We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas Welch and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thomas, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I think a proper work / life balance is critical to success. Of course, it’s also probably important to first define success. I don’t see success as the acquisition of wealth or fame. Nor do I think it’s about power and rank. Success is all about your personal life. Someone said, “the business of life is the acquisition of memories; in the end, that’s all you have.” You might think that not having a wife and children means you can just focus on work and certainly without a family, more of your time can be focused on work. But make no mistake, if you forsake the development and management of your personal life, you are lacking a critical aspect of success.
I have 3 kids, ages 5 and under, having been married for 6 years. Before i was married, I was able to dedicate as much time as I wanted to work. Even after I was married, the balance wasn’t so hard. As kids enter the picture, one by one, that balance becomes increasingly tough. My wife and I are both self-employed and work from home. On the one hand, we get the opportunity to be home with our boys as they grow and develop. On the other, we have to work together and tag team between work phone calls, dirty diapers, and deadlines. My wife and I accomplish our work balance in different ways. She is a person that when she sits down to do something, she’s got to finish it. It would take her even longer and it would frustrate her if she had to stop what she was doing and come back to it later. When we carve out time for her to focus on work, it’s usually in 3-4 hour blocks and it has to be upstairs in the office where she can be left alone. I’m more of a nibbler. I can start something, pause from it to do something else, and jump right back into it. I also am able to work pretty normally with noise or other distractions around me. As such, I keep my laptop in the dining room and I work almost constantly. I can step away to make a meal for the kids and do things around the house. It works for us but it does require a bit of juggling.
The balancing of your work and personal life is critical. One will naturally overtake the other if you don’t actively work to balance it. You’ll have to create schedules, setup standards, and enforce those standards regularly. But most important, be flexible. Work can change, especially if it’s growing but life will certainly change. The balancing will have to change with it. Somethings will become more important than they used to be and you’ll have to roll with the punches. Keep in mind though, without you focusing on that balance weekly, sometimes daily, one side will lose to the other.
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 wife is a midwife. She moved to Dallas almost 20 years ago to study midwifery and she did so at a local birth center called Family Birth Services. The owner founded the company back in 1981 and since the beginning FBS has been a staple in North Texas for midwives and families, having delivered thousands of babies, trained dozens of midwifes, and served families all over Dallas/Fort Worth for decades. It’s also been a huge part of my wife’s personal and professional life. FBS gave her a home and a family here in Dallas while she developed her Midwifery career. In January 2021, the owner announced her retirement and was going to close the practice. My wife and I discussed it and decided to offer to take over the practice and carry the practice forward. As of April this year, approaching the 40th anniversary of the company, we took ownership of Family Birth Services. We’ve converted it from a Birth Center, to an all home-birth practice. We’ve got a great team of midwives serving clients and a fantastic office/exam location to be based out of in Grand Prairie.
Most midwives that do home birth are relatively solo in the practice. Of course, they have fellow midwives that they can call on for support when they need it but what makes us different is that we have all of the infrastructure and organization of a birth center while allowing the midwives to feature their home birth practice. All our midwives can rely on the strength, the support, and even the marketing of the company so that they can focus on doing what they want to do, be midwives.
Since the 80s FBS has always featured having students in the organization, learning to be midwifes, along side established midwifes. Since January, we’ve had to pause that program as we transition the company but we’re looking forward to restarting that program with life and new vision. It won’t just be a place where a student midwife can pickup births for her education; we want to form a fully functional education platform.
My wife handles all the client / midwife coordination whereas I handle the business itself. If not for my wife’s interest in FBS and midwifery as a whole, it’s fair to say, this isn’t the company I wouldn’t have focus on. Not because it doesn’t have potential but because it’s not me. It’s my wife though, so it’s something we can do together. We’ve only just gotten started in it’s challenges but all challenges have the potential for growth spurts and we get to work through it together.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Day 1: He’d come home and be with the family for his arrival day. Rest, hang-out, dinner at home. Day 2: Morning Walk with Coffee, Drive to former college campus and look around, lunch at Freebirds, back home for the evening
Day 3: Morning Walk with Coffee, Workout, lunch at Raising Canes, Afternoon Movie, Take Family to the Park, dinner at home
Day 4: Hang out at home all day and do things with the family
Day 5: Take the family to the zoo, afternoon family goes home/we go laser tagging and shooting range
Day 6: Morning Walk with Coffee, Workout, take the family to putt-putt golf, hang out at home rest of the day
Day 7: Pack/Head home.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The greatest support, motivation, and source of love and encouragement in my life is my wife and kids. Not only are they my drive and reason every day but whether a company is successful or not, they’re the only thing I really care about.