Today I am 34 Weeks pregnant! It is really starting to fly by now with 6 more weeks left to go. I’ve had a few good weeks in this pregnancy, I’d say maybe 28 – 33, and other than that it’s just been so hard! I’m back to needing multiple naps, being hungry all the time but nothing tastes good, and lots of back pain and cramping. I have so much I want to do before she comes with no energy to do it!
Something that’s been a constant on my mind during this pregnancy is maternity leave guilt. My company has just started implementing a maternity leave plan and they have been pretty generous and open about supporting their female employees going on leave.
I’m hoping to start pulling back at work and be able to work from home more during the remainder of my pregnancy. I feel as a working preggo there’s always that fear that you’ll lose your place or growth at your company by going on leave. You want to prove yourself and not draw too much attention to the fact that you’re about to take this leave and your priorities are obviously changing. It’s this mid-point i’m in right now. I spent a whole decade building my career, climbing up the ladder; staying late, going to events during the weekend, drinks on weeknights for networking. Will I still want to do those things once she comes? I know so many working moms juggling both and who are fulfilled with both. The hustle moms that need that career as well. I just don’t know what side I’m going to end up on once she’s here. On top off all that, I just got a new boss at 7 months pregnant. We’re in the middle of an org restructure and I feel this huge pressure to prove myself. My OB wants me to start “a modified work schedule” and start working from home more, we talked about it at my appointment 2 weeks ago but I keep chickening out at bringing it up to my new boss. I feel like it’s going to penalize me whether she even realizes that’s what she’s doing or not.
At this time in my life there are so many changes that I just can’t control. I don’t know what type of baby i’m going to get (easy, bad sleeper, etc), I don’t know how i’ll handle the new stress of motherhood, if i’ll struggle with postpartum issues, etc. After years of strategically working towards the next step in my career it’s scary to leave and not be sure what i’ll be coming back to – will it be the same position, will I get bumped to something else during the re-org while i’m gone?
I’m really trying to let the stress and worry go and enjoy this time. No matter how much you prepare, or try to set the groundwork there’s never a guarantee that everything is going to go the way you want it to. At some point you just have to accept that life throws you things, sometimes great, sometimes not and you just have to adjust and roll with the punches.
So hopefully this week I can start scaling back on the work stress. Hopefully my talk with my boss goes well and i’m able to give myself a break. It’s OK to take the time you need for all parts of you – career but also your physical and mental well-being.