Self-care and Relying on your Network
Alright, so here's our last lesson of this section, I just want to talk a little bit about self care and relying on your support network, 'cause it's super important to take care of yourself for the long haul. I made this graphic years and years ago, now it's kind of funny, then it's kind of not funny. Sol we all know on the airplane, put on your oxygen mask first before assisting other people, 'cause you can't help anyone if you're dead. So true. Kind of funny, then it's actually kind of serious. So actually if you are chronically under slept, you are at a higher risk of dying. You are more likely to be in a car accident, many studies have found being sleepy is pretty much the same as driving drunk. So you would never drive drunk, I hope, in a car with your kid, don't drive tired. You are more likely to gain weight if you're under slept, and you're gonna be under slept. You're gonna have an impaired immune system. Poor decision making is a sign of being chronically tired, foggy memory...
, unable to pay attention and concentrate. Having a kid who doesn't sleep a lot is the most cognitively difficult thing you can go through, because our brains heal when we sleep. And so, for sure, I wanna make sure that you're getting the help that you need, especially as an entrepreneur who's plan is to work while the baby's napping. You're not filling your needs back up during the nap, which is what other people do. So be just super attuned into what your needs are, and I have to put this up, you know, no one wants to admit that this is a huge problem, and it really is. If you start talking to people about this issue, you'll find out it happens to a lot more women than you think, so I definitely encourage you to write this down and think about it, because you are gonna have so much added stress being an entrepreneur, honestly, you're trying to manage things that not a lot of women have done. And it just causes a lot of extra stress on yourself, and we all put so much pressure on ourself. So for sure, reach out to someone if you feel like you need a little extra help. You need mental energy. What kinds of things do you need mental energy for? You need mental energy to come up with new ideas, to innovate, to successfully negotiate, to make good decisions, to weigh numerous factors at once, to overcome inertia, to keep up steam for a long lasting project, to do detail oriented or creative work, to travel, do in person meetings, all of these things that you have to do to run a business, you need mental energy, and that's something that requires sleep, and it also requires kind of like a time out. So it is pretty exhausting to care for a baby full time, and even if you're sending your child to daycare, the hustle of, okay, let's get up in the morning, let's put your clothes on, do you have your snack? Okay, let's go, oh great now I get to work for three hours while my kid's in daycare. That is all super stressful. So you need to make sure that you're taking out the time to recharge. It is absolutely essential to schedule your life so that you have a reserve of energy. You have to give yourself breaks. I am the absolute worst person to be giving this advice, I am go, go, go, go, go, until I hit a wall and I catch pneumonia. And that's just my personality type, and so I encourage you, because I've learned the hard way, to give yourself breaks when you need the breaks, because often times, especially if you have a partner who's doing their own thing, you kind of fantasize someone's gonna come up to you and be like, hey you look tired, why don't you go take an evening out by yourself. Sometimes that never really happens, so you are in charge of managing not only your business, not only your life, but also yourself, and making sure you're taking care of yourself. So enforcing these breaks, that can mean giving yourself a bedtime, not allowing yourself to work on certain days, like heck no, you're not working on Saturday. You can enter into some kind of commitment for relaxing, so buy yourself a yoga pass, schedule classes for your partner to take your little one to, like a swim class or whatever, so you can just chill out at home, setting up a date night. Whatever it means that you have to do to kind of force yourself to take the breaks that your batteries are getting recharged. I try not to work on weekends, and I also schedule nothing on the day back from a trip just so I can relax. But you're gonna have to find what works for you so that you're getting what you need. Alright, here's another worksheet. So I want you to think about, spend some time thinking about what recharges you? What fills up your battery? Because you need energy to do your best work, as well as to live your best home life, okay? So what activities bring you back to life? What are those things that make you feel whole again? And of these things, I hope you come up with a long list, what is practical for you to do on a daily basis? A weekly basis? A monthly basis? And what childcare options do you need to have in place to make that work? So it might be having a sitter come over on a Friday night, it