Pre-Pregnant

Photo by Ryan & Denise photography.

These things outed me as a bad investment to employers.

Have you heard that I’m 30?

Oh, and I’m also married in case you didn’t pick up on that.

But you can just call me “pre-pregnant”.

Because, evidently, that’s how others see me.

I’ve always had an awesome track record when it comes to job interviews. With the exception of one nanny position in college, every job interview I’ve ever attended resulted in an offer.

Until I became pre-pregnant, that is.

Within the last six months, I entertained two opportunities for full-time positions (this required preparation and attendance to six total interviews).  On both occasions, I was assured I was a strong favorite. But both offers went to someone else.

After the second rejection, I spun myself in circles trying to figure out what went wrong. Maybe I should not have worn heels? Did I sound like an arrogant asshole when he asked about leadership? Should I go back to brunette?!

I tried to dismiss the creepy thought that this may be glass-ceiling-related. I didn’t want to be one of those women who blamed her inability to advance her own career on a convenient and external excuse.

A couple weeks ago, I was chatting about job interviews with my in-laws. I cautiously brought up the possibility that being married and 30 might have swayed things.

“It had to be a factor,” said my brother-in-law.

“Did you wear your wedding ring to the interviews?” my sister-in-law asked.

“Yes,” I answered.

They both exploded.

“You NEVER wear your wedding ring to an interview!”

Silly me. I was thinking like a man.

I believed my marital status would legitimize me. I thought my wedding ring would say, “I won’t show up to work in yesterday’s outfit, smelling like booze. I won’t make-out with a coworker after happy hour and throw off the dynamic of the team. And, with the support of a loving husband, you’ll have a confident and eager worker. You can count on me, sir!”

Instead, my wedding ring said, “Hire me, I’ll drain you for maternity leave, and then I’ll quit.”

(I just feel that I need to add that I’m proud to be married and it feels really fucking disgusting to have to deny my marriage for any reason…even one that would have paid me more than 60k per year.)

So, rather than stalling out for the next five years in my career due to my pre-pregnancy, my husband and I decided I should freelance.

It was the right choice. I’m happy.

Because we will cross over into babyland soon (fingers crossed) and, yes, it would have compromised my full-time employment.

On the plus side, I won’t have to shove my head into an office toilet when I’m barfing from morning sickness.

But, shit, it would’ve been nice to decide for myself when my career was to be compromised.

10 thoughts on “Pre-Pregnant

  1. I have heard many stories from women who while in grad school told their advisors they were pregnant. The advisors said something along the lines of “I’m sorry…I guess you have to quit”. I chose to have two females with children on my committee.

    • Yeah, I expected that once I was pregnant and actually had a kid or two, my career would be compromised. I guess I was surprised that it happened so soon. I really feel terrible for women who don’t plan to have kids and want to commit to their career…how do they avoid a perceived pre-pregnancy?

  2. I won’t lie to you… this kept me up last night… out of frustration and ageement… and truth be told because sometimes employers are right. Let me explain :) I was on the ‘fast track’ at my previous company… being folded into upper management mentored by theexecutive VP.. when I shared that I was pregnant, I shit you not my VP’s face visibly fell and I could see him wrapping his arms around picking another ‘top dog’ — I was slowly but surely moved off the fast track – but still employed and respected in some ways. I was furious and disappointed – but at times thankful – because pregnant with a 2 year old at home it was extremely challenging to be on the fast track – so I agree someone made a career decision for me and I was resentful – and still am. Fast forward a few years and here I am at a new company that is FEMALE run where they think chicks can do anything and everything — so with 3 kids under 5 and 20 weeks pregnant they think I can be a top dog and travel every week and work 50 hours a week and do the same job as someone without kids??? I am not sure I can :( now who (or what??) is limiting me. It is a real struggle and one Scott and I battle eveyday — when I am sick or kids are sick – am I a top dog or am I a mommy??? I love being a mom and I love my career but sometimes something has to give — in a way I wish they wouldn’t have hired me and I could be a stay at home mom and not have to make the decision to give up my career – it wouldn’t feel like I gave up if someone took it from me…. but I can’t quit it’s not in me (yet — we will see after baby #4) — But today I get up – kiss the babies – kiss the hubby – try not to throw up — and get ready to board a plane tomorrow doing a job that I do like — and appreciate that right now I still have a CHOICE and that is HUGE to me…

    Not very helpful huh? The thing I know for certain — all the battles and struggles, and furstrations– they are worth it when I look down and see Brenna pulling on my leg saying ‘up – up!’ — one day at a time :)

    Any by the way when the time comes you and Lou will be awesome and amazing parents :) xoxoxooxoxxoox

    • Aw, Briney. I’ve often anticipated that having both (career and kids) would mean that when you give to one, you’re inevitably taking from the other. This recent move to freelancing feels like a sacrifice to my career, and that’s just in preparation for kids! I also think that companies are accurate in their assessment of my pre-pregnancy…but accuracy doesn’t make it feel right. There’s no real answer to this one and I think we all just have to wing it, make mistakes, make adjustments, and forgive ourselves. Hopefully, we won’t screw up the kiddos too much in the process! PS Lou and I talk about you and Scott often — we look up to you and how wonderfully you are handling a large family.

      • Ahh you are too kind Lilia — I agree we do are best to screw them up as little as possible – but lets face it — there going to be just screwed up enough that their friends find them entertaining and the have plenty of ‘character’ — sometimes I wonder if I am more successful in my career because I HAVE kids — like you said above — MOMS (and DADs) know how to get shit done – and they have a BIG reason to succeed when there are 4 kiddos at home waiting for you and looking up to you — what you are doing better be worth it to be away — :) xoxoxo

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