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Running a business and having a baby - any top tips on how to stay sane??

(13 Posts)
Saffra Fri 05-Aug-11 14:53:11

I've previously posted about my circumstances - I have an online boutique which takes up a lot of my energy and time. At 33 weeks pregnant, I am hoping to start taking things a bit easier in a few weeks time. I have a part-time assistant who is starting soon, who will be dealing with the more routine elements of the day-to-day work.

I am finding it very difficult to gear down and start focusing on the birth and beyond. Which makes me feel guilty. In fact, I am constantly thinking of new ideas - and I'm having to reign myself in all the time as I know I should really be transitioning my hours down, not up!

When I think about what it's going to be like when the baby comes along, I feel really stressed about the potential workload and the possibility of lots of things going wrong when I'm not available to immediately tend to things. My husband is slightly worried that I will lose my marbles at some point - hopefully that won't be the case!

Any thoughts/advice???

TalkinPeace2 Fri 05-Aug-11 16:21:38

Saffra,
Trust me
when the small screaming thing is depriving you of both sleep and sanity you will find it EASY to switch off from work for a bit!
And of course you will lose your marbles. That is half the fun.
Enjoy these last few weeks of your time being your own.

Saffra Tue 09-Aug-11 12:57:52

Thanks TalkinPeace - although I'm not sure I'm finding great comfort in your words there!! I'm hoping to NOT lose my marbles - well, not all of them anyway. We shall see, I suppose....

BirdFromDaNorf Tue 09-Aug-11 18:49:09

I think TalkinPeace is right. And you may not like what I'm going to write next, but I'll put it out there anyway ;0 You are setting yourself up for trouble if you think you are going to be able to juggle things and get by without having periods where you are either very upset or very stressed.

From experience, I can say that I re set my expectations when I had a 4 month old second son and a business "idea" turned into a business that grew too quickly for my liking as DS2 was still so small. I found it very hard to reconcile myself to not being able to be a perfect mother and a perfect businesswoman.

I don't want to sound unsupportive, particularly as I've not been in this section for a while. But, think having very low expectations of yourself, your new baby and your business will help you keep your sanity in the first few months. Keep us posted and then we can support you when you face problems smile

And as a positive note to end on: if you want a job doing, ask a busy woman smile

Saffra Tue 09-Aug-11 21:36:25

Hi BirdFromDaNorf - what elements did you find most stressful? Also, what type of business are/were you involved in at that stage? I would like to hear about your experiences and what you did in the end to resolve the situation.

Paula30CWR Wed 10-Aug-11 15:23:09

Well... I don't know if this helps... I have a 5-month old baby boy and I run my own business from home.
My husband and I decided it was a good idea since we wanted to have a child.
Now, I don't have th time for my business since i don't set up my goals but my clients do, which is hard.

I think you have a part-time assistant and that is great. I can't have one because my work can come one day but the next day can be quiet.
Sometimes I miss it and I should think that at somepoint i should send my baby to childcare but I don't want to - what's the point in working from home?

At 5month, I'm starting to control the naptimes and playtimes. So I guess that later on it will be easier...??? Who knows.

All I can think of is you should enjoy your last weeks!!!

However, what is about to come is even better!! I love my baby!

Saffra Wed 17-Aug-11 15:37:28

Thanks Paula for telling me a bit about your business/baby situation! Have you done much work since your baby's been born?

I will be using childcare at some point as think it'll be too much of a demand to juggle both really (for me), especially as I know business will be getting very busy again when the baby's 6 months old.

Can't wait to meet my baby though smile

grrd Sun 28-Aug-11 09:27:48

Hello, are you still reading this?

I read your post a few days ago, but didn't reply because the main thing to do when running a business and having a baby (or 2, 3..) is to avoid idling :-)

It made me laugh when you wrote that you are trying to reign in your ideas... that would never happen to me ;-) I was more the opposite: forcing myself to be less consumed by my pregnancies...

But anyways, here goes:

I keep any leisure activities to a bare minimum.. especially really "mindless" stuff like TV, surfing the net looking for nothing in particular, reading rubbish mags etc you get the idea. That's the stuff I'll have to do without.