might be dropping your baby off at your mom's on a Saturday morning. Whatever you need to do, you need to sort out a couple things that recharge you. And also, we're gonna make sure you're constantly revisiting the delegation of home tasks. So we talked about the laundry, the dishes, all of these things you need to make sure that you are getting help with those as well. Okay, so for sure, prepare your resources. You should probably have someone who can pick up your child from the school in an emergency, and have the school notified that that is your backup person. Get your child comfortable with multiple caretakers is a really good idea. Have a couple plans in place for when your child is sick, can you take off? Can your spouse take off? Is there someone else who can come over? And create a schedule which gives friends tasks on a recurring basis, so if you can say, hey, let's have lunch every Thursday, you pick the place, I don't wanna worry about it. That's helping people help you, okay? Then the last thing I wanna talk about in this lesson is finding peers. So especially as entrepreneurs, it's really hard to find people in the same situation as you. You're gonna meet a lot of mothers who go back to work at eight or 12 weeks, and they had tons of time off and didn't do a single thing during that time, and then they go straight back, and then you never see them again 'cause they're working a full time job. Then you're gonna meet people who stay at home, and you're kind of going to identify an enesy bit with both of them, but not completely. So you're gonna want to find some peers that you can connect with. So great ideas are classes for a baby, Facebook, local groups, Meetup if that's still around, people use it, classes for parenting, even an entrepreneur group if you can connect with, to find some people that you can connect with at certain times, talk about the problems that you're having, and it's even better if that person also is sort of in a part time work situation so that you can identify and really brainstorm solutions that will help you out. Alright, awesome, so I hope this gives you the confidence you need to work on your detailed maternity plan. And in the next section, we're gonna talk about outsourcing to optimize time management. So these are the nuts and bolts of finding the help you need to delegate tasks so you can get a few things off of your hands.
If the term “maternity leave” makes you nervous, you’re not alone.
The big challenge: stepping away from life for 3 months with the expectation of returning to work after maternity leave like nothing happened. Many working women already put in 12 hours a day, so how does one manage with fewer? This common practice is particularly detrimental to small business owners, who find their business slipping away during maternity leave, along with confused and disappointed customers, even when the business has returned to normal.
There’s a better way.
Instead of a traditional maternity leave, in How to Take Maternity Leave without your Putting Life on Hold, Stacey will show you how to put your business into maintenance mode for as long as you want: keeping your business functioning at a high level to keep your customers happy, but not requiring your full-time attention. It will make returning to work after maternity leave much more seamless.
Many business owners spend time on tasks that are not essential. By eliminating these excess activities, you can distill your business into a few hours a day of powerful productivity. Keep your business going while still spending the time with your family that only comes once in a lifetime. When you’re returning to work after maternity leave, you’ll find that your newly-discovered efficiency has transformed your business. You may even decide to limit work to a few hours a day, permanently!
You’ll Learn How To:
· Determine which tasks in your business are worth your time and attention
· Streamline your business down to the bare essentials, creating successful systems
· Calculate how much money you need to earn during your leave, and work the minimum number of hours to achieve it
· Take advantage of ‘down time’ in productive ways
· Decide when to hire out tasks, even if you’ve never considered hiring contractors before
· Find non-standard childcare options… there’s more than full-time daycare!
· Effortlessly shift your business back into ‘full-rev’ mode
During Stacey’s daughter’s first year, she earned 65% of what she earned the previous year, working during baby’s naps and in the evenings. She was able to do this by streamlining her business and working on only what brought in results, cutting work time down to a couple of hours a day. Her daughter entered traditional daycare when she was 20 months old, with a transition that was seamless to customers, because it appeared as if she had been working full-time all along.
Learn how you can apply Stacey’s techniques and strategies to your maternity leave plan. Even if you’re not a small business owner, you’ll find ways to assess and streamline your work, make time for this once-in-a-lifetime period, manage childcare, rev up and get back in the game.