About Our Guest- Erica Mechlinski & Melanie Coburn – Living with a Driven—A female perspective

In 2013, Erica Mechlinski launched 212 Communications, a boutique, women-owned strategic communications and marketing firm based in Baltimore. A former executive at one of the largest public relations firms in the world, Erica believed she could deliver big-agency public relations expertise, strategy, and know-how to small and mid-sized companies in the Baltimore/Washington region. Today, 212 Communications provides integrated marketing solutions that help companies to “be seen, be heard, and be understood.” Erica’s firm has been recognized as a top PR firm in Baltimore by Expertise.com since 2017.

Melanie Coburn has always been passionate about connecting and helping others. After more than a decade of marketing for the Washington Redskins, she built a very diverse network of clients, partners, and friends, and focused on building those relationships over time. She pioneered the creation of the business side of the Redskins Cheerleaders and was the first person in the NFL to hold this position. With the cheerleaders, she used to say that she was in the business of smiles. Now, through her co-founding role in CADRE, Melanie hopes to become a cheerleader for world-class professionals. As the Chief Relationship Officer of CADRE, she advocates for the support to over 100 CEOs and business leaders full-time.

Tools mentioned by Melanie and Erica

Nozbe (https://nozbe.com/) – Nozbe is a system that helps effective teams get tasks and projects done and provides dedicated apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, and mobile devices. It’s a project management tool to put every task and share calendars.

EMDR (www.emdria.org/page/what_is_emdr_therapy) – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. During EMDR therapy sessions, you relive traumatic or triggering experiences in brief doses while the therapist directs your eye movements.

Talk Therapy (https://www.verywellmind.com/talk-therapy-2671994) – Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is based on the core idea that talking about the things that are bothering you can help clarify them and put them in perspective.

Full Podcast Transcription

Erica Mechlinski 00:00
And Derek has always said he’ll be the first to tell everyone, I prioritize my wife over my kids because we’ve seen older couples and our parents generation who have no relationship, no deep meaningful relationship with their partner because they focus on 100% on the children and not on themselves.

Diva Nagula 00:22
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of From Doctor to Patient. This is Dr. Nagula and today we are doing something slightly different. About a month ago we released a podcast where we had a panel of entrepreneurs and discussed everything from useful life hacks to inspirational books and podcasts. Today, I have the wives of those entrepreneurs, Melanie Coburn and Erica Mechlinski a little bit about Melanie, Melanie has been passionate about connecting and helping others. After more than a decade of marketing for the Washington Redskins. She built a very diverse network of clients, partners and friends and focused on building those relationships over time. She pioneered the creation of the business side of the Redskins’ cheerleaders, and was the first person in the NFL to hold this position. With their cheerleaders. She used to say that she was in the business of smiles. Now through her co founding role in Qadri Melanie hopes to become a cheerleader for World Class professionals, as the chief relationship Officer of Qadri she advocates for and supports over 100 CEOs and business leaders full time. A little bit about Erica, in 2013, Erica Mechlinski launched Two Twelve communications, and beauty women own strategic communications and marketing firm based in Baltimore, a former executive at one of the largest public relations firms in the world. Erica believes she could deliver big agency public relations, expertise, strategy and know how to small and mid sized companies in the Baltimore/Washington region. Today, Two Twelve Communications provides integrated marketing solutions that help companies to be seen, be heard and be understood. Erica’s firm has been recognized as a top PR firm in Baltimore, by expertise.com since 2017.Ladies, how are you?

Erica Mechlinski 02:39
Hi, doing great. How are you?

Diva Nagula 02:42
I’m doing fantastic. So this is a real treat, as I have to give a quick shout out because this idea of this podcast was Julie’s and she’s the one that made this suggestion. And I thought it was a wonderful idea. So a quick thank you and shout out to Julie. So I’m so pleased because this is going to be a really informative treat for all those people who want to have tips and learn interesting things from a female perspective. And both of you are entrepreneur moms that are married to driven entrepreneurs. What I want to find out is how do you face the challenges of balancing work and family life and being that glue that solidifies everything?

Erica Mechlinski 03:32
Mel, you want to take the lead?

