I’m about 3 1/2 weeks away from bebe’s due date. I feel excited, nervous, anxious, grateful….all the things. Some of you may or may not know I’m pregnant. If you’re new here, welcome! I haven’t talked a lot about the pregnancy for many reasons, but I do appreciate all the caring emails, DMs and comments from you all <3 So thank you so much. It’s been a really special season of life and there aren’t words to string together that would express how thankful I am to carry this baby and for us both to be healthy and doing well so far.
I wanted to write this post for a couple reasons. First and foremost, for each of you reading right now. You mean a lot to me. The blog and business will be changing and shifting over the next few months and in the future. I want you to know what these changes will look like so you know what to expect going forward.
Secondly, I googled for hours over the past month or two on how business owners take time off when they have a baby. I had no idea how to go about it. Everyone is different. They value different things and have different circumstances – so what I’m sharing today is 100% not the only way to do it. It’s just what feels best for me and our family as we head into this new and exciting phase of life. Thinking about this transition has made me acutely aware of how fortunate I am for my work situation and for my husband’s job. I work for myself most of the time, and my current NP job is “per diem” meaning I’m not contracted to work x amount of hours, rather I work when they need me – if the hours are too much, I can take the hours I can handle and they will find coverage for the other hours. Sometimes that’s multiple times a week, other times it’s weekend coverage and some months it’s a day here and there. Working a per diem job has been the perfect fit for this season of life and I’m grateful it’s worked out this way.
I have no idea how labor + birth will go. I hope it goes a certain way, but it’s something I’m holding very loosely because I don’t have control. Given that, I’m not sure exactly how I’ll feel physically, mentally and emotionally after baby comes. I’m hoping and praying for the best, but don’t really have expectations. While it’s been comforting to loosely plan out “maternity leave”, in reality…these plans could totally change and I’m okay with that. I’ve never given birth or been a mom before so my plan is to take things as they come. And what a privilege that is to get to choose!
As for the role work plays in my life, I’ve spent the past several months doing a lot of reflection and processing around how career will look going forward – how it looks when I’m living in line with my values vs how it looks when I’m trying to keep up with everyone else. I’ve spent a lot of time mentally preparing for this shift because I’m pushing back against the part of me that says, “but you’ve done all this work to get this far!” But as I’ve learned to disengage with that part of myself and dug into what really matters, I’m really excited for work to take a back seat not only in the short term, but also the long term. For the past 7+ years work has been a dominating part of my life – sometimes in a not so healthy way, but lately in a much more values-aligned way. My career and the work I get to do is really important to me, but it’s not the most important to me.
So what’s the plan and what does that mean for this space and all of you?
This is the loose plan that could very well change as we settle into life with a baby.
Right now, my plan is to take a full 8 weeks off from everything. I won’t be jumping back into things after 8 weeks, but I plan to take at least 8 full weeks entirely off from work. My due date is December 2nd (I thought it was Dec 3rd until about 3 weeks ago.. lol) so unless he is the opposite of my late tendency and actually arrives early, I’ll plan on taking all of December and January off from any kind of work. I’m nervous about this, but deep down I know all will be well when I return because I have an amazing team of people that work alongside me.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve already starting pulling back on the amount of hours I work – both at my NP job and with the business. I’m seeing the same amount of clients, but not doing any extra projects or things to grow the business.
Come February 1st, my plan is to start seeing clients again. I haven’t taken any new clients in a really long time and don’t plan to until I’m feeling really ready – both logistically and mentally/emotionally. So I might start with waitlist clients around March/April depending on how I feel. But come Feb 1st, I’ll start seeing my existing clients again. From there, it will likely be another month or so before I blog or do anything else.
About six weeks ago I started planning for this transition with each client. Depending on the level of support needed and what we’re working on in sessions, we will either be taking a pause in our sessions or clients will see Crystal for those 8 weeks. For my clients that also see Liz (our therapist) and are nutritionally stable, they will see Liz more frequently. I am so grateful to have an amazing RD and therapist working with me! My #1 priority with taking time off was making sure every client was smoothly transitioned and there was plenty of communication with each client’s treatment team – Crystal and Liz have made this so much easier than I anticipated.
