When you run your own business “maternity leave” is just that…a laughable mythological concept that just isn’t really an option for us. Of course, running your own business does allow you to create your own schedule, have flexibility to work from anywhere / anytime, but essentially unless you’re working, you business isn’t really moving forward. So you basically want to work all the time (if you’re a highly motivated, controlling, goal-orientated person like me). If you have a team that handles everything A-Z this might be different obviously, but for most young start-up businesses, it’s usually the founder(s) running the show. In my case, Paul and I handle a large majority of our businesses, but we do have the support of our 2 team members to handle other areas of the business.
When I had Capri I entered maternity leave with a similar mentality as I do now. I was going to play it by ear and handle each influencer job offer on a case-by-case basis. At the time I also didn’t have 2 fully functioning brands yet so being an influencer was the bulk of my job responsibilities and I was able to enjoy some down time before diving back into work. This time around a lot is dependent on me. Decisions must be made, creative concepts approved, product development needs to move forward, and content creation must go on!
Since I work from home (and our office is just 10 feet away in my backyard) I’m imagining the first month will look something like this: I spend a lot of time with Baby Nº2 getting acclimated, getting him situated / scheduled, pumping, etc. I’ll have my phone and laptop accessible to me in the house and I’ll make a point to reply to (important / pressing) emails once a day, but everything else can wait. I don’t anticipate me accepting any influencer jobs the first month due to this “schedule” and also due to the fact that my body will be in major recovery / healing mode and the last thing I’ll be up for is getting dolled up to shoot pictures.
That’s the beauty of running my businesses versus being an Influencer. One job doesn’t require any camera time, glam, or perfectly lit environments. Just a laptop and a functioning brain. My job as an Influencer is the complete opposite – it requires me to be “cute” all the time, show my interesting day, document everything, still have business sense about me to make good decisions, but do it all in a perfect, well lit, neutral environment. Exhausting, honestly.
One thing that I do know after having a baby is time truly does FLY by. I don’t want to miss those precious moments with my newborn, who will be a toddler before I know it, and then never again will I have that time back. I want to enjoy Baby Nº2 the same way I did Capri. The major difference this time is Paul now works from home so I won’t have full days completely alone with the baby. On one hand it brings me immense comfort, as I did experience a lot of loneliness in the beginning after having Capri. There is something super isolating about having a newborn and it’s just you 2 all day long. Hormones…they are a weird thing. On the flip side, I’m hoping I’ll still be able to have quality time with just him. Since my sister helps us with Capri, she will be able to hang with her and ensure she has enough going on to fill her day while I / we tend to Baby Nº2. And then when I need time with my first baby Capri, Jess can have a day with baby brother.
As you can probably tell, nothing has realllllly been established here. All I know is that the first month I plan to take it easy, allow myself to heal, rest, and recover, and then we will see how everything plays out. My best piece of advice for any self-employed parents or parents-to-be out there would be get as much planned, scheduled, and handled before giving birth so you can truly live in the moment with your new baby stress-free. Glancing at your phone and emails is inevitable, but really force yourself to disconnect and only address things that are absolutely necessary. The rest can wait and will be there when you’re ready.
Keep you all posted on how this goes (because you know I never really disconnect from the reality show / IG stories that is my life)!