From the moment I saw my positive pregnancy test, I knew that nothing would ever be the same. I was thrilled to find out my husband and I were expecting a baby, and suddenly I was daydreaming of all of the ways I’d prepare for this pregnancy. Prenatal yoga, new books, lots of rest, thoughtful meal preparation … life as I knew it would change in every way imaginable, right?
Reality check for us Made Mommies: Life as we know it in the workplace isn’t going to change. Pregnant or not, my company expects me to perform well right up until I sign off for maternity leave. But when I found out I was pregnant, it was ALL I could think about. I was a basketcase of emotions (thank you to first trimester hormones), and it was really hard for me to stay motivated at the office.
I have a hunch that most Made Mommies-to-be have (or had) a tough time keeping focused at work upon news of a little miracle. Here are a few ideas to help us keep up:
Talk to your HR Department
This is a big one. In the beginning of my pregnancy I was a nervous wreck as I wondered about how my career would change because of my little bundle of joy, and it was affecting my performance at work. But the moment I told my HR rep, my feelings changed completely. HR departments are built to deal with this stuff. They have the answers to your questions, and they can help you problem solve or plan ahead to make sure everything works out. Talking to HR can help ease your fears so you can focus on the work in front of you instead of stressing about what will happen to your job.
Limit your Google Searches
Particularly for those of us at desk jobs, a quick Google search in the middle of a work day seems harmless. But it’s a slippery slope from reading a Baby Center email to researching baby names, looking up your latest symptom and reading mommy blogs. Before you know it, an entire hour of the workday could be gone. This certainly isn’t helping us deliver a star performance pre-maternity leave. My solution? I spend a few minutes on my morning commute reading or Googling baby-related info, and I also give myself 15 minutes at lunchtime. Once I’m at my desk for work, my mind is less likely to wander.
Listen to your Body
Between nausea, exhaustion, weight gain, frequent bathroom breaks and a plethora of other lovely symptoms, pregnancy doesn’t exactly lend itself to sitting comfortably at the office all day. I’m trying to make it a habit to listen to my body -- I get up to stretch or walk around the office, or I take a few minutes away from my computer if I feel a headache coming on. I also keep snacks and a water bottle around at all times to prevent hunger and dehydration. Taking care of myself physically helps me stay on task rather than losing motivation because I am uncomfortable or I don’t feel well.
Although most women work through their pregnancies, sometimes it’s really hard to stay motivated. Pregnancy is a big deal, so take care of your body throughout the day, find your support system at work and try to keep those daydreams to a minimum to maintain career success during this time. And after work, indulge yourself in naps, bubble baths, long walks, good meals, and as much Pinterest or Baby Center as you want!