3. The Blog
I’m not quite sure what the blog will look like, but I do know it will be changing. I’ve been blogging for almost 7 years (what?!) and I’m ready to scale back on the frequency of posts. I’d rather put out authentic, quality content less frequently than the other way around. Connie and Hannah will sadly be ending their internships with me. I don’t know how this business existed before them! So there will not be guest posts every Friday. If I’m honest, I really enjoy speaking + talking over writing. I love bopping on instagram and sharing things with you all. And I love giving talks and creating online courses. Writing is different. I love sharing the message and feel strongly about that, but sitting down and writing the content isn’t my jam. I always knew that the blog wouldn’t go on the same way forever, so this feels like a natural shift. Right now, my thoughts are to post 1x week or a few times a month. And Crystal and Liz will write here too from time to time. We’ll see how that goes and feels and then go from there.
I know some people will schedule guest posts or pre-write content for when they will be away. That felt incredibly overwhelming for me, so there won’t be anything happening from December to the beginning of March unless it get the urge to write (doubtful, but possible!) so I hope you enjoy the archives. It’s crazy that I’ve published 800+ posts since I began!
The one thing I have planned for ahead of time is an email series which I’m excited about! Currently, I send out weekly newsletters on Monday mornings. Starting in December, that will shift to bi-weekly newsletters for both while I’m away and long term. Twice a month feels much more sustainable than 4x a month. I have a 3 month, six part newsletter series scheduled for you beginning in December and going through February that I hope you enjoy. My hope is that it helps you wrap up 2018 and step into 2019 in the best way possible. If you haven’t already you can sign up for that here!
5. Social Media
I have some things planned out for Facebook…mainly sharing of posts and content that could be helpful this time of year, but other than that I’ll be taking a break. I might bop onto Instagram here and there if it feels right and enjoyable, but I’ll probably be much quieter. Plus, when I post on social media I want it to be a two way street and engage back with all of you! So having a bunch of automated posts didn’t feel right for me.
Even though Connie’s internship will end in December, she has graciously say yes to my offer to bring her on as a team member for at least a few months (I’d keep her forever if she wasn’t busy with her RD internship and being awesome) while I’m away – she’ll continue to manage the admin inbox and filter out and answer any important emails in my inbox. She’ll also continue to onboard new clients working with Crystal and do the scheduling + invoicing. Basically, she’s my lifeline.
The thought of coming back to 2+ months of email was beyond anxiety inducing. So I’ll have an autoresponder on. Client emails, emails inquiring about our services, a speaking opportunity or our online courses will be handled by Connie, Liz and Crystal. Everything else will be deleted from my inbox, but I welcome you to email me again in February! That sounds a bit harsh I know, but it was the best way I felt to handle email so I don’t go insane in February 🙂
7. Communication with my team
I’ve spent the past several weeks and will spend the next couple weeks helping my team feel confident with me being out, answering questions, having 1:1 meetings, and setting expectations for communication during my time off. All these women are incredible and I feel so lucky to have people working alongside me that are better at many things than I am and love this work and business as much as I do. I 100% trust each of them caring for our clients and the business.
Crystal and I have a meeting every week to collaborate on client care. We will have a meeting every other week while I’m away to communicate about client questions/concerns/needs and then communicate via Slack in between if needed. Liz and I will communicate on Slack as needed as well and Connie and I will touch base on Slack if there are urgent questions that need to be answered or concerns that need to be addressed. All these women are wonderful in understanding my time away and we all expect Slack communication to be infrequent. I know setting communication expectations was really important so everyone felt supported and prepared. I couldn’t ask for a better team!
8. My NP job
Thankfully, I’m “per diem” so I don’t have to return at a certain time. Starting in February, if they need coverage and I’m feeling okay, I’ll probably take on those shifts since I really enjoy my NP work and being in the clinical setting. Thankfully, my husband’s job offers 6 weeks of paternity leave (a total blessing!) that he can take whenever. So he’ll use some in the beginning and then can take a day here and there when I go into my NP job.
9. Long term
Moving forward, my hope (holding all things loosely) is to work part time. That will be a huge shift from the 40-50 hours I work now, but I’m so ready. This transition feels really right. I can work at my NP job here and there when they need me on weekends and then on weekdays when Nick can stay home with baby. And I can see clients in the morning before Nick goes to work and in the evening when Nick gets home. Thankfully, this works out well for clients since people want to see me outside of traditional work hours anyways. I’m hoping to avoid childcare because it’s outrageously expensive here, but if we need to get some child care down the road…we’ll do that. But who knows what will be best – this is all new! I could end up laughing at this plan come spring because it could all be different than expected.
I have a few speaking events next year which I’m excited about – some local and some away – but really plan to just focus on the work we do with clients and my NP job. The blog, newsletter and courses will still be there, but will be dialed down. I don’t have any plans to create new courses or “grow” anything in 2019. Steadiness is a theme for 2019 and figuring out what it looks like to be a mom and also still have my feet in my career. I have no idea how this will all go, but we will soon find out!