Melanie Coburn 03:35
Sure. Well, I guess I think the first thing that I do whenever I talk about the work life balance and balancing the household is to really realize that it’s more of an integration than a balance as entrepreneurs, as you know, sometimes are busier than others. Some events are more demanding than others. And it’s really just a flow that goes sort of based on the season. So knowing that you may have some busy times and setting your children up with expectations that there may be some busy times ahead to know that there will be a balance coming soon in the future. So I always say yes, we work lots of hours maintaining our business, but we also have the flexibility to go on field trips as chaperones and to support our kids and other ways that makes it more meaningful.

Diva Nagula 04:27
Awesome. And I have a lot of questions of follow up that I have about that. But I want to give
Erica a chance to give us her answers and two cents worth.

Erica Mechlinski 04:37
Yeah, so Mel’s, right, that word “balanced” it’s like a unicorn and everybody believes that there’s this work-life balance. And I love that word integration, Mel because that’s exactly really what it is I personally didn’t set out to be this entrepreneur and it’s worked out well because I’m married to an entrepreneur and I’ve sort of watched how he’s been able to do it. But he’s got this phrase and he teaches it, it shifts, we get to do this, we don’t have to do this, we get to live by design. And I feel very grateful and lucky that we have this lifestyle where we work really hard and our kids see that. And our kids see that the work that we do matters, we’re in the community, we’re helping to connect people. And we’re also showing up at their Christmas pageants and their field trips. And on snow days, it’s not a panic to figure out how we’re going to work out a childcare situation. So back to Mel’s point, there are some seasons that it’s really, really busy and crazy and you’re probably going to touch on how we balance next Diva, I imagine? But there’s a lot of tools that we’re really lucky to have that our parents didn’t have today that sort of help ease the this integration depending on the season.

Diva Nagula 06:06
And it’s interesting, because both of you have two children and are married to driven passionate entrepreneurs who want to better society, who want to better themselves, who constantly are looking to improve. Do you guys just follow suit in terms of that improvement? Or is there like some resistance like okay, enough, I want to, like, breathe a little bit before I take on the next challenge of improvement? I mean, how do you adjust to that?

Erica Mechlinski 06:38
That is a very good question Diva. I definitely resist a lot, resisted I should say, a lot of the work that we’ve done even in the past year, traditional and untraditional work, I’ve been a little bit more open to taking on things. But Dr. Doug Brockman wrote this book, Driven, you’ve mentioned it that word a couple of times, these driven entrepreneurs. And so drivens have this biological wiring right to succeed. And that’s not to say no, and I aren’t driven, but we’re probably more realistic and cautious. So I’ve come to realize that out of like, the 10, crazy ideas that Joe will bring to the table, and we’ve got to do this right. And we don’t need to talk about this Coronavirus right now, but this is one thing where I’ll open the door, and there’s just stacks of water outside of our house. And there are some things that I just like, all right, I gotta go with this right. And then some things I will push back on where I think it’s a lot of time and energy that we just have to talk through some things a little bit more, but I probably lean more to know first and then we’ll have the conversation he jokes about let’s pretend we’ve had this conversation 100 times and get to your yes.

Diva Nagula 08:02
And I would imagine there’s friction, right? Like if I mean, you both are sort of entrepreneurial in your own sense. And you guys are driven individuals on your own. And so I guess some of the stuff that comes up, it’s like you can agree to but then there’s some that you’re absolutely put a wall on and have some friction, does that create animosity and tension in the household? Or do you present it in a way where it’s a discussion versus a fight?

Erica Mechlinski 08:32
So today, it’s a discussion versus a fight. I’d say as we were learning how to navigate our difference of love languages and how we communicate with one another, there was probably a lot more friction. And Joe probably talked about it a little bit even on your podcast. But when he wrote his first book, it’s 2013, I had just left my job, we had a newborn baby at home, he was on top of the world. And behind the scenes, I, and to this day, I’ve not read Well Regardless, because I resented that book, I resented that that book took him away from our family in a way where we sort of needed him to be around I was postpartum, not with a job, trying to figure out my purpose. And so we’ve worked really hard and we’ve done a lot of therapy in different versions of it to get to a place where we can have really meaningful, wonderful discussions around things we might disagree on and at the end of the day, we can find a compromise one way or the other. And our kids are seeing that, too. We’ll have fights, and we’ll let our kids see it and then we’ll let our kids see us sort of make up and recover pretty quickly.

