As co-founder of a 100% female-owned marketing agency, I can say first-hand how challenging (and tiring) it is to succeed as a pregnant female entrepreneur! I’ve always known that someday I’d have to juggle my demanding work schedule with pregnancy, motherhood, and all the wonderful but time-consuming duties that come with domestic bliss.
I now waddle forward, 8+ months pregnant and ready to pop. I can definitively say I’ve learned a few truths that make life easier when you’re busy AF and pregnant AF. I’d love to share them with you. And I hope they help you (appear/feel) a tiny bit less insane. Good luck! It’s been a wild ride, ladies, and the fourth trimester is just about to begin.
Wisdom #1: Don’t Resist the Nap
Resistance is futile. You will nap, especially during the first trimester. You’ll likely feel like you’ve been out partying until the wee hours of the morning, guzzling mind erasers and chain-smoking. But no…you haven’t done those things (if you’re a responsible pregnant person, that is).
All you did was struggle to choke down dinner through relentless nausea, pee a lot, and fall asleep at 8 PM while watching reality shows. If you need a nap, schedule one into your daily grind. Otherwise you’ll crash out hard and accidentally fall asleep during a conference call. No, that didn’t happen to me…I would never do that…
Wisdom #2: Accept and Mitigate Hormonal Rage
I’m normally a very level-headed person. When a client, employee, or husband (cough, cough) does something that annoys me, I calmly let them know. Or bury it deep inside like a sensible adult. I thought pregnant women who talked about hormones making them angry were crazy before I hit 4 months. And then I experienced my first hormonal rage.
When you’re pregnant, it gets harder to separate your feelings from the bottom line. To be a pregnant female entrepreneur, you need to anticipate the hormonal rage that will fill your mind and email drafts folder. It’s completely ok to feel it and to express it to safe confidantes. It is NOT ok to let it loose on your clients, employees, or interns. Save it for the jerk who cuts you off in traffic, if you must.
In all seriousness, hormones may make you take things more personally than you normally would. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that forgetfulness, rudeness, mansplaining, and other inconsiderate behavior are often not intentional or a personal attack on you. Sit with it for 30 minutes. And, if you’re lucky enough to have a business partner, send them your rage-filled emails to edit! (Thanks, Caroline.)
Wisdom #3: Get Comfortable Delegating
Many pregnant female entrepreneurs convince themselves that life will go on completely as it was before when they get knocked up. But that’s just not the case, especially if you struggle with morning sickness and other unpleasantries. You’ll have to learn to delegate, bosslady.
I have not thrown up or been sick once during my entire pregnancy. But I did get severe De Quervain’s tenosynovitis in both wrists. This is a super painful condition that makes it feel like knives are stabbing at your wrists every time you type on your laptop. To deal, I had to get injections once a month to mitigate the pain and swelling. Because you can’t be an entrepreneur who works remotely and NOT TYPE. I also had to delegate tasks to others on bad days when my hands just were not cooperating.
While you may have an easy pregnancy, you’ll still have prenatal appointments, will experience exhaustion, will forget things, and will likely feel like crap sometimes when you just need to get sh*t done. When in doubt, just hire it out! Because trying to do everything yourself is not realistic when you’re growing a human. And, unlike a desk job, when you run the show you can’t exactly have a lazy day where you do “career development” and “research”.
Wisdom #4: Embrace ALL the Scheduling and Automation Apps
When you’re pregnant, I swear you lose half of your vocabulary. Your ability to compose sentences gets a bit hazy. You also lose your short-term memory. Basically, while you were once a super with-it biznatch, you are now an apologetic pregnant female entrepreneur.
Don’t get too pissed at yourself—get ALL the scheduling and automation apps. You can compensate for your lack of memory by being extremely anal-retentive and scheduling out every millisecond of your day. For me, this has included eating, because otherwise I get tied up and don’t make time to feed this growing human.
Google Calendar is awesome, and you can set triple reminders for meetings. Because two is not enough when you’re juggling 10 projects. Witty Kitty also uses Asana, where I can set myself tasks to follow up with clients, onboard new employees, manage all my daily deliverables, or whatever else I need to do to keep the ship afloat. I also use scheduling platforms for social media posts. The options are endless!
Wisdom #5: Plan for Maternity Leave FAR in Advance
As I write this article, a little, panicky pregnant female entrepreneur voice in the back of my mind is SCREAMING. Why? Because I have planned my little heart out to be out of the office for a month…and I’m still not sure how it’s going to be possible. And I have a very capable business partner to help while I’m out.
Start planning for maternity leave waaaay before you think you need to. Because you need more time than you think. And pregnancy is unpredictable. Your baby may end up coming early. Or that huge account you’ve been trying to land for a year might fall in your lap a month before your due date. Seriously…it never fails.
Being a pregnant female entrepreneur has its challenges, but it’s nothing you can’t conquer. In reality, the time you’re going to be pregnant is so short—try your best to really enjoy it. And don’t let anyone make you feel any less amazing and competent just because you are creating a tiny life. Hopefully, these pearls of wisdom from one bosslady to another will help!
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