With my second baby on the way, I’m preparing for maternity leave round 2. This time it’s a little bit different, as I’m already a mum to a gorgeous (and very energetic) 18-month-old.
I also have the beauty of hindsight, having experienced a maternity leave in the past already. So my expectations are a little bit different this time around!
So if you’re getting ready for your first maternity leave or subsequent maternity leave and you’re wondering how to prepare for maternity leave or if it’s even possible to step away from your daily work while keeping your business running smoothly, then read on.
I’m going to share a bit about my first maternity leave and what I’m doing differently this time to prepare my business and my life for bub’s arrival!
Of course, take it with a grain of salt – we all run different types of businesses and have different lifestyles, so take on the tips that work best for you and leave the rest!
When I was pregnant with my first, I hired a customer support assistant and a marketing assistant. At the time, my business was very heavily focused on education – I had students in my copywriting membership who needed support and regular copy reviews. I also needed support in my inbox. My customer support assistant helped me with that.
On the marketing side, I prepared months worth of podcast episodes, and my marketing assistant helped me schedule them and repurpose them as blog posts.
I checked in with my team at least weekly. Overall, I felt confident that the day-to-day runnings of my business would be looked after for me. It was a nice weight off my shoulders!
Those early days were wonderful and sweet but also really challenging. I got quite sick in the first few weeks and found the first month to six weeks a huge adjustment (which is to be expected, of course!). As much as I love working, in those first few months, my only priority was keeping my tiny human alive and well and getting used to this whole new world of being a mum.
But once I got my bearings and found my groove, I was itching to dive back into work. Working in nap times was my reality back then. It was intense, but doable. However, it was challenging not having more focused time, and the unpredictability of nap times made things even tougher. But hey, when you’re a mum, you learn to make it work. 😉
When my first was around 10 and a half months old, he started going to daycare two days a week, which gave me two full days to work. This really helped me physically and mentally. I was able to focus on work alone for those two days, which meant I could feel more present when I was with Archer. It really reduced my mental load, which helped a lot. And of course, it allowed me to take on new clients and increase revenue in my business.
Understanding what I do now about the reality of running a business as a mum, I have a different perspective heading into my second maternity leave. I’m still doing a lot of the same things to prepare that I did the first time, but I’m adjusting my expectations. I think it also helps to have some insight into what the next year or so will look like, although of course, it will be different again with a toddler in tow!
First things first, I’ve hired a fantastic virtual assistant who will be taking care of tasks like inbox management, lead generation, and scheduling and formatting content for my blog, podcast, email newsletter, and Instagram account. Plus, if I need an extra hand with client content, she’s got my back.
Honestly, this hire was a little overdue. I should have done this months ago. I think I simply got used to doing a lot of these tasks in my business again, as I had more time to do them. When in reality, I could have hired out these tasks earlier and freed up my time to do different tasks, or simply take a little break every now and then (which, as a mum, is a rare and much-needed thing!).
I’m continuing to provide Content Management Services to my retainer clients. I’ve prepared their content a little bit ahead of schedule and have a VA who can assist with editing or scheduling if need be.
My services are currently waitlisted, as I’m not taking on any large launch copy or website copy projects until later this year. If you’ve been wanting to work with me or want to work with me later this year either for done-for-you Launch Copy, Website Copy, or Monthly Content Writing, get on the waitlist now by submitting your application at connectioncopy.co/services – even if you just have this in mind for later this year, you’ll want to get on that waitlist now, because I’ll be serving new clients on a first-come basis.
Secondly, I’ve prepared a lot of content in advance, including podcast episodes, blog posts, and Instagram content. Even though not all the IG content has been created, I’ve outlined the topics, so I can easily record podcast episodes from there and my VA can support me with repurposing them into blog or Instagram posts if need be. By preparing my content, my brand stays visible, and my community is still receiving tons of value, even when I’m not as present.
And last but not least, I’ve mapped out my offer promo for the next few months. Sure, my plans for the end of the year are a bit looser, but the next 4-5 months are pretty well set. I mapped this out before creating my content so that my content could help me meet my revenue, client, and student goals.
For the most part, I really enjoy my work. Sure, not every aspect of it is exciting all of the time. But I like strategising, problem solving, and creating. One thing I learned from my first maternity leave is that I really struggled mentally when I hardly had any time to spend on my business. As an enneagram 3 type, I find it meaningful and enjoyable to work on something I’m passionate about, something I’ve built and am building. With that in mind, I want to figure out ways that I can have some more focused time to work a bit earlier than I did the first time. I’d love to be able to have set work hours by the 4-5-month period, so I can schedule in the tasks I need to do and have the peace of mind that things will get done, instead of constantly feeling like I’m behind the ball on things. So I’ll have to update you on how that goes when I get there!
Overall, I’ve learned to adjust my expectations and know that having a baby is unpredictable, and that every baby is different – so only time will tell what my work “groove” looks like when I “return” from maternity leave. While I’m hoping to handle more work than I did the first time around, I’m also prepared to be flexible and adjust as needed. After all, problem-solving is what mums and business owners do best! 😉
Are you preparing for maternity leave? If so, I’d love to hear from you! DM me @connectioncopyco and let me know your top takeaways from this blog post and how you’re planning your maternity leave.
Cheering you on always,
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