Being able to share my voice is a gift I don't want to ever take for granted. This blog is a window to my heart & my business. You'll be able to enjoy my latest sessions & photography tips. But I'll also be sharing more of my passions like pursuing a simpler lifestyle and personal images from our day to day.
Well, my sweet (and final) baby just turned 1! I know…I can hardly believe it. I figured this would be a great time to share how to prepare for maternity leave. This was the second time I did a maternity leave as an entrepreneur. I’ve learned a few things along the way that I hope help you have a smooth & easy transition into motherhood.
Don’t book any more clients for around your due date or after the baby is here. The last thing you need to be doing three weeks before D day is worrying about a session or client meeting. If you already have something booked in that time frame (like a wedding), find a replacement ASAP. My suggestion is to wrap up any and all projects that have a timeline an entire month before your due date.
Babies will come when they come and this will allow you a cushion if your baby comes early. It also gives you much needed time to prepare emotionally for your baby and enjoy your last few weeks before you get to meet them.
Tip: Some things you could work on during this last month (if you choose to work) is updating your website, fine tuning your workflows and wrapping up any loose ends.
How long will you be off? The longer the better in my opinion. If you can take off 3 or more months, I highly suggest it. Adjusting to a new baby is a learning curve every time. If you’re worried about getting behind, I’ll address that soon.
With my last, I planned to be off for six months. I was off for 3 months with a few sessions in the final months of maternity leave. I’m so glad I committed to very few things outside of my family for the first 6 months because three under 5 was about all I could handle.
Your clients want to know the big news!! You can share this via email, social media and blog posts. I highly recommend doing it as many ways as possible. Not only will they be happy for you, but they will understand why you aren’t available when you usually would be.
Tip: Don’t give a return date, just let them know you’ll be snuggling your sweet baby for the foreseeable future.
I’m talking about all of the content you plan to share. Social media, blogging, emails. Anything that you plan to share with current & future clients over the next coming months. This may seem monumental, but it’s crucial for your own sanity to plan this in advance.
The best way to tackle this without feeling completely overwhelmed is to print out a calendar of your remaining months of your pregnancy and then the amount of time you plan to take off after you have your sweet little babe or babes. Fill in everything you need to share or write during that time. Determine when you’ll sit down to write the content and put it on your calendar.
Tip: Don’t forget to set up your out of office!! You can do this in the settings on your email and even in the messaging portion of your Facebook page.
Baby announcements are one of the most loved, liked and commented posts on social media for a reason. People LOVE babies. Share when your little bundle arrives and everyone will ooo and ahh over them. And it’ll give you an instant mini boost of love during those sleep deprived days.
Tip: This can be drafted in advance!
You may find it best to not give a return date from maternity leave. If you haven’t said when you’ll return, people won’t expect you to be available then. It also gives you the breathing room to figure it out as you go.
Instead, snuggle that baby, stop researching on WebMD and give yourself the grace to just be. You’ll know when it’s the right time to start working again. Use this as an excuse to take an extended “vacation.”