How does a blogger take maternity leave? My plans for the next six months

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Blogger maternity leave plans

Working for yourself and blogging comes with lots of perks – flexibility, creativity, freedom – but one of the downsides is not having the security of a full-time job and all the benefits that brings. Right now, I’m feeling that with trying to work out how to manage my maternity leave. In my old full-time job, the maternity leave was great: a mixture of full, half and statutory pay for six months, followed by the option of another six months’ unpaid leave. And all the while, someone else would be doing your job for you, so you could truly leave it behind.

My position financially is still okay. Steve and I own our own business, which we do all our freelance work through, so I will be paid statutory maternity pay through our business, which I can then claim back from the government. It’s 90% of my earnings for the first six weeks and then £141 a week for the next 36, so while it’s not as good as my old full-time job, it’s not terrible, and it means, if I want to, I can take a full 39 weeks off while being still being paid a small amount.

With my freelance work, this is pretty easy to manage. I’m not taking on any new work and I’ve told my regular clients that I won’t be back until September. Luckily, my main client is loyal and wonderful, so they’ve found someone to cover for me and my job is safe until I go back.

But this blog is a different story. There’s no option for someone else to step in, free of charge, to cover for me while I’m away. Even if I could afford to pay someone to write all the blog posts for six months, I wouldn’t as this is very much a personal blog. I can publish the occasional guest post, but I think it would be odd if all the content came from other people for a prolonged period of time.

One option would be to simply stop posting until I felt up to it, but I have no idea how long that will be, plus I’d prefer not to have that pressure hanging over me. I’d like to enjoy some maternity leave, getting to know our baby and not worrying at all about work. So I came up with a plan, which has mostly involved me writing manically for the past few months, plus seeking help in a few places.

This is what I decided…

How does a blogger plan for maternity leave?
I’ve been getting all the practical stuff ready too. Hospital bag is packed 🙂

My maternity leave plans

Blog posts

I have written enough blog posts to publish one every other week up until the end of August. Most of these are entirely new articles that have been on my to do list for ages, for example the best veggie brunches in Melbourne, how to choose a camper van in New Zealand and a 10-day itinerary for Slovenia. I’ve also revived my If I had a Superpower series and interviewed a few of my favourite bloggers. And then I realised there are a few articles that I’ve written for other publications that I’d like to share on this blog, so there are some of those lined up too. I normally try to publish weekly, but writing that many articles was overkill and I hope publishing fortnightly will be enough to tide things along. Also, once I feel like it, I can start writing updates about life with the baby in the intervening weeks. Steve and I do intend to travel during that time, so I’ll be sure to write about that too.

Social media

Aside from Instagram, I’m not that regular with my social media at the best of times, so I don’t have a high standard to try and live up to while on maternity leave. That said, I am scheduling posts to go with all my blog posts, plus sharing some old content that’s relevant to the time of year. On Instagram, I intend to post scheduled photos about three times a week and then fill in the gaps with current photos and stories as and when I can/want to. And for Pinterest, I decided to hire a virtual assistant (VA) to help with that as it’s the least personal of all of them, so doesn’t necessarily need my voice. For the first six weeks, my VA will also publish my posts on Instagram, but I will write all the captions and reply to any comments. I know some bloggers hire VAs to do all their social media, but I feel uncomfortable about someone else pretending to be me and writing in my voice, so I didn’t see that as an option. It’s been quite a lot of work, planning everything in advance, but I think it’s worth it for retaining authenticity.

Replying to emails and comments

Although I’m not hiring anyone to reply to comments and questions, I imagine I’ll be pretty bad at doing this myself for the first few months, so please bear with me! My email will have an autoresponder explaining I’m on maternity leave, but there’s no easy way to do that for blog and social media comments. At some point, maybe after two months, I intend to check the comments a few times a week and get back to anything urgent. Steve is also going to help with this. 

E-mail newsletter

I’ll be sending a newsletter in January, but after that I’m putting it on a hiatus until I finish maternity leave/feel like writing another. That might be when I return to work in September, or I’ll more likely post one or two before then as I do love writing to you all! 

So long for the next few months!

So that’s my plan up until August. It’s taken a lot of preparation, but now I feel as though I can rest assured that the blog is taken care of while I enjoy some time with the little one who’s on the way. Hopefully you’ll enjoy all the posts I have lined up, and I’m sure I’ll be writing current updates along the way. It’s hard to imagine what life will look like with a baby, but Instagram is probably the best place to find me between now and August as that’s the social media channel I use the most, posting both photos and stories. And I also intend to post blog posts here, letting you know how it’s all going.

So toodle pip and too-da-loo. I’m off to have a baby!

Blogger maternity leave plans

P.S. If you’re a blogger, I’d love to hear how you managed your maternity leave?

12 thoughts on “How does a blogger take maternity leave? My plans for the next six months”

  1. Wow, massive hats off to you! I think it’s amazing that you’ve managed to get blog posts scheduled that far in advance. That’s a lot of work while growing a human, so well done!

    I’m on mat leave with my second mini-explorer, but I’m employed and my blog is a sideline so my mat pay has been covered – not that it’s much. Luckily my husband landed a big bonus which topped my mat leave up. I wrote some posts and scheduled in advance, but to be honest the blog has been neglected a bit. Kit is now four months old so I’m hoping to get into more of a routine again. I have so many ideas that I’m itching to share!

    Hope you enjoy the last of your countdown. I look forward to little one’s arrival 🙂

    • Thanks Char. I’ve been looking at your blog for family travel tips and inspiration. It’s great – thank you! And I’m intrigued to see how long it’ll be until I feel like writing. That was part of the difficulty of planning maternity leave – not knowing how I’ll feel/how much time I’ll have!

  2. I’ve started to think lots about how I will manage my blog and work when I start a family. There’s no rule book for it. It was really helpful to see how you are doing it and I’ll be interested to see what it is like for you getting back into blogging after a chunk of time off.

    Good luck and enjoy every minute!!

  3. What I love about having a blog is that its flexible and you can plan ahead for the expected leave.

    I prepared ready written blog posts that I cover six months. I have to say, the first 3-4 weeks I my wife gave birth I was so busy and sleep deprived that I couldn’t touch the blog. But after that that I was able to get on each week to upload and post.

  4. well, I did have a number of guest posts towards the end of my pregnancy and a couple of photo posts, and then I planned a month off once I gave birth but actually I managed to write something sooner:) but now that my baby’s 2 months old I actually have less time for blogging than when he was 2 weeks old because he’s awake more and wants to play:)) and I find it difficult to think and write now:) so I’ll blog less..but I don’t depend on it for my livelihood , happy 2018!X

    • That’s a good point – I guess there is a bit more time at the start when they’re sleeping more! Glad to hear you’re finding some time to blog though. Hopefully I’ll be able to do the same!

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