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How to be a Productive WAHM During Your First Trimester
Pregnancy + Home Entrepreneurship: Can It Be Done?
When you’re running a home business, it takes a lot of energy during the early days, especially if you’re a solopreneur. The keys to achieving a balance between your work and your personal life are having strict boundaries and mastering time management. Despite how disciplined you may have become as you’ve grown your home empire, there’s nothing quite like pregnancy to throw a wrench into your process.
Pregnancy is a time of whirlwind emotions and a myriad of changes. Growing another human being affects your body on a chemical level and no one can predict exactly how pregnancy will affect their mind and body. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop while a woman is adjusting to her pregnant self. Running a service-based business can become more challenging because your client’s deadlines may conflict with your strong urge to sleep (or vomit!) If your nausea is severe, even something as simple as sitting at your desk may be a chore. Is there any hope for the pregnant mama who wishes to continue – or start – running her own home business? Of course, there is! There are plenty of women who ran thriving home businesses while pregnant. Here are 9 great tips to help you do the same!
9 Ways to Be a Productive Home Business Owner While Expecting
1. Make your body and your baby a priority – Whether your business is side income or your means to support your family, it’s important that you give priority to the needs of your body over the needs of your company. If your needs aren’t being met, you’re asking for trouble. Don’t skimp on sleep and other self-care practices for the sake of getting more done. You’ll be far more effective if you take the time to rest and properly fuel your body.
2. Stay hydrated – Proper hydration makes your body function better and can even help decrease feelings of nausea. With the extra blood volume in your body, your body is working overtime to keep your system filtered (hello, endless potty breaks!) Drink enough water to give your body what it needs to stay nice and clean.
“Running a successful home business from home during your first trimester of pregnancy is challenging, but not impossible!”
3. Batch everything – Try blocking out time to work on just one task. You’ll get more done if you can focus on one thing at a time rather than executing a process from start to finish. Spend a 30-minute chunk answering emails, then another 30 minutes outlining your next 2-4 blog posts for the month. Spend half a morning recording your video content, then edit it the next day after you’ve had your afternoon nap. By working this way, you may find that you’re more productive than you would’ve been otherwise.
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4. Take advantage of your energy spurts – After a few days of passing out around the same time in the middle of the workday, I realized that I needed to cram in my daily priorities in the time between breakfast and my afternoon crash. In order to do this, I began to drag myself out of bed a little earlier in the morning (which was, surprisingly, much easier than getting up from my afternoon nap) so I had enough time to work through my high-priority to-do list. That way, when I was too tired to stay awake, I could snooze a bit with no guilt. Pay attention to the ebb and flow of your own energy levels during the first trimester. Note when you’re feeling your best and work your tail off during that time. It feels so much better to work with your body rather than against it!
5. Just say no – You may need to temporarily back out of certain activities while you’re adjusting. Most people will be understanding, but there will be some who won’t get it. That’s okay! Give yourself permission to stop doing things that just don’t fit with your schedule. Be open with your communication and if possible, propose a solution to help others cope with your decision.
6. Eat well – The quality of your meals can have a major impact on how well you’re feeling during your first trimester. Every woman is slightly different, but well-balanced meals with protein, vegetables, and some carbs minus junky, sugary foods will keep you feeling your best. However, if all you can stomach are crackers and pickles, by all means, eat those crackers and pickles! Make sure you’re taking a high-quality prenatal vitamin and discussing with your doc other strategies for meeting your nutritional needs during this sensitive time.
7. Keep working out – No one expects you to be in Iron Man level shape, but keeping your body active while pregnant will help you to have extra energy and possibly avoid unnecessary weight gain. Start off your morning with a little cardio, whether it’s marching in place or taking a stroll around the block. Getting your blood pumping first thing will prepare you to accomplish the rest of your tasks.
8. Automate everything – There are so many wonderful products on the market that will automate your business tasks so you have more free time. Whether it’s posting your social media content, publishing your web content, or replying to customer inquiries, there is an app to get it done!
9. Get help – Now is not the time to try to be Super Woman. Lean on your friends and family for an extra set of hands. Have older kids help out with simple business tasks or a couple extra chores each week. Discuss with your husband how he can lend a hand. Let your parents or in-laws spend time with your kids so you can take a nap or catch up on work. If you’ve got room in your budget, hire a maid to come in bi-weekly or a nanny who can show up for an hour or two each day. This may even be the perfect time to go from solopreneur to employer. The more you can outsource, the better off you’ll be!
Remember: Take It Easy On Yourself!
Working at home while pregnant is not impossible. By keeping your health as a priority, reevaluating your schedule, and implementing some creative solutions, you can get through those exhausting first months of pregnancy without missing a beat in your business!