Precisely one year ago, everything was going according to plan. I was pursuing what I thought was Sheryl Sandberg’s “Myth of Doing It All”. After nearly a year of trying to get pregnant (there are not enough emoticons on my iphone to capture that emotional range), my husband and I found out we had finally succeeded on January 7, 2013.
We were excited and very nervous as I was an “older” (read 35+) first time mom with more family risk issues than I care to think about. About the same time, I interviewed for a promotion that presented an exciting new challenge managing a team in a different function that I knew nothing about, working for a highly respected senior woman and generally accelerating with my foot on the gas pedal as Sheryl Sandberg describes.
I got the job!
I was then faced my first dilemma… when do I disclose I was expecting… how would that affect perceptions of my skill and ability for the job… and could I live with the choice of withholding the information until out of my first trimester?
My start date was three months before my due date in late August. My first instinct was not to disclose until after accepting the job because it is my life, my family, and has no bearing on my skills or abilities… right?
Then the conversation with myself in my head started and things got more complicated. I realized I couldn’t live with the choice of not disclosing as part of the job negotiations as I felt the team needed to build and gain momentum to get us off to a good start!
So I disclosed it, and to my immense relief, she was amazingly supportive and reassured me they supported me. We settled on a transition date and I kept that gas pedal going… All was right in the world and I thought I really was debunking the Myth of Doing It All. Great new challenging job, awesome new manager, expecting our first baby, stable marriage and finances, supportive work environment and colleagues – who could ask for more right?
Then it all came crashing down. The Thursday before Easter holiday we heard the news our business unit would be sold. At first, we all thought it was a joke and laughed only to realize they were dead serious, and then the panic and anxiety started. Oh…I tried hard not to cry in front of my new team. Being five months pregnant, any steely control I had over showing my feelings at work and crying (heaven forbid I be overly emotional as a woman!) was gone.
I felt lucky enough to hold it in at the town hall and then lost it later…
(Come back tomorrow to see how Kim turned her newfound chaos into opportunity…you won’t want to miss it!)