Are you cleaning while pregnant? Are you a pregnant cleaning boss? Thinking about maternity leave and what will happen to your business? Here’s some food for thought.
Listen: Cleaning While Pregnant
Watch: Cleaning While Pregnant
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Cleaning While Pregnant
Cleaning while pregnant. Is it possible? Is it hard? What’s it like? Today there was a house cleaner that wrote into the show. She’s new to house cleaning, and she asked this question. She said, “Hi, Angela. I’m in the middle of getting the legal side of my one-person cleaning business started by insurance, licensing, et cetera. I’ve been binge-watching your channel. I also just found out I’m pregnant with my second child.
I’m not worried about these two big life changes because I’m a hard worker and I believe cleaning houses can be a flexible, doable job for pregnancy and also newborn stage. Do you have any thoughts about starting a cleaning business while pregnant?”
Congratulations on Your Pregnancy!
Okay. I want to stop for just a second and congratulate you on your pregnancy. This is exciting news, and I’m super happy for your family. All right. Now that we have that out of the way, I want to stop for a second, and it sounds like you’re really new to the house cleaning business.
So I want to throw a couple of things at you, so you can be thinking about them and navigating your way through them as you go through the pregnancy. All right? So the very first thing that I want to bring up is that I am one of 19 children.
Pregnancy Can Be Physically Demanding
So while I lived at home, my mother was pregnant 15 more times after me. Okay? So the reason I bring this up is that pregnancy can be physically demanding on a person, and one pregnancy can treat the same person the same way every single time, or it can be vastly different.
And so having watched my mum navigate 15 different pregnancies, a lot of them were different, they treated her body differently. And I want to bring this up to the fact that maybe your first child was a super easy pregnancy, and so you’re going into this thinking, “Oh, it’s going to be super easy.”
But I can’t guarantee that. I’ve seen lots of house cleaners who are pregnant, who had easy first pregnancies, and their second one was completely different. So I just want you to be aware of that. All right?
You’re Going to Have to Take Time Off When You’re Pregnant
So in the next nine months, what we do know is there’s going to be some time off. And the time off is when you stop to have your child. So even if you’re super healthy and you can go all the way through the nine months and you can work all the way up until week 30 or whatever it is, you might still have to take some time off.
We don’t know if you’re going to have a natural birth or a seminarian, and both of those require recovery time. And so there will be a time you will not be able to service your clients.
And so if they still need house cleaning, even though you may build a business, you may lose it all if you’re gone for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, while you’re in recovery mode.
Having Two Infants Makes it Hard to Have a Business
Now you said you’re starting a house cleaning business and in the newborn stage. So I’m unclear if the first child that you have is a newborn, or if they are 17 years old and they could be doing zoom school while they’re babysitting child number two.
If you have an infant right now, and you’re having another infant in nine months, now you have an active toddler and an infant, and now you’re talking about daycare. So there are a couple of things to navigate there.
Some Cleaners Have a Harder Pregnancy Than Others
One of the things that I want to bring up is how will you go through the pregnancy? I have seen house cleaners, they gain 10 pounds when they’re pregnant. And then they just zip along like nobody’s business.
I’ve seen house cleaners that gained 90 pounds and so all of a sudden that’s a lot of extra weight on their back and their shoulders and their hips and trying to carry a child in front of them and a cleaning caddy and a vacuum and trying to climb up a flight of stairs is overwhelming.
And I don’t want to scare you, but I want you to be aware that depending on how much weight you gain and depending on the hormones and how your body treats you, you may or may not be able to still clean through your pregnancy.
You Never Know How You’ll React to Your Pregnancy
Now I have seen house cleaners that are the nicest people on the planet. And they start their businesses and they’re going gangbusters, and when their hormones go wackadoodle on them, all of a sudden they’re like these raging lunatics and the slightest thing throws them off and they yell and shout and spout off at customers and they get fired.
So I don’t know how you respond to pregnancy, but I want you to be aware that all of these things are a possibility. So as you navigate the pregnancy, you may want to have a plan B. Now, one of the things that I recommend from day one is that you hire someone else and bring them in to be your support person.
Because that way, as you start taking less and less time from the job where you’re not working as much out in the field, they can be doing more and more.
You May Have to Go Part-Time While Pregnant
So maybe you only bring them on part-time as you get your business up and off the ground and you still do some of the physical labor yourself, but then as you get more pregnant and it becomes less possible for you to do the chores that you did in early pregnancy, they can do more of those chores for you until you can outsource it 100% to them.
And then during your recovery time, after the child, then you may decide that you want them to go full-time and you may hire a couple of other people and expand your business.
One thing that you may work towards if you decide to be a stay at home mum and raise the kids by yourself without having a nanny or a daycare, is that you may want to do the admin side of the business. Where you do zoom walk-throughs and you pick up new accounts and you do the advertising and the social media and the accounting and the booking and scheduling of the jobs and those things, and you simply manage the business and you hire other house cleaners.
As a Solo Cleaner, It’s All on You
That’s also a possibility. You said, right now you are a solo cleaner, so right now everything is on you. Right now to get started in the business and to do all of that stuff, you will be required to do it all yourself as you get started. I want you to pay attention to the fact that you’re right.
These are two life-altering events, and they’re both super exciting, but to manage them both, both need 100% of your attention. Your business needs 100% of your attention, and so do your children. And so for this reason, I don’t recommend bringing children to the job, it becomes a liability issue.
If for example you have two small children, and then for some reason, you have to pay attention to the child while you’re trying to clean, you will always go for your child first.
You Will Always Go for Your Child First
It’s a parental instinct. You will always do that and you should. And so we don’t want the children to be on the jobs, it’s not safe, they’re a liability or they’re insurance issues. It’s not a good idea. So lots of things to navigate while you’re getting started in the business and while you’re pregnant.
So I want to throw those out there. I want you to think about those. If you guys have comments, leave your comments in the notes below. Have you worked through a pregnancy as a professional house cleaner? Jump in and add your two cents, this will be an interesting conversation, and I would love to hear what you guys have to say as well.
But as far as this question goes super excited for you, and I want you to keep me posted and let me know how it works out for you because I’m here, I’m rooting for you and I’m wanting to share in your journey.
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