My ‘Plans’ for Working After Baby + A Blog Survey and Giveaway

posted by Andrea | 02/20/2014

working after baby

Several of you have questioned if I’ll take a maternity leave or not… and what my plans are after this baby arrives.

To be honest, I’m not sure! 

I know, it’s totally not like me to NOT have a plan — but if there’s one thing I’ve learned after 27 months with Nora, it’s that making a “set-in-stone” plan with a newborn baby (or any young child) is basically a waste of time :)

Yes, I’m working hard to be as PREPARED as I can before he arrives (both in my personal life and business life) but I’m also not crazy enough to think that by creating a lovely plan right now, it will somehow happen exactly that way in another week or so. In fact, I’m almost positive that by creating a very specific plan right now, it will make my life even MORE stressful later on (I realize this wouldn’t be the case for everyone — but I know how I function!)

I can tell you that I’m NOT planning to be totally absent from blogging for any amount of time! I’m not planning to take a traditional maternity leave (like multiple weeks off without posting anything). I took a whole month off in August and it was glorious — but I’m not planning to do it again right now.

I’m also not planning to post any guest posts or sponsored posts as those often create more work than writing up my own posts.

I’ll most likely have a handful of pre-scheduled, non-time-sensitive posts ready to go, and I might resurrect some of the timeless posts from my archives to give me a little extra breathing room for a week or so. However, I’ll certainly try my hardest to squeeze a birth story post and some cute baby photo posts into the mix!

Of course, even these relatively basic plans could easily change depending on how the labor and delivery go, if there are any complications, and how I feel once we get home again.

So yes, I’m basically giving myself the freedom to do whatever I want (but I’m the boss, so I can do that!)

38 weeks and change! 

I realize it will take a little time to get back into my groove — and I’m going to try really hard not to push or rush myself (I’m very good at doing both). However, since I really love writing here, it’s easy and enjoyable for me to make the time.

If all goes “as planned” I’m hoping there aren’t many weekdays without some sort of blog posts (whether it’s a pre-scheduled post, a post from the past, or a new post). This way, I’ll be able to take a little bit of a breather, enjoy the new babe, and continue to share my life with you!

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However, while I’m taking my “breather”, I’d like to have a few work related things to think about… which brings me to this blog survey I’d be SO grateful if you took!!

A BLOG SURVEY + GIVEAWAY!

As I mentioned last month when I talked about my 2014 goals, I surprisingly don’t have any huge business goals for 2014.

Part of that is because I know the first half of the year will be busier as we adjust to life with a new baby — but another part is that I’m simply content with how things are rolling along right now. I love where I am with my business right now… which is great. But it can also be very bad if I let myself get lazy or fail to seek out new opportunities for growth.

While I don’t plan to make any changes in the next 3-4 months, I do want to start the process of thinking about potential ways I might be able to improve and grow — especially since I’m sure I’ll have many long nights of rocking a baby to sit and think!

Then, maybe I’ll start to implement some changes over the summer when Dave is home, we’ve had time to adjust to the baby, and I have a bit more time to devote to my work.

As always, I have TONS of ideas floating around in my head; but since this blog is essentially for you, I’d love to know what YOU love (and don’t love so much) about this blog — as well as any changes you’d like to see.

There will inevitably be a huge variation of responses, so I can’t promise I’ll make all (or even any) of the changes you request — but I’d still love to know what you’re looking for. You never know, YOU might just have the next great idea for AndreaDekker.com :)

I’ve created a VERY SIMPLE Google Form (see below) and I think it should only take you 3-4 minutes to complete. This form is ONLY for me, all the information will be kept completely confidential, and I promise not to be offended by anything you write. In fact, you may gladly remain “anonymous” if you’d prefer!

Oh, and as a little incentive, two people who fill out the form (and provide a valid email address) will be selected at random to win a $100 Amanzon.com gift card from me!

Thanks so much for your help and for your loyal readership!

Note: if you can’t see the Google form below, click here to fill out the form.

This survey will stay open for a long time, but in order to be “in the running” for the Amazon gift cards, you must fill out the form by February 28. I will notify giveaway winners on March 1 via the email address provided. 

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Filed under: FamilyParentingTime ManagementWork

 
 

36 comments

  1. Connie

    02/20/2014

    Keep up the great work!!!

    [Reply]

  2. Linda

    02/20/2014

    I am not sure my form went through. There was nothing at the end saying it was accepted.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Did you click the “submit” button at the end? I just tried it again and once you click “submit” a message will pop up saying “Thanks for taking this survey…..”

    Sorry! You can always try again and I appreciate your time!

    [Reply]

    Suzanne Reply:

    There are more questions beyond the first two – you have to scroll in that section to see the rest of the questions in the survey. It’s not readily apparent at first that you need to do that.

    [Reply]

  3. Diana

    02/20/2014

    Congratulations on the newest addition to the family! Make sure to make time to take time!

    [Reply]

  4. shelly

    02/20/2014

    Praying for your family that everything will go smoothly and all will be healthy.

    [Reply]

  5. Charissa

    02/20/2014

    You look great, Andrea!!

