Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Post-Mat Leave Plan

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Going on mat leave for the second time this past winter was bitter sweet for me. On the one hand, I was very excited to meet my new daughter and looked forward to spending time getting to know this brand new person. On the other, I was anxious to leave a business and job/clients with whom I loved to work.

Would my clients be angry that I was going on leave? Would they be willing to take me back after almost a year off? How would I cope with two kids this time around? All of these questions were swirling around in my head.

Well, it’s been almost 8 months since my daughter was born and I am so thankful that self-employed women in Canada are able to contribute to EI (employment insurance) and take mat leave just like women who work for someone else. I have truly enjoyed this time with her and with my son who is so proud to be a big brother.

So, now I’m facing another bitter sweet moment. I am planning to start working again in a few months and have a million more questions about how things will change for her and for me.

To prepare my family and my brain (which I feel like I haven’t used in a while) for what’s to come, I’ve devised a strategy to make the transition smooth for everyone.

Here it is for other self-employed moms to see:

  1. Make a plan with my child care provider for how I’d like the transition to go with my kids as I build my business back up.
  2. Reach out to clients a few months in advance of my return to work — so they have time to figure out if, how and when they’d like to begin working with me again. I’m happy to say that one of them has already confirmed that we’ll be working together again. I want to give them enough time to get budgets approved so I can hit the ground running as soon as my mat leave is over.
  3. Develop a new marketing strategy to get my name “out there” again.
  4. Work with my accountant to plan for the year ahead and develop a budget for future expenses.
  5. Build out a schedule for how I’d like my workdays to flow — knowing that things need to remain flexible because, let’s face it, life is unpredictable when you have kids.

Since this is the second time I’ve built my business back up after a mat leave, I feel more confidant this time around that I can make it work. The biggest challenge is always managing my time wisely and ensuring I build in enough of it to spend with my family and integrate my home life with my work life.

Do you have any tips for transitioning from mat leave back to work — especially as a small business owner? If so, I’d love to hear it. Please share your sage advice below.

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Have a Virtual Yule That’s Cool and Cozy

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to cozy up to a fire, read a good book and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa.

The only problem is that I don’t have a fireplace. If you’re in the same situation, don’t worry. There is always a solution to be found on the interweb.

While searching for holiday music channels on YouTube, I recently stumbled upon a treasure trove of yule log videos. So, to wish you all a very happy holiday season, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite virtual yule logs for your viewing and listening pleasure. Enjoy!

1. Michael Bublé personally wishes you happy holidays in this 30-minute yule log video which features a beautiful roaring fire, along with his easy-listening holiday tunes playing in the background.

2. I call this one “creepy cat wheezes while you relax in front of a modern fireplace.” Ok, so the cat is not that creepy. And it looks like he is really enjoying himself. But if you look away for a while and then turn back to look at the cat, you might feel like he just keeps on getting closer and closer to your screen. Well, at least that is what I observed. There is no music in this one, just the crackling of the fire and purring of the happy cat.

3. This yule log video features holiday music with fake falling snowflakes. I know, it’s a little bit on the on the cheesy side. But I do enjoy it from time to time. The faux snow gives it a more “White Christmas-ey” feel. My toddler son also really likes this one. So, it’s going on the list. Deal with it.

4. Watch a crackling fireplace for two hours non-stop. Need I say more about this one? In fact, there are lots of these videos on YouTube. Just choose your favourite one.

I hope you enjoy this compilation of virtual fireplace videos that I have shared for your viewing and listening pleasure. They won’t keep you warm. But at least you can enjoy the glow from your TV, tablet or laptop and feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Happy holidays and I’ll see you in the New Year!

Celebrating My Four Year Bloggerversary

My, oh my! Where does the time go? Four years ago, I started this blog with the hopes of Jour_de_l'an_feux_d'artifice,_Québecpromoting myself as a digital advertising consultant. But somewhere along the way, I discovered how much I love writing and discussing digital marketing and small business trends online. And so, a new profession was born!

Because of this blog, I’ve managed to sustain myself as a freelance writer and B2B marketing strategist through successes and failures, back pain and having a baby. And I’ve learned so much about myself, about running a small business and writing for the social web along the way.

So, to celebrate my four-year bloggerversary, I’d like to share some of the most important things I’ve learned so far.

Keep writing

Through all of my ups and downs, I still dedicate myself to blogging at least once a month on this platform – even though I contribute to various other publications. And I write at least once a week for other blog platforms. But this is my space to share personal thoughts. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Trollers are gonna troll

There will always be people who disagree with what you write. Or, people will choose to write negative comments just to stir things up. It’s better to take the high road and not spark further negativity. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and often your opinion will not please everybody.

You can always learn more

What I love about writing is that there isn’t a finish line. I know that I can always get better. And I thank the readers of this blog and my posts on other platforms for your feedback. I also thank all of the writers who are way better than me for teaching me something new every day.

Thanks again for your continued support for this blog and for my writing. I hope that in another four years, I’ll be able to share even more lessons learned.

 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons