Most midwives don’t think about their outside time from work or taking a vacation when creating a midwifery business plan. It is just as important to know that your practice will run whether you are present or not. Do you have enough resources and plans in place that if you got in a car accident, the practice would still survive? What about a vacation or two? So much of self employment implies giving to work all the time. If you aren’t working, money isn’t coming in. I want midwives to start thinking more like business owners versus self employed status on your tax paperwork.
Your budget needs to have vacation pay for you and staff present. Your practice needs a back up midwife to cover your vacation or large enough practice so that other midwives can cover while you are away. Who will handle your administration duties while away on vacation for week or two?
Create a team that you have trained so well that every duty can be completed fabulously without your presence at the office or birth. Take a vacation every three months. Try to rotate family vacation with a more personal vacation with either your partner, relaxation, or personal retreat. There is so much evidence out that about importance of vacations.
Living in the Midwest, limited sun shine during winter months makes craving the tropics that much more intense. Having a good dose of vitamin D is good for your business, soul, and personal health. Your mind will come back refreshed and ready to start another creative chapter to your practice. Make sure all of your staff is getting their vacation time. Make incentives with your practice to encourage vacation versus make them feel guilty for “leaving you for a week.”
Creating an environment at work where staff’s personal time is just as important as work time will have your team devoted for the long haul. Happy employees are productive employees (same counts for you). If a midwife starts burning out and having trouble separating personal and work time, the business starts to crumble from the top on down. Your mission is to serve women including yourself and the staff around you. Try not to forget that important lesson!