    [Reply]

  6. Paulette Smith

    02/20/2014

    We’ll miss your daily updates. However, I don’t know how you keep up with everything you do, so even periodic is great! Can’t wait to see pics of the little baby boy!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Paulette — hopefully there will still be plenty of daily updates (I might just schedule some of them in advance). And yes, I can’t wait to SHARE pictures of the new baby with you!

    [Reply]

  7. Beth

    02/20/2014

    I filled out the whole survey, clicked submit and it just can back in ref saying required field. I triple checked and it was all filled out.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hmmm that’s weird. If there’s a question you missed it will have a red box around it — and unfortunately the survey will not submit until the required fields are filled out. There are a couple hundred surveys that have already been submitted so at this point, I don’t think it’s an issue with the form, but without seeing your computer screen I don’t think I can offer any more assistance. Sorry!

    [Reply]

    Beth Reply:

    It went through perfectly on my computer, my phone must not have showed it all. Thanks again! :-)

    [Reply]

  8. Lindsey K

    02/20/2014

    Good luck with the new baby! You will find your own stride, as you know each child is different. I love your blog & can’t think of anything to improve it at the moment. If I come up with suggestions, I will be happy to shoot them your way. Keep up the good work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Lindsey — and yes, definitely let me know if you have any suggestions :)

    [Reply]

  9. Denise Z

    02/20/2014

    I just completed the survey–seems to be working fine.

    [Reply]

  10. JoAnn C.

    02/20/2014

    Prayers for you and your family in the coming weeks, Andrea.

    [Reply]

  11. Evie

    02/20/2014

    Andrea, love the photos, especially the one of Nora curled up beside you. Awwwwwww!

    About the survey, I only see two questions! There must be more than that. I get nothing on this page after the Twitter/Facebook question. Now I’m about to go follow the link and fill out the survey there. If I have a prob. with that, I’ll come back and let you know.

    Wishing you very smooth sailing with Baby Boy’s birth! I can’t wait to see him and find out his name.

    Thanks for sharing your family with all of us, Andrea. Your blog is a bright spot and always makes me think. :-)

    Evie

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Evie — and yes, there are more than 2 questions. Hopefully you got it figured out since I haven’t heard from you again :)

    [Reply]

  12. Suzanne

    02/20/2014

    Best of luck with the new little one!

    [Reply]

  13. Suzanne

    02/20/2014

    The survey part may be problematic for some people because there are indeed more than two questions – you actually have to scroll down after the first two questions to see the rest. It’s not at all clear, and I only noticed it by accidentally hitting my arrow button when I was double-checking why my survey was not “accepted”.

    [Reply]

  14. Kelly Stellmacher

    02/20/2014

    LOVE your blog!!!!

    [Reply]

  15. Jen

    02/20/2014

    Love your sweet little family!

    [Reply]

  16. Siobhan

    02/20/2014

    Love your blog! It’s my treat in the afternoon to sit for few minutes & read before I get back to my busy schedule.

    Enjoy the end of your pregnancy…I just gave birth to a baby boy last Wednesday :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    aww thanks! So glad to be your daily “treat” and a BIG congrats on your new baby!

    [Reply]

  17. JoDi

    02/20/2014

    Wishing you all the best in the weeks ahead. I think a “no plans” plan is a great idea. No stress about sticking to the plan if things shape up differently than expected. I hope this is an uneventful delivery and homecoming and that the new little guy is the BEST. SLEEPER. EVER! Will be praying for all of you dear!

    [Reply]

  18. Nicola

    02/20/2014

    I did not like your age ranges! HAHA I fell in the 34-40. :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sorry Nicola :) I was just trying to make them more than 5 years and that’s how the brackets broke down!

    [Reply]

  19. tetesa

    02/20/2014

    love you blog!

    [Reply]

  20. Priya

    02/20/2014

    You look great for 38 weeks! I wish my pregnancy pictures were so cute!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks… I feel like I look exhausted, so I appreciate your kind words!

    [Reply]

  21. Mary

    02/20/2014

    Thanks for helping us crazy busy moms feel normal and not like we need to have everything perfect and spend a fortune to be organized and live simply.

    All the best on you upcoming birth of your son.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Mary — that’s my goal in running this blog! So glad it’s working :)

    [Reply]

  22. Sharon

    02/21/2014

    I tried submitting the survey directly from the email on my iPad and it took me to a blank survey online, so if anyone else is having trouble submitting the survey it might be happening to them also. I filled out the survey again online and submitted successfully. Take care!

    [Reply]

  23. Maria

    02/22/2014

    Andrea, thanks for your great organizing and meal planning ideas which have helped me (and I’m sure many others) become less stressed and find some extra time to spare.

    With all of your hard work in pre-planning, you can now take a little time to relax and enjoy before the arrival of your baby boy.

    Best wishes and prayers for a safe and speedy delivery.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Maria! And yes, I was just telling Dave last night — I feel like I have nothing else to do to prepare for this baby. I’ve been working and planning ahead so much these past couple of months that I truly do think I’ll actually be able to relax for a few days before he arrives (then no more relaxing for a while!)

    [Reply]

  24. Mallory

    02/22/2014

    Love your blog! I’m so happy that I stumbled across it several months ago, it’s already inspired me so much in my family life and around my home!

    [Reply]

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