For my pregnant professional tribe, there is a small bit of news.
A very frequent flier who was pregnant called to ask if she could get an extension on her Elite flyer status with her airline. She knew she would be staying home with her newborn.
Alaska airlines just announced they WOULD extend for her and for all parents of newborns.
I take two lessons from this. Good for you, Alaska Airlines.
And way good for the mom who asked for accommodation. This is exactly the sort of confidence I encourage you all to have regarding your pregnancy.
May 28 1980 – 55 women become the first female graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Not that long ago.
One of the challenges I see for women becoming mothers in the workplace is in fields that are so dominated by males.
And of fields dominated by males, I think the military wins. Oh my goodness. I can’t think of a bigger hurdle for women than that one. (more…)
I found this great blog post by a self-proclaimed “girl geek.” She talks about the very real circumstance of being a mom of multiple children and holding a corporate job.
As a geek, she had some good jobs at tech companies.
“Many of these companies have been offering flexible working, working from home, childcare vouchers, on site childcare and return to work support but still can’t manage to get their female staff to return.” (more…)
As I’ve been going about in the virtual and real world, talking to women about their career and pregnancy experience, I’m surprised to discover that pregnant women don’t talk much about their jobs.
Or maybe it’s that working women don’t talk much about their pregnancy. (more…)
During an interview with Carrie Sharpe, a couples communications consultant, we were talking about what a couple can talk about to prepare for the arrival of a child.
Carrie has five children, and is a beautiful, sane woman. For this obvious reason and many others, she is a world-class expert on parenting.
She raised the point that there are so many things you can’t plan for.
Boy, is that true.
There are so many, overwhelmingly many, things you can’t predict. You can’t plan for the flu. You cant plan for premature birth, to name a few.
I know I can be paralyzed when I think about it. All the things that will go wrong!
And my way of snapping out of it is to take care of what I *can* predict. There are a lot of things that are predictable.
So, in the corporate stategy language, all those unpredictable things are the known unknowns. We KNOW crazy will happen, but we don’t know when or where.
The Known Knowns, those are the stuff we know we know. That’s comforting. I know baby will arrive. I know I can’t work when baby arrives.
Let’s start the plan around that. And then when the crazy hits, I’ll have more room to handle it because the other things are handled.
It’s hard for me to ask for accommodation. I always want to muscle through. Oh my gosh! I will muscle my way through a lot of dumb stuff.
When I was pregnant, I finally gave myself a little permissions to ask for help. At least, when it came to lifting heavy things.
I just found this lovely site: https://www.pregnantatwork.org/
They have 6 tips on kinds of accommodations for pregnant women
- Sitting, instead of standing, during the workday
- Carrying a water bottle
- Taking more frequent breaks to use the restroom, to have a snack, or to rest
- Receiving assistance with heavy lifting
- Working a modified or part time schedule
- Taking leave
Sometimes it helps to know what is on the menu of choices. I see women ask what they have to do in their workplace when they are pregnant. So many times, women ask from fear. What is allowed? Is it ok?
You are allowed to take care of yourself. It’s always ok.
I’ve talked a bit before about what being Professional means. And how a pregnant professional naturally flows from being a professional.
But here at the pregnant professional, we are not just anything. This curriculum and program is not about being merely. Yes, it’s about handling a very common occurance. Women do have children rather frequently, in the scope of the world.
But this group is not about ordinary. If we wanted to do ordinary, we would do what everyone else does.
Everyone else asks their coworkers, and trusts what HR tells them. They ask in the bathroom and from their friends. That’s ordinary. And it works ok. Certainly it’s what has been done for a long time.
However, for the ambitious Pregnant professional tribe, the common and good enough is not good enough. We are uncommon. We didn’t work this hard, we didn’t explore all the options and lift every rock in our lives to GIVE UP when it comes to pregnancy.
There are best practices. Even if we have to discover them.
I am drafting a manifesto for what exactly this tribe is.
Under no circumstances are we ordinary. That’s the beginning.
It’s a general trend that as more women get an education and enter the workforce, they marry and start having kids later in life
I found this article about how the average age of parenthood in America is changing. It’s up to 26 now.
That is so different from what used to me. 26 is old enough to be scared. Enough to realize what they are giving up. In some places, the idea of motherhood was a young girl’s entrance into adulthood.
There are so many more options now.
If a woman has to choose between pursuing her career and starting a family rather than doing both at the same time, putting off having kids becomes more likely
It may be more likely. Since the average age of parenthood is being delayed, it is absolutely happening. However, women are not all abandoning motherhood.
That’s why I have created The Pregnant Professional. If you have started a career, and have a full life, you can use a little help to manage this process.
You absolutely DO NO want to give it up, or lose ground. And you absolutely do not want to be an amateur mother. You want to be a good mother.
You are used to being good at whatever you do.
That’s what this program is all about. Empowering you to get informed and confident with your choices as you have to quickly make them.
You absolutely can do this.
I was listening to an interview with Seth Godin (okay, re-listening). He was talking about his book Tribes.
I’ve read the book before, and I really think I need to revisit it.
He talks about how a tribe forms around the interests and likes and dislikes that a group of people share.
When it comes to my tribe here at the Pregnant Professional, I know this tribe is about ambition and drive. My life is about goals and pushing, progress and achievement.
I remember several years ago, when I had hit a wall at work. I was really feeling it, and i was sitting under a tree on a corporate business park bench. I was really close to tears.
….tears at work are always tears of frustration…
a lovely woman was passing by and she listened to my quick recap of my frustrations. She said “I’ve never wanted to get a promotion at work. I just came to work, and eventually someone would ask me if I wanted to do more.”
I didn’t even know that was possible. It is NOT how I view my career. I have so much more drive than that. It’s not in my nature to sit and wait.
When I think about my tribe, I know that this lovely woman is not a part of my tribe.
Here at The Pregnant Professional, we are more driven and ambitious than that. We are hungry.
We do not let time pass like that.
We have dreams and goals. And we move toward them.
Even if we are waddling.
This is what it means to be a Pregnant Professional. We are not content.