Well, here in America, maternity leave is far less than our counterparts in Sweden, Denmark and the UK. In fact, the US is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave. That’s seriously crazy, and to make matters even more complicated, for those of us that are self employed, it is especially tricky.
Yes, everyone assumes that if you work for yourself you can take off whenever you would like. True. Technically true, however, it doesn’t seem to work out financially or logistically. I mean, in California, Rhode Island and New Jersey, they offer elective disability insurance benefits to the self-employed, but it’s not really a disability now, is it?
Okay, okay, this wasn’t meant to be a political post.
It is fine with us that we need to “pull up our big girl panties and trudge on,” but what gets our goat are the looks and comments we receive when we are out and about conducting our business, with a newborn in tow. In fact, I am 10 days post-partum, and we have already: attended a designer lunch and learn, had our home office photographed yesterday, tomorrow we are guest speakers on a panel, and we have two new client meetings. And all that we have heard from people are:
Or, clients doubt that we can get the job done, “don’t you need to be at home with your baby?”
My goodness, it is tough enough for everyone to run their own businesses without the additional burden on mothers to hide away at home or to deal with the guilt of trying to make a go of it on their own. We started Impeccable Nest with the sole reason of having a business that I could raise my family in…my girls (and now son) are just as much apart of this company as my mother and I are. We understand that we make society uncomfortable with children…but I don’t have it in me to hide away in my ivory tower.
1. Take an actual maternity leave. I would not book any clients, nor make any money. I would have to save up beforehand or have a partner with an amazing job where money was no worry.
2. Cut back on work and make less money.
3. Full time childcare, and keep working as before.
4. Give up completely.
5. Keep on keepin’ on, and trust that I know what is best for my family, myself and my business.
First, our clients love that we are a family focused-family centric business, it is the core of who we are. Second, there is a team working for our clients, so the burden doesn’t fall on one persons shoulders. Third, we have learned the power of no.