If you are a mother, kudos to you not because I know how hard it is to juggle quality family time with work, but also due to the fact you carry a tiny human in you during the full nine months while you are working full time. This does not come easy. Gentlemen, please do bear with me and still enjoy this article as we celebrate and acknowledge the difficulty of being pregnant and working at the same time.
As a first time mother, you probably felt anxiety and full of worries. This does not help that you still have your due responsibilities at work. Worries range from the health of the baby to financial needs when the baby is born to the simplest things like which milk bottle teat is the best. This does not help when you are in your first trimester and you are either overwhelmed with tiredness or puking whatever goes in your mouth.
Your immunity is at the lowest to allow your body to accept that there are new changes to your body. Thus, you have a higher chance of catching a cold from the colleague who has been sneezing all morning. It does not help that you don’t have enough sleep and not eating well (every single food in your cafeteria is greasy to you). What you are wishing for is that once you cross over the first-trimester hurdle so that your symptoms are eased off unless you belong to one of the unfortunate ones that have their symptoms throughout the whole pregnancy.
If you have a wonderful understanding boss and a family oriented work environment, you are in lucky hands. However, there are still mothers throughout the globe, fearing to break the news to their employers due to repercussions like being missed out a promotion or isolate out of a team or even let go. One tip is to make sure you read up on your company’s HR policies and your country’s laws regulating on unfair termination and maternity benefits. However, there is no way to prevent from unfair work practices unless you have hardcore evidence like an email discussion between colleagues about your ‘situation’.
“When I announced my pregnancy to my boss after 3 months, my boss immediately allocate me out of customer fronting role and to the inventory department. Not that I mind so much since I don’t have to be on my feet all day anymore but I wished she could at least ask me first.” Pauline, inventory admin assistant.
Even after the period of running to the toilet to puke is over, you will still be dealing with insomnia, memory loss and inability to focus for a long period. Do note that these symptoms vary between each pregnancy and in no way that guarantees that your pregnant colleague sitting next to you is forgetful due to her condition.
Then comes to the maternity leave, some countries have mandatory maternity and paternity leave for parents but it’s the mothers who are worried that they are missing out the spotlight in their careers when they are away. Their career may not only place on a standstill but also made to start from scratch again.
So if you have a pregnant colleague in your department, you can do your bit. An offer to send her home after work if it is along your way will bring a smile to her face since she doesn’t have to squeeze in with the regular commute. Or offer to help to buy her lunch so she doesn’t have to walk across to the next building in the rain. Or even pick up her file when she accidentally drops it so she doesn’t have to bend over. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that she is not capable of her work when she is pregnant. She is that and more…
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