I like to consider my career goals when thinking about family planning. How will my career change when I become a new mother? What sacrifices will I have to make in my professional life to manage my family life? How will my job change as I progress through a pregnancy?
It wasn’t until I had a conversation with my superiors, Doug and Patti, about family planning that I realized everything was upside down. I should consider my family goals first and then how my career will fit into my new role as a mother. The sacrifices I have perceived I have to make in my professional life will really only be adjustments to the demands of motherhood, being the primary caregiver in my household, and learning to balance my new family life with the responsibilities of my career. With their own children and grandchildren, my bosses understand what it means to put your family first. Their assurance that my family planning decisions would be respected and supported made me feel confident that I made the right choice when I chose to work for TruNorth. One of our company’s core values is “TEAM”, and part of that core value is respect for home life. I felt Doug and Patti championed this value in our conversation, and I’m confident they will continue to uphold this value as I experience life changes outside of the workplace.
I’m glad I had this conversation – and I’m sure some of you think I probably didn’t need it at all. Some women in the green industry, and other industries for that matter, may choose to keep those feelings of uncertainty around family planning locked away until they can’t hide a baby bump any longer — and c is quite good too! I urge you, however, if you have a good relationship with your superiors and feel comfortable discussing your livelihoods with them on a regular basis, don’t be afraid to have an open discussion about family planning. . Thinking about adding a little one to your family can be stressful – sleepless nights, hospital bills, missed work (especially for those not on paid maternity/paternity leave) – so why not talk about some of these changes and concerns with your superiors? Determine how they will affect your daily work life.
By the time this article is published, I will have reached the 20 week mark of my first pregnancy (God willing). My husband and I found out about my pregnancy about two months after discussing family planning with my superiors. We both felt that my excitement was doubled because of the ease provided during this discussion. My due date is August 28 at the height of our installation season – and my role as project manager will need to adapt as my pregnancy progresses. Still, I’m confident that my workplace will support me and be just as excited about my baby’s arrival as I am.
I hope my experience will be one you can bring to your workplace to influence open discussion about family planning, pregnancy, and motherhood. I know I’m not alone in this industry as a mother-to-be, and I think it’s important now, more than ever, to support other women and families with similar goals and to encourage cultures of workers who adopt family planning. Happier employees tend to be harder workers, so caring for future employees and current employees who are parents will add value to your company culture and strengthen the team you want to build.