Are you like me and a sucker for a good behind the scenes type episode? 

If so, look no further because I am spilling the beans on my maternity leave plans for baby #2 including how long I plan to take off, how I prepared for maternity leave this go around, and so much more. 

As I’m recording this episode, my maternity leave is quickly approaching. I have about 12 working days left to get everything done. 

If you’re listening to this episode in real time, I’m actually already on maternity leave hopefully finishing any last minute tasks around the house and keeping my fingers crossed that baby doesn’t come before November 2nd because I am banking on having a week and a half for personal tasks before the baby is officially here…and also this will be the first Halloween that my son is super excited for so it would break my heart if I went into labor too early and he couldn’t experience Halloween. 

How long am I planning to take off?

With my first born, I took off 3 full months. This time, I’m just going to be taking 2 full months. Reason being is that I’ll be taking my maternity leave during the holiday season which is already a bit of a slower time for my business because we take off a few days in November for Thanksgiving and we also take off over a week at the end of December to celebrate Christmas and the New Years.

I had my first born in June and didn’t come back until September so while the summer is also a quieter period, there’s no planned breaks where my team and clients will likely be out of office so I wanted to give myself a little more time if needed. Also, I wanted to give myself more time since it was my first child and I had no idea what to expect. 

This time, I kind of know the drill so I feel a lot more confident but I know every baby is different so I’m just giving myself grace during my maternity leave. 

How I prepared myself to be off 

  • Batch recorded guest episodes for the podcast all the way through the end of January 
  • Batch outlined and recorded my solo episodes 
    • While I am trying to get all of them recorded through January, I may still need to record 1-2 while I’m on maternity leave but since they are solo episodes it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Hopefully I can get them done beforehand though
  • Batch edited most of my guest episodes for while I’m out of office – will likely still have a few to edit while I’m OOO but this isn’t too bad 
  • Batch edited a big chunk of client podcast episodes – I’m not sure if I will finish this by the time baby is here, but I am trying really hard to get all of November and December client episodes edited so I don’t have to worry about them at all but we’ll see if that ends up happening 
  • I also really ramped up my visibility in Q3 so that I didn’t have to worry about it as much in Q4 so I participated in several bundles and summits in August, September, and October so that I could give myself a steady stream of leads before pushing my marketing efforts aside for a few months. 
  • I also planned for Black Friday in advance so that I can still make a little $$$ while I’m out of office and all I have to do is finish scheduling the promo emails. 

How did I prepare my team for time off?

Well to be honest, this year has been a super interesting one in more ways than one. 

Funny enough, about half of my team has been pregnant this year. Two of them had babies mid to late summer and are slowly phasing themselves back into the team and another one of my team members is due in January so she’ll be leaving pretty much immediately as soon as I’m back in the office. 

One of the people who had babies this year was my operations assistant and she planned to take 3 full months off for her maternity leave and her coming back directly coincided with the time that I was planning to head out for my own maternity leave so we had to make some minor pivots so I could have some support during my time off. 

One of my team members ended up stepping up to become the stand in operations person until I am back from maternity leave in January so that it wasn’t so last minute and I am relieved about that because I would definitely be feeling stressed if I was relying on my operations assistant to fully step back in within just a few weeks until my own maternity leave. 

Since one of our shownotes writers was having a baby this summer and also going on maternity leave around the same time as my operations assistant, I made a new hire for another shownotes writer back in June and she’s been such a wonderful addition to the team. 

In addition to shownotes, she is also helping with some graphic creation for our client episodes and will also be stepping in to help with PR/guest management in January once our PR gal goes on her own maternity leave. 

So as you can see, although it’s been so fun to all being going through similar stages together, it’s also definitely been quite a rollercoaster this year for the team keeping up with everyone’s pregnancies and corresponding maternity leaves and making sure we had coverage while everyone was soaking in newborn cuddles. 

So now that I’ve got all the logistics out of the way, I wanted to share how I actually prepared my team for me to be gone for 2 months. 

#1 Created both written and video SOPs

I have always had some sort of SOPs for my team to follow but I actively made sure that we had specific processes for each step of the way since I won’t be as readily available as I usually am. 

#2 Created a team contingency plan complete with a hierarchy chain of command 

This is something I did last maternity leave so I just updated it to apply to 2023 with the new team hierarchy and it didn’t take long at all. 

Basically, it just helped the team be able to try and problem solve and exhaust all other resources before escalating a problem to me while I was out of office. 

Last time, there was never a point where anything needed to be escalated to me because my team was able to figure it out on their own. 

#3 Created an SOS Slack channel just for absolute emergencies

This is something else I did last time and while it never needed to be used, it was nice to know that this was the only Slack channel I needed to pay any attention to during my time away. 

#4 Made someone on my team the point of contact while I’m away 

My team is pretty self sufficient and does their work without question but having someone to be the point of contact for both team members and clients while I am out ensures that everyone feels supported and taken care of. 

How I’m spending my time off before baby comes 

I have about a week and a half off before my planned c-section so I am really hoping that baby stays in there until then. 

I have a few personal matters to take care of like getting a haircut, pedicure, getting my car serviced and detailed, and things of that sort. 

I also will be finishing the last of the baby prep that week like sterilizing bottles and pacis, grabbing any last minute must haves for both myself and baby during the post partum period, etc. 

And let’s be real, knowing me I will probably try and cram a tiny bit of work into that period to get ahead of the game so probably some more podcast editing. Maybe an episode a day or something so I’m not spending too much time working but still moving the needle forward so I’m less stressed once the baby is here. 

How am I spending November and December? 

Once the baby is here in November, aside from getting lots of rest and making sure that I am taking care of myself and my new baby, the plan is to figure out our new family dynamic as we’ll now be a family of four. 

I know it will definitely be a bit of an adjustment so the plan is to just give myself as much grace as possible during this time and really focus on taking care of myself. Last time, the postpartum period hit me hard so I really want to get ahead of it if possible so that my experience this go around is much smoother. 

I plan to fully be back in the office the second week of January although my working time will be limited as I will have minimal childcare help so it will mostly be working during nap time and night time and whenever I have some childcare. 

So yeah, that’s what my maternity leave plans are. If you recently had a baby or are currently pregnant and planning on taking a maternity leave, I’d love to hear about your experience. Shoot me a DM over on Instagram. I always love hearing from you. 

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