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Preparing for Maternity Leave

Monday January 29, 2018

Preparing for Maternity Leave

There are probably very few, if any, life changes more pervasive and all-encompassing than having your first baby. Yes, a whole lot changes when you get married or jump into a new career or make a cross-country move, but none of these commitments demands all of you, all the time, in quite the same way that a tiny vulnerable human does. Now that we’re just weeks (!) away from D-Day, it feels like my husband and I are spending every free moment going down our long list of things to prepare before Haley’s arrival - nesting, they call it. install the water filter. fix that threshold under the back door. wash the swaddles and onesies. paint her dresser. buy toxic-free paint for said dresser. get the cars deep cleaned. take Sawyer to the groomers. fill out the birth certificate paperwork. call the insurance company.

And most importantly, pray. Pray that we’ll be sensitive to our girl and become the parents she needs, that she’ll keep growing healthy and strong until she makes her grand entrance, and for no complications in labor.

On the work end of things, preparing for a baby is quite the undertaking when you also co-run your own business. Like all working mamas, I have the standard loose ends to tie and final emails to send before I can take my maternity leave with a peace of mind, but I do think there’s a greater load to pass off for those of us running small businesses because we wear a such a variety of hats and have developed specific systems to make sure everything is turning smoothly. It can absolutely feel daunting to let go and allow myself to fully take this time off with my newborn, but because Pat’s & my priority will always first and foremost be our families, it’s paramount that we set up a strong foundation for Our Heiday that won’t crumble when we’re not physically present. For us, that primarily means hiring and investing in passionate, dedicated people to support the the sustainable growth and longevity of the company.

The timing of my maternity leave has also very neatly aligned with our move to the new studio and the start date for the newest members of our growing team, so it often feels like I’m straddling two monumental transitions at once: setting up our home and my personal life for our baby to thrive while setting up our studio and my professional life for Our Heiday to thrive. Comically, it feels like Pat and I are spending every free moment going down our long list of things to prepare before moving day: choose the flooring and the countertops. set up shipping services for the new studio. buy the new desks and order the computers. transfer our WiFi. call the insurance company. pay the deposits.

And most importantly, pray. Pray that we’ll be sensitive to our team and strive always to be bosses + business owners that lead with love, that our company will grow sustainably and more importantly, purposefully, and for wisdom to deal with the complications that inevitably will arise.

It’s such a gift to be a working mother and to have the opportunity to do both well. On the days it feels overwhelming, I’ll look back and laugh at the day I had to plop myself into an IKEA cart at 34 weeks pregnant while shopping for studio furniture (those darn Braxton Hicks contractions!) and Pat shamelessly wheeled me and my big belly around while we ate our soft serve cones :) These are the good days.

lots of love,
donna




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