Melanie Coburn 09:43
I think that’s a very important thing to do for your family actually is learning how to argue constructively and how to take criticism and how to have productive conversations meaningful conversations that even though difficult, showing the kids that that’s okay is very important. its parent We’ve also been through probably 15 years of therapy. So we’ve been constantly working on the communication because I think that that’s like one of the most important aspects of a relationship to succeed, you have to be able to communicate effectively, not being so defensive, being open to the other person’s point of view, all of these things we know, this goes back to the basics, whether it’s a professional organization that you’re working for it with your employees, communicating effectively is very important. So yeah, I agree with Erica.

Diva Nagula 10:32
Erica, you had a buzzword that I wanted to touch upon is love languages. I think that’s just a huge important aspect of like, cultivating a healthy relationship with your loved one, your partner, so I think the five love languages, which I’m not sure who the person is, who developed this. But for those who aren’t familiar with it, there’s like a few, there’s five love languages that could pertain to you and whichever one is your dominant one that helps your partner to shape their relationship and their way of communication towards you, and the way they act towards you. So I think the love languages that are out there is one is acts of service receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation and physical touch. So did you guys, when you guys got married, were you familiar with the love languages? Or did you become familiar with the love languages in your marriage, and then started to employ some of that doctrine in your marriage?

Erica Mechlinski 11:40
Yeah, for us, we were we were well into our marriage before we discovered the five love languages. And it was like this light bulb that went out when we realized oh my gosh, we’ve been communicating incorrectly to one another for quite some time. Like Joe’s, for example, he’s words of affirmation and physical touch, I am quality time, and acts of service. So every day, I’m hearing how much he loves me and he wants to cuddle and I’m beautiful. And none of that is resonating. Not at all. And so I’m doing things for him and wanting to spend time and planning dates, and that’s not resonating for him. And once we connected like, now he gets up in the morning, every morning, he wakes up the whole family, he makes homemade french toast, he empties the dishwasher, he’s got coffee waiting, and it’s like the sexiest thing to wake up to every morning is an empty dishwasher. Right? And he knows. Like that’s how he’s gonna say he loves me in the morning. Right? And then at night, he expects something to be reciprocated. So I think it’s recommended reading for anybody, no matter where you are in your relationship. And Mel, you can talk about it, as well. But we did a family sleepover with our families. And she sort of led us through this exercise with our kiddos, where we could understand their love languages and speak their language it’s an amazing book.

Melanie Coburn 13:09
So our love language is very similar. We found it many years ago, but still long, probably right around when we started have children. Just knowing it and being aware of it is so important. The author is Gary Chapman. And it’s one of the few books that has been on the best selling list for probably over 15 years. And it’s a really easy online quiz that anybody can Google and take and learn. I’m pretty sure you’re going to not be surprised by the outcomes. But I am acts of service similar to Erica and Derek is touch. And once we realized that it made a huge difference in how we communicate and show each other love.

Diva Nagula 13:50
After you employed the understanding and the knowledge behind the love language. Have you found that the relationship between you and your partners have like increased and have improved immensely?

Erica Mechlinski 14:04
Oh, yeah, for sure. I think that we we’re all striving to do better every day. You know, at times when we’re tense or there’s space between us or there’s a high stress situation, I know, just holding his hand or touching his arm or just being near him is enough to settle him down and call him down. And that alone is his gold.

Diva Nagula 14:24
And Erica, I’m sure that’s actually changed as you were mentioning before about the quality of
relationship with with Joe now it’s just immensely enhanced?

Erica Mechlinski 14:33
Yeah, absolutely. It’s like a superpower that you have but it’s so simple. So simple. Yeah.

Diva Nagula 14:41
I want to also discuss, that’s a great tool for our listeners to research on their own and purchase the book, and it can immensely enhance relationships in the quality of their marriages or relationships with our partners. What other tools do you guys use, like in terms of budgeting your time. I mean, you have two kids that have active schedules, you have a husband that has an active schedule and you yourself have active schedules. What kind of resources do you use and tools that you use to like manage everything?

