A big thank you for everyone’s blessings and well wishes on our incoming addition to the family. I felt very loved surrounded by friends who care not only in real life but also in the WordPress blogosphere.
Another significant appreciation comes from the fact that I am given choices to choose how I manage my pregnancy journey because I’m a freelancer. Besides working on projects that I have passion for, I control how much I want to work, what I want to work and when I want to work.
During my first trimester, due to the continuous toilet bowl hugging ritual, every time something went down my throat, I was ordered to be on bed rest. If I’m in a regular job, I will need to use all my medical leave allowances.
Sure, my salary will be covered during those days, and I will have medical insurance too, but I’ll probably lie in bed worrying about the piling work on my desk or the increasing incoming emails. I will worry about the meetings I’ve missed. I will constantly be badging my colleagues for updates yet feeling the enormous guilt of not pulling my weight in my team and letting everyone down. I will worry about not being able to cope when I eventually return to work.
Do I have similar worries as a freelancer? Not really. I fear that I will lose my clients, but most of them are my regulars, we’ve worked together well, and I understand their expectations. I usually give myself enough buffer period to finish my work to work bits and pieces whenever I mustered enough strength to sit upon my bed.
Moreover, I can decline work that isn’t urgent, and my clients are happy to wait until I get better. Sure, I don’t get any income if I don’t take on assignments, but for me, it’s a fair trade for the stress I don’t need, especially right now.
Meanwhile, I get to collect some snippets from fellow pregnant mums who are holding a full-time job and share with you here to illustrate what I mean:
I was pregnant with my second child pretty much right away after giving birth to my firstborn. I had to endure unkind comments from my team whenever I need to take time off to see my gynaecologist every month. We required the salary, so I endured all the abuses. Somehow, I think they contributed to my postpartum depression.
– Jamie, Admin Support
I was ordered bed rest for the first three months by my obgyn, but my boss still asks me to rush my assignments. I couldn’t refuse because my boss kept hinting my bonus depends on those assignments. I almost ended up with a miscarriage, but luckily, the baby survived. I quit my job after my baby turned one year old.
– Samantha, Storage Manager
I love my job, but my workplace is very far from home. I had to take buses to commute two hours each way. The buses are often packed with no available seats, and I need to stand on my feet until I reach my destination. It gets difficult when I was in my last month of pregnancy. I was suffering from backaches all the time.
– Joanna, Store Assistant
My supervisor made sarcastic comments during my pregnancy even though I didn’t take any time off. The comments worsen during my third trimester until my colleague reported her to HR. She made our working environment so toxic that nobody wants to work with her anymore.
– Jenna, Accountant
My manager and his wife were trying to have a baby for years, but nothing, not even IVF work for them. His wife came to the office and brought me out to lunch one day. During lunch, she offered to “buy” my baby. Seriously. She wrote a check and slid it across the table, like in the movies. I’m disgusted. I left the restaurant and went straight home. My manager refused to talk to me or address the issue until I came back from my maternity leave, and he pretended nothing like that has ever happened.
– Diana, Secretary
I suffered from a poor back since young. However, during my pregnancy, the pain was much, much worse. I couldn’t take any leave during holiday seasons and was tasked to stock up the shelves. My back got so bad that I had to visit the hospital when I couldn’t get out of bed. My supervisor thought I was bluffing that he calls the hospital, only to find out that I will be out of work the entire length from Christmas to New Year.
– Evie, Supermarket Assistant
I lost my promotion to another colleague because of my pregnancy. We had a major client to win over. Both of us are assigned to fly over to wine and dine him. I couldn’t fly due to airline regulations, so my colleague went alone. He got the client and a big promotion. I got nothing, although I did a lot of groundwork research. It’s like my effort didn’t matter just because I couldn’t be there at the right time. While I’m still in the same company, I’m still bloody sore about that 5 years later.
– Aviva, Project Manager
With these stories and many more that cross my path, I am fortunate that I get to choose what I love to do and get rewarded tremendously for it. That I get to sleep in late whenever I feel like it. I don’t have to squeeze with the crowd (especially during Covid times, and my immunity is low). That I don’t have to be on my feet, hurrying to somewhere. It’s a big deal when your body is creating a human life!
Ending this post, I like to ask and let you ponder: what are you appreciative of in your life?
Until the next time…