Baby number two is on the way, which means big changes for my business.
I'm mentally preparing myself for the chaos that comes with having two babies under two years old, and I have so many questions. How will my toddler handle having a sibling? Can I still deliver for my audience while taking on these new challenges?
During this episode, I'll be sharing how I'm giving myself permission to show up in a capacity that makes sense for me, my family, and my business. I might not be able to do everything I want, but that's okay.
I’m also sharing my plans for my maternity leave, including trusting my team even more, repackaging existing content, getting ahead on podcast recordings, and putting all new projects on hold.
So, whether you're pregnant, navigating life changes, or just curious about how business owners tackle the juggle of motherhood and business, this episode is for you.
In this episode of the podcast, I talk about:
- The coming of baby number 2
- How I’ll be leaning on my team
- Getting way ahead on podcast episodes
- Why I’ll be a lot more flexible with maternity leave
- Putting all NEW projects on hold
- The chaos and joy of having two small children
This Episode Was Made Possible By:
Riverside All-in-One Podcast & Video Platform
Visit Riverside and use the code DREA to get 15% off any Riverside individual plan. We use it to record all our podcast interviews!
Watch the Episode Below:
Andréa Jones (00:01):
I'm currently pregnant and planning on my second maternity leave, and I wanted to use this episode to do a little behind the scenes moment of some of the things I'm thinking about as I'm planning for baby number two. Let's get into it.
Welcome to the Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andréa Jones.
Andréa Jones (00:43):
Listeners, you're in for a treat. Before I dive in today's episode, I got to remind you to grab your 15% off over at Riverside. Riverside is the podcast recording studio that we now use for our show and y'all, they feel super luxurious. So head over to Riverside, you get 15, that's one 5% off all of their plans by using the code Drea, that's DREA at checkout. Click the link in the show notes to get started today for free.
Alright, so for a little bit of backstory, I recorded a maternity kind of plan reflections episode, episode number two 13. And in that episode I talked about what I planned to do for my maternity leave and then what actually happened. So that was with baby number one, Ellie. She's a year and a half now, and I'm pregnant with baby number two, code name Nugget for now.
Don't announce the name until she gets here, but it is a girl. And this time I wanted to talk more about the process as it's happening. I did not do that last time. And I feel like what happens sometimes as marketers, business owner, content creators, is that we tell the story after it's happening and it's not often I get a moment to talk about something before it happens and then reflect back. I usually save that for my private communities. I have a private podcast called Behind the Business where I share it all, but this time I'm taking it to my public podcast and YouTube channel to talk about the process as I'm planning it. So at the time of recording this, I am 19 weeks pregnant. This will probably release when I'm like 21, 22 weeks. I do record ahead of time, so I'm about halfway through and y'all this pregnancy while welcomed and we were trying to have kids.
It happened so fricking fast. I just have to share some of the context of this because it happened way faster than I thought. So this is a backstory, my husband and I, around June, July of 2023, we were talking and we were like, yeah, I think we want to have a second kid. We love our first kid. And if you go back and listen to episode two 13, you'll hear we were no kid people for a long time, but we've been married for nine years, we've been together for 10 years, and just at some point along the way after being together for so long, we were like, you know what? We should have kids. And so we had Ellie best thing ever. By the way, I love being a mom. I love having a kid. She is hilarious and probably one of the funniest people I know, even though she's only a year and a half, her humor is just off the chain and she's so curious and fun.
And anyway, so both of us are loving this experience of having a kid and we want to add another to the mix. Now I am 34, my husband is 38, he'll be 39 next year. So we're at the age where we're like, well, it's now or never. So we had a conversation, let's start trying for a second kid. Now with Ellie, when we had that conversation initially, it probably took eight or nine months before we got pregnant. We had the conversation and then we were like, yeah, we're both in. Let's do this. And then eight or nine months later, I got pregnant with Ellie. Okay, so this time, that's kind of what I was expecting, right? It'll take some time. So yeah, let's talk about it. And then nature, oh, mother Nature was just like, oh, you talked about it. It's going to happen right now.
So not to get too far into the details, but essentially the very next day Nugget was conceived. So it happened very quickly. I'm very thankful for that. And I was not expecting it to happen that quickly, in my mind, I had already kind of assumed it would take six to nine months, maybe even another year or two before I would get pregnant with Baby two, I have this retreat that I planned, which was November 3rd through fifth. So to get pregnant in July would mean I was pregnant for this retreat that I planned where there was wine tasting and an open bar and all of these things. So I wasn't planning on it that quickly and it happened. So as with Ellie, when I was pregnant with her, immediately I had to make some changes in the way that I was running the business. So everything happened very quickly.
