Ali Mooney Design Co.

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5 tips for Growing baby and a business

1. GIVE YOURSELF grace

This was and still is a hard lesson for me to learn. In the first three months of pregnancy I had bad nausea and morning sickness (which we all know does not just happen in the morning!). I was SO tired and required a lot more sleep than normal, which is substantial because I required 8-9 hours pre-pregnancy. I felt so guilty about not being as productive as normal with my business and things around the house. I wanted to be able to do it all. Towards the end of the second month I came to terms with my fatigue and morning sickness. I told my self it was okay to wake up in the morning work for an hour or two, then take a nap. (The ability to do this made me really appreciate how awesome it can be to run your own business!) I became content with having a messy house. I minimized my to-do list and social commitments to almost zero and just focused on resting, trying to eat and getting the client work done that I needed to. Now that I am out of the morning sickness phase (hallelujah!), I am learning how to give myself grace in other, ever changing areas. Pregnancy does so many weird and unpredictable things to a woman's body. I am now learning how to go with the flow and accept any new symptoms and body changes that come my way. If I need to take a nap during the middle of the day, that's okay! If I need take time out of my day to excersize and stretch more than I used to, that's okay! I am learning to take advantage of and be extra productive during the energy boosts when they come. 
 

2. STRETCH AND Excersize

My pregnancy has been a little rough so far physically. Starting with sickness in the beggining and increased physical pain now. I've had joint pain most of my life so it's not an entirely new thing for me but being pregnant has increased my aches and pains. It's hard to tell which pains are pre existing and increased by pregnancy and which are purely pregnancy related. Excersize and stretching have really helped me manage my pain and are just good for me and the baby! It's a great way to break up my work day and get my blood flowing. I have a few hour long workout DVDs I do (yoga and Pilates). On the days there isn't enough time for a longer workout, I do little 10-15 min workouts pulled from various sources online and from Instagram. Pre pregnancy, I used the Nike+ Training Club App on my phone. You can select which type of workout you want, which level and the length of the workout. It's really great! Now that I am almost in my third trimester and need more modified workouts I go to fitmomma.com, she has amazing 10 minute pregnancy safe workouts that really help reset my body and mind!

3. Communicate with clients clearly

I didn't do a great job communicating my situation to my clients in the beggining which resulted in some missed deadlines. I wasn't sure as a new female business owner who didn't like using excuses if I should let my clients know "I'm newly preggo, exhausted and nauseous all day, erryday". Looking back, I should have communicated right away that I'm at least "sick" and will be out of the office for a few days until I could gauge when I felt best during the day. I didn't want them to find out I was pregnant and assume I would no longer be able to work with them or provide them what they need. I'm still not sure the "correct" way to go about this particular issue but I recommend clear communication from the beginning. I heard Jessica Hische speak at Designer Vaca and loved the way she said to communicate being a new mom to your clients. She said this is the new phase of life you are in. It's totally normal and very common. Don't use it as an excuse or apologize for it. Just be matter of fact and respectful. When I was "sick" and had to extend some deadlines, I gifted some design work to my clients, then once we had announced our pregnancy I let them know my situation, ensuring them I plan to finish executing our project on schedule. 
 

4. Be prepared, with food... lots of it

Now that I am well into the second trimester, I am hungry. Like, real hungry 99% of the time. Before I was pregnant, I would go for hours not eating or stopping to go to the bathroom whenever I was in "the zone". I don't recommend this but, pre-pregnancy, I would tell myself "I'll just finish this one thing, then eat", then, four hours later I realize it's dinner time and I skipped lunch. Now that I am responsible for this little baby in my belly, I have to take care of myself at a much higher standard. Being hungry so often really throws me off, making me feel like I have to take breaks every 30 minutes. Did I mention I'm the most lazy cook in the world? If I was home alone all day, my meals mostly consisted of cereal and scrambled eggs. I get so annoyed how often I have to eat now. I found having snacks pre-prepared (preferably healthy) helps solve this problem. I have been trying to block out a chunk of time to prep fruits and veggies, make granola or chia seed pudding so that when hunger strikes (every 30 min) I am able to take care of myself and my baby better. And if any of you mamas out there can relate... a fed mama equals a happy mama. Things get bad real quick when I get too hungry.
 

5. It's all about attitude

This year I have been focusing on the importance of joy and how it affects a person's well-being on every level. Even in trying or tough circumstances, having joy and thankfulness will inevitably make the best of the situation, making you the best you can be. My last point is simple, be thankful for the crazy unpredictable things happening to and in your body right now and thankful that you are able to grow a human. Despite all the discomfort that comes with pregnancy, the fact is that you are growing a miracle and that is something to have immense joy in! Whenever I get overwhelmed or catch myself throwing a pity party, I say things that I am thankful for (sometimes out loud if I'm deep into my self pity) until I remember how blessed I am, and my attitude changes. Joy is the best medicine for the mind, body and soul. Next time you are overwhelmed or hurting from that little person in your belly, start listing things off that you are thankful for. I GUARANTEE you will feel better both physically and mentally. 

Do you have any tips for growing a baby and a business? Share any helpful advice in the comments below!