Erica Mechlinski 15:15
Shared calendars! Share calendars are very, very important just to know what’s going on logistically with the family between the sports practices, school field trips, and then all the business stuff as well, Derek and I use we use Google, the shared Outlook calendar, we use calendars, we use Nozbe, which is the task management.

Diva Nagula 15:38 What does that again?

Erica Mechlinski 15:39
Nozbe, it’s sort of like Asana, it’s a task management program software that we do all of our business projects there. But I also have the melody and Derek projects that include everything from house hunting, to, you know, the boys sports activities, to grocery lists, so it’s just a central place to put everything. Things won’t get missed there because you can see whether or not somebody opened the task, checked it out. It’s very, very easy to use.

Diva Nagula 16:11
Yep. And Erica, how about you? What do you guys use?

Erica Mechlinski 16:15
So, I’m going to write that down, Mel, cuz we really, we need a better system in place to share calendars, but I will send him calendar invites to block his calendar, which is funny, I know, his team has access to his calendar, and they’ll see, watch kids, and I’ll block off when I need him to be home at certain times, other tools that we use. So I use specifically… I’m a big fan of outsourcing. I’m really happy that a lot of folks have sort of jumped on that bandwagon. But a while ago, I looked at… I had a friend and mentor who she gave me the advice, outsource anything that doesn’t bring you joy before the whole, like touch the things that don’t bring you joy and give it away. She was like outsource anything that doesn’t bring you joy. And so slowly, but surely, I sort of got over the mom guilt of what it meant to outsource grocery shopping, or meal preparation, or cleaning my house. And I sort of wrapped my head around back to quality time as a love language of mine and quality time has a value in cleaning our house on a Saturday, that is zero value to me. So none none whatsoever. I’m a big fan of all of those types of tools that technology has afforded us to have other people help us.

Diva Nagula 17:44
Mel, I’m sure you partake in the outsourcing. You gave me a specific tool, a service to outsource and that was laundry and it has made my life so much easier. I mean, it’s a little bit on the expensive side, which, that’s okay, I don’t do it every time that I need to do laundry. But when I come back from a trip where I’ve been gone for 10 days, it’s like the last thing that I want to do is sit there and come home and put stuff in the washing machine and then put it in the dryer and then fold them and put them away. I came back home last week and it was like 20 some pounds. But then I paid a certain fee. And then the next day I had everything like delivered to my front door. Everything was nicely folded and packed. I was like this is the best service ever.

Melanie Coburn 18:29
Amazing, right? But Diva I know your hourly rate is a lot less expensive than rents.

Diva Nagula 18:35 That’s right,

Melanie Coburn 18:36
You have to really look at the value of the time that you’re spending and where you’re spending it. And what you could be doing in place at that time. So for me, we actually live in a condo and so we’ve got the stackable ventless dryers, it takes me three and a half hours to dry a load of laundry. So I only do the hang dry stuff at home and I send all the sheets and towels out because I just don’t have the time to do it. But I think even if I had time now I might send it out because the services feels good.

Erica Mechlinski 19:40 Why wouldn’t you?

Diva Nagula 19:58
And then you guys use services for groceries like so what’s the service that you use for grocery

Erica Mechlinski 20:15
I use Amazon Prime, we’ve got a whole foods down the street. So I use Amazon Prime, they took out instacart in our area. But I know a lot of folks, if you have, I think like Wegmans or grocery stores like that, you can use instacart. And then Harris Teeter does, you can pull up and they’ll put the groceries in your cart for like, $5.99. Right, that’s a fee. So it’s, it’s an affordable option. I know some people like going to the grocery store, it’s therapy, they like touching every apple and every banana. But I don’t enjoy that. So I’m very grateful for a one hour delivery window.

Diva Nagula 20:52
Right. And I think that’s so important. Because in a society that we live in, where there’s so many activities that are going on in the household, and so many like chores that we need to do, it’s really important to be able to budget our time so that we can spend quality time with our family. And by outsourcing, it really allows us to do that. Whereas if you were going to go to the grocery store and do your own grocery shopping, you probably are just upset and miserable because you’re thinking about 20 other things that you have to do when you get home. And you eliminate that mentality when you’re able to outsource. And you’re using that time that otherwise would be spent, like going to the grocery store, towards your family. That’s so important in terms of maintaining healthy relationships, not only with your partner, but with your children. So I think that’s really important to point out because we’re so burdened and we’re always stressed out about the numerous things that we have to do on a constant basis. It takes us away from what really matters.

