Running a business and having a baby

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So… I just found out I’m pregnant! And let’s just say this pregnancy was a bit of a surprise. Since having our first daughter my husband and I were always on the same page in that we didn’t really want any more kids.

From my perspective, I couldn’t even imagine loving another child like I love Marley. And on the business / career side, we were enjoying building our business and growing our empire. More kids was just not on the cards. Marley is now 6. Only recently did we start thinking about it – and when I say ‘thinking’ I mean, we had moved from the stance of ‘no way having any more kids’ to ‘maybe one day but definitely not yet.’ But as you all know, you make plans and the universe laughs!


An image of Sarah Akwisombe's baby scan


I came off the pill a while back, not because we were trying, in fact we were being more careful than ever before, but just because I was sick of pumping my body with hormones. As you get older you definitely notice how bad it is for you. I guess one month I slightly calculated my dates wrong and… here we are! Haha! I’m not gonna lie, this has taken some getting used to, for me at least. On one hand, we are in such a better position than when we had Marley.

When we had Marley I didn’t have my own business, I was working in an office, I had minimal maternity leave pay, Jason was working full time and we lived in a small room at my mums house (which now funnily enough, is our office). I remember how horrible it was when Jason had to go back to full time work after 2 weeks. He hated it, I hated it, it was hard. Maternity and paternity leave is still a bit of a mess in this country but that’s another blog post.

This time is different. We own our own home. We are in a better financial position than we have ever been. We both work at home, for ourselves. In theory, it’s gonna be sooooo much easier than a lot of people have it, and for that we are eternally grateful. But I still have to address the elephant in the room…. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BUSINESS?!

Jason and I run the company together but of course I am still the ‘face’ of the business. I have to be present, create content, do the work, essentially, show up. I’d be lying if I wasn’t thinking about how exactly that’s gonna work when the baby arrives. I took 3 months of maternity leave when Marley was born. That seemed ridiculous and I regretted being so eager to get back to work (I was panicking about money). I think this time it might be 3 days.

Of course it’s not the same. Having to trundle off to do the commute and leave your baby in childcare sucks balls. I’m not going to have to do that, so again, eternally grateful. There is a slight panic however, about how present I can be for both my business and my new baby. It’s gonna be an interesting time. And that’s once the baby arrives, I’m not even scratching the surface of how testing it’s been to try and show up on the same level that I have been before whilst battling through gross morning sickness, migraines, insecure feelings, mushy brain, acid reflux, insomnia and other joys that have sprung up during this first trimester!

With Marley I had no symptoms and was obviously a bit too smug about it so the universe is obviously paying me back. I’m having to work double hard to get back to my normal level of output, which can be exhausting.

I’ve actually decided I’m going to try and write a book throughout my pregnancy called ‘The Pregnant CEO’ because it’s still not talked about enough. We still feel like as women we have to show up and prove that we can do just the same amount of work without pulling the pregnancy card, but you know what, this time I’m owning it and pulling it whenever the fuck I feel like it. I’m not superwoman, I can’t do it all. At the end of the day, I’m growing a person.

‘l’ll be documenting more throughout this whole process as maybe it’ll help other women in a similar position one day. For now, here are a few things I’ve done to continue running my business at it’s best level whilst also making sure I’m not making myself ill during this first trimester.
  1. Set this as my auto responder on emails. 
  2. Told everyone to expect flakiness. I might say I’m gonna come to that event but if on the day I feel like I’m about to hurl, I won’t be there. Soz. This in itself is surprisingly freeing.
  3. I’m being way more ruthless about what emails I respond to, which jobs are a priority and what’s worth stressing about. Lower paid jobs are basically being written off as if I have limited output then it needs to be focused on the big stuff. I’m also trying to stop worrying about people putting the pressure on. I read something the other day that said ‘If you won’t be worrying about it in five years time then you definitely shouldn’t spend 5 minutes of your time worrying about it now’. Helpful, I think.
  4. Also, we had an early private scan so that I could announce to my clients, friends, family and followers. This was massively helpful as the first trimester for most is the hardest but it’s also when you’re not meant to tell anyone (again this makes no sense to me because if you have a miscarriage it’s all just supposed to be swept under the rug and never talked about which seems crazy). Announcing early (around 8 weeks) really has helped everyone understand what’s going on and generally people have been incredibly supportive and understanding when I say things might take longer than normal.
There is no right way to do this and I’ll be working it all out for myself so I’ll make sure to share along the way. Wish me luck!
Sarah x




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