Y'all know if you've been hanging out with me for a while, I did not enjoy being pregnant with Ellie, and I'm not enjoying this pregnancy either, but I want to talk about what I've done, what I'm planning to do, what I've changed from last time, and my expectations for what I don't know going into this. So let's start with what I've done. I immediately had to change some things because pregnancy for me is a huge energy drain. And where if I'm on a normal day running at a hundred percent when I'm pregnant, I'm running at about 40% that first trimester. Right now in the second trimester, I'm about 80%. So this is the peak of where I am going to be for this pregnancy. It's probably going to go down to about 60% in the third trimester. So that's been my experience with Ellie. It's what I'm experiencing so far with Nugget as well, what I changed immediately was the amount of content I was producing.
So if you look at my social channels, if you look at my YouTube, you'll see I'm producing less content and that's because I just can't keep up with the amount of content that needs to be produced. We're down to what I can do, which our podcast is our main content source. And so I spend a lot of time on the podcast and then my team takes that and repurpose it in the social. So I'm not creating as many custom social content pieces as I was. I'm relying on kind of our backlog here, and I'm not creating new content pieces like YouTube videos. I have this whole thing. I started going down with ck. I'm studying that platform still, but I do not have time to start a sub stack right now. And even my exploration in Threads, so you'll know Threads came out July, 2023. So when I was pregnant, Threads was also being birthed.
And so I shifted my time to that platform, which thankfully producing content there is much, much easier. So it's not a huge lift for me. So that's already what I have changed so far and what I've done so far. I also have just given myself a lot more grace. There are deadlines that I did miss. There was this collaboration that I was a part of where I was supposed to record custom content for it. And even though the slides were done, my notes were done, the idea of sitting down and recording something for 90 minutes, a 90 minute prerecorded session just crawled into my brain and stayed there and I could not maintain an energy level for that length of time just prerecorded. I have taught live sessions for 90 minutes and that seems to be a little bit better. Maybe it's just a live interaction that keeps me going, but then I just sleep for 10 hours after that.
So I've had to literally change the way that I show up in work and in my business. And I'm sharing this because again, I do think sometimes as content creators, as marketers, there's not enough conversation around the realities of running an online business. And the reality is I'm not capable right now of showing up in a hundred percent way. Alright, so here's what I'm planning to do and what my plan is quite similar to what I've done with Ellie in the past. So I'm grateful that I had the experience I just had her a year and a half ago. So feels new. Everything still feels new, I still feel like I'm figuring it out. And here I go again, but I am making some tweaks. So last time when I was pregnant with Ellie, I said no new projects that is the same this time around.
I'm not launching any new programs, I'm not releasing any new projects. If I release projects, they probably have either already been in the works or they're repackaged. So we spent a lot of time this year already repackaging some of our content. We've had this savvy social school now for going on six years and it's a membership product with so many products inside of it. So we've extrapolated some of those and created smaller products for our clients and customers who don't want to commit to the membership model, maybe they just want to learn something very specific. So we've pulled those out, created smaller offers. So I'll continue to do that all through next year, but I have no plans of starting something new. Now I do have my key campaigns pretty much planned out for the year, so both internal and external. So y'all know if you have memberships, your internal marketing is even more important than your external marketing.
So I actually spend more time marketing to my members than externally for new members coming in. So we do things like we have a monthly newsletter, I make sure we create live events that feature the amazing people on my team and live events from myself. We do mini challenges, we have full length challenges, we release new products every single month. We release new resources, new templates, new things for our members. So I know I have planned through June specifically and then a rough idea for the rest of 2024. So those are pretty much planned out. I also have my external campaigns planned as well. So some of our challenges that are in the school usually are full length ones like our LinkedIn challenge and our Instagram challenge. They are planned for next year. And thankfully that content is pretty much done, so we'll just update it for the new year and release it.
And then I'm also planning a TikTok challenge. I was going to do it last year. The timing just didn't work out with TikTok. There was a huge congressional hearing at the time and people were leaving the platform and just sticky. So we're going to probably relaunch it this year that is contingent on if I can pre-record the content and time, but that is planned. So there are key campaigns that are planned that will be both available to the public and for our members only. I also have some fun things planned for our pro mentees as well. I'll talk more about that in what I've changed section. But as far as marketing goes for our free content, we are doing the same thing as that I did with Ellie, which is prerecording podcasts. So I have podcast interviews pretty much recorded all the way through till the end of May.
