Self employed with a newborn

(11 Posts)
missmargot Tue 16-Jul-13 16:07:39

I'm expecting my first baby, due the end of December. I know I'm getting way ahead of myself here thinking about going back to work, but it's the thing that keeps playing on my mind at 3am when I get up to visit the toilet for the 1000th time

I am self employed and run a business working from home. There are no other employees although my DH is involved in the background and has a great understanding of the business and most of my clients know him.

Unfortunately I can't take months of maternity leave and expect the business to still be there when I get back nor can I draft anyone external in to run it for me. I will be looking for a part time nursery place for the baby but not until they are a few months old. We have no family nearby although I am hoping that my mother will come and stay for a few weeks to help out.

I plan on finishing all of my major projects before December and not committing to any new work until February/March, however I have some ongoing clients who would need some minimal maintenance to keep them as clients. Am I being completely unrealistic to think that I can juggle a newborn with checking my emails a couple of times a day (or night) and making a few phone calls a week? My DH will help a lot and I trust him to send emails on my behalf if need be.

Is there anyone else in a similar position? Any tips or advice on how to juggle a newborn and a business?

Tweet2tweet Tue 16-Jul-13 16:19:42

Not unrealistic but you will need to be very organised. Another big thing is the amount of sleep you get!
My friend is in the same position and has 3 month, now, baby. She finds it tough but needs to keep in touch with clients so not to lose them. One thing she has decided is not to tell them she now as a baby. She felt that some clients may think that this makes her unreliable. A shame but I see where she is coming from.
I check my emails a lot during the day and can make phonecalls when dc is sleeping. However calls can't be too long before some crying may start!

missmargot Tue 16-Jul-13 16:47:54

Thanks tweet2tweet that's really helpful. Short phone calls aren't a problem, I hate speaking on the phone and try to do as much by email as possible. The issue about whether or not to tell people about the baby is a tricky one, some of my clients will be fine and some may not be, but I work in a small industry where word gets around so it may be best to be proactive and manage the communication myself rather than risk something being heard on the grapevine.

Rockchick1984 Wed 17-Jul-13 15:53:35

First couple of months you will be fine (as long as you can work on minimal sleep) its as your baby gets more awake and needing more attention that you will struggle, by which time you will presumably be more comfortable using childcare smile

missmargot Thu 18-Jul-13 18:10:41

I was hoping that someone would say that, I'm expecting (tiredness aside) that it's easier with a small baby than an older one who needs more stimulation. I have found a great local nursery and hopefully I won't feel too much of an evil mummy when the times comes to use it.

I had a phone call from my mother earlier telling me she has moved her working days (she's semi retired) so if I need her she can travel up and stay Wednesday to Friday to help out. Given my parents live 2.5 hours drive away you can see why I almost cried with gratitude.

Talkinpeace Thu 18-Jul-13 20:36:55

With DC2 I was back working the odd hour before he was 2 days old.
I got the standard 14 weeks maternity pay and then billed for the work I'd done in those months
kept hours low and then gradually built up.
Now they have their own door keys!

duchesse Thu 18-Jul-13 20:45:46

I went back exactly 20 days after a crash CS with DD3. The only way I could do it in my line of work (translation- need to focus a lot) was because our wonderful au pair turned up 2 weeks after her birth and I could just hand over my sleeping baby to her and do long days. Au pair brought her to me when she needed feeding. Worked really well. Can tell you from experience that it's a lot harder when they can walk and talk and request things. grin You may well need an extra pair of hands at times.

erikab922 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:12:56

I run a software company from home - I went back to work at 7 weeks and managed a full-on 40+ hours a week until LO was 9 months old (was OK up until 6 months, was hellish from 6-9 months). At 9 months old she finally FINALLY went to a childminder.

I was always really upfront about the fact that there was a baby in the room who may scream any moment, and no one batted an eyelid as they were just grateful I was there and able to help them.

Best of luck to you!

erikab922 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:14:12

I should also add, all of our family live overseas so we had zero help, it was just me and the little one together all day until my husband got home from work. You can do it.

SaltySeaBird Mon 29-Jul-13 21:23:18

It's doable, I was doing a freelance job for a regular client from home before my DD was a week old. Some days are hard but by the time she was three months I was doing about 30 hours / week. I did (and still do) envy all the Mums with nice long maternity leave breaks though.

forevergreek Mon 29-Jul-13 21:43:34

Yep we do this.

At first I stayed home working from home, but now with 2 and 3 year old both dh and myself take it in turns. We roughly work from home 2 days each ( so 3 days each in office/ away from home), and one day both out of home. It's great as means we only need one day childcare

In fact we actually have childcare now x2 mornings and x1 full day. It means that whoever is working from home that day can get a lot done with early start.
For example:
6am- I start work at home
Dh wakes children and sorts, and drops at nusery 2 mins away at 8.30 and goes to work.
12.15- I collect from nusery ( having fitted in 6 hrs work already)
1.30-3.30- children nap and I work ( totalling 8 hrs work so far)
3.30-4.30 - children snack/ play together whilst I half work/ half watch them ( mainly use time for emails) -( 9hr)

8.30 - children in bed and if I need to I will do an hour or so after

So can easily fit in 8-10hrs work

Days with no nursery, parent working from home roughly does:
6-8am ( before children wake)
1.30-4.30pm ( when nap/ self occupy for hour)
7-10pm ( when dh or myself return home and take over)
( 8ish hours)

As babies I did lots of calls with baby either on lap asleep or in sling outside whilst I walked miles and took work calls!

I suppose it also depends on children. We only use roughly 3.30-4.30pm with them amusing themselves with toys/ puzzles/ snack etc as we don't want them to feel they have to, and like to do lots with them. But actually if we set up say some trainsets/ farm/ lego out, they could easily amuse themselves for a good couple of hours if needed. I think it helps now that they are close in age also so play together.

One thing we always have had was a cleaner each week smile. Neither started nursery until 2 years though so although easier now, it was easily doable before but did tend to mean working through the evening more. Ie 6pm-midnight

Sorry, waffled on!

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