Maternity Leave & What Lies Ahead!
Friends, today is a pretty big day for RRE. After this weekend, my maternity leave officially begins! I will return on a part-time basis beginning in July and full-time in August.
Our baby girl's official due date has always been May 1st (hence the hashtag we've been using: #alittleroseinmay). As of Wednesday morning this week, we learned the news that I will need to be induced sometime early next week! We don't know exactly which day yet, but we go to the doctor early Monday morning and will get the plan from her then. In all likelihood, we'll have our daughter in our arms before this time next week! It's such a wild feeling to know that we have zero control over such an enormous change in our lives. This last month has been an exhausting whirlwind as I've worked practically around the clock to manage my workload, set our team up for success, and prepare to actively step away from it all. It's safe to say that I reached the uncomfortable stage of pregnancy a few weeks ago and have felt large, swollen, and exhausted to the max. What I need to do now is get some rest (!!), and be able to focus on the final preparations that need to be completed at home so that we're ready whenever the time comes. Given this newest development in the birth plan, I'm not sure how much rest I'll be getting, but no matter what - my time at work needs to come to a stopping point by this weekend!
I started this business nearly six years ago and distinctly remember the terrifying feeling that someday I might become a mother, but then be unable to take a maternity leave. This is a fear that many (if not most!) small creative business owners share, so I know I wasn't alone. Over the last several years since Betsy joined me as a business partner, she and I have worked diligently to create a company structure that allows us to operate successfully and continue to serve our clients exceptionally well, even if one of us has to be absent for any reason. I am so, so, so grateful for Betsy, Nicole and our entire team, who will be working so hard to keep the wheels turning while I take a step back to learn how to be a new mother. We realized recently that Nicole has never even known me when I wasn't pregnant! Ha! She's been preparing for this maternity leave ever since she set foot in the door last October.
So what does maternity leave look like? Well, I imagine that for me personally, it's going to be both rewarding and extremely challenging. This is a big unknown and as much as my mama friends and a huge amount of reading material have tried to prepare me, I know that ultimately there is no way to be fully prepared for how much life is about to change. I'll be figuring this out as I go! That said, I can speak to what things will look like for RRE and how my maternity leave will impact our team and here are the highlights:
I won't be checking or replying to business emails.
Yep - this is huge, and if I'm totally honest here... it's scary for me. I've never intentionally disabled my email account for more than a few days of vacation or international travel! When Betsy, Nicole and I sat down in January to figure out how to plan for my maternity leave, they were both adamant with me about this and ultimately I can't argue with their logic. If I don't quit monitoring my email account, I will never be able to fully focus on my new baby and taking care of her/myself. I'll constantly have client deadlines, projects and needs on my mind and I know that the wheels won't quit turning. For this season of life, I have to prioritize the needs of my growing little family first before I start introducing those other responsibilities back into the mix. Anyone who emails me will receive an auto-reply letting them know that I won't receive their email and that they should reach out to Betsy in my absence. As hard as this step is, I know it's the right choice.
I will miss two of our destination weddings.
Not gonna lie... this is a bummer. We are preparing for two destination weddings in the months of May and June for some very special clients. Our team will be traveling to Knoxville, Tennessee and Lake Tahoe - and I won't be able to go!!! It's an odd feeling after working with these clients for so long and designing their weddings, but ultimately, I can't take a newborn baby on either of these trips and I will more than likely be in over my head as a new mother. All things considered, the responsible choice for our team is clearly to plan for us to produce these weddings without having me onsite. We talked to both of these clients about this many months ago and while I know that they were both also bummed to hear I can't be there, I am so grateful for their graciousness, love and support. I've made our team promise to send me photos and make Facetime calls so that I can cheer them on from afar and live vicariously through them to experience the joy of these wedding celebrations! Both of them are going to be beautiful!
Nearly all of my responsibilities will be turned over to Betsy and Nicole.
If you need something - anything - before July 5, you should plan to contact Betsy. She will delegate items as needed to Nicole (as well as our extended team). If you want to connect about an idea or project that can wait until I'm back - then hang tight and I'll be in touch as soon as possible. I say "nearly all" because there are a few small things I'm still going to do behind the scenes since I genuinely think these tasks will make me happy and help keep my creative muscles in shape, so to speak. I'm still going to be posting to the blog (many of the articles will be written/scheduled in advance, but I'll still do some writing while I'm out too!) and I'm still going to post to our social media accounts.
I promise to keep you posted with news when our little girl arrives. Be sure to follow @rroseevents on Instagram for frequent updates and you are also welcome to follow my personal account (@beccaroseatchison) if you'd like. Fair warning...that personal account will undoubtedly be filled with baby posts (the three pics above are all from my feed - and yes, that's my adorable pup, Pickles, resting her head on my enormous baby belly)!
To all of you, our clients, past clients, industry friends, family, and creative partners, who have been so loving and supportive throughout these last months as I've been preparing for this big life change, I want you to know how much I appreciate you and how grateful I am. To Betsy, Nicole, and our entire team... I am so proud of you and so grateful for how much love and energy you pour into this business on a daily basis. I know you will take excellent care of our clients and continue to do amazing work while I'm away.