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Are you trying to work from home when you are pregnant? Learn how to juggle your business and your growing blessing.
Pregnant mompreneurs aren’t just dealing with running a business and raising a family. They’re also growing a baby and dealing with all the symptoms that come along with that. Plus there’s always the worry of – what am I going to do with my business when I go into labor and am recovering?
It’s a lot to handle, and might feel overwhelming at times. Especially with your heightened emotional state because of those hormones.
Some days it might just feel like there’s too much to do. You wonder if it’d just be better to stop all business efforts until you’ve welcomed your baby into the world and are back to normal.
And while I definitely know the importance of taking time off once the baby is born, there are plenty of tasks pregnant mompreneurs can knock out now to help ensure business growth both now AND while they recover from having their sweet babe.
Tip #1: Cut Out the Non-essentials
Growing a baby takes loads of energy. Tiredness and pregnancy often go hand in hand. You may not have the endurance to do everything that you’ve been doing.
So, you have to prioritize.
Write down everything on your to-do list and start analyzing. What can you cut completely for now?
Remember that this season of life won’t last for ever, and anything you cut can help you ensure your efforts are going towards what really matters.
Here are some things I’ve cut while pregnant:
- Participation in some Facebook Groups for Bloggers
- Some of my cooking from scratch
- Several deep cleaning tasks such as dusting baseboards and cleaning ceiling fans
- Some outside commitments
- Milking the cow (I use the shared milking strategy, so I just let the calves handle this chore for me)
- Twitter (except for automatic shares of new blog posts)
- Difficult clients (it was the perfect time/excuse to finally drop them!)
- Some larger homeschool projects like in-depth science experiments or complicated art projects
What is taking too much of your time currently? What do you not have energy to do?
Those tasks can be cut. Just remember to keep your family in the loop, so everyone knows what’s going on. This is especially true for spouses.
Share your list of things to cut, and get their opinion. Is there anything on that list that is so important to them that they want to take it over for a season?
Tip #2: Stretch Your Deadlines
It’s important for mompreneurs to pad their deadlines and give themselves a buffer in case life happens. When you’re pregnant, this is essential!
Look at when your client work is due. Is it feasible? Or do you need to cut back a bit?
If you have too much going on, here are some ways to get your deadlines bumped out a bit:
- Ask your clients
- Reevaluate your own deadlines for your blog – does twice a week posting still work, or should you cut back to once a week?
- Work ahead a couple of days and then give your recurring work a new personal deadline – so if you have three posts due every Wednesday, work ahead one week. From then on, tell yourself one is due on Monday, one on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday. That way you don’t have a bunch all on one day.
My goal when expecting is to have no more than one major deadline each day. I don’t want to take on more than I can successfully get done.
Tip #3: Use Your Energy Wisely & Focus on High ROI
When I’m pregnant, I know my energy levels are different throughout the day.By dinnertime, I’m pretty well ready to sit down for a while and rest, and by the time 8 or 9 rolls around my brain is just ready for bed.
Your body may be completely different, so figure out when you have the most energy, and use that time wisely.
You may need to rearrange your entire schedule for this pregnancy, and that’s okay! During your higher energy moments try to:
- Get dinner started (use your CrockPot and InstantPot to help remove much of the hands-on portion)
- Tackle the cleaning tasks you need to do that day
- Wash laundry
- Work on business tasks that require active thinking – outlining, editing, researching, etc.
- Spend time with your other kids and play together
- Work ahead in one area or another
For your business, make sure you’re focusing on high ROI areas. If you get a ton of traffic from Pinterest, make sure that’s on your priority list. Your paid client work is another area to focus on.
Then when your energy lulls, you can work on tasks that take less mental or physical energy. You can:
- Do some social media marketing
- Draft a post
- Save some pictures from Pixistock (or another photo site)
- Deal with your email
- Read aloud to your kids
- Read a book that’s been on your “to-read” list
- Sit and fold/sort laundry with the kids
By planning your day according to YOUR energy instead of what you normally do, you’ll increase your productivity and ensure the essentials get done before you start dragging.
Tip #4: Accept Your Limitations
I’d love to spend more time on my business! But, I recognize that growing right now isn’t a wise decision.
This means before I accept any new client I:
- Really analyze the time commitment – can I legitimately fit it in? Or would I be pushing myself too far?
- Analyze my rates – is it worth taking this time away from the family for this much money?
- Learn all I can about the expectations. Needy clients are not a good fit when you’re pregnant!
- Share that I am expecting and explain my plans for labor/delivery/recovery so I don’t spring it on them unexpectedly
Some clients are still a great fit.
Others are not. And that’s okay. I want the right clients, even if it means I have to slow my growth and turn down others.
Pregnancy may not be a period of massive growth for your blog or business. But, if you keep taking baby steps, you will be able to accelerate again when you’re recovered and you won’t have lost a ton of ground.
You also may need to accept limitations in other areas of life. If your body needs a nap to make it through the day, your list of items to cut might grow longer.
