Since having my daughter two and a half years ago, I have made it my mission to create a healthy work/life balance while continuing to move my business to new heights. Being a mompreneur is someone who is a mom and an entrepreneur. One of the many reasons I even started my own business was to be able to stay at home while raising my family. I wanted to be present and I wanted to spend intentional time with her so we could create meaningful memories!
So how exactly do you make that transition when you are used to only having to take care of yourself? How do you just hit pause on your business without it completely falling apart? There are just not enough hours in the day to be a successful entrepreneur and spend intentional time with my kids. These are common fears, and I am here to tell you today that your work/life balance can be whatever you want it to be! Don’t let society tell you what you can or can not accomplish because you are starting a family. So let’s go through these 3 main questions to get your wheels turning and together we will squash those fears!
Question#1 – How did you tell your clients? /What did you do if you had a wedding?
I have been really blessed to work with some great and understanding clients! Unfortunately, you won’t be able to actually do the wedding, so you will have to find someone to take it for you. This is a great example of the importance of building great vendor relationships within your industry. More than likely, there is someone available to jump in and help you with a wedding if you are unable to fulfill your duties. Here is what I did:
- First and foremost, make sure you have a clause in your contract that talks about the your incapacitation, or inability to perform your service. I personally list out child labor as an example.
- Second, I start reaching out to my network of planners to see who is still available to take over weddings.
- Then, I personally reach out to each client before ever making an announcement on social media
- When I reach out to the clients, I give them the option of having me continue to work with them up until I am no longer able to and then I will hand it off to another planner (whom I will pay to take my place); or cease all planning and allow them to find another planner of their choosing. As for refunds/future payments – that is very specific to you and your industry, so do whatever you feel is the right thing to do.
Question #2 – How did you take a maternity leave with upcoming weddings?
This is such a great question, and one that you really need to think through. It is so important that you carve out time after you deliver your baby to not only soak in the sweet moments of motherhood, but also to heal! This child bearing thing is not for the faint of heart and it really gives a whole new meaning to the term #strongwoman. Not to mention, you are getting yourself and your new baby into your desired feeding/sleep routine, which takes some time and can leave you feeling exhausted. This is not the best time to try and add business tasks into the mix. Allow yourself the opportunity to relax and heal so you can give your best to your clients when you come back! Here is what I did:
- I sat down with my husband and together we discussed how long I would take for my maternity leave.
- Second, I found someone to be my “in case of an emergency” person. For me, this was my office assistant.
- Then, I reached out to each client individually and let them know how long I would be on maternity leave and the specific date I would begin taking meetings again. I made sure to let them know they had someone to contact in case of emergency and that I would be checking in when I could. Even though it was my goal, I made sure not to commit to once a week because you just don’t know what some weeks will hold. Under promise and over deliver.
- Over the months of my pregnancy, I worked to get ahead on all of the weddings I had after the baby would be born so they were set up for success when I was on maternity leave.
- When it came time to deliver our baby, I made sure to put up an auto-response in my email with my maternity dates in there.
- As inquiries came in during my maternity leave, I actually crafted a response for my Office Assistant to send to potential clients as they came in, so they would get an immediate response and be aware of the situation. If they were interested in setting up a phone consultation, we would put something on the calendar at a time that I felt comfortable with. Before I had an office assistant, I would respond to them (when I could), explain the situation, and politely ask if we could do a phone consultation (when applicable).
Question #3 – How do you get work done without working all night?
I will be honest and say that this is totally dependent on your situation. Some kids will stay at home with you, others will go to daycare, some will be be at home with a nanny, and then others will be with family members. It also depends on what industry you are in – some jobs require more meetings than others. No matter what industry you are in, or what your childcare situation is, BLOCK SCHEDULING will be key to productivity and balancing! I actually schedule out every minute of my day (obviously leave room for margin). Here is what I did:
- I would write out all of the things I needed to get done that week
- Then I would break them up by the number of days I wanted to work
- From there I started using block scheduling – I would block out time for email, time for blogging, time for meetings, social media, and the list goes on…
- I even took this a step further and block scheduled personal things – time for prayer, time for showers, time to prep or cook dinner, and then time for our bath/bedtime routine
- Scheduling out time for all of these items not only allowed me to balance, but it kept me productive so I was not working in the evenings when I should be spending time with my family and getting a good night’s rest!
- Always adjust as needed!
Of course there are thousands of other questions that run through our heads as creatives! It’s in our blood to be thinking 24/7 about the “all the things”, and we can let anxiety creep in easily. As I embark on the this new season of motherhood – I am carving out intentional time to plan for becoming a family of four and what that will look like for my business. I am a firm believer that we, as creative entrepreneurs, do not have to choose between being a good mom and having a successful business. I am passionate about helping new moms transition their business into their new life of motherhood, while giving yourself the rest you deserve to soak in those precious moments, without needing to take a step back, or give up on your dreams for your business! Let go of the fear that you have to choose. You absolutely CAN have both and be great at both!!!
I would love to stay connected and keep encouraging you on your journey to motherhood! Sign up for our monthly newsletter here!
Photo Credit: Ashley Link Photography
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