8 Resources for Planning a Non-Traditional Maternity Leave
Getting pregnant comes with a lot of internal questions. From how to deliver to childcare to what types of foods are safe and so on, there’s no shortage of things to figure out. And while the internet can give us suggestions to most of these questions within a matter of seconds, there was one area I felt was lacking in resources: how to plan for non-traditional maternity leave. Which is obviously a big deal!
Of course, there are government-run pages that give overarching legal information, but more so than that, I was seeking answers to questions like how do you take time away if you run your own small business? how will my clients feel? how long can I take? how can I automate while I’m away? how do I hire a temp? etc. It wasn’t the laws that I was looking for - more so advice from others.
Since I run my own small editorial company and work directly with clients every day, I was pretty stressed about how to step away, keep clients happy, stay sane, and keep income coming even while I was out (I quickly learned I wouldn’t be receiving anything from the state since I don’t pay into disability). I’ve already shared systems to have in place before leave (which I’m on now if you are reading this!), but today I wanted to outline the resources that got me to that plan - without a corporate policy and with enough time to enjoy my transition into motherhood.
Goal Digger Podcast: How to Plan a Maternity Leave (or Vacation) as an Entrepreneur - The host, Jenna Kutcher, is a seriously successful creative entrepreneur who gave herself a buffer of 6 months before expecting her daughter. 6 months while still running a thriving biz! Her plan was pretty incredible and this podcast is full of nuggets, including…
Goal Digger Podcast: 5 Things You Can Automate in Your Business - Automation! I wasn’t doing much of this before planning my maternity leave, but as Jenna explains, it can free up time and mental space during a leave (and for when you come back).
5 Mothers On “Maternity Leave” When You Work for Yourself - An MU special full of advice from the community.
Forbes Interview about Maternity Leave for Entrepreneurs - Loved the Q&A aspect with thoughts from a female business owner.
Maternity Leave for Women Entrepreneurs - A good, tactical article on taking leave, including financial aspects.
Asana - I started using this project management service for when I was out. It lets you assign the client or someone on your team tasks to complete for an ongoing project. Since so much of what I do is the same thing week after week (ex: posting on Instagram), this was an easy way for my team to see what needs to be done - or their week at a glance. Plus, you can check in on things quickly from the app without having to communicate with anyone or showing face, essentially.
Another Mother Her Way Series - This Mother Untitled series shares so many beautiful stories of motherhood, but one of my favorite parts is when women get into the nitty-gritty of leave/flex careers (at least while I was pregnant). Shannon Lohr was a recent feature with great ideas for maternity leave.
QA on Flexible Work Between the MU Community - A recent Q&A we did from the perspective of a mama-to-be (me) and someone who has been down the path of planning a traditional and non-traditional leave (Marianna Sachse). I learned a ton!
Any other resources to add to the list? Please share!
Chelsea Becker is a San Francisco based writer, creator of becker editorial, and on the editorial team at MU. Read her mindful thoughts on advice + motherhood and her tips for starting a successful freelance business.