As someone who has run a business with and without children, I know just how challenging business ownership is…but I can confidently say that it is much harder when you have kids, without a doubt. 

In today’s episode, I want to talk about why moms in business need to take maternity leave. I’ve seen so many moms say that they were literally emailing clients and working while in labor and they regret not giving themselves enough time after having their baby before jumping back into work and I really don’t want that to be your experience too so if you’re expecting your first, second, third baby and beyond and have a business, make sure to listen to this episode. 

First, I just want to say that having a baby whether it’s your first or you have several children is both physically and emotionally exhausting so trying to jump back into your business mere days or in some cases even hours after giving birth can be a quick path to burnout. 

So I wanted to briefly share my experience with maternity leave in 2020 and how taking that time off helped me show up as a better mom, wife, and business owner. 

In 2020, I went through my first maternity leave as a business owner and was able to take 3 months off….which I’m sure those of you outside of the US who have great maternity leave benefits are like really that’s it?! 

But in the US, most moms only get six weeks max before they have to go back to work unless they have a ton of sick leave that they can use or their company has a generous maternity leave policy. 

My first maternity leave I planned everything to a t including bringing on some podcast VAs to help me with my clients while I was out of office and even hiring a temporary OBM to help me manage my team, clients, and field any requests that came into my inbox. 

This really helped me be able to take my brain off my business for a bit so that I could focus on learning how to be a mom…and trust me, that is a huge learning curve in itself. One that I was not remotely prepared for and I absolutely can’t imagine what would’ve happened if I tried to get back to working mere days or even weeks after my son was born. 

Now, I am about to embark on my second maternity leave as a business owner starting at the end of October and will be taking off about two months total this go around. I will be sharing more about my plans for round 2 maternity leave in a later episode and we’ll be diving deep into my plans, how I prepared this time around, and things of that nature so stay tuned if you want what I’m planning for baby #2’s maternity leave. 

This time I definitely feel a bit more prepared because it’s not my first rodeo but that’s not to say that it still won’t have its challenges just because it won’t just be me, my husband, and a newborn this time. We have a three year old who still very much needs us even though he is starting to gain some independence each and every week. 

Today I really wanted to dive into some of the benefits of taking a maternity leave as a business owner and why I think it’s something all moms in business need to consider no matter how many kids you have. 

Benefits of taking a maternity leave

First up, taking a maternity leave allows you to focus on your health and recovery after childbirth. It gives you the necessary time to rest, bond with your baby, and address any postpartum physical or emotional challenges.

Post-pregnancy hormones can be a total rollercoaster. One day you’re feeling on top of the world and the next it’s only 9 am and you’ve already cried several times so taking time to focus on taking care of yourself and your new baby is absolutely crucial. 

Maternity leave also allows you to prioritize your growing family. As a business owner, you likely have a busy schedule that demands a lot of your time and attention. Maternity leave gives you the opportunity to step away temporarily and prioritize your family without the constant pressure of managing your business.

When you take a maternity leave, you are eliminating extra stress. Juggling the demands of running a business and caring for a newborn can be incredibly stressful. Taking maternity leave allows you to reduce this stress and prevent burnout, leading to improved mental well-being.

Another benefit of taking a maternity leave is being able to bond with your newborn. Maternity leave provides valuable bonding time with your newborn. This period of intimate connection is crucial for both you and your baby’s development.

Another thing to consider when it comes to maternity leave is that it allows you to focus on just one thing at a time. Stepping away from your business during maternity leave enables you to focus on the new role of being a parent. This break can help you gain fresh perspectives and come back with renewed energy and clarity.

Maternity leave also encourages you to delegate responsibilities and empower your team (if you have one). This not only develops their skills and confidence but also strengthens your business’s overall resilience by ensuring that others can step in when needed. I found that once I came back from maternity leave, my team was doing such an amazing job handling things that I once had, I let them continue to do so. This helped me still be able to serve my clients well but not have to be in the weeds every day while working from home with an infant and limited childcare. 

Taking time off during maternity leave might seem challenging in the short term, but in the long run, it can contribute to your business’s success. By taking care of yourself and your family, you’re better positioned to make sound decisions and lead effectively when you return. I feel like if I would’ve returned within the first few weeks of having my son, my brain would’ve been mush and I would’ve made some easily avoidable mistakes. 

As a business owner, your behavior sets an example for your team members. Demonstrating that you prioritize work-life balance and family values can boost team morale and loyalty. I currently have 2 contractors on my team who are on maternity leave and a third will be on maternity leave almost immediately after I return from my own maternity leave so I want my team to know how important taking that time off is and there’s no way I could preach the importance of maternity leave while not taking one myself. I always tell my team members to take as long as they need but recommend at least a month minimum especially if its their first baby which this year it has been everyone’s first child. 

When it comes to taking a maternity leave in your business, It’s important to plan for maternity leave well in advance to ensure a smooth transition for your business operations for both your team and clients. Communicate your plans with your team, empower them to take on additional responsibilities, and set clear boundaries for when and how you’ll be available during your leave.

While there may be short-term challenges, the long-term benefits of taking maternity leave as a business owner can be substantial for both you and your business.

So as you can see, I am a huge proponent of taking maternity leave in your business and think that it is absolutely essential to take some time off after your baby is born. 

I’d love to know, if you started your business prior to having kids or have had a baby as a business owner, did you take maternity leave? If so, how long did you take off? Let me know over on Instagram @momsmakemoneycollective. I always love chatting with you in the DMs. 

Okay, that is it for this episode. I can’t wait for next week’s episode where we will finally start having some guests on the show so if you like hearing from other moms in business, stay tuned! 

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