My husband and I feel lucky to be entrepreneurs who work from home. We’ve designed our lives so that there’s always time for a surf (him) or a trail run (me). I’m an author/jungle lodge owner. My husband is a sustainability guru. Working hours? No such thing—our mantra has been to get work done between adventures—no real difference between weekends and weekdays.
Then we got pregnant (yay!). Our flexible lifestyle would be perfect for a newborn…right?
The reality was a bit of a shock. I was suddenly juggling two babies—a newborn and a book launch. Maternity leave? Yeah, right. I soon found myself breastfeeding with a computer on my lap and cell phone in hand (yes, it can be done, but this isn’t exactly ideal!!). I barely had time to brush my teeth and make a meal, let alone keep up with work e-mails and publisher deadlines.
The 4th trimester pushed me way out of my comfort zone—personally and professionally. We argued plenty, realized that was useless (and exhausting), then embraced the challenge and decided to become masters of artful mistake making.
Our little one (son, Zephyr) is now nearly 6 months old. As I reflect on the journey of being a mama entrepreneur, I hope these 5 tips might help new self-employed or work at home parents.
1. Find a carrier you love. Our baby naps a lot longer in the carrier and we get free hands for computer tasks (win-win!!). We decided as parents to minimize screen time for baby. Easier said than done…baby carrier to the rescue!!! Our baby loved to be held (all the time) and with the carrier, he’d be facing away from the screen. Note that there are a ton of different styles of carrier out there. Try a bunch of models and see what works best for you (my husband and I each have our own favorite carrier).
These tips may seem simple or obvious but they’ve made a huge difference for us so far. We’ll see what work/life/baby adventures come next…
Bonus: I’ve actually discovered that life with a baby has made me a more mindful and balanced entrepreneur. Juggling a baby and book launch have brought some surprisingly beautiful synchronicities and benefits (breastfeeding + oxytocin = I’ve overcome my fear of public speaking…very helpful for book tour!). As I slow down daily to play with Zephyr, new inspiration is catching up with me. Thus, I’m writing this article for you! I haven’t written since I finished the manuscript for my book (before I got pregnant). I hope to have more mama entrepreneur inspiration for the Red Tricycle community soon.