Last week I remarked that my hormones and mood seemed really stable. Today I cried on the tube because a man pushed past me and made me drop my breakfast muffin #pregnantproblems 😪🥐
I am an event manager and I love what I do. I can’t imagine doing anything else and although I am looking forward to having some time off with baby Windsor, I know that I will eventually feel a strong desire to go back to work.
The working mama conundrum I am yet to really even start to think about. When I do, questions like ‘How will I afford day care?’, ‘How will I do the hours I used to do’ and ‘How will i deal with guilt both from work side and family side’ scare me and I have decided to park them to the side until Baby Windsor comes (not much I can do about it now anyway!!)
However I am facing a working mama to be conundrum…..
I have recently dived into the world of freelance event management after a new job didn’t quite cut the mustard, and to be frank it’s been an even scarier dive being pregnant at the same time.
Not only am I worried about getting enough work to ensure our savings are topped up enough to allow me a good 6-12 months off work, but I had sleepless nights worrying about whether perspective event agencies are going to want to hire me if I am pregnant.
When I decided to go it alone I spoke to some other freelancer mamas and they all told me not to worry, that they still got work when they were pregnant and as long as I felt comfortable enough to still be working then to not even worry about it – and also that the day rate makes the lack of maternity pay not too much of a hard pill to swallow.
However today I have been working onsite at an event for a new company and the director came in for a visit, and straight away I put my big scarf on to hide my belly…. although the team I am working with directly onsite all know I am pregnant, my first instinct when I met the director was to cover it up and try not to make it obvious…. later I found myself wondering why I did that. Yes, being pregnant means that I can’t lift as many boxes onsite (which if you work in events you will spend alot of time doing) but my brain still works as well as it used to – and that’s the main reason I am employed. I would be a very expensive humper…..
When meeting with new event agencies when I was only 3 months pregnant and still not really showing, I went back and forth in mind on whether to tell companies I was pregnant while discussing with them future potential work.
On one hand being pregnant shouldn’t really matter to them for the above mentioned reasons. But on the other side I wanted to be honest, and as also mentioned I didn’t want to be in a position where I took a job which did include some heavy lifting….. But again I saw myself thinking that telling prospective clients would somehow be detrimental to my success with them.
My only negative experience so far was being interviewed for a potential job when I was only 2 months pregnant. After it was explained that the contract was for now until May, there was a possibility it would be extended until August. As this would clash with my due date I thought it was only fair to let them know that I was pregnant and due in June so wouldn’t be able to extend past May.
This was met with a confused stare and then I was asked ‘Well you probably don’t want to take this job as its quite full on and you wont be wanting to work with all that horrible morning sickness.’ Quite shocked, and especially not expecting this from a fellow female, I stammered out a sentence explaining that morning sickness didn’t affect anyone and I was one of those lucky ones, and even so it usually only lasts the first 3 months.
I left the interview feeling deflated and worried…..
Luckily all of the rest of the companies I have dealt with thus far, haven’t even considered my being up the duff as an issue. When I have brought it up with them, they were more interested in congratulating me and asking me ‘happy’ questions….
Well, as of 20 weeks and 5 days ago I officially became an (almost) Mama. It also coincided with a few other big life moments – starting a new job, quitting that new job, going freelance and buying a new house. Surely adding in a pregnancy to that list wasn’t that crazy an idea…..
I have to be honest, while I can’t even describe the love I already feel for a human I haven’t even met and have only seen a grainy photo of his/her little growing body, I am not the ideal candidate for mother of the year. Pregnancy is tough and being the person I am and the job I do I’ve found it hard to be pregnant.
I’ve been lucky enough to escape most of the morning sickness some women get (sorry to all those ladies who did suffer through this ALL day sickness) and feel pretty much like my normal self, which is why I can’t understand people gasping and running to my aid when I pick up a chair or get up a ladder…. ok maybe I get the ladder thing with my belly putting my balance off slightly…..
I’ve had to give up football and take up pregnancy yoga, which is very relaxing and a lovely way to connect with your bump, but I miss the competitiveness and team spirit of playing football. And I can see my unrivalled 5 year top goal scorer position fading away….
My favourite leather panelled leggings no longer fit and that gorgeous Self Portrait dress I was going to treat myself with will stay on that shop hanger for another couple of years….
I sometimes lie away at night worrying about money and calculating how long I’ll viably be able to take off work. I’m fortunate enough to be freelance so can pick and choose how much work I take on when I do go back to work – but I worry about going down to one salary, especially with all the additional costs our new family will be hit by (although the savings along for not drinking wine for 9 months will almost counter that…).
I’ve also had the additional worry of being new to the freelance events world and not knowing if agencies are going to want to hire a heavily pregnant person…. will I be discriminated against for this reason!?
My weekends have got a bit more boring. My husband is amazing and plans walks around our new neighbourhood in South Norwood and activities which don’t involve me sitting in a pub watching and salivating over people’s glasses of red wine. But on the occasions where we’re in a social setting with free-flowing alcohol and friends, I do feel hard done by that he can enjoy a drink and I have to settle for an elderflower cordial.
No more smelly cheese and prosciutto… need I say more about why this upsets me? V. sad moment when I found out about proscuitto being on the banned list.
I talk about being pregnant all the time. I know it’s a big life changing thing for myself and my immediate family but sometimes I forget that not everyone is that interested. Please don’t let me be that wanker that doesn’t talk about anything else…..
While I talk about it ALL the time – I have NO idea whats I am doing and what I’ll need to do in the future. I am a total rookie and it scares me that I’ll soon be responsible for another human. A teeny tiny human who wont be able to tell me what they want or what I’m doing wrong. Is it wrong to hope that when the baby comes out they secretly replace it with a mamahood how-to-guide in its place?
Now, please don’t take this as ungratefulness for being pregnant. I feel extremely lucky to even have been able to conceive, let alone naturally and quickly (a little too quickly… but more of that on another post), but becoming pregnant doesn’t automatically mean you know what you’re doing and that you’ll love everything of what’s happening to you and your body.
Some ‘fun’ I’ve experienced along the way….
- My new bathroom smells awful…. only to me…. no one else can smell it, but standing in there for longer than 1 minute makes me gag….
- I dread brushing my teeth every morning… which due to the bathroom smell now takes place in the kitchen… if there isn’t enough water on the toothbrush or too much minty toothpaste…. up comes my breakfast….
- Maternity clothes shopping…. do I fancy wearing a sack or a body con which shows off my growing bump, but also my growing bum and cellulite!
- My limit of elderflower cordial in one evening is 4 glasses. After that I never want anything sugary again, but the thought of a plain water is just not fun…
- My only craving has been satsumas. I really wanted a fun story about the weird concoctions my body craved and how I was always sending husband out for fried chicken at 3am. But so far it’s just been satsumas.
But something tells me it’s all going to be worth it….