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Getting Pregnant as an Independent Contractor
One of the reasons many women decide to stop working a traditional nine-to-five job and start working from home, often as an independent contractor, is the flexibility to start a family. Whether you’ve found yourself pregnant or are planning for pregnancy in the near future, there are a few considerations and changes you can make now to make the pregnancy easier on yourself and your clients.
Start Scheduling Your Day
One of the beauties of working as an independent contractor is your ability to work whenever you want, as long as you accomplish what your clients need. When you add a baby to the mix, not to mention all of the appointments you have prior to delivering the baby, you’ll need to re-learn how to reschedule your work time. This goes hand in hand with learning to manage your time in general. Your non-waking hours are going to be spent caring for a newborn very soon, not browsing the Internet for fun. If you can start this now, you can be in good shape by the time the baby comes.
Consider Your Budget
Babies can be expensive, so don’t be afraid to count the cost a bit before the baby comes. Do you have adequate self-employed health insurance to cover the birth? If not, start shopping. Do you need to work a little bit more to buy some of the necessities you’ll need for a newborn? If so, take on the extra work now before you become too tired from the pregnancy.
Choosing a Doctor
When choosing an obstetrician to care for you during your pregnancy, consider the amount of time required to visit. Towards the end of your pregnancy you may be visiting once a week or more, and this could cut into your work time. See if you can find a qualified doctor you can trust whose office is within a reasonable drive of your home to make working simpler.
When to Stop Working
Deciding when to stop working is another important part of the process. You’ll want to take some time off for maternity leave, but you may wish to wait until after your baby comes so you can spend as much time as possible adjusting to life with a newborn. Many independent contractor positions are safe to continue during the end stages of a healthy pregnancy.
Preparing Your Clients
One of the more difficult aspects of preparing for pregnancy when working as an independent contractor is telling your clients. Most clients will be understanding and happy about the addition to your family, but it’s still up to you to make sure their needs are met while you’re on maternity leave. Also, pregnancy complications can happen unexpectedly, and if you suddenly disappear because you’re put in the hospital, your clients might wonder if you’ve become unreliable.
To prevent these potential problems, alert your clients to your pregnancy a few months prior to your due date. Assure them that you intend to keep working after the baby arrives, but may need to take a few weeks off to adjust.
Pregnancy is a joyous time for any couple, and preparing for it should be a time of great anticipation. Your work as an independent contractor does bring a few unique challenges, but also a great measure of flexibility that will make your pending pregnancy and birth much simpler to handle. By taking a little bit of time to prepare early in the process, you can successfully continue working as an independent contractor while adding to your family.