Like most working moms, I learned firsthand just how much your work-life changes when you're pregnant. The moment you announce your pregnancy people seem to lose all semblance of professionalism and boundaries when it comes to asking, commenting, and giving unsolicited advice about, well, your life. Then, when your baby is born and you think their antics will end, there are inappropriate, intrusive, rude, and straight-up sh*tty things your coworkers will do after you've just had a baby, proving once again that working moms can't win. For real.
We have a cultural problem on our hands, with working women facing big challenges as a result. Working moms arguably have it even harder, facing things like discrimination and sexism, but also subtle and not-so-subtle shaming and passive aggressiveness on the part of co-workers and in regards to their work ethic and abilities. I was shamed for getting pregnant and taking "the mommy track". Which is funny, since I don't ever recall my husband hearing comments like that when he announced I was expecting. People gave me a hard time for taking maternity leave, because it was "bad for business," you know, and about needing breaks to pump at work, as if I was supposed to be sorry for feeding the baby I had brought into the world.
Co-workers called, emailed, and visited while I was still in the hospital recovering and without so much as a warning. Then at least once or twice a week after I returned home, newborn in my aching arms, I was bombarded with burning questions like, "Where is the file?" and "Can you help me write a proposal?" My co-workers generally treated my maternity leave like a three-month-long staycation that they could interrupt anytime they wanted.
Now, I am not saying that I expected special treatment as a working mom, but co-workers shouldn't treat new moms like they are bad employees or deliberately trying to make the lives around them infinitely harder, all because they dared to have a baby. So if you've heard and/or experienced any of the following, now that I'm sorry and know that you're not alone. And if you're a coworker of a pregnant woman, please don't do any of this. Ever.