Baby/ Behind The Butter

The Plan


I’ve been doing tons of thinking lately {mainly around the 4am hour} about how to address my maternity leave. Do bloggers even take maternity leaves? How long? When to go? I don’t know. I adore my job here because I get to make my own hours and do what I love most in life — cooking and photographing recipes. I know how lucky I am that I get to stay home and do this, especially after the baby comes. I think about that daily!

That being said, while cooking and photographing recipes isn’t really “hard”, I made the decision a few years ago to treat this as a business instead of a hobby {that deserves a whole other post in and of itself}.

So, after a lot of thought I have decided to start my maternity leave on or around May 1st.

I came up with May 1st because by that time I’ll be 38 weeks pregnant and two weeks from my due date. Technically he could come at any time. My mom will be coming shortly after and staying with us for the birth and for our first week home. I want to be able to totally focus on getting last minute things done around here without the pressure of thinking of new recipes to make, photograph and post.

I’ll still be popping in and out after that but it’s best to not expect any new recipes from May 1st – end of June. I’ll definitely be sharing our birth announcement when he decides to come, as well as our birth story. I say there will be no new recipes only because I really want to use that time to focus on our new family and just be present in the moment.

Since this is my first time to the rodeo, I really don’t know what to expect with everything so I ask y’all to just bear with me and be patient. I’m sure aspects of this blog will change after the birth to include more daily mom stuff mixed in with the recipes, but I definitely don’t anticipate making the change to a “mommy blogger”. I dislike labels, but see this space as more of a food and lifestyle blog.

That’s that! Since we’re getting close, I just wanted to be up front with everyone. I don’t anticipate going into labor this week or anything, but if I did, you guys would at least know the plan.

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  • polly
    April 11, 2014 at 4:00 am

    perfect plan sweet sis. 🙂 Love you so so much and i cannot WAIT for this sweet pea to arrive. He is so blessed to have a mom and dad who love him so much and the Lord who loves him more than anybody.

  • Anne @
    April 11, 2014 at 4:22 am

    My goodness I certainly hope you step away to adjust/enjoy/get used to having your little one! If My 9-5 gives us maternity leave you certainly deserve the same 🙂
    Best wishes!

  • Liz S.
    April 11, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Wishing you the best with the little one on the way! You deserve the time away from the blog and to relax. xo

  • Margaret
    April 11, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Jenna, your hair looks amazing! Also, great plan! You will want the time without feeling the pressure to perform.

  • Molly
    April 11, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Enjoy every moment, even the tough, tear filled ones! Everyone says it but time truly flies by. Before you know it you’ll be running after a little rambunctious chatter bug!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    April 11, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Sound like a good plan to me! Good for you for deciding to take a break. It’s such a special time in your life and you have every right to enjoy every minute of it!

  • Amber
    April 11, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Becoming a mom is a huge transition. Don’t worry about the deadline at the end of June. If things are hectic for you, don’t pressure yourself. I hope the birth is all you are imagining it to be. May you have a healthy baby at the end of the day no matter how and the amount of time it takes him to arrive.

  • JC
    April 11, 2014 at 4:42 am

    So excited for you! I think maternity leave is necessary for your sanity. This is totally a job and you totally deserve the break especially for pushing an actual human being into the world. I mean come on!

  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life)
    April 11, 2014 at 5:30 am

    I think the right plan is whatever works for you! I’m 36 weeks and just stopped doing my TV segments until after baby is born and it’s taken a lot of stress and pressure of my plate.
    As for blogging, my posts may be spotty for a bit when she arrives as I figure out life with a toddler and newborn, but since I write a lot about mommyhood and food, I see myself not really taking a true leave. However, if I feel the need, I definitely will. I think you have the right idea about family first! Those first few weeks are precious (and crazy!) 🙂

  • Jojo @ RunFastEatLots
    April 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

    I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait when you share the birth announcement and your story 🙂

  • MaryK.
    April 11, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Good for you! Enjoy every single second! They pass way too quickly.

