I’ve created a business that I don’t really need to take a leave from.
How’s that for a maternity leave designer?
When I took my leave with our first son, I needed a way to completely cut myself off from work. Work was this huge part of my day. I had demanding clients, mentally draining deep work due every day, and a love/hate relationship with my business.
Work made me feel worthy. I was doing big things. I was busy. I was important. And it sucked me dry.
Experiencing these conflicting, strong emotions all the time made me look forward to a break. I saw maternity leave as a sabbatical. A chance to step back from this satisfying and infuriating existence and try something new (raise a baby).
I loved this new life. It was fulfilling on a whole different level. It was demanding on a whole different level. And as I settled into it, I knew it wasn’t going to complete me. I needed to bring outside work, my business, back into the mix. But that business couldn’t be the same one I put on pause to have this baby.
It was going to have to change.
Change to fit the new me.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve been working on those changes. There’s been plenty of trial and error, pivot here, shift there, that worked, this didn’t, keep this, drop that, etc. That’s the life of an entrepreneur. It’s the search for product market fit (what does the market want/need and how does that layer in with what I can provide). But there’s a 3rd piece - the founder/family fit. This piece slices down “what can I provide” to “what am I willing to provide that is optimal for me and my family”.
And that fit can be the most elusive. It’s out there for everyone. Out there for those willing to seek it out. It takes deep insight. Ruthlessly questioning and optimizing, but the reward is so worth it.
A business that doesn’t require a sabbatical.
We’re about to have our second baby.
Everyone is curious to know what my leave will look like. And it’s shaping up to be incredibly simple. My coaching clients are getting a small pause in their 1:1 calls in exchange for an extra month of support when I return and a batch of extra resources sent to them during my short break. You, my audience, will still be hearing from me with a batched round of content. And that’s it.
No need to wrap up projects, drop clients, wonder about when I’ll return, launch something new, nothing. I’ve built a business that works with our family.
Many of the first time moms I work with come to me wanting to design a leave that gives them that sabbatical. The problem with a sabbatical is that it ends and motherhood doesn’t.
When you come back to work with a 3 month old/6 month old/1 year old/5 year old, you name it - you’re still a mother. Running your business that way you did before kids is a recipe for overwhelm.
That’s why many of my clients are mothers that come to me after they’ve gotten back to work. They realize the sabbatical was nice, but what they really need is a permanent change to their business and the way they run it. These changes can be a little harder to figure out because they require deep questions and knowledge of yourself, but when you find those answers, you’ve solved a huge piece of this life puzzle.
You’ve found work that serves you. The WHOLE you. And who needs a break from that?