When I got pregnant, I was the main financial provider for our family. This meant that, as I planned my maternity leave, I had to focus on my business just as much as taking care of my new baby. As my due date approached, I wondered how I would possibly stay afloat.
Now, let me say, I believe wholeheartedly that the only way to build a thriving practice and enjoy a fulfilling personal life is to tune into your intuition and let it guide you. If you learn anything from me, I hope it’s the confidence to be yourself. Just as no two pregnancies are the same, no two postpartum journeys are the same. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and if you’re finding yourself needing help, ask!
I turned my focus to saving enough to take three months of maternity leave. I referred my clients to other providers to see during my absence and prepared pre-recorded meditations and email lessons to send out weekly. I even wrote an email template to send to clients informing them that I was going into labor and when they could expect me back in the office. All of these steps helped me feel secure that my clients, my new baby, and I would have everything needed for those twelve weeks.
With the money saved and my master plan in place, I was ready to roll. Then, Hurricane Harvey made landfall. Luckily, we were not badly impacted, but I did have to stay inside for an entire week and found myself going absolutely stir crazy. I couldn’t stand it! The feeling of being cooped up for just a few days helped me realize I couldn’t possibly be happy staying home for three months straight, so I made the decision to go back to work sooner.
I decided to ease back into work by seeing three clients a day at five weeks postpartum. It was enough time for me to heal, bond with my baby, and my clients didn’t experience a major disruption in their therapy. Typically I can see eight clients in a day, but with a new baby, I was drained after just three. I gradually increased my number of clients per day and by three months postpartum I was back to my normal caseload.
The most shocking thing for me? How focused and excited I was, and still am, about growing my practice postpartum. I began The Inspired Therapist just nine months after the birth of my son. I am busier than ever and seeing more results in my practice than before I gave birth. I have attended trainings, taken courses, and started new initiatives – all in the first nine months after my son was born.
I never would have guessed my story would sound like this, which is why my best recommendation is to give yourself space to think and to feel. You can plan ahead but the truth is, you won't know how you'll feel until you experience it yourself. You may need a six-month maternity leave or you may be happy with just six weeks. Whatever you decide, start slow, and prioritize self-care, doing what feels best to you.