Taking a Maternity Leave When ‘Leaving’ is Not an Option

Any entrepreneur will tell you that stepping away from your business for a full year is not really an option. So how do you design a maternity leave that works for you—when ‘leaving’ in the true sense of the word is out of the question?

Stacey Trock argues that the answer is in scaling back. You don’t have to put your baby in daycare immediately, nor is it necessary to abandon your work completely. Entrepreneurship is about controlling your own destiny, so why not design your own maternity leave, saying YES to the things that generate revenue and help your business grow, while stepping back from the things that don’t?

Today Stacey shares the story of FreshStitches, explaining how her enterprise grew from selling downloadable crochet instructions on Etsy to a thriving subscription business with accompanying teaching and publishing opportunities. She offers insight around functioning without the help of extended family, making the distinction between goals and dreams, and dealing with the pressure to compete. I ask Stacey how she scaled back her business when her daughter was born and what she did to prepare for a year of maternity leave. Listen in and learn how to make the tough decisions about what is essential for the long-term success of your business—and what isn’t.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #031

Some quotes from the episode

  • “I plan on one day a week being knocked out by something. So for me, I schedule nothing on Friday, and if I get to have lunch with a friend, that’s awesome. If Monday, we’re sick in bed throwing up, that’s fine because I have Friday.”
  • “You cannot book every moment because that’s assuming a perfect world where nothing happens—and that’s not life.”
  • “I really encourage people to think about—what do you want to be making two years from now? What do you need to keep the system going in the long-term?”
  • “Be honest about your limitations, and just say, ‘Hey, I really want to do that. That’s not something I can do in the next two months. Can I do it at this time period?’”
  • “You have to do what YOU have to do. No one has your life.”
  • “Goals are things you think you can accomplish and that you actively want to work toward, and I think we’ve confused that [with dreams].”
  • “It’s about taking the time to get to know other people deeply and being in their shoes … so I do think a forum where you’re getting to know the people on a recurring basis might be all we can do right now.”
  • “When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re the show.”


Stacey Trock is an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, author and teacher. Her career began with FreshStitches, an amigurumi crochet design company with an extraordinary social media following of 500K-plus Facebook fans. Before long, Stacey was running one of the largest subscription clubs in the fiber world. Today, she specializes in connecting small businesses in the yarn industry with easy-to-implement, trendsetting marketing ideas, and Stacey is also the architect of the course How to Take Maternity Leave without Putting Life on Hold.




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