Mompreneur Tips By Age (0-12 months)
Let me say this first: I am no expert Mompreneur and in fact, I still have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do. But, I’ve been doing it for a little over a year and I’ve definitely learned a few things. The first year is hard. I know. Or maybe you have a perfect baby and it’s easy. If that’s the case, there’s no reason for you to read this blog post. You are golden. For the rest of us, read on.
Since the first year of life with a little one is so dynamic and always changing, I thought I would break it down into different ages. For each sub-group, I’ll give some tips for each stage and how to deal with the different emotions. Because, those are always changing too.
This stage and short season is so special and you don’t want to rush it. At the same time, you are dealing with crazy hormones, sleep deprivation and a slew of new feelings and adjusting to a new routine. The days feel long and short all at the same time. You could be dealing with a very fussy baby and even though they sleep all day, you still feel like you have no free time. This won’t last. If I were you, I would sit on the couch all day. It’s what I did. As an achiever and someone who loves to be productive, this was hard. But I don’t regret it one bit. I loved letting Knox fall asleep while eating and them he would sleep for hours on my chest. These early moments with your babe are priceless and you don’t want to wish them away. You don’t want to be away from your baby, trying to squeeze in one more email or one more project. Those things can wait. I promise.
Tips for 0-6 weeks:
Take time away from work (and stick to that)
Sleep when you can
Set a auto-responder on email
Watch movies and TV
6 weeks-3 months
By this point, the hormones have died down a bit, you’re starting to understand your babe a little bit more, you might have a little bit of a routine, and you feel a little more human again. You’re most likely recovered from birth, breastfeeding has gotten easier, and you are probably getting a little more sleep. If this is not the cast for you yet, don’t fret! Again, this is just my experience and advice. Every Mama and family is different.
By this point, you’re probably feeling a little more ready to get back to work. And you should! The dust has settled, you have more energy and you’re ready to feel productive. I think at this stage, you should work when you can and when it feels right to you. Start with some childcare if you want and ease back in in a way that feels right to you. Every person is going to feel different at this stage. Maybe you’re ready to go back in full force. Maybe you still need time with your babe.
For me, I was ready to work I loved working and at this point he would nap for three hours straight. I am not someone who can sit and do nothing, so it felt right to work. I wasn’t really working beyond his naps and it worked great for me.
Tips for 6 weeks-3 months:
Ease back in
Do what feels right for YOU
Adjust and trust your intuition
Be kind to yourself and don’t expect to be back full time if you don’t want to be.
For most, this stage probably feels the best. You are sleeping better, your babe is way more structured, and you feel like you’re thriving. Not the case for me. At this stage, Knox stopped napping on his own. For about a month straight, the only way I could get him to sleep was by wearing him. So I did. He would sleep in the carrier for 3 hours and I would stand work. It was incredibly exhausting and my body felt it. Eventually he grew out of it. But this season was hard for us. He wouldn’t sleep well at night either and I couldn’t work in the morning before he woke up. This is probably when I worked the least and struggled the most with knowing what to do for him.
I expected it to be easier at this point, but it wasn’t. This is just my experience. And as I look back on this season, I don’t regret all the time I spent holding him and caring for him. The only things I have ever regretted was when I tried to squeeze too much work in.
I know it seems like your baby should be easier or sleeping better at this point and you expect gas issues to go away. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they don’t. It’s okay to give yourself grace in this season if you aren’t working a lot. I had to do it. And it was hard, but this too shall pass, Mama.
Tips for 3-6 months:
Don’t expect life to be completely “normal”
Take it week by week
Find a reliable child care situation and make a plan
Be flexible with naps and work hours
Are things starting to look up, Mama? I hope so! No two experiences are alike, so I can’t assume that it’s getting easier at this point. But, your baby has started eating solids which means your body is less on demand for feedings and you’re probably getting longer stretches of sleep at night. Praises! This season can be when you’re feeling ready to really get back into the swing of working and routine. That’s great!
If that’s you, take time to sit down and figure out what you can work, how much you need to work and how much help you will need. Create a plan. This is NOT something I did and I wish I had been better about it.
Creating structure for your life will help you have more peace and less stress. This was the season where I was able to set some intentional and realistic goals. And then actually work on them.
Tips for 6-9 months
Sit down and set some big goals for the next 6-12 months
Create an actionable plan for where you want to go
Get excited about getting back to work
Sprinkle lots of grace over your days
This stage is where I really started to see more routine in our days and felt more comfortable leaving Knox. It should be said that I had (and still have) a hard time spending extended amount of time away from Knox. We could take a deep dive into this but, let’s just say that it’s made it hard for me to work beyond nap times. However, our family has chosen what’s best for us.
At this point, your babe is probably napping less and eating more solids, meaning your physical presence is not as vital.
This is a good time to really hone in on some of those big goals you set a few months ago. You are 100% in the Mama role now and you feel confident in your routine and schedule. Take advantage of that! Set routines and schedules for your babe that helps him/her thrive and gives you freedom to chase your dreams. This is going to look different for all families. For us, it’s limited childcare. I want to be the primary caregiver, so I only have a couple hours of childcare a week. But that’s what I want. Figure out what I want and stick to it.
Tips for 9-12 months:
Start taking actionable sets towards the big goals you have set.
Stick to a routine and schedule
Be confident in your decisions
Make time for playdates and intentional time with your babe