Monday Musings: Pregnant!
“You don’t become less ambitious when you become a mom.
If anything, I’m hungrier than ever to make this company a success.”
— Melody McCloskey, founder of StyleSeat
I was in the process of creating Work & Mother’s first location when I found out I was pregnant. I was SO excited. But unfortunately, that excitement was somewhat masked by the fears I had of other people’s perceptions. Would they still take me seriously? Would they doubt my abilities or decide to wait to do business with me until after the baby to make sure I was really committed?
Rather than beaming with joy and telling everyone I knew–which I was dying to do by the way–I instead invested in quite a few black and baggy wardrobe pieces to hide my growing midsection. I wore loose blouses with oversized blazers and suddenly became a big fan of large, draped scarves.
When my belly finally became too big to deny and I began to acknowledge the elephant in the room, I was pleasantly surprised that I was met only with positive reactions. Not one of my in-progress contracts backed out. In fact, most reactions were complementary and encouraging–though I did get a lot of hard-to-interpret ‘wows,’ with regard to me growing a baby and a business at the same time. I often wondered if they were wondering if I was a crazy person. I often wonder if I am a crazy person…
I stumbled across this article and found it incredibly reaffirming to read. But it made me regret that I hadn’t been braver about my pregnancy from day 1. Because the more real we are with our actual situations, the more we normalize pregnancy and motherhood in a work setting, the better off we’ll all be.
Now, I realize that my work setting is different than those in a more corporate setting, and that situations vary from person to person. But regardless of your job or company, I encourage you to speak up. If you’re discriminated against, remember the law is on your side. Don’t worry about being doubted. You’ll prove them wrong. After all, studies after studies show that when moms return to work after maternity leave, they are far more productive employees. So be proud of what you are undertaking–growing a human and a career at the same time. And if you need someone to lean on when you’re not sure how to navigate the juggling act, we’re here for you. Every step of the way.