Erica Mechlinski 21:54 Yep, agreed.

Diva Nagula 21:56
I think it’s just great that the the outsourcing thing, I love that I wasn’t even thinking about that, but you guys were on top of it. Now let’s let’s talk about quality time, right? So obviously, with your own businesses and occupations, and with the children, and the husbands that are so driven, and are always doing things, how do you find quality time? Do you guys carve out time? Or do you guys have spontaneity? What does that mean to you? How is that defined for you?

Erica Mechlinski 22:29
Well, you’re never gonna find time, you have to make time, I believe that 100% Derek and I, we carve out one night a month for a date night, that’s just the two of us, that doesn’t include the friends or the cadrers or others, it’s just the two of us once once a month doing a date night. And then we also do quarterly family board meetings, which are one on ones with each of our children. Period. And this is all Jim Shields, who has an amazing group. He wrote a book called family board meetings, but he also has a group called 18 Summers focuses on really valuing the time you have with your children, because you only have 18 summers with them. And just, you know trying to be mindful of that and plan meaningful one on one dates with them where you let them pick an activity, you do the activity together, and then you have a meal and share what what you liked about the activity and really opens up communication lines with your children, and gives them the opportunity to share a lot more than they would normally do so with you. So it’s keeping those lines of communication open over time growing those relationships, and making time for them.

Diva Nagula 23:39
Just to reiterate, so you have a date night that’s planned with individual children and with your

Melanie Coburn 23:45 Yes, basically.

Erica Mechlinski 23:48 That’s awesome.

Diva Nagula 23:49
And the once a month was is that with the children or is that with you two?

Erica Mechlinski 23:53
The once a month is just the two of us and we actually use a service in DC called Ask Jenna, by our dear friend Jenny Shtipelman, they plan everything for you too, which is again that acts of service. I don’t have to plan the date for once. It’s really nice to just kind of show up somewhere and have it ready for you to enjoy. And then the family meetings, the kids actually plan, we let them plan what they’re going to do.

Diva Nagula 24:19
Oh, really? So they have a voice in terms of what they want to do with daddy date night or
mommy date night?

Melanie Coburn 24:24
There’s some parameters usually involves, some sort of, one of those trampoline parks or a
wizards game or something fun like that.

Diva Nagula 24:36
Yeah, I never had that when I was growing up. It was it was either we do stuff whenever there was time, because when I was growing up, there was no outsourcing. My mom was a stay at home mom and my dad was always at work. So yeah, it would have been really great. If I had that in my life. I would have probably changed my relationship dynamic that I have my parents now. And you guys are already integrating these things because you’re preparing your kids for a lifestyle, where they have a better relationship with you now and in the future. That’s awesome. I wish that was something that my family implemented when we were growing up. Erica, do you have anything to add to that?

Erica Mechlinski 25:22
Yeah, so Joe and I recently, I’d say probably in the last year or so we’ve been doing nightly meetings after the kids go to school. Yeah, so where he used to at eight o’clock pull his computer back out. And I used to go up and put on a show and then we’d come together and we’d be sitting next to each other, but not really communicating. Again, we’ve done some traditional and untraditional therapy and sort of led to our evenings are really sacred time for us now. So we put the kids to bed and probably like 8 to 10 ish, there was no TV that goes on. And we just sort of talk. And if it’s nice outside, we’re out on the patio. And we talked about really anything and everything under the sun. So we really try to do that on a nightly basis. And then in the mornings, we try to get the kids off to school together and we do joint workouts, so we both need to work out. So that’s the time that we, back to Mel’s point, you have to make it. Yeah, you have to make the time and you have to sort of do things together on purpose. And then the other thing that we’re experimenting with, and it’s worked out to like a once a month thing, but we do a Friday day date. So we start between two and four, before we get the kids, we sort of kick the weekend off together. And then that sort of will set the tone for the entire weekend. So that’s how we try to sort of get quality time into our lives on purpose.

Diva Nagula 26:52
And how do you manage things like where if you have a specific like and say your your your spouse or partner is averse to that specific activity that you want to do? Do you totally avoid it? Or does the partner compromise just to make you happy? Or is it off the table completely?