Thank you all for being so caring, kind and supporting this year and all the years past. Life is always changing, so thank you for sticking along for the ride. I am grateful!
I’ve been following your blog since 2013/14. Before you sign off for a little while, I wanted to say thank you and wish you luck for the big day ahead! I’m not a client, but I’ve learned so much from your blog, and I’ve really enjoyed reading about your life and perspective on nutrition (and how it’s evolved) over the years, it’s helped me so much. I am going through a similar transition as you – my due date is actually tomorrow (first baby)! I’ve found these last few weeks of waiting to be challenging and emotional, but also enjoyable as I’ve taken more time to take care of myself, mentally prepare and rest before the big transition. I hope you are doing the same. All the best in your journey into motherhood! <3 -Caitlin
Robyn Nohling says
Thank you SO much for your kind message Caitlin. I hope baby has arrived healthy and safe and if not yet – I’m thinking of you in this in between place of waiting! You are taking care of yourself so well <3 Love to you as you venture into this new season!
Hey Robyn – LOVE your blog and it’s been tremendously helpful to me as I journey through this season of my life. Your candor and compassion is felt within every post. Congrats and best wishes as you enter this new season and while all of your followers will miss you, I think I can comfortably say for myself and most of the other readers, we wish you the absolute best and look forward to your return – however that may look. God bless!!!! Sandra
Robyn Nohling says
Your words mean so much Sandra, so thank you <3 Love to you!
I have two little boys (4 and 2) and I stopped working as an elementary school teacher when my oldest was born. It was the absolute best possible decision for me and my family. You will not regret slowing down with work to spend time with your new precious son. I cannot put into words how thankful I am for the content you have created and shared. I have learned so much and your words and ideas have helped me immensely in my eating disorder recovery and subsequent recovery from HA. Enjoy your time as a new mom…bu ignore people who tell you to “enjoy every minute!” It is honestly the best, yet hardest thing you will ever do.
Robyn Nohling says
Your experience is encouraging! I’ve thought about that a lot — what will I wish I did more of? work or family? for ME it’s a very loud “family” love to you Amy!
Robyn, I have always admired you and greatly admire you now for staying rooted in your values and desires for the future as a mother. As a business owner myself I understand it can be scary to completely step away, but that makes me so proud of you! Of course, I will miss seeing you often, but I truly wish you the best with this season of life! Thank you for making such an impact in my life!
Robyn Nohling says
Yes it’s been hard to just release control and TRUST, but at the same time it’s been incredibly freeing. Thank you so much for your support Katherine!!
[email protected] says
Oh Robyn – I am so happy for you to be embarking on this next season of life. It is truly such a special , magical, (though not without stress obviously) and surreal time in life. I love that you are doing what you believe in, what you need and that you are open to seeing how things flow. You have such integrity, authenticity and connectivity to yourself and others. These traits have made you an incredible role model for me and your countless readers and clients. And honestly, they are traits that will make you an amazing mom! Truly – you are gifted and your little one is blessed. Thank you for all that you are and all that you have shared these past 7 years. Much love to you in this journey and I look forward to seeing how things unfold for you. Many Blessings <3
Suzanne – what kind words that mean so much to me!! THANK YOU.
I love your blog. I recommend it to many of my patients for some extra help between our nutrition sessions together. You have given me many ideas as a dietitian I hope to use to grow my own practice someday. As a mom, I think you are doing the right thing of having a tentative plan to follow. Being prepared but flexible is so important (just like with intuitive eating! :)) Praying for a safe delivery and recovery for you. I will miss checking the blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but I think you will be glad with your decision.
That means so much that you recommend it Bre! Flexibility is key I think – love that analogy 🙂
Being a working mom is hard. You want to spend every moment with your kiddos but also need that time to do the other things you were passionate about before they came along. I’m a nurse practitioner too and dropped to part time when I had my first which has been perfect. Plus I got six months maternity leave with each (unpaid obvs). It’s a great time to step back from work but I feel strongly that if you’re passionate about something outside of your children you need to take time for that as well. It’s easy to lose yourself in motherhood especially the baby years. Congrats and enjoy your time off.
I feel really grateful to be able to “stay at home” but also work some time in a really flexible way. I’m looking forward to this new identity and priority shift 🙂
Sarah Proctor says
I am so happy for you! Enjoy your days and new life. What you have started here has been personally life-changing for me and I am eternally grateful. If you never posted again, the content that you’ve shared is such a wealth of information and inspirings me. I frequently check out older content! So thank you and continue to be well, live well, and lead by example. I appreciate you! 💜
I’m so grateful this has been such an influential space for you Sarah! I hope you enjoy the older content a lot while I’m away – love to you!
