So, after three-plus months of discreetly not drinking at work events, it’s time to spill the beans and tell your coworkers the big news. I found myself in this classic position a few months ago, and while I knew I wouldn’t encounter any negativity from my solid crew at Eighty-Eight, I still did a Google search for some tips on when/how to make the big announcement – because we Google everything, right?
For the most part I didn’t find anything groundbreaking. But while almost every article mentioned that this is a positive thing and that you have nothing to apologize for, some of the ‘advice’ I discovered was unsupportive (while trying to come across as helpful), bordering on shaming. Below are some of my favourite examples.
“Maintain a professional image to every extent you can. Don’t knit at the office if you normally wouldn’t or do other stereotypical ‘new mom’ things.” – Forbes
“You may head off concerns about your commitment to work by making your announcement after scoring a deal, finishing a report or coming up with a great idea. If you think your boss (or company) won’t be welcoming to the news, you may want to wait until the 20-week mark (if you can hide it until then) to announce your pregnancy, so you’ll have proven your ability to do your job well while pregnant.”-whattoexpect.com
“Don’t become the pregnant princess and expect everyone to do your work for you. This will only make people, including your boss, resent you.” – verywell.com
“Sadly, maternity clothes are generally neither pretty nor professional, but do try to dress as professionally as possible during this time period.” – Forbes
“The news of your pregnancy will be hot office gossip, so don’t mention it to any of your colleagues if you want to keep it a secret for a while.” – The Guardian
The widespread benefits (and fairness) of being supportive of all parents is growing across the corporate world – from startups to large corporations, including the importance of giving dads flexibility and parental leave options. But women are clearly still feeling torn between being parents and being ‘professional,’ as if the two identities are somehow conflicting. This is how we end up with words like mompreneur. But that’s a rant for another time.