Maternity leave - what to do if you're self employed?

I had completed my NCT classes / course a few weeks ago on Zoom (the joy of Covid) and when finished we were left to chat. We got onto the subject of how long people were taking maternity leave. All the mums were doing a minimum of six months, quite a few a year at least. Some had fantastic maternity packages others the more standard six weeks pay then onto statutory. When I was asked I said 1-2 weeks as really that's all I think I can do. Both mentally and from an affordability point of view. Currently I am managing my Personal Training business and PR business. Having not earned a great deal in 2020 due to Covid, things have finally started to pick up. I have a great set of PT clients who I train in person at least two times a week. Restaurants and food & drinks brands are finally emerging from the ashes and have started to employ PRs - I don't want to not retain my clients. I have just had a Google and only two blog posts came up on self employed maternity leave both from 2019. It's 2021 is this really not a thing or do people not talk about it? Both were bloggers - links below. Neither have a conventional job but I couldn't find anything on mums to be who are in a more typical 9-5 job and are self employed. I did like the travel hacks idea of working intially after her third child wad born and then taking time off when they were six to nine months and much more alert. As let's face it, most babies hopefully sleep the majority of the time in the first few months so it's actually quite a prime time to get work down rather than completing Netflix. We're fortunate in that we're getting a night nanny to help for the first 12 weeks. Main reason quite simply is we need to sleep. My boyfriend is also self employed and we need to work. We can't work if we don't sleep. The luxury of maternity leave is you have more time. Yes, you are also going to not be functioning well if you're sleep deprived but if you don't have to think about work that's quite a large burden lifted from you. Everyone seems shocked when I say I'll probably only take a couple of weeks off and that I need more time. Why is there not some more positivity around it? Of course I'm just going to give it a go. I may be absolutely exhausted and find that I need more time off but if I don't try how am I going to know? I personally think it will be more detrimental to my mental health to be sat inside, alone with a baby all day. With the alternative being in my office / gym space - seeing clients and training them while the baby chills out in their pram. She's not going to be doing a great deal else anyway - I am manifesting a calm baby!!!

The presenter and comedienne Katherine Ryan has openly said she was back filming 10 days after the birth of her second child. Yes it may be difficult but it's not impossible. Nothing is impossible.

When you're self employed you're entitled to maternity allowance which equates to, if you qualify for the maximum amount, approximately £500 a month. Who on earth can survive on £500 a month with a new born? What other options do people have who are self employed? Especially as you can't get maternity allowance if you're working. I'm just going see how it goes I've been open with my clients - I may feel fantastic, I may feel rubbish. Hard to predict but am ensuring I have cracking support around me.

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