  • Heather @ Housewife Glamour
    April 11, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I think that’s a wonderful plan. You deserve to enjoy everything about this time that you can! Love your dress and jean jacket combo, by the way. 🙂

  • nickee
    April 11, 2014 at 6:51 am

    You definitely need a break and time off to enjoy and soak in time with your new one and family!! I’m looking forward to seeing mommy posts along with recipes when you do get back 🙂

  • Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner
    April 11, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Woohoo! Hope Adam gets paternity leave, too, so you can enjoy some time together as a family. 🙂

  • erin @hooleywithaz
    April 11, 2014 at 7:07 am

    oh my gosh, i am so proud of you for doing this. i know that self-employment has its benefits, but not being able to (or feeling like you can’t) take time off for maternity would not be a perk. i’m so happy that you are taking time for yourself and your family during what is going to be an amazing time.

  • Mary
    April 11, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I’m due May 11 and fortunate to have a VERY flexible corporate job. I’ve been working from home since January and can take on as much or as little work as I want. I’m just started cutting back on my projects and am only taking on short things after this one is done. My plan is to keep doing some work until I go into labor. Then I’ll take 6 weeks off before starting a transition back to work.

    I lok forward to your birth announcement!

  • colleen
    April 11, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I adore your frankness and up-frontness. I took 8 weeks with each of my two – everyone is different! Enjoy!

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    April 11, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Enjoy your time away getting acquainted with your new little guy! Best wishes to all three of you. xo

  • Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite
    April 11, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Sounds like the perfect plan to me 🙂 Enjoy your time with the little one soon!

  • Becky@TheSavedRunner
    April 11, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I think it’s so great that you are taking a maternity leave! This is most definitely your business and your job, so you deserve a maternity leave like anyone else!

  • joelle @ on a pink typewriter
    April 11, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Thanks for the update and I think a post about treating this blog as a business would be a great idea! I would love to hear your perspective.

  • Theresa
    April 11, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I think this is a wonderful plan! You should absolutely take the time to enjoy this new chapter and bond with that sweet boy! You shouldn’t feel any pressure to us, family comes first! We’ll be here when you’re back, anxious to hear all about your new family of 3.

  • Judith Scott
    April 11, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Jenna, Having been a flight attendant when I had my 2 babies, I was lucky to get 1 year maternity leave..not so now days, they make pregnant women fly, which I think is terrible and unhealthy. Anyway, you deserve whatever time you need to adjust to the biggest change in your life, and I am happy you realize that and are taking the best steps toward making things work out for you and your family. However, all of us loyal readers will be dying to hear when he arrives and how the birth went, so don’t wait too long to post that, please!
    BTW my birthday is May 16, so I’m hoping for him to make his arrival then!

  • Shannon
    April 11, 2014 at 10:05 am

    As we say in our house, “Plan On!” Sounds like a good one to me. We’ll be here while your away and when you come back. One request, baby shower recap! 🙂

  • Lauren
    April 11, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Wishing you all the best as the big approaches — getting close now! This time, with this baby, will not come again. Whatever plans or decisions you make for yourself and your family are the right ones. Cheers!

    • Lauren
      April 11, 2014 at 10:14 am

      *big day

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork
    April 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Sounds like a good plan! We’ll miss you, but we’re happy for you!

  • Angel Reyes
    April 11, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Congrats, and the best of luck to you!

  • Sophie
    April 11, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Very wise!! It already obvious that you are going to be a great mom 🙂

  • Lauren
    April 11, 2014 at 11:10 am

    What’s your due date?

    • jenna
      April 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      May 14th 🙂

      • Lauren
        April 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm

        Mine is April 26! Good luck, mama 🙂

  • julianne
    April 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

    wishing you all the best!

  • Traci
    April 11, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Sounds perfect! I had my first baby last year and I think your plan is definitely what will be best for your little family. Soak up every second – they grow faster than you can ever imagine.

  • Paige
    April 11, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Good for you! Even though you don’t have an “office job” you still deserve and NEED a maternity leave. 🙂

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs
    April 11, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Wishing you all the best during this exciting time! I look forward to hearing your updates whenever you have time to write 🙂

  • Cara's Healthy Cravings
    April 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Us readers aren’t going anywhere! You enjoy and cherish your time as a new Mom!

