In this episode of The Dietitian Success Podcast, Krista chimes in from 7 weeks post partum to talk about what life looks like with a newborn (while also trying to run a business). She covers – how she planned for a 6-week maternity leave, what day-to-day looks like balancing work and baby time and some overall learnings on things that are working well, and things that are messy!
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Welcome to the Dietitian Success Podcast. Here at Dietitian Success Centre, we’re all about making it easier for you to build your confidence and expertise. So, whether you’re a dietitian or a dietetic student, we’ve got something for you. I’m Krista, your host and the founder of DSC. Now, are you ready to ditch the imposter syndrome and join our incredible, vibrant community?
If so, let’s jump in.
Hey there. Hope you are having an awesome week. I am. Recording this podcast on Wednesday, December 6th. So the day before I’m going to publish it. Because I wanted to do a. Real time. Sort of a recap of what life is looking like right now. Having had a baby. Seven weeks ago and what it’s looking like having a baby and running a business and just. Giving sort of a real life perspective of what my day-to-day is currently. And so. Yeah.
So this is really just going to be a casual conversation about what life is looking like for me right now, I have a couple of bullet points, but. It’s definitely going to be a little bit less structured than usual. The other thing, I just want to mention one of the only reasons why I feel like I’m able to do this right now is because I have just made the decision. That these podcast episodes are not going to be edited anymore. I’m really trying to embrace the done is better than perfect.
I’d rather put this out there and just have it out there in. It’s imperfect version. Versus not putting it out there because I’m worried about spending time that I don’t have trying to remove all of the ums, AHS and long pauses. So. All that to say. I apologize if the listening experiences. Not quite the same. Not that I edit them super heavily anyways, but there may be some more of those filler words.
There may be some longer parts. Pauses. There may be more of me choking on Tostito chips in my throat. Like. What just happened in taking big gulps of water? One sec.
Yeah, so that’s what this podcast episode and probably future podcast episodes are going to sound like, but that’s okay because it’s still really important to me to get these out there. To you. Weekly, if I can. And if not every week, then as often as I can. Okay. So I thought let’s start with a recap on where things are at right now. anD then I’ll talk a bit about my current schedule and just what some of the learnings have been so far about having a baby and running a business, both at the same time. So little recap on where things are at.
I had my little boy. Sunny. S U N Y. We decided to spell it B. juSt like it sounds so that people typically it’s, the name is spelled S O N Y, but we decided. S U N Y, just so that there wasn’t any confusion on how it was pronounced. So our little boy Sonny was born seven weeks ago. He is just already the light of our lives. Honestly, I can’t even. It’s just such a. It’s such a whirlwind, but. Truly have never felt this way about anything in my entire life.
I just love him so much. And he’s been so, so, so, so great. And so. And I think that’s, That’s one of those like really interesting things, right. About having a baby is. I think your situation postpartum is just a lot of it is so dependent on just your baby’s temperament and every baby is so, so, so different and they’re all special and amazing.
And also in their own way. And we, I think have been. Lucky with a baby who is pretty generally. Melo. He’s pretty easy to satisfy, which is awesome. Of course, every baby has their things in their moments. And like before this episode I was approached to pose. I was about to press record and I just heard him absolutely screaming and wailing in the background. With my husband and I was like, that sounds like a hunger cry.
And so. I had to take a few extra minutes before pressing record here. But anyways, he’s been, pretty, I would say easy to please. It’s like he’s hungry or he’s tired or he used. Whatever. Most of the time. Not all the time. But most of the time, So that’s been really good. And so just to, in terms of re again, a recap on where we’re at he was born in October.
My original plan was to take six weeks off. Now, one thing I have to mention. Is that I six weeks off from my business. Let me just say that. My so, one thing I have to mention is that my husband actually has. Great paternity leave benefits. Now we’re located in Canada, which I would say is incredibly lucky for parents because. As a country, we have a really great parental leave. Benefits. But, some employers just depending on the employer, I would say the paternity leave is not always. The same as the maternity leave in terms of what. What is available to parents?
So we are really lucky. My husband’s work has really good paternity leave benefits. And so he is off for the first four months. So this was all part of our planning. When we found out that sunny was on the way was. Okay. So what is our life going to look like? Knowing that I have this business dietitian success center, which is very much active. And alive and well, and it is this. Machine that is running, and knowing that I can’t. Just completely step away. Disconnect for a year, which is common maternity leave in Canada.
