What does maternity leave look like as an entrepreneur? On today’s episode of the Mom’s Make Money podcast, Jenny invites Liz Boer, a dedicated educator, speaker, and expert in building trust in sales, to talk about her recent maternity leave journey. They share some valuable insights on preparation and self-care, as well as their own personal stories of navigating this amazing yet challenging season of motherhood.

Pop some headphones in and join Jenny and Liz as they chat about all things maternity leave, including tips on how you can set up your maternity leave in a way that works best for you. 

Jenny and Liz discuss:

[03:02]  Liz’s maternity leave expectations vs. her reality as a first time mom and entrepreneur

[09:13] How Liz prepared herself, her team, and her clients for maternity leave

[13:00] The importance of having a plan in place as a business owner

[15:27] The rarely discussed reality of coming back from maternity leave

[17:29] The challenges of new motherhood and the importance of giving yourself grace 

[19:21] Liz’s reflection on what she would have done differently for maternity leave

[20:51] The impact of self-care and community after having a baby

[25:47[ Liz’s number one tip for moms starting a business

Liz’s maternity leave expectations vs. her reality as a first time mom and entrepreneur

Liz shares that she had a lot of false expectations about what life would look like after having my son. She remembers having conversations with her husband late in her pregnancy about working when the baby would sleep, thinking that she would have a lot of time to work. The reality was, her son would sleep 30 minutes at a time the first few months, and you can’t get a whole lot of deep work done within that time frame.

As a type A mom, Liz spent a lot of time beating herself up over not feeling like she was doing things right or not being able to figure things out the way she thought she should. As she dealt with postpartum depression, she realized that her experience was going to be a lot different than what she had originally imagined. If she were to do anything differently, she would give herself a longer maternity leave, giving herself more time to transition into motherhood and navigate her new role and emotions before going back into business full-time.

How Liz prepared herself, her team, and her clients for maternity leave

It can feel almost impossible to be fully prepared for becoming a mom. Even if you read all the books and blogs, there’s a lot that is unknown until you’re actually holding your baby in your arms. You can, however, prepare your business for your leave.

Before Liz left for maternity leave, she set expectations with her retainer clients, giving them a point of contact while she was gone and making sure they had everything set up on the back end. She wanted her team to be armed with what they needed, to be able to execute and get results for clients while she was away. She also wanted her clients to feel like they were taken care, that they never felt like they were “going on the back burner” while she was on leave, so she spent a lot of time with them before her time off, diving into what to expect and even offering extra coaching calls and bonuses so they felt she had their best interests at heart.

The importance of having a plan in place as a business owner

Whether you’re thinking about maternity leave or just life in general, Jenny shares that it’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place for moments you may not be available as the “point of contact” in your business. As a mom and as a business owner, you really never know what could happen.

In Liz’s case, she made a plan with her team that included her transitioning from client facing roles to more behind the scenes work, which can be helpful when you have an unpredictable schedule. Liz feels the plan she had in place helped her be ready for what to do on days where she suddenly wasn’t in control of her schedule.

While your plan may not always be fully or perfectly executed, having something in place as a starting point will help you start off the unexpected on the right track. Ask yourself how you can set up your schedule if you were to need to work less hours, or what you could put in place so that you could rely on others to be your consistent foundation in business when your schedule may not be as consistent. Regardless of whether or not you have help with your kiddos, you will not have as much time as you did before having children and it helps to be prepared. 

The rarely discussed reality of coming back from maternity leave

Even though Jenny has her son in daycare, she feels that she still doesn’t have as much time as she did before she had kids. Liz feels that this is something that a lot of people forget about when it comes to having children. She shares that she even underestimated what her own experience would be like, as far as the mental and physical impact of having a child.

Her advice for moms in business is to not plan for anything new or big during your first maternity leave experience, because you really can’t be sure how your body will react. Between hormones and sleep deprivation, your capacity may be at an entirely different level than you expected. Even with the support of a nanny, Liz shares that she could physically feel the energy leaving her body while breastfeeding, and that she had no brain capacity for anything creative.

The challenges of new motherhood and the importance of giving yourself grace

As moms, we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves to do certain things, because it’s what we’re told we should be doing. If you’re feeling that way and you’re listening to this, feeling pressure to do XYZ, whether it’s continuing with breastfeeding even though you hate it or you feel like you need extra time and you don’t feel like you can take it, remember to give yourself grace. Being a mom and becoming a mom is really challenging, so remember to give yourself that time and space to learn and process.

Liz’s reflection on what she would have done differently for maternity leave

While Liz feels that she prepared appropriately for her pregnancy, there are definitely things she would do differently postpartum, especially when it comes to maternity leave. If she were to do it again, she would prepare a better plan for her every day living, discussing who would be taking on the roles of preparing food, taking care of the laundry, and other household roles that would be shifting. She feels that she and her partner were able to come together in the first few months and reset, having a good discussion around things like who is going to go grocery shopping and when, but she would have ideally discussed those foundational pieces beforehand.

The impact of self-care and community after having a baby

When it came to preparing for her transition into motherhood, Liz shares that she was focused on surrounding herself with women that knew what she was going through, as well as women who were considered high achievers. Not only did this help her ‘keep her foot on the pedal’ in her business, but she had support to reach out to as she confronted her new role as a mom.

Liz suggests recording affirmations, having a morning routine, and taking moments of silence for yourself. She shares that this was easier to do during pregnancy than it was to incorporate after having her son, but that she has recently started the Miracle Morning Savers routine every morning and that they help her feel grounded and empowered to take on her day. She notes that there are many things in life that are out of our control, but that something as simple as a morning routine is within our control and can help you start the day off with a positive mindset.

Jenny shares that as a mom in business, it can be easy to put yourself third (baby, business, self), but that prioritizing yourself can help in all areas of life and will help things feel a little less chaotic, which is especially important at a time when your hormones may still need to regulate and you’re not getting more than two hours of sleep at a time.

Liz’s number one tip for moms starting a business

For mom’s out there who are interested in starting a business, or are maybe already in the process of getting one off the ground, Liz has a piece of advice for you:

“If you have an idea on your heart, if you have something that you’re looking to do, but you feel like your schedule or your kids are a limitation, give yourself grace, but keep moving forward. Keep taking action.”

Liz shares that one of her favorite questions that can help shift someone’s mindset is what’s the thing that you are telling yourself that you want to be or become? From there, no matter what your answer is, you can ask yourself what actions you can take today that will move you closer to that goal. TAking small actions will help you move closer and closer to your goal, which is helpful when you’re a mom in business and your schedule may already have you feeling scattered.

Liz also suggests being intentional about the people you surround yourself with. Think of people you could learn from or want to become and then start spending time with those people.

Connect with Liz:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizboer_com/

Website: https://lizboer.com/

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