  • Jill
    April 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I totally agree with you to take a break. Your whole life is about to change so you definitely need some time away from the blog. But be sure to let us know about when the baby comes. We don’t want to miss that. Bless you and your little family.

  • Ella
    April 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Hey Jenna! Will you have some guest posts? I 100% support maternity leave but due to the unique nature of a blog, it would be great to have some regular content still, even if it’s a once a week check in from you in addition to a guest post. I have 2 little ones of my own so I understand what you will be going through but I also want female business owners to make viable plans to keep their businesses up and going!

    • jenna
      April 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      I don’t plan to this time around because I’ll still be occasionally posting from time to time.

      • Ella
        April 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm

        will be looking forward to it! I personally am enjoying all my fave healthy living bloggers becoming moms, because it’s even more for me to relate to when you gals post 🙂 Best wishes to you.

        • Sarah
          April 14, 2014 at 11:38 am

          I agree! I’d love for you to share meals you prepare after your son comes. THAT could help me out a bit on how to cook with a baby who only naps on you or in a swing for 10mi hahha and hubby comes home at 730pm

      • Jamie
        April 15, 2014 at 5:27 am

        Sounds like you have it figured out. Since you’ve grown your blog so much over the years, you know what’s best for your business and your family. Your readers will be fine, and I admire the way you’ve planned things out to have the choice to be home to fully enjoy and adjust to having a new baby! Loved your blog since 2008, and I’ll still be here when you decide to come back!

  • Grandma Honey
    April 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Sounds like a great plan. Glad you will pop in to tell us about the birth. I’m very excited for you!

  • Ashley
    April 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    That sounds like a great plan to take a break! I look forward to hearing about your birth story (whenever it make come 🙂 🙂 )!

  • Brittany
    April 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Sounds like an awesome plan! 🙂

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    April 11, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Fabulous plan and I wish you and your family nothing but the best! You are so smart to not over-commit yourself and to just take this time and put it out there now. And you look great – your hair is looking gorgeous! 🙂

  • lindsey
    April 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    SO glad to hear this!!! Having your own business is its own reward for times like this. This is the last time you and your hubby will be just the two of you so cherish every moment you have! <3 Best wishes for you and Adam, and baby B, cannot wait to read about the transition from wife to mommy!

  • lindsey
    April 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I also hope maternity leave doesn’t include Instagramming… 🙂 Just saying!

  • Valerie
    April 11, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Oh, honey. Don’t you worry about us. Enjoy the precious time you have with the baby. It is an incredibly exhausting roller coaster. You’ll need all the focus you can get!

    I’m so excited for you guys. It’s almost time.

  • Melissa
    April 12, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Could you do a nursery / house picture update post?!

    • jenna
      April 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Yes! Nursery post is coming soon 🙂

  • chattycathy100
    April 12, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Of everything you said, this stood out for me : “I really want to use that time to focus on our new family and just be present in the moment.” You are a wise young woman.
    Best of luck and lots of blessings to your family!!

  • Belinda
    April 12, 2014 at 6:07 am

    That sounds like a wonderful plan! Don’t worry about us. Just enjoy your new blessing!

  • Coty and Mariah@quirksandtwists
    April 12, 2014 at 6:30 am

    We will certainly miss your food posts, but look forward to hearing your birth story! Enjoy your time off!!

  • Erin @ Running for Coffee
    April 12, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I love this plan…sad for us, but perfect for you. I think honoring yourself, the hubs, and the little babe can never be a bad thing, so plan on!!!

  • Karen
    April 12, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Terrific plan, Jenna! You’ve got your priorities right. My very best wishes to you…you know we’ll all be cheering you on from the sideline! Take good care and take the time you want to get acquainted with your little one. Enjoy, my friend 🙂 xo

  • Holly Beltran
    April 12, 2014 at 11:17 am

    That is so exciting! I think it is such a good idea to take a break and focus on your new family 🙂 It only happens once when you give birth and you want to take everything in. Can’t wait to se photos!