The intense workout plan you were planning on starting might need scrapped in favor of walking and stretching.
Your meals may need simplified. Stick to the basics and make sure you have a meal plan in place.
Tip #5: Make Time for Self-Care
You are growing a baby. You need to take care of yourself.
Rest and self care are essential when you want to work from home when you’re pregnant.
Take a nap when you need to. Cut out your early morning alarm in order to get the sleep you need.
Prioritize rest if you’re having trouble sleeping. Resist the urge to spend time on Facebook in the middle of the night, because then the glow from your cell phone can make it harder to get back to sleep.
Take a high quality vitamin. <= I love the X-Factor Plus from Plexus!
On a side note, I also take Plexus Tri-Plex, and have been working to restore my gut health. I didn’t even realize I was pregnant this time around until the baby started kicking because none of my usual symptoms were there! (You can read more about that story here on my other blog if you’d like!)
Drink plenty of water and eat good food.
Eliminate as much stress as possible, and do something you enjoy every day.
Put your feet up when you can.
Get some exercise (I love going on a walk with my kids!).
Your health matters. If you start falling apart, you can’t grow your business, or spend the time you want to with your kids. You have to take care of yourself!
Tip #6: Remember It’s Not Forever
Sometimes pregnancy seems to drag on forever (especially during the final trimester when you’re aching and swollen and just ready to meet the baby!)
But, it’s not forever. Before you know it, you’ll be holding this baby in your arms. And then she’ll be one. Then you’ll blink a little bit and you’ll be watching your sixteen year old prepare to get her driver’s license.
Time with kids goes so fast. And each season brings its own unique challenges.
Right now you may be struggling with a lack of energy or motivation. Soon it might be a lack of sleep since you’re getting up with a newborn.
You cannot create a “set it and forget it” schedule when you’re working at home with kids. It won’t work and you’ll get frustrated.
Instead, evaluate your schedule often. Think about what’s not working and find ways to streamline life. Frequently examine your outside commitments and new client expectations.
What do you honestly have time to do? Don’t underestimate how much time things take. Time yourself and find out.
Don’t over-schedule yourself. You will regret it and wind up burnt out. Your blog or business may not grow by leaps and bounds right now. But someday you’ll have more time to devote to it.
Baby steps are a lot better than no progress, so take things one bit at a time!
Tip #7: Have a Birth Plan for Your Blog or Business
You can work with your midwife or OB to create an actual birth plan. The one I’m talking about is for your blog or business.
You will need time to recover after having a baby. So make that plan now so you’re not frantically trying to figure this out while you’re having contractions.
Last time around, I didn’t take as much time off as I needed to – from the right places. By this I mean I kept a high-paying, high-stress gig that I really shouldn’t have. But my eyes were seeing things through cash colored goggles.
Don’t do that!
As you think about each commitment for your blog or business, write down everything that needs done starting from week 36 of your pregnancy until baby is 1 month old.
That’s two full months of deadlines you need to have on paper.
Then, start looking at them.
Analyze them with these questions:
- Can I do this ahead of time?
- Could I find a subcontractor to do this for me?
- Is the client flexible enough I could request a couple of weeks off and still have the gig again when I’m ready?
- Do I enjoy this gig?
- Does this fit into my long-term vision for my business?
Maternity leave is the perfect excuse to leave those clients you’ve been meaning to. If they are hard to work with, never pay you on time, or don’t pay you enough, it might be time to say good bye.
Then you can have baby and recover and pour your energy into finding clients who are a better fit.
Here’s my current plan:
- Work ahead as much as possible (and I have specifics written down so it’s not so vague! I know what needs done and I gave myself a target deadline for each project.)
- Ensure I don’t sign up for too many homeschool review products for my other blog during my target window (ie: Take the best and leave the rest!)
- Arrange for four guest posts on this blog (this was a great amount for me last time – I was able to shift the publication date until the week of baby’s birth and then have three full weeks before I needed to write again!)
- Pay my little sister to do some of my work for me
- Pay my oldest daughter to do some Pinterest work for me
I’m happy to say that I no longer have clients who stress me out. I learned my lesson last time, and dropped them all. Money isn’t everything, and it sure isn’t worth my sanity.
There are plenty of AMAZING people out there who you can work with. Don’t settle for the ones who treat you poorly.
Bonus Tip: Rejoice in the Coming Baby
Children are indeed a blessing from the Lord. They are amazing and worth all of the struggle and exhaustion.
Don’t forget to take time to enjoy newborn snuggles and spend some time bonding with the newest member of your family. Make that your priority for a while.
You are worth the time off, and you will never, ever get these days back. Enjoy them while they’re here.
Someday soon you’ll feel better and have your strength and focus back. When that day gets here, you’ll know it. You’ll suddenly wonder what all the worry was about, because you’ve found your new mama groove. This new normal will be even better than the old one!
Ready to start your business as an expecting mama? I highly recommend freelance writing or virtual assistance. These are flexible, income generating, and the best way (in my opinion) to make money from home.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.