New Mom Struggle: Preparing for Delivery, A Freelancer’s Journey
Welcome to our new column “Mommy Mogul”! This weekly article will cover issues of importance to moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or are managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.
As I sit here and type with a Boppy around my waist and new baby in my arms, I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief for planning ahead. Sure it may sound like I am working now but in reality, I can assure you I’m not. Whether you work on a contractual basis or run your own show, you know that taking time off requires a ton of work. These sorts of workers don’t usually have paid vacation time at their disposal. If something doesn’t get done, you don’t get paid – and when motherhood is on the horizon, that’s just not an option.
When it comes to your business, preparing for delivery does not have to be a super difficult task so long as you plan ahead. Call it the Virgo in me, but I have never been one to just leave things until the last minute. That’s was too much unnecessary stress I really don’t need.
As I knew my due date was in mid-January I used much of my downtime around the holidays to get things ready for my absence. One of the first things I strongly recommend doing is deciding just how much time you want to take off. Is the standard 12-week maternity leave feasible for what you do (most likely it’s not)?
As for myself, about two weeks was good enough time for me; it wasn’t so short that I would be hopping back into the game right off the delivery table, and not so long that I would become antsy (let me point out that I work from home full-time). It’s also important to note that the amount of work I needed to complete for my absence was manageable. I wouldn’t need to kill myself with late nights trying to accomplish both my daily demands and future obligations. You’ll also want to take it easy because you are going to need that energy for the big day!
I gave myself a few weeks to get the additional work done at my own pace, which is the best decision I ever made. Doubling up can be extremely frustrating at times, especially when you are a box of hormones waiting to explode. Yet the feeling of completing what you set out to do is so glorious. In the words of that rotisserie guy, set it and forget it!
Now that I am on the other side of labor and delivery, I can’t tell you how good it feels to rest with my new bundle of joy knowing business is taking care of itself in the background. And trust me when I say after giving birth, the last thing you’ll want to do is think about work, let alone do it. There are times when I check in to see how things are going, but for the most part I am indulging in a life on cruise control — at least for the time being.
Are you expecting a child and need to make preparations in your business for your temporary absence? If so, what are some things you can do ahead? And don’t forget to give the proper heads up to clients and employers about your pending absence as they too may need to make their own provisions while you are gone.