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We’re closing in on welcoming our second child. Ever since the first of the year, I’ve been focused on setting myself up for success while being a work-at-home mom recovering from childbirth and parenting a baby and a toddler.
As a freelance copywriter and digital marketer, I can’t really take maternity leave. If I don’t work, I don’t make money. And not only that but even with a 6-week maternity leave, I’d likely lose clients.
So I’ve spent the last few months creating plans with each client and preparing for welcoming our sweet little boy.
The reactions have been mixed. Some people are so excited for us, others seem indifferent and just worried about how their business will be affected. I get that because I would have tons of questions if the tables were turned.
Here’s what this process has looked like for me over the last several months.
Avoiding informing too early
At first, I was so eager to start telling people we were pregnant. Meeting deadlines in the early exhausted phase of the first trimester was so hard. But I also had no plans of using pregnancy as an excuse.
So with most clients, I actually waited until I was about halfway through the pregnancy. That left about four months to start planning the transition. But it also didn’t freak them out too early or give them ample time to go looking for a different freelancer.
No one seemed to think that it was too late to learn of the information. And some people were so excited for my family that they marked their calendar and promised to be as flexible as possible for a few months.
The world is really changing and work-at-home motherhood gains more support each day. This is especially true among those who have been parents as well.
Leaving plenty of time to plan
I was conscious of avoiding telling clients too soon about being pregnant. But I also wanted to make sure I had time to create strategies and plans for how to best work with the client.
So don’t wait too long to start the process of creating such plans. Otherwise, you’ll feel hectic and rushed with the process.
I found that four months was even more than I needed. Ideally, if I had it to do again, I’d probably start with three months left in pregnancy. It allows time to work ahead without letting it consume me or make me too crazy.
Setting adequate expectations
I told my clients that both the month I was due and the following month would be a toss-up. Response times would increase and rush projects would be very challenging for me during these periods.
One of the services I provide is writing website copy for new websites. I also knew that taking on a project of this magnitude in those two months was unrealistic. So I let my best clients know what was up so they could plan to either postpone such projects or find another person to help.
Making backup plans for work
I don’t really know what to expect from this process. Yes, I’ve already had one child, but my circumstances were different then. I’ve never parented two children or been freelancing exclusively when welcoming a baby.
So to make sure I don’t get in over my head, I’ve been looking for other freelancing moms who can help take on work for me. I’ll maintain the relationship with my clients, but they’ll also get quality work while I adjust to life as a mom of two.
While I think I’ve planned well for this transition, babies have this way of showing you that you can’t plan for everything.
For all you expectant work-at-home moms, share your thoughts and tips on how to best handle this process as we await the arrival of our little guy.
Published at Tue, 25 May 2021 11:00:00 -0400