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….