That’s sort of the typical length. anD nor did I really, nor did I want that situation. Like I love DSE and I love the work that I do every day. And so I knew that going into this postpartum season of life, we were going to have to figure out a system. That was going to allow for that allow for a shorter maternity leave, but then allow for me to come back and be able to still do. Work. Now obviously it’s not the same level of work. That I was doing before.
I’m not back full-time by any means. I’Ve sort of been coming back for a couple hours a day. whIle we figure out our. Just while we figure things out while he’s still young. And that’s been fine. So. Anyways. So that’s. I just want to mention that I feel like the only way that I’ve been able to sit here and record this podcast episode and. Start to get back to work after six weeks while still having sunny at home. And not having him like a daycare or whatever is because my husband’s off work.
So I just want to mention that. I think that’s an important one. And we also have family in the area too. So I’m speaking. And I’m talking about all of this as somebody who has the privilege of having a lot of support, which I’m really lucky for. I don’t take that for granted. And yeah, so I do just want to mention that right off the bat.
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So I want to talk a bit about how I prepped for taking that six weeks off, and then knowing that I was going to be coming back, not in full capacity. So the first thing that I want to mention is that the, I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the team that I have as well, which I know not everyone listening to this would have this level of people involved in the day-to-day of their business.
But for myself, I have Olivia and Maria who are sort of the. Have been with CSC for quite a long time, almost since the beginning. And our very much. In the day-to-day operations and workings of the business. And so. I was only able to take that time off because I had them there. To be able to.
To be able to just handle everything and keep things rolling and keep things running. Okay. So, but what I do want to say is we were also very intentional about how. We prepped for me taking time off from the business. So the first thing that I did, which was a pretty, which is a longer term action was. And this was closer to the beginning of this year. Is I removed, I really started to remove anything from my schedule that was going to require one-on-one. On one meetings.
So for me, A big part of that was at the end of last year. And beginning of this year, I was still doing some one-on-one business coaching work. So still actually working with clients one-on-one. In that capacity and I knew that. That was not going to be possible. Well, first of all, it was also something that I knew I needed to step away from in order to be able to just dedicate myself fully to DSE, but. Then also I knew that postpartum. Having meetings in the calendar was not going to be. The way that I was going to it just wasn’t. That’s not how I wanted my calendar to look.
And so I wanted to start removing some of that stuff. And so I started to do that at the beginning of this year, and it was sort of a slow transition. But made that decision pretty early on in the process. And again, this may not, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, yeah, but I work with people one-on-one and that is my everyday that’s fair.
Like I’m not. Our situations are, I know my business structure is different than a lot of people that are listening to this podcast. I’m just explaining what my, what I did. And so removed anything extra, I would say also removed any extra projects or things that just weren’t totally necessary for us to be doing or working on. I Prescheduled podcast episodes.
So throughout the summer, I was recording a number of guest interviews that I was banking for. When I would go off. And so, there were some episodes that I recorded in like April may that I only just posted. Because I wanted to make sure I had some episodes to go out while I was gone.
So I prescheduled episodes up until basically the last week of November. And now I’m more so back to live posting and live recording. And then the other thing that we did is we had a very specific plan for each person on the team in terms of what they were going to be working on and their priorities while I was gone. And so we were super clear on like, okay, this is going to be what’s happening in October.
This is what’s going to be happening in November. This is what’s going to be happening in December. And making sure that plan was just like really solid, really clear. Very simple, very structured. One of the things we do as a team is we have weekly Monday meetings to just talk about what are our priorities for the week.
Do we have anything we need to chat about, talk to each other about et cetera. So Olivia was put in charge of scheduling those and running those meetings. And so those were still happening even while I was gone. I planned really far in advance for maternity leave and just made sure to address any questions and tied up any loose ends before I left. On the day, actually, no, because sunny came a couple of days early, so I. I set my out of office the day after he was born. Because I was like, oh my gosh.
So he was born. And then I was like, oh, this is stressful because there’s emails coming in. And I just want to make sure that people know that I’m not available to answer emails at the moment. And so I set my out of office. And I have like three different, four different email addresses. So, so four different out of opposites basically saying, Hey, here’s where you go.
If you have questions about this, here’s where you go. If you have questions about this, here’s where you go or rather here’s who to contact. If you have questions about this. Here’s who to contact. If you question, I have questions about that, et cetera, et cetera. So it was very prescriptive in terms of like, if you need a customer service, if you have a customer service issue, reach out to Maria. Et cetera. And so, yeah, so that was the gist of how I prepped and planned for taking that six weeks off.
