As a new mama, I am exhausted.
I can’t tell you when I last had a good (and full) night’s sleep. I now have two full time jobs: as a mama and as a business owner.
They’re the kind of jobs that you can have at the same time, but you’re left endlessly tired.
I haven’t shied away from sharing how exhausting this new role has been for me. My body is still healing, and while I often crave for just a few hours to myself, my baby needs me.
Still, being a new mama has taught me that it’s a job that’s nonstop, requiring a lot of my energy and patience day and night. But in all this I’m glad that my baby eats well and is growing strong (and long!).
There’s a second reason I’m as tired as I am: I didn’t have a long maternity leave.
Running my business and being the only revenue generator meant I couldn’t enjoy this luxury that helps you adjust to motherhood. There are a few times recently that I’ve missed the benefits of employment.
why I took a short maternity break
The reality is if I didn’t get back to work, I wouldn’t be able to pay salaries – including my own.
With 2022 being as tough as it was, I didn’t have the surplus cash to buy myself more time.
I’ve talked to many other mompreneurs in my network and I know I’m not the only one whose been through this.
Thankfully, before heading for my brief maternity break, I had complete oversight on how much time I had been spending daily in and on my business. Rarely was this more than 5 hours per day, 4 days a week.
I knew that with a new baby, I could commit to less. I’d have to strike a different balance between work life and home life and fit things within my child’s schedule.
the changes in my work schedule.
My baby’s schedule has absolutely no structure and there is little clarity on how much ‘free’ time I have.
But, with the support of my nanny, I give myself an average of 3 hours a day to work on business tasks.
There are three things I’ve done with my schedule to get the most of my limited time.
I have specific days for specific things.
My Mondays have a lot of planning – from check-ins and follow ups with my team, to reviewing my business financials and making payments. This is also the day I’ve set aside to read and respond to emails.
My Tuesdays to Thursdays are client days – and this is when I have sessions with my clients, consultations with prospects and networking activities.
Being disciplined with the days on which I do things ensures that I get both client work and business work done.
I work mostly in the mornings.
I’m grateful that I have a nanny.
She comes in by 9am and I immediately hand my baby over so that I can get ready for the day.
I’m at my desk by 10am and work for about two hours before I need to pause for a feeding.
During these 2 hours, I focus on the most important tasks of the day. This is how I make sure I make time for myself and for my business.
In the rare occasions that I work more than three hours, I’ll come back into the office during my baby’s afternoon nap and finish up any remaining tasks.
It’s important for me to spend time with my child and with my business.
I still make time for socialising and networking.
I definitely don’t go out as often as I did in the past, but my business requires me to go out, speak to people and build relationships.
Plus, making these connections is one of the things I really love about my work. I genuinely care about my clients and spend time getting to know them deeper than a surface level.
So, I occasionally go out for a few hours once or twice during the week.
Since many of my professional relationships have developed into friendships, I can sometimes bring my baby along for these meetings.
it’s all about structure
All this for me has been about following a structure.
In the time I’m seated at my desk, I make sure I’m completely focused. This helps me get the most important things done for the day.
These few hours sometimes take a lot from me mentally, but they remind me that I can have a business I love alongside a life that I love.