond proud of my career projection, and last but not least my son who is the reason my business has blossomed into what it is today.
Photographers: Danielle Coe and Erica Johnson Mug: Jennifer Brantley of More than a Mrs. LLC