Scene: Sitting in a research presentation meeting, trying to absorb the new demographic profile of our “target viewer” at the TV network at which I work, I am totally paying attention…to the fetus tumbling around inside my uterus. I love my job, but being pregnant at work is more than a minor distraction. There is so much discussion about on-ramping for moms returning to work after maternity leave. I wasn’t afforded this luxury, but companies like Etsy are offering really human-friendly accommodations for new parents (in that specific case, 8 weeks of leave immediately following birth and 18 more that can be spread out over two years).
What’s missing from the conversation, though, is how pregnancy affects work, and vice versa. We only hear about the negative on that topic, getting us riled up about UPS workers being discriminated against for being pregnant. The physical aspects of pregnancy are what everyone on the job can see, but there are the invisible emotional and psychological aspects we’re dealing with that might affect how we feel about work. I couldn’t just shut off my expectant mom brain during business hours.
The notion of being a working parent kicks off way before the baby is born. Here are nine thoughts — one for every month? I know, I'm so cute — I had at work when I was pregnant: