Three changes that helped me do my most meaningful work after the first year postpartum

Before my son was born, I had grand plans for the year after his birth.

I was going to kick ass.

Make a ton of money.

Look and feel great.

 

You might guess how this story ended up going.

 

I mostly:

Felt like I was getting my ass kicked by motherhood.

Made way less money than I wanted too.

Looked and felt mediocre, at best.

 

That postpartum year was a year when everything felt hard.

 

It was a constant wheel of learning, and re-learning, how to make my business work during this stage of life.

After a year of the daily challenges of running a business and becoming a mother, the 12-month mark really threw me for a loop.

 

My little family and I embarked on:

An international move from Mexico to the US.

Immigration paperwork and processes (not fun!).

My husband becoming a stay-at-home dad.

My decision to increase my work hours after nearly a year of a part-time schedule.

 

Needless to say, it was a lot!

 

And then, my grandmother passed away.

And that was the kicker.

 

I had been trying to push through it all, but I finally gave myself the space to pause and process.

 

At her funeral, my father gave a brief speech about how she valued work ethic above all else and wanted to pass that down to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren…yep, she had 6 great-grandchildren, pretty amazing!!!

 

My grandmother worked until she was nearly 80

She never had fancy, or exciting, or particularly well-paying job, but nonetheless, her work was meaningful.

And she was so so so dedicated.

When you asked her how her day went, she loved to talk about all that happened.  Meaningful work was a central part of her identity.

 

“Me too,” you might be thinking.

 

“Me too,” is what I thought as I heard my father speak.

“Me too,” is what I reminded myself when faced with nervousness about becoming the sole breadwinner for my family.

 

Meaningful work is a central part of my, and our, identities.

 

In my pause-and-reflect time, I grappled with the ways that I could allow myself to do more of the meaningful work.

 

Here are three changes I made in my business to see if I can do more of what is meaningful, and less of what drains me. It’s an experiment to see what works and what I will let go of!

 

1. Prioritizing quality over quantity content – my newsletter used to go out every single week and I am experimenting with less frequency. This allows me more time to carefully craft blog posts that matter to me and my community. Useful content and good writing takes time and realizing I simply don’t have the time every single week made me re-strategize.

 

2. Being communicative and crystal clear about my availability and pricing – serving comes easily for me, but selling does not. I am practicing being communicative about my work, the value and cost of services I offer and regularly reminding folks about it. I am also committed to doing this with integrity, which for me, means not relying on scarcity or urgency tactics. It’s a skill, and I am working on it.

 

3. Showing up in ways that work for me – I discovered this past year that I love being a podcast guest and having intimate conversations. So, instead of trying to do #allthethings, I am focusing on doing what I am good at! You’ll hear me on more podcasts in the future, and the 100 Business Babyproofed Project continues.

 

Having conversations about what it takes to have a maternity plan that works for entrepreneur’s personal and business needs is where it’s at for me, and I’d love for you to join me in this dialogue!

 

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