A look at the disruption in work and what it means for all of us
This article rings very true currently in my life. Unfortunately, I did not have a supportive supervisor. Even though she was a mother herself, I was fired from my job 2 days ago, 8 weeks after returning from maternity leave for not completing all the things quick enough.
It stings to realize that not all women who have experienced pregnancy and postpartum while being a working mom themselves share the same empathy, understanding and want to improve things for the next woman in the workplace. I’m writing this as I continue my motherly duties living my life in 3-hour increments pumping in the middle of the night while baby and everyone else in the household sleeps while job hunting on my phone, hydrating, and snacking while planning my older child’s school needs for the day.
We are amazing multitaskers that are too often unseen yet expected to do everything.
I have came across the post a year back when I wasn’t a parent but I can relate it very much now when I am a month away from joining work post my maternity leave. I was lucky to have a supportive manager who promoted me for my work during my maternity leave but I know not many people get this opportunity. Thank you for sharing!
This is a very insightful perspective. I will play my part in advocating for mothers returning to the workplace in the future. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙏🏾
Thank you for sharing your story. It resonates a LOT with me... just had my 3rd child 1.5 years ago and feel like it definitely plateaued my career (e.g. haven't been promoted since I was pregnant with my 1st, six years ago). I was even one of the lucky ones with easy pregnancies and a supportive company. It's just impossible to keep up with all the changes and in particular keeping up with the changes in leadership and politics. I went into the 3rd pregnancy knowing it would be another hit on the career. It's an unfortunate reality especially for families with two working parents. Even though it was hard to write, I appreciate you sharing your story, since you make things look easy. Thanks for always sharing the reality on the ground while being inspirational in what you continue to achieve!
This post hit home. On maternity leave with my first child, I was also grappling with my dad's terminal glioblastoma journey and the toll that took on my mother. I came back to an official part-time work arrangement, basically a window dressing for being new-mother-friendly. Every opportunity to be booked on client business was preempted because 1) I couldn't travel while breast-feeding a newborn or because 2) I was in the part-time transition program. So I was booked on billable business 0 out of 40 hours per week, instead investing in myself by doing online learning and feeling increasingly disconnected by the day.. Companies need to walk the talk - the window dressing policies set up new mothers to fail and feel useless when they could instead either work or be home with their child.
This is an amazing post. This touched my heart, and made me worry and think about all the women in my life who have / or will be go through something like this. Reminded me to always be an ally and outspoken friend to anyone I know deciding to go through maternal leave.
Hi Deb, I enjoy reading your post as always. As a mom to-be, I just started this bumpy journey. I want to let you know how grateful I am reading your encouraging story. I am still concerned about the upcoming career uncertainty, but in a more confident way.
Deb, I love reading your posts and I value your perspectives and advice. I also love your book. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. This article on maternity leave could not be more true. It evokes every feeling, every experience and every emotion I have felt since going on maternity leave and coming back to work. It's scary, disheartening and physically and mentally exhausting. It’s hard. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront, openly discussing what we are all thinking and feeling. I would choose my family a million times over and I hope other woman would as well. I too hope things start to change for the better for working mums.
Thank you for writing this - as a newly minted mom the second time round, I feel these challenges keenly and even more so than with my first. The feeling of needing to be there until the very end, of not knowing what to come back to, of sheer exhaustion, are all so real. This time round it's worse because there are reorgs happening that leave my manager powerless and everyone is just searching for ways to move away from the team, which is heartbreaking. I too long for the day that deciding to have children will not come with the unspoken consequences, where our family lives and work lives can coexist harmoniously!
Thank you SO much for this article. <3
Thank you for candidly sharing your stories, and the useful tips!
I do still want to follow up on inviting you over to give a keynote address virtually to my company, PPG Industries, it is a traditional industry (paints, coatings, specialty chemicals) with ~140 years history, it is trying to change and grow, and to adjust to new industry and society standards. I like the topics of "challenges women faces in the work place, servant leadership, career development" as fireside chat topics. I requested your new book from my local library but still yet to receive a copy. It think it would really benefit from bringing in some thought-provoking, and honest conversations to PPG from the outside, I know for a fact our employees will really appreciate it. I have connected back to you via email, but in case it is lost in communication, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you again. Regards, -- Yaqi Wo
Hi Deb, another fantastic article, I read it within 10 min of you posting it. I just had my very first baby at the end of October 2021, and I returned to full time work when she was barely three months old. With being a new mom, a team leader, in an innovation driven technical function, I totally understand the scenario you described of trying to balanced it all, trying to show up at your best, not letting anyone (or yourself) down despite your new life changing responsibility. My pregnancy wasn't as hard as yours, but my baby was head up still when i was 38 weeks old so i had to have a "version" down so she can be hand-turned head down, there is danger and risk with the procedure needless to say. My road to pregnancy was the hard part, with me and my husband both healthy, I still had two miscarriages within 8 months before I successfully had my third pregnancy, so in some ways, I feel like my mind and body has gone through 3 of them already. Thanks for writing this hard but real articles, I hope more people can read them and benefit from the discussion you led. --- Yaqi Wo