Filed in : Personal

Aaaand we’re off! This season of anticipation has been rich, sweet, trying, encouraging, exciting, and scary, all wrapped into one. We’ve been waiting for this for four long years, and the joy that I have finally writing an “I’m on maternity leave!” auto-responder is overwhelming!

Our expectant mama isn’t due for another few days, but after reading Nancy Ray’s blog posts on prepping for leave, we decided to begin maternity leave BEFORE Baby’s due date so that we’d have a little cushion to breathe before everything gets crazy. So for the next little bit you’ll find us attempting to soak in this last little bit of “just the two of us” before Baby arrives. And also… nesting. Like you wouldn’t believe.

We’ll be out of the office until October, and while I’ve had a little apprehension about being away during our busy season, I know my business is NOT going to fall apart while we’re gone! I’m often guilty of being a control freak, and maternity leave is teaching me to let go a bit.

Planning for maternity leave as a wedding photographer | Abby Grace

We’ve waited for this season for so very long, and my biggest fear about maternity leave has been that I won’t be able to step away from work, and that I’ll end up being absent mentally for this precious time with our child because I can’t stop feeling guilty about my inbox. So we’ve been REALLY intentional about how we’ve prepared our business for these next several week!

In case anyone’s interested, here’s are a few ways we’ve prepared our business for maternity leave-

1. Hiring a virtual assistant for maternity leave. This one was hard for me at first, because I keep a TIGHT ship when it comes to email- the thought of letting someone else into my inbox felt incredibly foreign to me. But when I heard that Cindy Bastron offers maternity leave coverage, I had to look into it. Cindy was actually a wedding planner in the DC area up until last year and I already had a great working relationship with her, so it felt less scary to consider a VA when it was someone I already know. It took one phone call to convince me that we’d be better off having her on our team during this season, and I feel so much more comfortable checking out knowing she’s holding down the fort.

2. Reaching out to our wedding couples to let them know what’s up. This was nerve-wracking part for me- I was worried folks would be upset that I was suddenly going to be way less accessible than I had been in the past (and that we couldn’t give as much of a lead time as you would with a “typical” pregnancy), but all that fear was for naught. Every single one of our couples responded with some version of “YAY! Congratulations!!” In my email to our brides & grooms, we briefly explained that we’d been matched, when Baby is due, and (in bold), the dates of our maternity leave. I explained any changes they could anticipate (mainly, the slower response time), as well as that we’d hired a VA so that our couples won’t be left high and dry. We did advise our couples that if there’s anything they anticipate needing from us to let us know NOW so that we can attend to them before we head out for leave!

Planning for maternity leave as a wedding photographer | Abby Grace

3. Reaching out to each couple’s wedding planner. We let each planner know of our upcoming leave, and offered to get on the phone with anyone who needed my input on timelines, wedding day logistics, etc.! I wanted to be sure that everyone was aware BEFORE leave began that we were going to be off the grid, so that no one was put in a pickle by needing something time-sensitive from me while we’re out of the office.

4. Pre-blogging & mapping out a few Instagram posts. I’m actually writing this post about a week and a half ahead of time, and I’ve written, formatted, and schedule all blog posts through the end of September :). I wanted my business to continue to run while we’re gone, and blogging + Instagram is part of that!

For Instagram specifically, I’ll be pulling back substantially during leave. IG is a tricky tool- it provides so much value for our business, and I’m endlessly grateful for that, but when it comes to my LIFE, I don’t feel as though IG enriches my time outside of work. Because of that, I’ll be attempting to spend little-to-no time scrolling/watching Stories- being on Insta puts me into a WORK mentality, and I want to be able to focus on being present with Baby Spring.

Want to follow along? Keep up with us on Insta!

Let’s go!

Maternity leave!

August 13, 2019

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