And then knowing that when I was going to return, it was going to be at a different capacity. And so let’s talk now about what my current schedule is looking like, about a week in or week and a half into starting to come back to work. In a small capacity. Like I mentioned doing maybe a couple hours every day. ANd so, it’s definitely been an adjustment for sure.
I think what was so awesome about the first six weeks after Sonny was born, was that. We had no schedule and that was glorious. Like. Having no. Like waking up in the morning and being like, all right. Today is open and we’re just going to do whatever feels, right. Whatever feels good. And it was so special, especially for my husband and I to have that six weeks to two. To do it together, like to, we were in it together and we were able to go through that first six weeks as a true. Team, which I just am so grateful for that time.
I look back on that time actually really fondly. I acknowledged that when you have two people looking after a baby, it’s way easier than when you’re on your own. Or even if you have a partner that’s gone back to work and your. On leave and you’re doing the work yourself during the day.
That’s much more difficult. So that’s the other piece to this too, is having two people, having be able, having the ability to be able to take a break when you need to. So, able to hand the baby to my husband for a couple of hours, vice versa. We take turns. We take shifts. It’s allowed us to take a little bit of space away. AnD yeah, and that’s been really big for us, so. I just want to, also mention that it’s it.
I acknowledge that it’s a lot easier. With two people, for sure. But I’m glad we did it that way. And it was interesting because before we had the baby, we had gotten a lot of advice actually from people who had mentioned that. It made more sense for the partner to take if they were going to take paternity leave or any sort of whatever, sort of leave to take it.
When the baby was a little bit older And what every situation is completely different in every family is different in terms of their wants and needs. But for me having Paul off with me for the first six weeks was really. That made a huge difference in terms of just my own recovery, my own mental health.
I wouldn’t do it differently ever. It was just so special to have that first six weeks together. I feel like we’ve both been able to really develop our own. Way with sunny too, which is really cool. He’s the, we would call him like the subject matter expert in. Diaper changes and in bottle feeding.
And then I’m the subject matter expert in other things. And so, we’ve both been able to develop our own subject matter expertise when it comes to the baby. Which has been really fun. And so I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s been, I think that’s been essential for our experience and just for making this situation feel as good as it has felt. But again, every body is different and everybody has different needs and preferences and whatever.
So no shade, if you are somebody who is, had their partner take time off at a different time or their partner, didn’t take time off. Every family is different. That’s okay. So, let’s talk a bit again about the current schedule now that I’ve come back to work. Okay, so it’s been definitely. Chaotic messy.
But that’s okay.
I knew that this would be the case. So today’s been a really good day. And I’ve learned that’s because. I had only two 30 minute meetings. That was it. And so they were, and they were with team and so they were very flexible. But today’s been a much better day than yesterday because yesterday and again, this is all learning.
So yesterday. R and I’ll get a bit more granular about our, what our schedule is, but I just want to mention, like, one of the things I’ve learned is that I can’t at this during this season, having long beatings and having multiple meetings in a day is just not it like that. Just it, I it’s just because what ended up happening yesterday. Is I had I had an hour long meeting and then I had a break and then I had another hour long meeting, but Sonny was sleeping during that break and I was like, okay, I’m not going to wake him up to feed him. Not thinking about how long it would be.
I’d tell the next time I was able to feed him. Now it’s fine. We express and bottle feed as well. And so we have options in terms of feeding him, but, um, it just ended up that his schedule was like really messed up yesterday. My schedule was messed up. I went for a really long time without breastfeeding, and it does not feel good when you do that. And so it was just, he ended up being really fussy in the evening.
And I think it was just because our schedule was totally messy and it was not like was not feeding at the same intervals as I normally do. It was just all over the place. I felt overstimulated. He was overstimulated. It was just a bit of a crazy day. So that was a really good learning for me to be like, okay, let’s pump the brakes here.
Let’s take a step back. Meetings only if absolutely necessary and like maybe one in a day. That’s it. So today has been a much better day. Basically what we’ve been doing is setting the alarm for, we have started to set an alarm during the first six weeks. We didn’t at all. We were just sleeping till whenever Sonny slept until whenever he decided to wake up in the morning, which was great. But now we are setting the alarm for like 7, 7 30. Typically pre-baby we get up earlier than that, but now we’re just sticking with sort of a 7, 7 30. So we get up and then typically what I will do first thing in the morning is pump. And then my husband will do a bottle feed, all, take the dog out for a walk, just to get some exercise myself, and just have a little bit of a break after feeding throughout the night. Now he’s at the point where he’s, we’re getting longer stretches of sleep, which is great.
