I had been planning my pregnancy for years. I imagine a lot of people have this sort of plan too. First comes love, then comes marriage, then the baby in a baby carriage.
For me, there was a first marriage that lost its love and thankfully didn’t result in a baby. Bullet dodged there.
Love came again, and this time I got a mortgage for a house before a ring. A 30-year mortgage felt more of a commitment than a marriage, honestly.
I wasn’t even sure I wanted to get married…it was an existential question, really. Weren’t things fine the way they were?
I read Marriage: A History and was full of insights and epiphanies. Then I tied the knot –which was amazing–and got ready to get pregnant.
Of course I made plans, and started tracking my ovulation and all the things I’d never paid attention to before.
But I did NOT want to give up my career. I’d worked so hard and diligently on creating my professional skills, on having a crafted skillset. I wanted to start my long-delayed family, but I was NOT going to lose ground on my career.
And whenever some crusty baby boomer implied that I would not be coming back to work after the baby was born I burned with indignation.
Why did they assume I could be removed and it would matter?
Why didn’t those older types tell me what I really needed to know? I can say that NOW, after the fact. At the time I thought I knew.
I was full of what I thought I knew. I knew I needed to find out what sort of maternity leave I could expect. So I called HR.
“Hello? Yes, I wanted to find out what the Maternity leave policies are. Can you give me the intranet website that explains it.”
No. No they could not.
Yes, they had policies, but they were not gong to make it easy for me to find out what they were.
It seemed that the ancient ritual of feminine secret was brought in once again. I had to go through the grapevine. Go find a woman who had been through what I was facing and ask her…most likely in secret or in the ladies bathroom.
I was outraged at how medieval this system was. How dare my employer not treat this common occurrence with professional respect.
I was a professional and I should be given the tools to do my job.
As I talked with my friends it seems that my experience is common.
Somehow, women as professional skilled workers and managers are not supported as mothers.
That’s not right. It’s downright medieval and I did something about it. I sat down and wrote a tidy little handbook that walk a woman through what she needs to consider when managing her career transition into motherhood. And that handbook grew into a course.
The world cannot do without these women. the world cannot do without YOU. All that education, experience and training? That’s necessary now, especially now.
I didn’t work this hard to quit. You didn’t do all this work to let it be pushed aside and disregarded. Your ambitions, family and career ambitions, matter and deserve your attention and support.
That’s what The Pregnant Professional is here for. This is the place that gives you the vital, valuable information before you have to make a decision that affects the rest of your life. And I’m so glad to be able to do it.