Amplify Podcast, Motherhood + Life

Episode 45: Planning for Maternity Leave and Time Off From Biz for Mom Entrepreneurs

June 23, 2021

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Hi everyone – I’m back!

I had to break my weekly podcast streak this year (I was SO proud of it!) but for very good reason– I welcomed another baby girl on April 21st, Mae Elizabeth, and she is just an absolute dream! 

In this episode, I share all about planning for a maternity leave while being a mom business owner – what worked, what didn’t, and what I’ve learned doing this a few times now. I know for me it’s always been very helpful to learn how other mom entrepreneurs prepare their businesses and home for a maternity leave and really, it’s helpful for anytime you want to just take a break from business or a vacation. 

In my last episode, I talked a bit about the waiting game and how I became SUPER productive in nesting mode. I completely redesigned my website at emilyrichett.com, as well as The AMPLIFY Show’s site, theamplifyshow.com. I also redesigned and did a complete overhaul of my DIY PR program/mastermind (also called AMPLIFY). 

Had I known I was going to be a week overdue, I’m not sure I would have done all of that- I experienced some supercharged energy by not knowing how much time I would have, which is a pretty cool thing to experience. Every day ends up feeling like the Friday before vacation!

If you want to hear all about the labor, delivery, and Mae’s birth story, I shared a bit of that over on my blog – a little something for my sentimental mama friends! But now we’ll dive right into the planning, strategies, and all the kind of stuff you’ve come to expect here at AMPLIFY. 

Having a baby and the initial postpartum stage that follows is challenging- no going around it. This has been the best and easiest in many ways and also, the hardest in other ways.

On one hand, my business and my family were simply in better places to welcome another baby. My two daughters were 4 (nearly 5) and 6 -much easier to manage than 2 under 2 like before- and my husband and I are becoming pros at changing diapers in our sleep! My business is 8.5 years old and I have more support and systems than I had previously. 

On the other hand, there were some unexpected events that made this maternity leave more challenging- the physical recovery was a bit harder this time (ahem, “advanced maternal age”), I received some tough family news that had us traveling just a couple weeks postpartum, while at the same time one of my team members put in her two weeks notice which meant I had to dive into that transition and finding a replacement.

Was this the ideal, hands-off maternity leave I had planned for and expected?

Nope.

Was it as “checked out” as a typical maternity leave if I had a regular job?

Hardly.

But as entrepreneurs, this is the life we have signed up for, right?

We are ready to accept that nothing in life is promised- or even promised to be easy. We are always ready to figure things out when obstacles arise. This is what we do. 

We figure. things. out.

Moms in general are amazing at this- it’s a superpower we share. It’s how we multi-task the many things our families and children need from us to run a smooth household (on good days!).  I really felt that God-given mother energy during the challenging times of my labor and through postpartum and I have to give credit to that first.

And for the rest, I’ll share that below and with a deeper dive in today’s episode- so please listen and I’d love your feedback if you’ve taken an entrepreneur maternity leave- or an extended time away from your business.

1- PRAY FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORST

  • You get about 40 weeks to prepare before having a baby.
  • There is so much we can’t control but leverage the things you can prepare for in advance
  • Pray for the best, but prepare for the “worst case scenario” – of course we hope our baby will be a great sleeper and that our recovery will be a breeze. But just assume you’re going to have a colicky little babe and need extra TLC for yourself too. You’ll be so glad you have the supplies and support set up in advance if needed.

2-  PAUSE, AUTOMATE & DELEGATE + THE “POST-BABY LIST”

  • What can you pause for a while? You typically can’t do everything so just be OK with eliminating. 
  • Automate or delegate the rest – this is true for at home and in business. Think about all the things you could put on auto-shipping for home supplies, a cleaning or meal delivery service – and things in business that can be automated or delegated out to someone else for a while.
  • Create a “post-baby” list and brain dump all the things you have coming up in the next 3 months after baby that need to get done or that you don’t want to forget. Paying invoices or remembering to cancel a subscription are good things to add to the list so you can free up mental space to just relax and focus on baby and recovery.

3- PLAN FOR MORE SUPPORT THAN  YOU NEED

  • Similar to planning for the worst-case scenario, it’s helpful to assume you may need a lot of help (even if you don’t end up needing it!).
  • I hired a postpartum doula to help at home so we would have an extra set of hands to help in every aspect of transitioning to life with another baby- she was so great and jumped in to help with everything from burping the baby and bringing her to me for feedings if I was napping, to dishes, laundry and tidying the house.
  • Have extra support ready for your team or business. I should have prepared more in this area and in hindsight, I would have hired a couple extra publicists and had them ready to dive into some projects as needed.

Next week on The AMPLIFY Show, I’m going to share how to handle challenging situations and unexpected events. I also have some exciting interviews coming up with authors and coaches to help you amplify your business and your life, so stay tuned!

If this episode resonated with you, I’d love to hear about it. Connect with me over on Instagram (@emilyrichett) and let me know- how do you prepare for taking time away from business- especially maternity leave!

 

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