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Although my blog does not make up much of my income (yet), I am fortunate enough that my writing does! As a freelance writer and content creator, it means I have a lot more flexibility over clients, workload and timings which makes working during pregnancy more sustainable. The downside is that, while many mamas to be are on maternity leave, I am still trying to push forward and keep working!
When I was pregnant the first time I gave up my previous career, stopped working all together and didn’t start again until he was 3! I lost a sense of who I was and became resentful because of it, so I am not willing to let that happen this time. There are pluses and negatives to this, but for me, because I enjoy writing and creating content it doesn’t feel so hard to keep doing what I love. That being said, it can be stressful to keep working during pregnancy! Plus trying to meet the same tight deadlines when you are extra tired and fat or grumpy can sometimes feel like you aren’t giving it your all and for someone like me that feeling bugs me and makes me feel like a failure! I am planning on taking a 6-week break when bumpelina is born and then jumping straight back in because aside from the money, it’s what I enjoy doing.
I am lucky to have a bit more flexibility because of the husband so I could take an extended leave but as someone who is self-employed I am not entitled to maternity leave so the money will run out eventually and like many others, I couldn’t afford to stop work entirely. With this in mind, I thought I would share some of the ways I have managed to keep up with a fairly normal workload right up until the last few weeks (and counting) of my pregnancy.
Probably my cardinal rule. Extra rest and sleep is important during pregnancy and for me, writing for long periods of time makes me tired anyway so naps are an essential part of my day. I probably incorporate 2 naps a day currently and taking a nap has been essential for working during pregnancy as it helps me to maintain focus and avoid writing drivel! The sweet spot currently is 15 minutes which is enough time to rest without getting that groggy “oh no what have I done” type aftermath.
Sitting can be harmful to your health and also leads to a higher risk of DVT in pregnant women so it is important to get up and stay mobile. This is the one I struggle with the most because writing requires a lot of sitting and when I am in the groove, time flies. However, I have noticed that the further into my pregnancy, the more my feet swell if I sit for too long so it has definitely encouraged me to get up and at least stretch. I have also downloaded a dictation app which has allowed me to carry on with my thoughts and ideas even if I have to walk away from the desk.
Be honest with them and ask for more flexibility if you need it and try to come up with a workable solution. For example, starting later or finishing earlier can be the difference between getting into work or suffering from burnout! Also, you may find certain tasks too tiring but you can take on someone else’s work and trade for a short period of time and do something that is still productive and useful. For me, discussing my needs with my clients has in some cases allowed me to take more work on but in a way that suits me and my current situation!
For those who work from home, this makes it easier to mentally distance yourself and give yourself a mental break and rest when you are done for the day and you can “leave work” like you would in the workplace. Otherwise, the lines can get foggy and you find yourself up at midnight working in bed because you feel like you should!
If you are career driven or goal orientated, you will find that you keep trying to push yourself to reach the deadline, get the work done and progress but (and this is the hardest part) sometimes it just isn’t doable. There aren’t many things I have had to turn down or say no to when becoming pregnant and for the most part, working during pregnancy has been quite simple but on the days where I am exhausted, feeling sick or can’t concentrate, I just have to accept I can’t do it. At the end of the day, yours and your baby’s health is the most important thing, so know when it is time to say, I need to take a step back.
This post is part of my mini ongoing pregnant series “Pregnant and…” Check out the other posts by clicking on the picture:
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