Written by: Kim Dvorscak | Director of Business Development
Have you or a co-worker recently found out they were pregnant? Then buckle-up! The next several months are going to be an adventure! I am currently 3 weeks away from my due date, and I want to share some of my journey (coupled with some advice) to any soon to be moms and their co-workers.
Chapter 1 – Planning!
If you’re like me, you love control and a plan! Soooo this is what happens: you talk to your significant other, decide to have a baby, get pregnant, glow your way through 9 full months of pregnancy while kicking ass at your sales job, pop out your bundle of joy, bounce back into your size 4…and balance work and baby flawlessly! GET REAL – Wake up people! If that’s how it went for you, don’t bother trying to be my friend. Nothing happens that easily. For my husband and I, we gave it a good year before anything happened, and for many others, it can be a very stressful process. We were so thankful and filled with excitement (and yes I did take seven tests)!
Advice for M2B (Mom-to-be): Speak with HR and really understand your company’s policies around maternity. Don’t assume anything. You may be shocked at what your employer will offer, not only for maternity leave but also paternity leave, adoption, fertility treatments, etc. Many corporations are extending additional support here to be more competitive in the current job market. You will also want to make sure you have SHORT TERM DISABILITY! If you don’t get the dream maternity coverage, this will save you. Lastly, know what FMLA is and how it protects you during your wild adventure.
Advice for C2B (Co-worker-to-be): “Wow Sarah got really weird, all I asked is if she and Mike we going to have kids”… That is a dreaded question for some people. If you think that someone in your office could be of maternal/paternal age and are not openly sharing their thoughts and feelings on children, BE SENSITIVE, they could be going through some fertility ups and downs.
Chapter 2 - Announcing – “I’m Pregnant!”
If you are as lucky as I am, you don’t have “co-workers"; you have a work family. People that you see more than your real family and ride the wave of the highs and lows of life and business with. So naturally, I was PUMPED to tell everyone! HOWEVER – when and how to make this announcement is something to put careful thought into. I waited until 12 weeks (otherwise “in the clear”) to tell anyone. Waiting was BRUTAL! Lying my way out of happy hours, turning down sushi lunches, trying to keep my energy up when I felt like crashing…etc. Otherwise, I was lucky and didn’t suffer from any severe morning sickness or ailments.
Advice for M2B: If that first trimester is hell…tell HR or your supervisor in confidence as soon as possible. That last thing you need is extra stress around trying the hide the five times you ran to the bathroom to vomit that day. When you are ready to tell the team, have fun with it! I brought donuts and announced it during our morning meeting. It was so fun!
Advice for C2B: Take a few minutes to congratulate your co-worker! Try hard to refrain from comments like “There goes your social life” and “Can I have your accounts when you go maternity leave” and “Do you think you will come back?”. Just be happy for them!
Keep an eye out for the next chapters:
Chapter 3- Growing... while Growing
Chapter 4- Don't drop the ball, only the belly