  • Karen
    April 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Best wishes to you and your family! Enjoy the break and try to remember if you have some rough moments that it will get easier and you will feel better each day 🙂

  • Jamie | Jamie's Recipes
    April 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Best labor wishes (when he finally decides to come) and enjoy those late nights, early mornings, and all in between. It passes by so quickly. <3

  • Emmi
    April 13, 2014 at 3:22 am

    I have been going through your blog and just wanted to say that I really like it!

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    April 13, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Best of luck!! I love that you are sticking to your guns with the whole business idea. Everyone deserves some time during this special moment.

  • Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking
    April 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    What a wonderful idea! You should absolutely take this time for yourself and your {growing} family. Blogging can be fun and rewarding but that doesn’t mean it’s not work. It is. {some days more than others it seems}

    ps- I devoured your book on the plane ride to Orlando for a recent work trip! I loved taking that small part of your journey with you and I hope you do a follow up book at some point. I’ll buy my pre-sale copy right now 😉

  • Amy Walters, A DESIGN DOCK
    April 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    So exciting, Jenna! Wishing you and Adam all the best as you prepare to welcome your little one into the world. Exciting to see the birth announcement. Cheers!

  • danielle
    April 14, 2014 at 2:24 am

    good for you! enjoy this new season and being present, even at 5am after waking every 90 minutes overnight to feed . . . though that one is more of a struggle . . . but still part of the adventure. I’m one of those weirdos who loves the newborn stage. Yes, the sleep deprivation is intense and makes me do/see/think funny things sometimes, but the snuggles and tiny babies are too much for my heart. I just love them! (I’m pregnant with my fourth baby in five years (yes, you can breastfeed and get pregnant – and keep breastfeeding – hah!) and may need an intervention to stay done after this one. =) Though, your spicy margarita recipe may be enough motivation to be done. (They’re my favorite!) Plus I’ll go explore the archives while you’re out! (Though if I’m not pregnant and/or breastfeeding, I’m going to have to modify my eating (shoveling food into hmm mouth at all hours?) habits. Or start running again.) Blessings to you and prayers for a healthy birth and delivery and baby!

  • Vikcy
    April 14, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Completely understand but u will surely be missed. Would u consider doing a baby blog? Would love to hear ur take in things baby related

  • DessertForTwo
    April 14, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Good for you! We will definitely be here when you get back. And until then, we’ll just cook through your archives 🙂

  • Sarah
    April 14, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I am giddy with excitement for you to have your son. I honestly enjoyed labor (as much as one can) and feel like you will as well because there’s a purpose behind it. Enjoy the time off from here. It’s so nice to NOT worry about other obligations. Everyone says it and it is so true and I am living it, he gets so big so fast! I can’t believe my son is almost 3mo old. So don’t worry about is here and just enjoy your son!
    I did want to ask – are you still planning on doing cloth diapers?! We use them and love it. Something I wish I had considered at first was cloth wipes. I just wanted to pass that along in case it was something you were considering. We just wash them with the inserts and honestly, they wipe up much much better. WE use 1 cloth wipe as opposed to 3-4 disposables for messes.
    Good luck!!! Can’t wait to hear your birth story!!! And rest up mommy.

  • Lori
    April 14, 2014 at 11:42 am

    GOOD LUCK!!!! Please please please: take care of yourself and your baby. It is more massive of a change than you can imagine, so give yourself plenty of time to adjust. We will be here when you are ready. 🙂

  • Kati
    April 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Enjoy the time with the new kiddo!! We will all be here waiting for you when you’re ready to return. Can’t wait to see pictures of him :)!

  • India
    April 14, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Ah so excited for you! Proud of you for taking time too. I can imagine it’s challenging when you have to give it to yourself. Thank you for sharing your talents with us! I’ll miss the updates, but glad you’ll be with family. Blessings.

  • Kayley Maybe
    April 15, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Sounds like you have your priorities right. You only get one shot at those newborn days, and they are so precious. Enjoy your little one, and I look forward to reading about him!

  • Tracy
    April 15, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I love the plan! Take care of you, your son and your growing family first everything else comes second. We are all loyal readers who understand that sometimes “life” happens. Best of luck to you in the final weeks.

  • Pam
    April 15, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Love your plan, great that you are giving yourself time before baby arrives! You’re going to be an amazing mom!!