Being an entrepreneur is no easy feat. You are responsible for managing your own time, your business, your finances, and your own personal life. Add pregnancy to the mix, and it can become even more challenging to create a balance between being a mom-to-be and an entrepreneur.
I recently welcomed my Baby Girl, Tishya, into this world and have been running my own business for over 5 years now. Balancing pregnancy and entrepreneurship can be tough, but it's not impossible. In this blog, I would like to share some tips on managing pregnancy and your entrepreneurial dreams.
Prioritize your health
One of the most important things you can do as a pregnant entrepreneur is to prioritize your health. This means getting enough sleep, eating well, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise.
Pregnancy can be physically and emotionally taxing, so it's important to listen to your body and take care of yourself. As an entrepreneur, it can be tempting to work long hours and neglect your health, but that is not sustainable in the long run. You will be able to achieve your business goals better if you take care of your physical and mental health.
Craft a Customized Work Schedule
Don't let others dictate your work schedule. Instead, create a schedule that works for you and your pregnancy. For instance, during my first trimester, I experienced severe morning sickness, which made it difficult to work early in the day. So, I adjusted my work hours to later in the day and scheduled meetings only in the afternoon when I felt more alert. Additionally, to give myself time to adjust to the changes, I limited the days when I would take meetings and allowed myself a breather.
Remember, it's essential to prioritize your health and make necessary changes to your schedule to ensure you are at your best during this exciting but challenging time.
Enjoy your pregnancy
When I found out I was pregnant, I was filled with worry about how I would manage everything during pregnancy and after giving birth. As a solopreneur, I didn't have the concept of maternity leave, and I optimistically thought that two weeks of post-delivery recovery time would be sufficient. I was more concerned about running my company than the baby growing inside me. Feeling confused and overwhelmed, I reached out to fellow entrepreneurs who had been in my shoes.
To my surprise, every person I spoke to gave me the same advice: Your work and company are important. However, this time will never come back - so enjoy your pregnancy! Though it took some time, I eventually understood the wisdom in their words. To truly enjoy and focus on my pregnancy, I had to first understand my insecurities about the business.
I asked myself, what worried me the most? Was it the potential revenue loss, the impact on customers, or the delivery of my services? Once I identified my concerns, I was able to create a plan to manage my business accordingly. With a clear strategy in place, I was able to shift my focus to my health and well-being, enjoying and making the most of my pregnancy journey.
As someone who always likes to stay in control, letting go was one of the hardest things I had to do during my pregnancy. The first four weeks were absolutely crazy, with every symptom you can imagine: nausea, heartburn, fatigue, mood swings, smell aversion, and vomiting. I lost weight and even had to go to the emergency room for an IV due to dehydration and exhaustion. My work came to a standstill for two weeks.
The only silver lining was that my symptoms indicated that the baby was growing just fine. In those two weeks, I realized a few important things. Firstly, nothing is in my control, and I needed to accept that. Secondly, I had an amazing support system that I could rely on. And thirdly, my customers were super understanding.
It was a humbling experience to let go of control and rely on others, but it was also a valuable lesson. I learned it's okay to take a step back and prioritize my health and well-being, even if it means my work has to wait. With a supportive network of family, friends, and understanding clients, I was able to navigate the challenges of pregnancy with a newfound sense of resilience and gratitude.
Focus on Selfcare
After understanding your new body pattern, it's time to create a routine that suits you. For me, it meant devising a new work schedule and incorporating physical activities like yoga, walks with my loved ones, or even strolling through the baby section at Target. I found solace in calming music that could be played while working or doing household chores.
As I began to feel the baby's movement, I made sure to take breaks and play with her. I scheduled spa days and also allowed myself to have lazy days where I would binge-watch Netflix and just relax on the couch. I realized that being 100% productive wasn't realistic, but taking care of myself gave me the energy to be more productive when I needed to be.
Lean on your village
During pregnancy, it's important to have a support system in place. As an entrepreneur, it's even more crucial to communicate your plans with your customers and employees. Trust me, they will understand and support you in ways you cannot imagine. For instance, my team in India adjusted their work schedule to accommodate my morning sickness, taking calls later in the night. My customers were also accommodating of my new work schedule.
Don't be afraid to share your plans with your loved ones and ask for help when needed. Small tasks like grocery shopping or doing the dishes can go a long way in alleviating stress. However, be mindful of unsolicited advice and set boundaries to keep negative people at bay. Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Your village is there to support you every step of the way.
Being a pregnant entrepreneur can be challenging, but it's also an exciting time of growth and change. Prioritizing your health, adjusting your work schedule, letting go when necessary, and creating a support system are all important steps in managing pregnancy and your entrepreneurial dreams.
Remember, your health and your baby are the top priority, so don’t be afraid to take a step back when you need it. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the journey!