Erica Mechlinski 27:14
I’ll speak from our experience. Well, I think there’s always a compromise. Always a compromise. There are definitely things that Joe wants to do that I’ve been really hesitant to try to do. And it’s always worked out well. If I can just surrender to it and vice versa. There are things he doesn’t want to do. I mean, I’m a big Disney fan. I took him to Disney kicking and screaming. And now he signed us up as a Disney vacation family member package which is basically like a Disney timeshare now. So there are things that we’ve done kicking and screaming that we’ve ended up really enjoying together.

Diva Nagula 27:58 And Mel?

Melanie Coburn 27:59
I know all about the Disney one, Derek did not want to go the first time. So he quickly changed his mind. Yeah, it’s all about compromise. And usually you’ll be surprised that things you might enjoy, if you give it a shot.

Diva Nagula 28:17
The other thing is that I really respect this. Even though you guys are both mothers and wives, you still have an opportunity to go out with the friends with the girls. Right? And you do that frequently. And it’s a testament to the solidarity of the relationship. It’s also a testament to the flexibility of your partner, and your partners like yeah, go do it. And, you know, obviously, it’s going to be reciprocated. And when I was growing up that had never happened, there was no like, my parents wouldn’t my mom wouldn’t have a girls night and it was all about, we have responsibility and obligations to our kids. We can’t do that. I’m sure you have people who look at you and like how are you doing that? And it’s all about a balance. And you guys do it so well. If you have a comment on that and how you do it, and you make it look so easy?

Melanie Coburn 29:13
It’s always a challenge. But I think that in a relationship as parents, your children are only going to be under your roof for maybe a quarter of your life. And the rest of that time you’re going to be together. So when your children move out and they move on and start lives of their own. If you haven’t been prioritizing your relationship while they’re in your house, that can fall apart, you lose the communication skills, you lose things that are relevant, things that you like to do together, hobbies, those types of things are very important to keep going while you are in a parenting role. And Derek has always said he’ll be the first to tell everyone I prioritize my wife or my kids because we’ve seen other you know, older couples and our parents generation who have no relationship no deep meaningful relationship with their partner because they focus 100% on the children and not on themselves.

Diva Nagula 30:09
And Erica, before I wanted to add something, go ahead. If you had something to comment on,
Erica, please go ahead.

Erica Mechlinski 30:16
No, I think we’re really lucky because we have partners who are partners in the true sense of the word, there is no traditional and non traditional roles. We’re lucky that they understand you had mentioned girls nights. We will be a better wife and a better mom, if we have some time with our tribe, and women in our life that raise us up and help us feel normal. And let us be ourselves.

Diva Nagula 30:46
I think it’s so important. And the other thing is, is that in my household, and I’m sure, in many households, there’s a tendency to have a sort of codependency and that’s like a tricky path. I don’t think it’s healthy in a relationship. And I think you guys are you’re both are in relationships, where you’re really striving to not be codependent. Right? Are you conscious about codependency? Is that an issue? Or do you just not even worry about it?

Melanie Coburn 31:18
Yeah, I mean, I don’t really worry about it. I think we both have strong relationships within our marriage with friends and outside of our marriage with friends. It’s really nice. Our tribe has grown close over the last few years, we created Cadre to create our tribe of our own. We’ve always built relationships around us that lift us up. And, what’s the quote? I know, Erica, you’ve mentioned this before.

Erica Mechlinski 31:45
Yeah, you’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with.

Diva Nagula 31:52 Oh, that’s awesome.

Melanie Coburn 31:53
And knowing that and being intentional about that really, is going to improve the relationships
of all that we share together, but also outside relationships as well.

Diva Nagula 32:06
Right. And as females and moms, do you have a support group that you or any kind of… you guys mentioned that you do counseling on a regular basis. And I’m sure that helps with the communication with your partner. Are there any other strategies that you use besides that? Are you an avid follower of the counseling? Because a lot of people feel like, well, I don’t need to go see a counselor, I know everything about marriage, an it’s gonna be a waste of money. What are your thoughts on that?