Thank you so much for sharing this! While babies aren’t on the immediate horizon, the thought of how to handle business and babies has been absolutely terrifying to me! Reading amazing business women’s plans helps me realize I can handle it too (and it differs for everyone).
It can be scary and unknown and I’m learning as I go! You can totally do it and know that there is no right way 🙂
So excited for this new season for you! I really appreciate you being so transparent, setting expectations, and holding plans loosely. It’s so encouraging to me to see others set healthy boundaries around work, life, and transitions. Congrats on your sweet bebe and good luck!
Robyn Nohling says
Thank you so much Rachel!
Robyn– I am so happy for you. I hope you appreciate how lucky you are to be able to experience this season so freely, and to be able to spend so much time with your future child. You will be a wonderful mother. Enjoy this time.
Certainly something I do not take for granted, especially being 1 of 5 raised by a single mother who was a teacher. Thank you Emma <3
Jamie Klausner says
Robyn. I have been reading your blog for so many years, I have lost count. You have been such a huge inspiration to me, and it’s been WONDERFUL coming along on your journey whether it was your move to NY, getting married, and now this! Good luck with everything and wishing you and Nick the best!
Robyn Nohling says
Thank you for your loyalty and for following all this time Jamie!! It means so much! <3
Thank you for trusting me and teaching me, Robyn! You already know how much I appreciate you and this internship but I wanted to make sure you know it again. You and Nick are going to be amazing parents and I am so excited for this new life season for you guys 🙂
I remember reading this blog for years and years and it giving me so much joy, so much validation that I wasn’t alone in my struggles, and knowledge that there was this amazing person out there that I hoped to meet one day. I can’t believe I not only got to meet you BUT I also got to be your intern and know the amazing person you are- dreams do come true!
Connie! You are been a total gem and I am THANKFUL for you – this would not be possible without you! XO
You’re the best for being so mindful about your community and for sharing all of your plans and thoughts with so much transparency. I just wanted to wish you the best! An early congratulations with the bebe 😊 Will miss seeing your content over the next few months – your insanely knowledgeable and compassionate approach is truly unique in this space ❤️ Most importantly though, wishing you well and so much happiness in this new season!! ❤️
Robyn Nohling says
Your words are so kind and encouraging Valerie! thank you so so much!!
As a fellow Rd and new mom just wanted to say good luck!! Being a new mom /delivery/labor /newborn ( baby is 2 weeks old) is full of the unexpected!!! It is such a great season of life!!
Robyn Nohling says
Congrats tot you Niecie!!!!
I’m a part time working mom of Irish Twins and I just had to tell you how reassuring it is to hear you say you don’t have it all figured out and that you are okay with that. I learned the hard way that the plans that you make when your pregnant don’t always pan out. If I had had your wisdom with my first daughter I would have saved myself a lot of time and heartache. I’m so excited for you and thanks for just being you. you’re going to be a great mom no matter what you do – working, not working or working part time!
Robyn Nohling says
Oh goodness I do not. And I never will! You are a wonderful mother – irish twins is no walk in the park! You are doing great and I am sending you so much love!
As a fellow RN (in grad school for DNP) and mom to a 7 month old, your plan sounds really solid! Working PT after at least 3 months (I chose 6 months due to various circumstances) is just about perfect in my opinion. We have a nanny like 4-6 days a month which allows me to work a bit as well as do grad school work. It’s been so helpful (and way more cost effective than formal childcare) and might be something to consider. I will say that right at about the 6 month mark things got crazy as she is into EVERYTHING since she is crawling and just about walking (everyone says the earliest is the hardest, I didn’t find that to be true) so don’t let those first few months fool you on how things will be. In other words it got more fun but suddenly allowed no time for work to be done while she was awake. Motherhood is hands down the greatest rndeVor I’ve ever pursued vocationally and though like you I love what I do, being a mom is far more valuable to me and will always take priority. Welcome to the best season of life Robyn!
Robyn Nohling says
Thanks so much for your words Carley! Best of luck to you in school – I admired all the moms in my program!!
Emily Swanson says
I’m really excited for you and what this transition will hold. It’s been so neat seeing how God has provided a team of ladies around you that are on board with what you’re doing and can really fill in while you treasure your little one. I will definitely be praying fir you! And I hope to go back and read a lot of your old posts while you’re gone too.
Robyn Nohling says
Thanks so much Emily <3