No Rest for the Mom Boss: Why Entrepreneurs Don't Get Maternity Leave
When I was in the corporate world, maternity leave usually started a month or so before you had your baby and then continued on for a couple months postpartum, depending on what type of birth you had and what benefits your company offered. Being a corporate mama, you typically get a clean break away from work to just focus on nesting, healing from labor, caring for your new baby and all of that good stuff. But as an entrepreneur, it’s very different.
Most entrepreneurs get no days off; they work year round and never stop. Your business is your baby, so it’s very hard to walk away from it. Even when you’re on vacation, you’re pulling out your phone and doing emails.
Finding my Work + Motherhood Balance
Before I had Max, I was going full throttle—there were no breaks. As you all know, Happy Mom Conference happened on May 4th, and I had Max on May 17th. I didn’t know if I was going to have him before or after the conference, so I was working day and night, preparing for either scenario, whenever I could find time. Even after the conference it didn’t stop – there was post-conference work to be done like the walkthrough and speaker recap blogs and closing out to look forward to next year’s conference. And then after having Max, the blog never slowed down because I want to make sure I capture and share with you all of the milestones of early motherhood, like Max’s newborn photos and my postpartum story.
Why This Matters
I’m sharing this to acknowledge that the work doesn’t stop. I wish I could find a better way to balance it, but the reality is even stopping now to work on this blog is happening in between taking care of my kids. Lots of times when I’m nursing Max I’m working on my phone at the same time or taking a call.
As a business owner with a newborn right now, I know it’s just a constant push to find that balance. I’d love to hear some of your tips on how to better balance work and motherhood, fellow mompreneurs! Here are my top three tips for finding that balance that have helped me:
1. Separate work time and parenting time
I know I said I’m on my phone working a lot while I nurse, but especially when I’m with my older boys I try to put the phone away and really dive into time with them. Then if I’m devoting time to work that isn’t after they’re in bed, I try to do it while my husband has them so I can break away from taking care of kids and really focus on work. This is harder for me right now because Max is so little, but when it does happen I try to really get as much done as I can.
2. Outsource if you can
If you have the budget for this, outsourcing is a great way to keep your business growing when you’re not able to dedicate 100% of your day to your work. If you can find the right person to support you and your mission, outsourcing can be invaluable to sustaining and growing your business! This includes outsourcing childcare so it’s not all on you, all the time!
3. Give yourself grace
Mama, you’re doing great. Being a mom is hard enough, but taking on a business venture on top of it? That’s a lot for one woman to do on her own, even with childcare or outsourced support! Be patient with yourself. Every mama struggles with feeling like a failure or like they can’t find that perfect balance, including me. We have to give ourselves extra measures of grace on those hard days when it seems like we can never give our kids or our business the attention they need. It’s okay to not be perfect!
How about you, mompreneur? Did you take an actual maternity leave?