I am getting ahead on my solo episodes now. So I did the interviews first, then I'll do the solo episodes. And I did run into a challenge last year where social media changes very quickly. So for example, if I recorded episodes about Twitter and then Twitter changes its name X while I was on maternity leave, that's kind of like it's a situation I have to address. And thankfully a lot of what I teach and share are evergreen all purpose platform agnostic social media strategy. So that's not changing. And so I'll prerecord a lot of those solo individual episodes as well. And then I'll continue reducing my content output. So I do plan on still continuing to put out content, but at one point this year I was putting out three pieces of content a day across all my social platforms. That's reduced down to one a day for most platforms. And some platforms like LinkedIn, I'm no longer posting daily.
The platform honestly doesn't need that much content and I'm just making sure the quality is still there. So reducing the amount of content I'm outputting while still making sure I save time for studying. This is something new that I did this year in my business where I had to be really intentional about carving out study time. Previously I was just doing so much anyways that it was easy for me to learn new things on the go, but I reduced my hours. So pre Ellie, I worked about 40 hours a week, 40, 50 hours a week if I'm being honest. Now I work 20 to 25 hours a week on a good week if it's a week where I'm sick, which is a whole new thing because when you're pregnant you really can't take a lot of medicine. I can take Tylenol, that's it. So it's not like I can take NyQuil.
So that reduces down drastically when I'm sick. So despite all of that, I really have to make sure I still carve out time for studying because part of my job and my role in my company and for you all is to stay on top of social media trends, updates, shifts in strategy, all of it. So making sure I still carve out time for studying, which for me looks like participating in the app mostly. And then also making sure I have boots on the ground for creators and content creators who are innovating. So for example, one of my mentors is Jake Klaus, who is doing some fascinating things with Instagram reels. And so I'm in his program and I'm studying his content and seeing how we can bring that down to a level that's more approachable for your everyday business owner because he spends thousands of dollars a month on his content production team from a video production agency to the podcast to micro videos.
Just his micro videos alone is like five grand a month. So when I'm thinking about your everyday business owner, I'm studying the results of what works and then translating that into what I know about online business, small business. So that takes time. And then I'm continuing my support from my team. So last time I went on mat leave, my team was posting my content for me, they're in my inbox and that will continue. It's something that I really just need support with personally. I can't be everywhere all the time, so they make sure that I seem like I'm everywhere all the time in that if you respond or comment or send a DMM that you get a response. So for the most part, that's my team. All right, I'm going to take a quick break and when I come back, I'm going to talk about what changed from last pregnancy to this one and a little bit about what I'm going to do about the things I don't know what to do about yet when we get back.
[Podcast Ad break] Hi, friends holidays are coming right up. And if you want to get all of the things in order, all of your ducks in a row for the holiday season, I want to give you a free gift. It's our free holiday guide for 2023. Inside you will find 10 tips for a rock solid holiday social media marketing plan. So if you're ready to figure out how to work before you get to the holidays, how to plan ahead, how to give the holidays, the attention it deserves and not lose out on key sales opportunities, this guide is for you. Head on over to onlinedrea.com/holiday to learn more. [Podcast Ad break]
All right, so let's talk about what's changing from last pregnancy to this pregnancy. So last pregnancy, I was very optimistic about those first few months. And so I actually planned to start recording podcasts around June. So I had Ellie end of April and I'd planned to come back and start recording new podcast episodes in June. So that's about six weeks. It's a little soon, right? It's a little soon for me personally. Now I did it, I was able to do it. However, there were some things that happened on my team where I was then needed to step back in. And then some things happened with clients as well that needed my attention that was unexpected. So what I'll be doing differently this time is getting farther ahead on podcasts. So this baby is due technically April 4th. However, I will have to have a scheduled C-section because I had a C-section last time.
I don't won't go into details. It was a traumatic experience, totally unplanned. So I have to have a scheduled C-section this time. They usually do that about a week or so before your due date, which mine is April 4th. So this baby's probably coming end of March. So I've already started planning from March 25th onwards. I'm probably going to be unavailable say March 15th, just to be safe. But March 25th officially, right? So before March 15th ish, I will need to batch record more podcast episodes. So I have already done through till mid-May. I'm probably going to go through till end of June with this next batch of podcast episodes. And that's just to give myself more space to just in case something happens. I have no idea what life looks like after having a second baby. I've done it with one. Now I have two kids. I'm going to get farther ahead on podcasts.
