Business Advice for First-Time Moms

December 2, 2016

Business advice for first-time moms who are juggling a creative business and a new baby. Today’s minisode comes from our live Being Boss event at Freshbooks headquarters in Toronto and we’re sharing our tips for creative entrepreneurs who are also venturing into motherhood but don’t want to give up their businesses.

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"Daycare is more of an investment than an expense. It's time you get to spend building your expertise and career."
- Kathleen Shannon


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Emily Thompson 0:02
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Kathleen Shannon 1:09
Welcome to being boss. Today's minisode comes live from Toronto when we hung out with over 100 bosses in person at freshbooks headquarters.

speaker 3 1:25
Can you give some advice for first time moms on managing a business?

Kathleen Shannon 1:31
Zolfot often daycare.

Emily Thompson 1:35
Right? nannies. naps for everyone. Um,

Kathleen Shannon 1:42
I'm a little closer to the right baby situation. I mean, we both So Emily and I both have one child each. So I have Fox and he is two and a half years old. He started daycare whenever he was eight weeks old. And I feel really super passionate about letting women know, especially women, because no guys are like, Oh my god, should I stay home? Should I maybe quit my job. I mean, maybe some of them are. But it's kind of rare. And I think that what society is teaching us is that women should be staying at home taking care of the baby. And if that's what you want to do, it's all good. But that's going to be your new priority. And don't worry about business. Like you have to prioritize everything right. So I chose to put my baby in daycare at around eight weeks old. And one thing that I've noticed in having conversations with other moms and other creatives is they think of the babysitting costs. And I should clarify, this is such a charged topic, and we'll probably get some emails. But um, this is coming. From my perspective, I do have a partner and husband who is very 5050 with the kid. So this is my perspective of where I'm coming from. Okay, so I noticed that whenever I was taking Fox to daycare and having conversations with other moms about daycare, they either felt guilty about it like that they should be working from home because they have this flexible creative job like why why isn't the baby and a little white onesy being perfect on a blanket while I like hammer out a blog post it just for me, it didn't work that way. So he goes to daycare, and I'm learning that a lot of women are thinking of their income as the sole way to pay for daycare, even whenever they are partnered up. And this is the main thing I want to say daycare is a shared family expense. It is not just coming out of the woman's income. So let's say daycare is $800 a month, and you make 12 $100 a month you think, Wow, over half of my income is going towards daycare. Why don't I just keep the baby at home? Well, for me, I didn't keep him at home because my job is an investment in all of our futures. So even if I have a huge expense for the first few years of his life, it's it's more of an investment than an expense. It's time that I'm getting to spend building my expertise and my career. And it's and it's a shared family expense. It's not just coming out of my income. So that's kind of my biggest thing. Sure.

Kathy 4:28
Hi, I'm Kathy. I've got to I've got a five and a two and a half year old as well. And you're not being selfish by investing in yourself as not being selfish. Because that's the other thing that I feel like is the thing that gets turned around a lot is that if you're doing something for quote unquote, your business, versus taking care of quote unquote, your child, then that's a whole you're taking away from them somehow but you're not because you're taking away from yourself and then you can't be a good mom. That's my opinion. That's all except for me too.

Kathleen Shannon 5:04
Yeah. And I'm all about being selfish.

Emily Thompson 5:07
Right? Me too.

Kathleen Shannon 5:08
But the first time Fox went up to my mic and goes, being boss, I was like, Yes, I was like, I'm fueling his future as a podcaster.

Emily Thompson 5:19
Well, and I think the thing that I want to add is like, is like, get ready for the hardest work you've ever done in your life. Like, not only is being a new mom, the hardest work you'll ever do in your life, but the growth that you'll see in your business, if you keep it going, we'll just add to the hardest work you've ever done in your life. But like you're completely capable of it, if that's what it is that you want to be doing. And then I had another thought for that. And I forgot what it was.

Kathleen Shannon 5:48
Well, I think just like turn on some Beyonce.

Emily Thompson 5:50
Oh, yes.

Kathleen Shannon 5:51
Well, okay, Beyonce dance party. Beyonce is like the mom boss. The most mom boss,

Emily Thompson 6:00
right. And the thing that I do want to add is definitely a self care piece. Like one of the things that absolutely got me through those first couple of years, was just being able to at some point, like once a week, walk away from it all and whether that's like a weekly, like wine date with a friend, or going on long drives alone and blasting you're Beyonce, like having at least one time a week where you have no responsibilities, like that little bit of time for yourself, is absolutely imperative for rocking it out. As a mom and a boss.

Kathleen Shannon 6:38
I have so much to say about this topic. I could go all day. But the one other thing that I really want to add is that after I had my kid, I was not super happy. He woke up every 45 minutes in all of 2014. So I was incredibly sleep deprived. I didn't know what I was doing. And I kind of wanted to die. Like I was never like, Okay, I'm gonna kill myself tonight. Like even though, but like, but then I thought, okay, because, you know, they ask you just if you start to Google, like postpartum depression, do you do you want to die? And it's like, well, I don't want to kill myself. But I wouldn't be mad if maybe a meteor like crashed into my house. Or like, I started to think like, if I got in a car wreck today, and it wasn't too bad, maybe I could go to the hospital for a week and sleep. Like, that's whenever you know that there's a problem, right? So I'm definitely talking to someone, there's not enough postpartum care out there right now. So if you start to even feel a little bit, like you want to die, maybe talk to your midwife or your doctor, or your partner or your best friend and get some help for sure. But for me, I found that my creative career was the only place where I felt like I knew what I was doing at all. So my creative career actually gave me a lot of relief from what it was to be a mom, I had no idea what I was doing. So I've written a post before about how my creative career saved my life. And some people accused me of being hyperbolic there, but it was actually pretty true. And so I think that your career can actually really help you and feed your soul whenever you're feeling super depleted. But it should be something that gives you energy and doesn't continue to drain it.

Emily Thompson 8:28
Hey, their bosses around these parts, we preach the necessity of email marketing for your creative business. Sometimes we joke about not being podcasters, but that we make our money writing emails, but the truth is, that's not really a joke. Email Marketing is the engine that runs our businesses. I'm sure a lot of content around here from our own brands and Indie Shopography and Braid Creative to all that being boss is growing to become. And we rely on a single system to make sure that we're making the most of our email list and the messages that we share with our tribe there. That system is ConvertKit I spent months testing every system I could get my hands on to ensure that the switch we were about to make was the right one. And we've been really pleased with our choice. We immediately found ourselves diving into using the system to more automate our email marketing content, and to better segment and target our growing list of cool creatives looking for the right content for them. If you're in the business of sharing content, we recommend you check out ConvertKit try ConvertKit for free for 30 days go to to learn more. Did you like this minisode. Be sure to check us out on our website at, where you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work. Be boss