Don’t fancy returning to your full time job after maternity leave? How about “Mumtrepreneurship”?

returning to work after maternity leave

You’re a career woman coming back from maternity leave. You’ve prided yourself from a very young age on your ability to achieve your goals through a combination of ambition, networking talent and a whole load of hard work. Your colleagues like you, they respect you, and your bosses see big things in your future. You’re riding the crest of a career wave… And then everything changes. Because you’re about to have a baby. It’s a cause for joy and celebration and everyone at work seems utterly delighted for you but there’s nonetheless something that’s not quite the same in the way certain people look at you.

For some women, the announcement of a pregnancy changes the way people perceive them at work. They fear that they may become subject to maternity discrimination and fear that returning to work may be more difficult than they’d initially assumed. Could this be happening to you?

You shrug it off and go about your business until that wonderful moment when your baby is born. Your maternity leave is a collage of treasured memories as you watch your baby grow and develop. You’ve changed a great deal both physically and psychologically since the birth of your child. The minutiae of paperwork and conference calls that used to worry you so much is now a distant memory and your sole preoccupation is protecting the tiny wriggling bundle of joy you now hold in your arms.

As your return to work draws closer, the prospect of returning to work looms ever closer, it can fill new Mums with anxiety that borders on dread. Some women feel that they’ve lost the skills they once had in their role, others that they’ve outgrown it completely. If the paradigm shift of maternity has made you think twice about returning to your old job, there is another option that can allow you the flexibility to give you the facetime you need with your baby while making enough money to provide for them… Mumtrepreneurship.

Mumtrepreneurs all over the world are taking their careers into their own hands by managing their own businesses alongside their parental commitments. This allows them to keep to their own hours while building a business that has every chance to be prosperous and successful. If you like the idea of being a Mumtrepreneur but aren’t quite sure where to invest your skills, how about…

Handywoman

If you’ve never needed to call Dr. Drip Plumbing because of a leaky tap, or if you’re never happier than when tinkering with a portfolio of DIY projects around the house then you may have the makings of a handywoman. While some overheads may be required for tools and equipment, you’ll find that there’s a huge market for handywomen. A lot of people, particularly other women, find women more trustworthy, approachable and respectful to deal with. You can choose to specialize in the service or services in which you’re most proficient and advertise your services via social media.

Artist

Have you always harboured an artistic streak but haven’t had the time to commit to your projects? If you come from a visual arts background, you’ve likely spent your whole career itching for an opportunity to hone your skills and there’s no better time than during your maternity leave. When you’ve created a portfolio of pieces (and allowed yourself some time to get your mojo back), you can make good, or even excellent money selling your wares online. If you’re worried about inspiration, you may surprise yourself at what a muse your little one (and the process of motherhood) can be. That said, nobody wants to be a starving artist. It’s important to make sure that you sell your pieces using the right platform. Etsy is good but its search algorithms can make it hard for newcomers unless that have 100 pieces or more in their inventory. Click here for a guide to selling art on Etsy. Shopify is also great and while less well known as Etsy offers some advantages for new artists. See a side by side comparison between the two here. If you’re already set up on Etsy, the good news is that you don’t have to start all over from scratch. Your inventory can be exported into a CSV file which can then be imported to Shopify.   

Baking

Are your cakes the stuff of legend? Do your pies bring tears to your eyes? If so, you may find baking a lucrative sideline. People turn to baked goods for comfort food all year round, but baking is also undergoing something of a renaissance across the globe. Moreover, if you have the skills to master gluten free or vegan baking these are niches that are creating a groundswell of serious interest right now.

Remote coaching

There’s a good chance that in your career you’ve accumulated some pretty impressive skills as well as a contacts list that a great many new businesses would kill for. If this is the case, you may get the flexibility you need by remote coaching entrepreneurs. This can involve working face to face, over the telephone or via internet conferencing to lend your skills and expertise to those who need it most. The startup costs are minimal since your greatest resource is what’s inside your head. You most likely have a set idea of what you’d like to coach on and how you should proceed in terms of pedagogy but here are some tips on developing a program.

Childcare

Hey, you’re doing it anyway! Why not make some extra lucre into the bargain? If you’re a natural born Mum with a nice place and the facilities to look after other people’s kids then you could do very well as a childminder for local parents who want to be able to leave their kids with someone trustworthy while they’re at work. You’ll need to undergo a background check and undertake some basic training as well as developing age appropriate programs of activities for kids.

However you choose to make a living for yourself, you may find that setting up your own business affords you far more opportunity and flexibility than your old job ever could.

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