I'm also going to bring my team in to help with my newsletters. My team writes my emails that are like sales emails or just promotional specific emails, like if I'm doing a collaboration with someone and it's just an email about that one thing. But my Tuesday email, I write that one. And so while I'm getting ahead on those currently, just like I did last time, Terrence on my team is an amazing copywriter and I feel like he'd be really good at taking over that newsletter for a couple months as I ease back into content creation. He watches listens to consumes all of my content, and he just has so much already. And so I'm probably going to hand over the reins at some point from the Tuesday newsletter just for a short period of time. I still add on so many personal stories, one of the most responded ones this year was how I saw spider on my water bottle and freaked out.
That's the kind of thing that it just happened and then I wrote about it. Those sorts of things are going to be a little bit more challenging, but then I can start working ahead on those because that spider story could work at any time. So he'll be there to help assist with that transition. And so another part of why this works is because we implemented the digital brain strategy at the beginning of this year. I've been talking about building digital brains for a long time. And it wasn't until the beginning of this year, 2023 that we solidified it into a repeatable process that we could apply to all of our clients. And now we sell that training inside of the school and as individual products that y'all can do it for yourself as well. And so with the digital brain process, Terrence is able to then be me in more copy than we could actually ever use, to be honest with you.
And so because of that, Terrence is now able to write my newsletters. He writes all the podcast show notes, he writes all the sales emails, he writes all my social posts, most of my social posts. Sometimes I throw a post in there, and so it'll be really seamless to transition him over to supporting me with more content there as well. Now, the biggest change from last pregnancy to this one is the economy. So last pregnancy, I got pregnant, middle of 2021. My business was still experiencing the positive economic boom that happened to a lot of online businesses. So March 2020, pandemic hit. We saw instant dip in a lot of what was happening across all business sectors, but certain businesses started to see trends upward. My business was one of those. So I sell training and I offer services for digital businesses. So a lot of people were going digital.
I've been using Zoom for years. We have that system already in place. The savvy social school already existed. Our services already existed. So people who previously didn't have a digital footprint who now needed one would come to us and say, how do I set up an Instagram? I need someone to run my LinkedIn. And my team was able to step in and we saw a massive, massive growth in that time. The most growth we've ever seen in the business. That came to an end this year, actually this year was very challenging for me because I white knuckled my way into saying, no, this isn't happening. And actually really damaged my profit and my business because of it. So going into 2024, I had to make some changes to my team structure. We reduced our team, so I had to let people go. We had to shift things around with our business model just slightly.
I had to raise my prices for our services. We raised the price in the school last year, so that means fewer people are joining at the higher price. And so economically, there have been some shifts that are different from last time. I had high hopes for things like the school, for instance. And this time last year hired a community manager who was fantastic by the way. But as the year went on, it became apparent that I could not afford her. So while she's great, I no longer have her support. So I'm headed into maternity leave with my current team size the way that it is, it's probably not changing as much as I want to bring on more people, I have to be mindful of my profits. And so I'm just doing what I can do best. But that's very different from the last time I went into maternity leave where I knew I had more team and I probably could have hired even more team to support during my maternity leave.
I just am not doing that this time. And the last thing that I'm doing differently this time is just giving myself more permission to have flexible work. So last pregnancy, I was a bit rigid about when I could work and when I couldn't work because I thought structure would really help me. But the lesson I learned is that babies don't follow your rules. And I said as much at the time, and I still had to learn that lesson. Babies do not follow your rules. So I've built in flexibility. So for example, I'm really proud of the fact that we have not missed a single episode in probably about four years of this podcast. We haven't missed a single week. I'm going into this next one. Well, if I don't work ahead and if things go wrong or if this is challenging, I may have to miss a few weeks of the podcast.
I'm okay with that, and I'm sure y'all will be okay with that too. I'm going into it with flexible time commitments as well. I silly me planned out this whole mat leave with half of it being before the baby got here. Because in my mind I was thinking this will be my last moments before becoming a mom. I would enjoy them without having the responsibility of a child to be mindful of. But y'all, what I did not realize when planning this is that when you're eight or nine months pregnant, you are fully caring for that child already. Your whole body is caring for that child. And so I just basically had a bunch of time that I cleared my schedule where I was not enjoying myself and I wasn't working and work is fun for me.
And then I didn't give myself any projects and then I felt guilty and was beating myself up when I was working. And so this time I'm going into it going, if I have some projects where usually it's like recording courses and things for the school, those are on my wishlist and I'm giving myself full permission to work on them if I feel called to. And then if I need to rest, I have that time as well. And then same thing for things like team meetings, podcast recordings. I'm not going to carve out space to be on other people's podcasts, but if something comes up and I have the time, energy, and space to do it, I'll do it. If I want to record a podcast for my show, I'll do it. If I want to work right up until the day that I have my C-section scheduled, then I'll do it right.
So I'm giving myself flexibility to do that before pregnancy. And then I'm also giving myself flexibility to do that after pregnancy because actually some things popped up after having Ellie that I had to address. And again, I felt guilty about it. I beat myself up over it. But honestly, this is just one of the things that I've committed to as a business owner. And also if things pop up and I can't attend to it, I'm also prepared to just with the consequences of it. Because life has changed drastically for me after having a kid. And my kids come first. They're the number one things in my life right now. And my business is number two, family number one, business number two. So that's just the way that it is. So if things pop up, well, I will see what I can do. And if I can't, I will deal with the consequences.
I want to wrap this episode up talking about and acknowledging the things that I have no idea about because I went in very confidently to this last pregnancy, had all the things planned out and ultimately things happened differently. Some things happened the same, some things happened differently. And the biggest thing for me is we are still in this economic shift in my market right now. Some markets are doing great, but online business education based businesses, statistically are seeing downturns right now. And this is, I say statistically, but it is anecdotally for a lot of the business owners I'm talking to in my segment, my colleagues who are willing to have those conversations that are about the realities of business right now. So marketing agencies, memberships, education-based companies, courses, group programs. So people who run business models like mine or the clients and customers that I serve almost across the board for the conversations I'm having, they're seeing things slow down.
Revenue is not as high. Launches aren't six figure launches right now. Things don't look the same. So I'm going into this pregnancy recognizing that business is going to look different when I have a baby and then a year from now. And I just have to be willing and open to go along for the ride for what comes. I don't have any massive changes that I want to make. I'm trying to be very mindful about that because any change requires work, upfront work and it's usually a heavier lift than the current mode I'm in right now, which is more of a coast. I have my team, I have amazing clients. I have my program. It's awesome. The people in it currently are amazing, right? I'm just focusing on that. And who knows what the economy will do in a year from now. I also have no idea what life will look like with two babies and for a while there'll be two of them under two years old, which is still wild to me how quickly this all happened.
So I basically have two babies at the same time and it's going to be absolute chaos. I already know it initially, right? And I don't know what that is going to look like, but I am mentally preparing myself for whatever chaos is. On the other side of this, my toddler, she's a year and a half right now. She's lovely, she's wonderful. She just started daycare. She's vibrant. I don't know how she's going to react to having a sibling this next baby. I don't know how she's going to be. Ellie was a very easy baby and still very easy kid. So part of me is bracing myself to have a kid that's a little more needy. Ellie plays very independently by herself. She doesn't really cry that much. She eats her food. She sleeps at night. It's not a big deal. I don't know if this kid will be the same.
What if they are colicky or what if they have challenges that need to be met or needs that need to be met? I have no idea. I dunno. I dunno what I'm getting into. Plus there'll be two of them. So I'm embracing myself for that reality. And then I'm also giving myself permission to examine my own personal capacity and what that will look like. So the capacity, emotionally, physically, spiritually. How am I showing up in my business? Because what I've learned over the past couple of years is that my team and my business does need me. I do not have the kind of business model where I can be completely nor do I want to be. Okay? So my business does need me. There are definitely places where I get support, where I can get support, and I am doing that. However, right now as it stands, I don't really want someone else recording the podcast.
I don't really want someone else facilitating all the sessions in the school. I still want to show up for some sessions. I don't really want someone else creating videos for my YouTube channel. That's just not the business model that I have. And so knowing all of that and knowing my own desires and vision for the business, I also have to recognize that I still may not be able to do all of the things that I want to do that are within my vision. So I'm giving myself permission to show up in a capacity that still makes sense for me and in a way where I can still deliver for you all. So I don't know what that looks like, but I thought I'd share it here on the podcast. So this episode is a little bit different. It was a little bit more personal. But some of these conversations that I've been having with you all, like through the DMs, I've been Voxing people.
I love a good voice message. So there's a few people where I'm Instagram voice messaging back and forth about designing life around children, small children and babies and pregnancy. And so I wanted to bring this conversation here on the podcast as well just to kind of share what I'm going through currently. And hopefully it'll help you as you're going through your own pregnancy or maybe you're going through other life changes. So that's all for today. I'll be back soon with another episode. But as always, leave us a five star review, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, helps keep us in the top 100 marketing podcasts. I'll see you next week. Bye for now.