The Pregnant Professional offers creative solutions, coaching and encouragement to pregnant women and working mothers so they don’t feel forced to choose between two things they love: their children, and their own identity outside of their family.


Month: January 2017

Still going

Here’s the thing about being pregnant:

It is temporary. It is massively temporary. In the landscape of a woman’s whole life, a small portion of it is spent being temporary.

You know what’s NOT temporary? Being a mom. That’s a line you cross and never go back. And for most of us moms, it’s a very time-consuming status. We want to be the best moms we can be.

Two lovely women who read this blog have given birth since i started it. Funny, that. I’ve been thinking about how that’s inevitable.

I want to keep supporting you, moms. I can’t just step away. There is a whole journey of momhood I’d like to support too.

A friend of mine who is a therapist says her job is to only be there for a few months, and then her clients have gotten what they need and move on. I suppose that makes sense.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. I connect deeply with my circle.

This whole Pregnant Professional concept is about women’s full lives. Yes, we are moms. And we are broader too. We have careers and ambitions and a whole self that motherhood doesn’t touch.

SO, I plan to find a way to support that part too. After the Pregnant Professional isn’t pregnant anymore, there is still a women there. I would like to call her:

Working Wonder Mom

Because she’s working. Oh yes, she’s working. She’s a wonder woman! Wait, she’s a wonder MOM!.

She’s a wonder, like a superhero.

She’s also wondering how to make everything a little better. How to reach higher and deeper and go bigger with her ambitions, her career and her life.

I wrote this book Pregnant Professional, and created the course to help pregnant career women. I’m super proud of it.

I haven’t written a book about the HUGE area of what Working Wonder Moms have to life with as they navigate their dreams, career, and the diapers, laundry, diet and EVERYTHING of their life.

I bet I could start though. I want us to have a place and a resource to go to.

Because I’m ambitious like that.

Work Hazards

Still deep in my OSHA training at my new job. I am repeatedly horrified at how many fatal accidents occur at work. They remind me how most if not all of these accidents are so preventable.

It tears me up to hear of these (mostly construction) workers falling to their deaths or being electrocuted.

Be Careful!

And as I read and learn from this important training, I find a gap. It’s not death, not usually, but there is that other kind of hazardous work condition. The harrassment, the bullying, and the hostile work environment.

My training touches on it very lightly, “It’s not macho to risk your life!”

Yeah. And why would they have to say that? Because working conditions can have this culture of unsafe practices. And the unsafe practices start long before you choose the ladder to do the work on the roof.

I have read so many articles and even books about how to stand up for yourself and ask for what you need at work.

Does anyone else feel like that song? It’s good advice that you just can’t take.


Those smug article writers will glibly tell me and any other people reading their “7 reasons why you can demand what you need from your workplace” what and how to say what we need.

But when I found myself against the wall, crying through my commute every night because of hostilities and non-cooperation from co-workers, I needed more than a listicle.

I am so glad those days are over. It’s strange to realize that it took years after LEAVING that hostile work environment to recover my equilibrium and feel like a person again.

To put a neon arrow by it, this type of mental culture can have a big impact on a woman’s willingness and ability to speak up and ask for what she needs and wants while pregnant.

It’s not just one thing.

What’s in YOUR workday?

I’m reading a massive article from the Atlantic about maternity leave for women.

Here’s a quote:
the focus on maternity leave gives the impression that if only America had a reasonable policy, women would be able to participate fully and equally in the workforce, they’d climb the ranks of management, and there would be more female senators. Our interviews revealed that while working parents would welcome improved paid parental leave, it’s only the tip of a very large iceberg: The real challenge is everything that comes after those hazy newborn days.

Um. Yeah. I get a little frustrated hearing people rhapsodize about the European countries that allow massive maternity leave, even REQUIRE it!

Thanks, but I want to work. I want to have a team of people help me and my family. I want to use my brain and my people skills.

It makes me happy.

I am wondering if I need to bring the pregnant professional past just the moment of pregnancy. That LOOOONNNGGGG moment of pregnancy, which pales in comparison to the Long LIFE of parenthood.

Couldn’t it be different? Couldn’t the efforts of the knowledge workers (this in the information age, after all) that are what most workers do, couldn’t that be changed to make more sense? It would be great if families were really regarded as equally important to the workplace.

Workers are hard to find and hard to keep. There are a gazillion studies about worker retention.

But respecting and helping balance our life is lagging.

There has to be a better way. I believe that women deserve a chance. Why do we have to so easily sacrifice ourselves because of parenting?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Women making change in the workplace

I was required to take some OSHA training at work, and it brought up the Triangle fire that happened in 1911. This fire was one that took place in a “sweat shop,” which was really common for female (especially immigrant female) workers who sewed for a living.

These workplaces have since become infamous for unhealthy conditions, with no breaks and hazardous environment.

What happened what a fire that snuffed out 146 lives in 18 minutes. What also happened were a bunch of laws (eventually leading to OSHA itself, the occupational safety and health adminitration) that made the workplace a lot safer.

Those women were martyrs, really. They didn’t know what was going to happen to them the day they went to work. They knew it was horrible, but they knew they needed to support themselves and their families.

I think about them as I consider how women who are pregnant, taking care of themselves and their families, might feel a little uncomfortable or nervous asking for what they need throughout their pregnancy. That they might need to ask for a little special consideration, a little extra time off for doctor’s appointments, or for milk pumping breaks after the baby is born.

I would like to think we’ve learned somehting in the intervening 100 years. That the tragedy of the sweatshop workers would not need to be repeated, not even a little bit.

Here’s what I was reading about it.

A Wild Heavy Burden

I had already read the book, but I watched the movie Wild recently. From the book, I understood how much it was about her mother. The hero’s mom had been so central to her life that when she died, Cheryl came unmoored.

There was something about that enormous backpack. All the things she would need to sustain life strapped to her body–and at first she was so misguided about what she was going to need–her huge pack so evocative of the heavy burden she was unprepared to carry.

Her mother had to carry the burden of Cheryl and her siblings. Then Cheryl had relied on her so hard, she stumbled under the weight of her own life without her mother.

But somehow, watching the movie, I felt the weight as she pulled on the backpack. I suddenly found myself crying, because of the strange looped infinity symbol. That’s what motherhood feels like to me so often. I can’t put it down, because I can’t find any other way to be myself without it.

It’s too big. And it’s essential. Imperative.

Romantically, I’d like to think I would be so loved and needed by my daughter. Also, I pragmatically hope that I would provide her with more self-reliance than Cheryl had.

I had more than she had.

But I had different shoes than she did. All God’s children got shoes.

The movie really had a lot to say about motherhood. And daughterhood.

More than anything, it showed how you just have to keep showing up. Which is probably the most primal thing about motherhood I could say.