For the rest, I prioritise. In my mind life is sectioned into different compartments: relationship, kids, work, hobbies (well, I guess your work is often your hobby when having own business, so you kill 2 birds with one stone), sports, friends, leisure, housework, rest, etc... so I feel that I cannot give all of them the same attention, because there's only so many hours in the day.. so some of these just get dropped. (Hint: Relationship is an important one ;-)

With my last baby I worked right up to when she was born (came a month early...) and I wasn't prepared at all... that was stressful, and I wasn't able to instantly "bond" with baby... but I made a special point of bonding once I realised this and no harm has been done when you look at the big picture. But I should've had a bit more time to "be still" and look forward to the baby etc... I think that way you can bond "immediately"..

Running a business and having children?

Get yourself a notebook (if you haven't already) and write down your ideas. They don't need to be implemented asap...

Get systems in place that everything is planned to run smoothly (instruct your PA - what a fantastic opportunity)

Rely on others and become really good at delegating.

Keep clutter in your life to a minimum.

You definitely need childcare in place. If you can afford it get a nanny.

With your own business it might be unrealistic to take six months OUT (depending on the sector you're in), but really block out chunks of times during the day when you will be just with baby, without mobile, email etc, and just work through 2 or 3 hours a day dedicated to work for the first few months.

Set some time aside each day now to relax and prepare for the birth.

Maybe think of your worst case scenario that could happen to your business... it helps me to actually relax because the fear has been "named".

I think what the other posters wanted to say is that things might not be always perfect, but that is fine. (and many new Mums "lose their marbles" a bit, but that happens because of the hormones, not because they are running a business). I try to lighten up and have a good laugh, then I feel better.

Good luck, and don't forget to put your feet up!

Let us know how you are getting on.

Ripeberry Sun 28-Aug-11 09:32:23

Nanny is the way to go, at least your baby will be in the same house as you.

fivegomadindorset Sun 28-Aug-11 09:34:14

Childcare is your friend.

Saffra Mon 29-Aug-11 11:39:35

Hi grrd

Thanks for posting - yes, still reading!

Since I last posted, I have managed to slow down quite a bit, which has been a huge relief to say the least. TBH, this has only been possible with the new support that I now have in the business. My new (quite wonderful) person is getting up to speed, and I have started to delegate chunks of work to her - as well as making her the first point of contact on customer emails, etc. The latter alone has been a BIG help as I am not now checking my phone every 20 seconds to see what's going on. (OK, still checking every 20 minutes, but baby steps and all of that....).

Re: your comments on bonding with the baby. Yes, this was something that I was quite stressed and worried about - not having the headspace to prepare myself both in terms of the business and the baby. Life had been so frantic and full of mental clutter. I'm glad that this worked out fine for you - but I can see how it could be a big shock!

I have started to get feelers out for childcare but don't really want to start anything formal until she's about 6 months old. Fortunately, the work that I will be doing can definitely be done outside of 9-5, so I will see how I can slot it in as and when.

If I can do 2-3 hours per day for the first few months, I think I'll be doing amazingly well! TBH, I do think this is what the business needs.... but I feel it would be stupid to expect this as I have no experience at all with newborns - least of all being a mummy to one! Once DH is back at work, he knows that he will be stepping up on the domestic duties. Hopefully, between us, we can juggle things about.

Lastly, I can't afford a nanny. Well, only if I didn't have my assistant. And she has to stay to keep my OCD phone checking compulsions at bay....

Will keep you posted....

grrd Wed 31-Aug-11 11:52:26

hey, just wanted to add that maybe my previous comment (especially working a couple of hours a day) was maybe written from the perspective of having a second child... once you've "worked it all out" ;-)

With my first child I actually took a good few months out and did nothing work related... and actually I don't regret it, because that was what I wanted at the time.

You are right to just go with the flow.

All the best for you, and enjoy your time with baby :-)

Saffra Sat 03-Sep-11 09:00:28

Thanks grrd! Def will be keeping my hand in, albeit in a low level way, if poss. We'll see how it all goes!

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