Are you ready for a baby? Some people feel they are because they’ve had their favorite baby names picked out for ages, they always go out of their way to check out the baby section at Target and have a secret nursery board on Pinterest. But what about financially? How much do you have in savings? Do you have any debt? What do you want to be working toward for retirement and for your children’s future? Sorry if we just bursted your baby bubble right now but this not-so-fun part should also be given a lot of thought and preparation.
When Jen had her first child, even though she had been a doula for 10 years, she felt really unprepared for the planning maternity required. She had a lot of fears such as running out of money (which was a reasonable fear as she hadn’t saved enough) and that she would lose all her clients and everyone would forget about her at work (which was an unreasonable fear). During all of her adult life, Jen had been self-employed. She knew all the challenges first-hand that many freelancers and self-employed people face when it comes to finances such as creating your own benefits and taking time away from work. But she quickly realized that the post-partum plan she had put in place was far from adequate. Because of the financial fears she had, Jen gave herself a 2 week maternity leave and started working way too early. She quickly realized that working and taking care of a baby at the same time was impossible, unless your work is extremely flexible and can be done in short bits of time throughout the day. So, when it came to having her second child four years later, Jen followed a different plan.
By the time Jen had her second child, she had done a lot of research and learned about how to be able to create, self-fund and implement a longer parental leave whilst being a self-employed parent. This time, she was able to plan a 4-month maternity leave which was a very different experience from her first plan and a huge game changer for her health, recovery and her family. While coming up with her own maternity leave, Jen noticed that a lot of the information out there was centered around employed folks. Most of the articles available to help guide new parents weren’t taking into consideration moms and dads who were small business owners, freelancers and self-employed. When she realized she was able to come up with a successful plan for her own maternity leave, she knew she had to share her knowledge with more moms-to-be that were in similar situations to hers.
First, she decided to make a writing project out of it. She started a book proposal called, “Fully Funded by Forty Weeks: The Freelancers & Small Business Owner’s Guide to Parental Leave and Financial Resilience. Through the proposal writing process, she then realized the content was more than a book and needed to live online, so Jen created a website with the help from Onlychild : fullyfundedx40weeks.com
The website offers courses such as The Parental Leave Assessment, where Jen teaches self-employed people who are planning pregnancy or adoption in the next two years to map out their parental leave, and The Parental Leave Blueprint where she supports business owners who are currently pregnant and trying to plan for the very near future.
Jen found her true passion in being able to help people who are in a similar situation that she once found herself in. Having an actionable parental leave plan can definitely help having a less stressful transition into parenthood, but the planning never seems to cease. For Jen, since the website launched in 2020, she has been busy with this new business and says being an entrepreneur can be very tricky, especially when it comes to managing time between being self-employed, working from home, having a six year old, a two year old, and two cats!
3 TIPS FROM JEN ON HOW TO ACHIEVE WORK/LIFE BALANCE
1. Having regular work hours really help define when is family time and when is work time.
2. Blocking off late afternoons, evenings and dinner time for kids and family.
3. Taking the time to take care of yourself - preparing good food, getting regular exercise and most importantly, getting good sleep.
So… are you ready for a baby? Now that you know you can be with Fully Funded By 40 Weeks, you may go back to your baby pinterest boards and daydreaming about how it will have his perfect hair and your gorgeous smile.
JEN FILLS IN THE BLANKS...
- The best spot in your current city: spring in Prospect Park
- Favorite book: currently I’ve been enjoying Call of the Wild by Kimberly Ann Johnson, I’m also reading the memoir Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough
- Podcast you listen to the most: The Fairer Cents
- #1 most played song right now: Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
- Currently obsessed with: Moodbeli Bliss Booster
- Best exercise/type of workout for you: The Class by Taryn Toomey- I’m so hooked.
- Favorite day of the week: I love a lazy Sunday with my family!
- Your favorite way to sign off emails: with heart,
All photos courtesy of Jen Mayer
To learn more about FFx40, visit fullyfundedx40weeks.com