Erica Mechlinski 32:41
I’ll take all the help I can get I’m not opposed to therapy, I have tried EMDR individually. And I’ve really found that to be helpful. Talk therapy, both individually and together, we have found to be helpful. Meditation, we found to be helpful. I’m sort of always seeking to be better. And so is he. So we don’t sort of look at any form of therapy really, and say, that’s not going to be helpful. It’s worth trying.

Diva Nagula 33:12
Right. And Mel, what kind of therapies do you do? Together to enhance the relationship, if any?

Melanie Coburn 33:19
We do talk therapy, we do yoga together on a regular basis.

Diva Nagula 33:25
That’s a therapy in itself, right?

Melanie Coburn 33:30
I think that it’s an investment, it’s an investment in yourself, and it’s an investment in your relationship. So I don’t look at therapy as a cost or something, I would never give that up. It’s so important to me that I would always prioritize that we also have done a lot of work together to optimize our health. So we did a detox together last year, that was challenging, but also even though there were times of stress during that season of complete detox, it also brought us closer together, going through it together and getting through it together.

Diva Nagula 34:09
It is a difficult thing to take on. And I guess, having your partner there with you, to support you, and going through it, it enhances that relationship and it just solidifies that you guys can get through anything because that’s a really hard thing to do. And having that support makes it a lot easier and less challenging. Because it’s challenging in itself but it’s more bearable because you have a partner to go through it with. That’s really important and a great take home. Any other comments that you want to add to our listeners in terms of relationships, marriage, children, when you take home points that you might want to bring up?

Erica Mechlinski 34:51
You had mentioned we make it look easy, and I’ve watched and admired how Mel has run her household. For some time now, and it takes work, it doesn’t come naturally, I think in the age of Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and sort of you see what you see. And you can easily look and say, oh, they have it together, that’s a perfect family, oh, it must be nice to be them. And it takes work daily, on a daily basis, it takes work to be happy.

Diva Nagula 35:26
And I would imagine, part of that work is keeping an open line of communication. Right. So, I mean, with your kids, with your partner, it’s really important, because I think that’s really the foundation of a healthy relationship with families is, your husband and kids, if that’s if that line, if that channel is compromised, I think that really can destroy relationships quickly.

Erica Mechlinski 35:49 Very quickly. Yeah, absolutely.

Diva Nagula 35:52
And Melanie, any take home points?

Melanie Coburn 35:56
I think Erica hit the nail on the head, I think that it is work prioritizing it, and being very intentional about prioritizing it. It’s definitely not easy. Even with all the outsourcing and all the resources that we have, carving out time throughout our week throughout our day to check in with one another, and to keep those lines of communication open. And we’re still works in progress. So I look forward to the next new thing that we can try and to continue to grow our relationship in our family and family dynamic.

Diva Nagula 36:35
And before we depart, I want to ask you what is the one tool and strategy that you cannot live without? I have a feeling that I know what both of you are going to say, but I wanted to have this so that you can share with our listeners, like what is the one thing that you urge people to implement in terms of changing their life and household?

Erica Mechlinski 36:54
We’ve talked about it throughout this podcast, the one thing that I would urge folks, especially moms listening is to allow yourself to outsource, don’t look at it as an extra expense. Don’t look at it as something that’s taking away from your family, it’s going to add to your family in so many ways. You can’t even count them.

Diva Nagula 37:14 And Mel?

Erica Mechlinski 37:15
And I would say talk therapy. I think a lot of people, I mean, I credit the success of our relationship to starting that work 15 years ago, and continuing it on and we didn’t give up. We didn’t say oh, we’re fine. There’s always room for improvement. Just having that our safely blocked in our calendar every week to communicate with one another and have somebody there to help guide us through that conversation is just very, very important. I think a lot of people still think it’s a negative thing. Oh, they must need help. It’s weakness to go to therapy. Like those are all terrible attitudes to have. And I would encourage everybody to look at it as an investment in their relationship and the way to take your relationship to the next level.

Diva Nagula 38:02
Yeah, I agree. 100% Well, thank you both for taking your time out of your busy schedule to come on this podcast as my guests. I think this was really useful for people and it’s a great follow up to the part one of the episode with entrepreneurs. So thanks again, ladies.

Erica Mechlinski 38:21
Thanks for having us, Diva. You too.

Melanie Coburn 38:26 Have a great day, guys.