Any time you have a major change in your life, it can be difficult to “get back on the horse.” I’ve experienced it before but not nearly as much as I am right now. Lacking inspiration in this postpartum phase is overwhelming and frustrating at times…
With my self-employed maternity leave (read what I did right/wrong here), I allowed myself about 8 weeks to get back into the swing of things. While that may have been enough time to recover physically, it isn’t nearly enough time mentally, creatively, and emotionally.
I’m guessing that these feelings of difficulty getting back to work go beyond those of us who are self-employed or freelancers, but I don’t want to assume anything for other parents.
Lacking Inspiration Postpartum
Feelings of Insecurity
Here’s the thing. At about 8 or 10 weeks I remember starting to get overwhelmed with coming up with ideas for content. I might come up with one idea for a blog post, but I struggled to find the third one for each week (I always have a recipe ready to go).
On top of that, I was so sparingly (still really) posting to my Instagram feed. And stories? Well. Maybe every 1-3 days I’d have something to share.
More than once, I started asking myself if I should just quit blogging and do the full-time mom thing…
I remember texting my friend Sarah (also a blogger and new mom). I asked if she struggled to feel creative after having her baby girl, June. She said, yes, absolutely!
Not only was it difficult to find the time to work, the ideas and follow through of ideas seemed out of reach most of the time.
Getting Ideas but The Follow Through is Missing…
A few weeks later, I started to feel a little better, but I still struggled with creating adequate content for my blog, Instagram, and Instagram stories. The ideas were starting to come, but I couldn’t carry them out.
And none of this even takes into account any backend work of updating my website, any ads, Pinterest, and so on.
Somewhere in here I started finding help to watch our little guy 1-2 times per week for just a few hours. I’d try to bang out as many blog posts for the next week as I could. I’d usually get 2 of 3, leaving me with work to do over the weekend while my husband was home to watch our son.
This is still the setup and I recently found out that the woman who comes to watch him will no longer be available after next month. So I’m back at square one.
Understanding the Causes of My Postpartum Struggle
Through the last weeks/months, I’ve realized a few of the reasons contributing to my struggle.
Two/thirds of my content before baby were fashion and travel. With my postpartum body and drastically minimized (and functional) closet, I’m wasn’t too inspired by fashion. And having just moved and bought our house, travel isn’t happening just yet. All of this left me with a huge gap in terms of content go-tos.
The time I have to work on posts (excluding taking photos even) is limited. If I have everything ready to go, it takes me 1.5-3 hours to do a blog post. Times 3 posts per week, so 4.5-9 hours. I only have a babysitter for 5 hours per week while I work. Part of that is her schedule but part of that is also trying to watch spending…
This is the age-old questions for modern working women. Yes, I can pay someone to watch our little guy while I work, but am I making at least that much income and more in that time to justify it?* In the self-employed/freelance world, that is a rather difficult question to answer. A lot of work goes unpaid, but the traffic or sponsorships that come out of that work pay well.
Having taken time off and, especially, having such a hard time getting back into the swing of things, getting sponsorships has been difficult. I don’t have much spare work time to email contacts and reach out to new companies. I also just added eco and baby topics to my ‘brand,’ so companies aren’t exactly falling over themselves to work with me (yet! hopefully).
*I will say that there is a part of me that thinks my sanity of having professional independence from being a mom is truly worth something. But where is the line between personal fulfillment and counting the dollars and cents?
When I was pregnant my husband and I decided that I would share our little guy’s first name and occasionally his face on my website and social media. From the first day we brought him home, I just didn’t feel comfortable with it. I am actually warming to the idea of sharing him more, but I need to respect what feels right.
I don’t regret this decision in any way, but my day at the moment is all him. The photos I take are him. My mindset is him. So I struggle with creating content and publishing articles and images because my life is elsewhere much of the time.
I share all of this not to have a pity party or excuse my situation to you all in any way. Instead, I know there are other mamas (and dads) out there struggling with getting inspired, with creating content, with fulfilling their professional duties. And I want everyone to know they aren’t alone.
One friend said it took her about a year after her baby was born to get back into the swing of things. Another mama said 9 months. I think it all varies on the baby, the parent, and the job situation. Once you go through delivery, keeping your newborn alive, and getting life resettled (as much as possible) at home, how can we expect to be the person we were before right away?