20 - How To Handle Maternity Leave When You're An Entrepreneur

Updated: Apr 5, 2019


I am so excited to share this week’s conversation with you! My business best friend, Carolina Vennie, owns Yogaleena Yoga Studio & Boutique here in Houston. I first met Carolina when I was going on maternity leave and planning an event for when I returned. She had just had her baby boy, so we were kind of going through the early stages of motherhood together. I’m thrilled to announce that we’re also expecting our second children at the same time as well!


I wanted to sit down and get candid on what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur and have kids. If you want to see our conversation, check out our live video here or listen to our podcast below!


When to Delegate


Carolina and I both agreed that, like all moms, we didn’t really know what to expect with our first babies. We didn’t know what pregnancy would entail, how we would feel or how long it would actually take to recover. Luckily, going into our second pregnancies, we have a better idea of what to expect. But, all babies are different, so while we have a general idea and can get some processes in place, we still don’t know what it will be like when baby arrives.


So, based on that, it is super important to get processes in place and DELEGATE. In our live chat, Carolina mentions that she knew that she was the only one stocking toilet paper in the early days of her business, but as her business grew and she learned to delegate responsibilities, she needed to have a documented process of how things were done so that she could hand off responsibilities when she needed to take time off for her new baby.


As business owners, we tend to wear all the hats- especially in the beginning- but we need to move past that in order to grow our business. This time around, Carolina has hired a part-time manager to run things while she enjoys her newest family member and works on establishing a new rhythm in life.


It’s so important to take time to BE in your experience of having a baby. It really goes by so fast and is such a short time in our career, try not to miss out!


Carolina & Lucas

Be Prepared


Another trait of entrepreneurs is that we think we can do all the things. We know what it takes and have likely done all the tasks in order to get our business where it is today, but it’s really not ok to think that we can and should do everything.


Get yourself and your business prepared. If that means documenting everything for someone else to run things while you’re gone, then create a detailed process so that you can enjoy your time and not have to worry. If that means hiring someone, then plan to do that if you can. It’s different for everyone, but take some time to think about what you’ll need to keep things running while you take some much needed time off.


Know that things aren’t going to go back to “normal” right after the baby comes. After I had my son, my mom told me that having the baby was the easy part. What does that period after having the baby look like for you? Do you want to get back to work quickly? If so, what do you need to put in place to achieve that? Do you need a nanny? Do you want someone to help you keep your house clean?


Or, do you want to take more time to stay home with your new one? That could entail cutting back on certain things to be able to stay home longer.


Your Mindset


Like all aspects of life, your mindset can make or break you. Like I mentioned above, we need to let go of that entrepreneurial mindset that we need to be doing something, that we can do everything and we always have to be “productive”. Hello- growing and having a baby is very productive!


Honor this season in your life. Our bodies need rest, healthy nutrition and support during this time. This isn’t a growth period in business, it’s more of a maintenance period. Give yourself permission to lean into it.


Me & Kai

Things Change


In our society, there’s this thought of bouncing back to “normal” after having a baby. But, there really is no going back. Give yourself some time and space to see where you landed. It’s about figuring yourself back out. Life is always a transition- take a look at what’s working, what you can bring into this new life and what may need to be let go. And keep in mind that it’s a lifelong journey.


Don’t hold yourself to one way. Keep exploring who you are at each new phase and don’t let other people’s narratives get to you.


During this maintenance period, be sure to be open and fluid with your clients. When I went on leave and started scheduling appointments six weeks out- I communicated that things might change and everyone was super supportive. People know that this is a huge life event and are usually not only excited for you, but very flexible.


That Thing Called Fear


Because having a baby is such a monumental thing, you will most likely experience some fear. Don’t worry- you’re not alone. There can be fear in losing interest in your business, fear of not being a good mom because you want to keep working and a million other things.

This is where your mindset work will come in handy. Set your boundaries, get clear on your expectations and commitments to yourself and your baby (see exercise below) and again, don’t let others opinions influence you.


Meditation Practice


I had this great experience when I was pregnant where I was instructed to meditate and ask myself, “What am I committing to with this child?”.


For me, it was putting my son to bed every night. It immediately came to me and was clear. This influenced my practice since I would no longer take night clients, but that’s ok, because I knew I wanted to show up each night and put my son to bed. If I had dinner plans with friends, I would schedule it after he went to bed.

So, I ask you, what are you committing to with your child?


What’s Your Word?


Another powerful exercise I did while I was pregnant was to choose one word that I want my kids to use to describe me when they’re older.


Joyful.


That is how I want my children to remember me. So, what do I need to do to be joyful and show up for myself and children? I’m not a homebody, I like to get out. So, I know that I need to schedule that into my routine. I love to work, so I know that that’s a big part of my life that fulfills me.


What do you need to do to show up for your word?


Carolina emphasizes that we need to let go of guilt and set clear expectations that are realistic to our personality. Take some time on your own to figure out what you need and want.


Being a new mom can be overwhelming, but going through the tips and exercises in this blog can really help you be prepared for when baby comes!


Thanks for joining us this week and I hope this chat was helpful! Check out the live video here.


Need More Help?


I combine mentorship with personalized coaching to help you connect inward so that you can work and share from a center place of creativity and inspiration. If you’d like to talk about coaching, contact me today!

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©2019 by The Inspired Therapist.