In January, 2018, my husband and I welcomed our sweet daughter Serena Lucia to the world. Needless to say, our life was turned upside down in the best way possible! Because of 2 amazing assistants, I was able to take 3 months off to focus on our baby girl. You can read more about how I coordinated my maternity leave here.
My maternity leave flew by and after 3mo I was ready to start working. I missed the routine, I missed my clients and I missed the challenge. My work plan was to work while my daughter slept/napped and to lean on my mom to watch Serena when I had meetings.
This idea crashed and burned! I was not able to work while she napped because she was a baby and didn’t nap regularly, for long periods of time or even on her own yet. She also needed my attention constantly and ate around the clock. It was impossible to work when I was with my daughter and it was also challenging to plan meetings when I didn’t have a set childcare schedule. Needless to say, my first month back on the job was tough. I quickly learned a few ways to be more efficient and maximize my work time. Here are my top tips for How To Be A Mompreneur (Mom + Entrepreneur).
1) Book Smart Meetings. I can easily fill my day with meetings. Meeting new writers, influencers, other PR professionals, potential new clients, etc., I love meeting new people and it’s an important part of my job but I had to learn to book smart meetings. This meant limiting the number of networking meetings I took each week, offering phone calls instead of in-person meetings and vetting new business leads with an email questionnaire.
2) Stay Put. Pre-baby I worked from home and I loved it, but my daughter stole my office so now, I’m all about the coffee shop. As well as I can, I try to work from the same place my whole work day. Driving from coffee shop to coffee shop is a huge time suck, especially in Austin traffic. I have my favorite neighborhood coffee shops (shout out to Spokesman, Cosmic & Summermoon) but If I have to venture to a new destination for a meeting, I plan to say there the whole day.
3) Pack A Lunch. At first, the allure of eating out for lunch every day is very exciting. But eventually it wears off, and tacos and cobb salads tend to lose their luster. Hunting for and ordering good food also takes time and can interrupt valuable workflow.
5) Schedule-Out Each Day. Because I only work three days a week, the number of items on my to-do list can be a little overwhelming.- queue Sunday scaries. This may sound crazy but every Sunday night I log in to my dreamy organization platform, Trello and create my hour-by-hour schedule for the week. I set aside time for each client, I include meetings, travel time, errands, when I have to pump, etc., After planning my week I can breathe a huge sigh of relief because I now have a clear plan and I know I have enough time to accomplish all my goals for the week. If this is too Type A for you, try setting a few small, attainable goals for each day. Accomplishing your goals for the day is a total treat yourself moment!
6) Secure Childcare. This should have been a no-brainer. Once I gave myself specific work days I was able to accomplish so much more for my clients. And most importantly, on my non-work days, Im able to log off and be more present when I’m with my family.
I’d love to hear what helped you when you went back to work! Share your tips on our Instagram.