What was your experience in announcing your pregnancy in the workplace? Was the news received well or not?
I worked at the same company for over seven years. I was a working mom and full time student with my first two children. I remember being so excited about each pregnancy… that was until it hit me that I would eventually have to tell my boss I was pregnant. This would not be a joyous occasion for her. Her thoughts would not immediately go to the blessings of a baby, the baby shower, creative ways to tell friends and family or begin guessing the gender. She would skip straight to maternity leave, who will cover my position, do I really need the full 12 weeks, and will I work up until my due date and the fear of wondering if I will in fact come back after my leave is over.
The first pregnancy went over fine, she was happy. The second, she was expecting it. The third, I received “don’t you know what prevents this by now?” Then there was the time she said to a co-worker “If Nikki would stop having babies, she could finish her college education.” Oh the joys of being a working, pregnant mom. It was in that very moment I wanted to say so much to her, yet all I could get out was “I didn’t realize I was trying to prevent this.”
Since I was never able to say what I was thinking to my boss all those times I joyfully announced my pregnancy, only to be met by her forced smile and list of questions about job coverage, I will share them with you.
Here are five things I really wanted to say to my boss when I told her I was pregnant or when she said those lovely comments.
1. “You should want moms to work for you.”
Yes, we require maternity leave, sick days for us, sick days for our babies and many doctors’ appointments. However, moms are amazing at multitasking, time management and organization. We have an amazing ability to read people after only meeting them for a few minutes. We know how to de-escalate tough situations (calming a toddler that you have just given the “wrong” colored cup too is a crisis that not just anyone can handle.)
2. “I can do anything.”
Just because I have children doesn’t mean I am not capable of staying up late or attending college classes. It does not mean I can’t handle things because I have children at home. In fact, moms can probably handle more than most at the job. I’ve given birth to a child, I can do anything I set my mind to.
3. “I choose my kids.”
I wanted to tell her that I don’t live for my job, I live for my children. I don’t try to prevent having children so I can climb the corporate ladder. I can’t take that job with me in the end. Yes, it pays my bills, but my children are what drive me daily to succeed.
4. “I love being pregnant.”
If only I could have really shared this thought with her. No, I don’t love the swollen feet and the last month that feels like years. I love being pregnant though, I love having children and watching them grow. I love being a mom. In fact, I love being a mom more than an employee.
5. “I want more.”
This won’t be my last pregnancy, there will be more. I will never put my life on hold for my job or employer, it’s not worth it. Having a big family, hearing giggles in my house and non-stop noisy chaos beats this job any day.
How did your boss handle the news of your pregnancy each time?
Share your stories! Connect with us here -> The Snap Mom Community
About the author:
Nikki is a stay at home mom to three high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey.