Anyone else self-employed and pregnant?

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papillon Posts: 1305
I'm just wondering if anyone else is in my position. I'm self employed (a solicitor) and have two business partners. This year we had to let a solicitor go as business was down and as a result I've been pretty busy. My partners can keep things in work going for a while if I'm not there but not for all that long. At best the most I reckon I'll be able to take is 6 weeks and I'm absolutely terrified. I'm so scared and distraught of having to leave this new baby so early in its development. I'm yearning for the time I was an employee and could take maternity leave. Now I know my partners will be understanding but they can only be like that to a degree and I just don't know how I'm going to cope. If I do come back after 6 weeks it won't be full time, at least not while I'm breastfeeding (which I really want to do) I suppose I'd love to know I wasn't the only one in this boat. Anyone else out there sharing my concerns?
ulanzi Posts: 135
Hi, I'm self employed but probably in a less awkward position in that I'm a journalist and I don't have partners to consider and so-on. I'm just concerned about the hammering my earnings are going to take. I think that you're going to have to really sit down and talk to your partners and be totally honest about all of this. There is no point in saying right now that six weeks is the very most you can take if they could conceivably manage for eight or more for example. You're justifiably stressed about it, but in a way, you have to be a bit selfish about this as well. Obviously you're concerned about the extra work and pressure they'll have to cope with, but will an extra two to four weeks of that really make that much of a difference? Maybe it will - I don't know but do talk to them about it. What are your options? Is there any way you can ease back into it from home initially? Ease the burden that way? Then in for a couple of hours a week and build it up from there? You have all sorts of priorities that are terribly pressing and stressful but your top priority has to be you and your little one. Your physical and mental wellbeing are paramount. A couple of weeks of inconvenience/hellish business on your partners' parts is a small price to pay when that comes into it. You can always repay the favour. You never know what's around the corner in terms of circumstances and they may well have to take time. I really feel for you. Self employment is fantastic in some ways but this stuff is a real burden. I don't know if any of that helps at all, but I wanted to reply and just say that you will figure this out. Try not to be too stressed. You may be able to take it day by day - I don't know. I just wanted to say good luck I suppose. I hope you manage to come to an arrangement that suits you and gives you a bit more time
papillon Posts: 1305
Thanks Ulanzi for the very sage advice. :action32 O:o) I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. I'm starting to think we could discuss hiring a locum for a few days a week for maybe eight weeks to keep my paperwork ticking along after the birth. I could reduce even my drawings somewhat from the business to allow for this extra expense. Plus we are still entitled to draw maternity benefit as far as I know, it's not huge but better than nothing! Working from home doesn't really work as we're still very paper based and I'd usually have to be in court once a week as well. I think I am gonna have to be a bit selfish whilst recognising the difficulty it causes for everyone else. It's not really selfish though is it, as I'm simply prioritising this new life over a job. No one could blame me for that. It's so weird my mother has been telling me I should be like that french minister who went back to work after a few days of having her baby. .... I've been trying to ignore her comments.(personally think that minister was nuts!). what kind of mother does she want me to be?? (this is a whole other tangent :duh: )
marianf Posts: 5845
You poor thing! I feel for you. I am self employed too but have a company so I have managed to get cover. I feel bad for complaining that I could only take 10 weeks additional leave :-8 Maybe you could pay someone to cover some of your work. You will be entitled to maternity benefit so maybe this would go some way towards paying for the locum. I don't know anything about your business but would it possible for you to scale back on the amount of work you are accepting at the moment so that you'd have less to get cover for. I can appreciate that this wouldn't be the ideal situation at the moment, but like you said, maybe you could adjust your drawings from the company to reflect this. I am sure your partners won't expect you to be superwoman!!!
hipbaby Posts: 4530
I think getting a locum is the best idea, just to keep things ticking along the other partners can do the important work and the locum can keep paperwork uptodate. I went back after having dd2 for 2 days a week when she was 10weeks and it was tough even just doing 2 days a week. This time its a little different as I run the website from home but that said I am getting help for the first few weeks as I know with a new baby and 2 toddlers something will give - most likely my sanity!!!
papillon Posts: 1305
Thanks guys, great advice I'm going to seriously look into getting a locum... I'm telling the partners on Friday as we're having a meeting (assuming Thursday's First Trimester Screening goes well)