I think last night we had a five hour and then maybe a three hour stretch. So that’s been nice for sure. He’s been a pretty good sleeper. So we’ve been lucky for that as well. And so, yeah. And so then I go for a walk and then comeback. I will. So this morning then I fed him. I Got ready actually.
No, I fed him. My husband went for a I’m just trying to remember. Did he work out? Yeah, I think he went for work out. I went for a run. And then I got ready for my meetings. I had my meetings. And then after that I found him again. So I had my meetings. Well, my husband took care of sunny. I then fed him again.
And then I met a friend for a walk. I brought Sonny and I brought the dog, which has been something I’ve been, this is only my second time doing that. Cause I’ve really been trying to figure out how does one walk a dog while also having a newborn baby? Anyways, it’s fine. Having the front carrier, putting the baby in the front carrier and walking the dog seems to work a lot better than having a stroller and walking a dog because my dog is 70 pounds actually like more like 80 pounds.
So. It’s a lot easier having the carrier. So when I met a friend for a walk. Came back home. My husband ran errands during that time, then fed him again, played with Sonny while my husband was still out. We did a bunch of fun Tommy time, floor, time. I read him a couple books, which is hilarious because when you have a seven week old, you’re like, is this. IS, are you taking in anything I’m saying to you, but I think he just likes the sound of my voice.
So I’m like, all right, we’re just going to read some books. Then handed him off to my husband again I am recorded this podcast and then we’ll sort of do a similar situation tonight where we take turns. So that’s what our day is looking like currently. And so, yeah, so, it’s still feels fairly chaotic. Tomorrow, no meetings, which is great.
I think that’s going to be sort of the ideal situation is to be able to. Plan out our, and that’s the other thing I would say is that one of the things that has been essential for us is just like, when we wake up in the morning or even the night before we talk about what is the game plan for the next day.
And so that’s been. Essential. We sort of say, here’s what I have to do today. Here’s three key things that I have to do today and vice versa. And then we figure out how to make that happen. And so, yeah. And so, I’m just going to my notes here, just to see if there’s anything that I’ve missed, then I want to talk about. ONe of the things that I’ve been sort of reflecting on, is just also, is how do we figure out how to be present in both worlds?
Like, how do I know. And this is something that obviously we’re still so new at this. We haven’t figured it out one day. We will, but. How do I make sure that during the time I’m spending with him, I’m not also trying to work and then vice versa, I’m trying to work. And then also, he’s in the background, right?
It’s like, how do we just stay present in both worlds? Because I don’t want to be that kind of mom. Who’s like, distracted in every way while I’m trying to hang out with my while I’m hanging out with my child, but I know that it’s going to happen, but I just don’t want it to happen all the time, but I don’t want to set that precedent for myself.
And so. Trying to figure out how do we just make sure and have that separation between the two worlds? That’s going to be sort of an ongoing challenge, but I think something that we’re. Actively aware of and trying to figure out, and that’s going to be an interesting, I still don’t quite know what our plan is.
When my husband goes back to work, we’re going to have to figure that out. Because at that point I’ll be having to do more hours as well with my work too. So. We’re gonna see, we’re gonna see what happens, but we’re figuring it out. And overall it’s been fine. And it’s been, I think, with the proper planning. With the proper support, it is doable. Like I said, I love the work that I do.
And so to me, having sunny and doing my work is not a burden at all. It’s I want to do both things and I feel like it’s possible to do both things. It just takes the right amount of planning and scheduling. And like I said, support, which I’m very lucky to have. So. I am going to go because I hear him screaming in the background again. Which my husband is fully capable. Of taking care of him, but it’s always like you have this sort of mom Hearing where you’re like, oh, I’m very aware of my baby crying in the background.
And so. I want to make sure that I’m again, present in both things. So, because I’m distracted, I’m going to sign off right now. I hope that you enjoyed this episode. It’s been fun to just check in and and maybe I’ll do another one and six months or so. Let me know if you enjoyed this and you want to hear more about our life in six months and how things have changed and what life looks like for us and our family.
But otherwise I hope you have an awesome week and we’ll see you next Thursday.