There was a mom at my previous company who went on maternity leave about the time I got promoted to a role where I would have worked closely with her. Instead I worked closely with her team. When she came back, I didn’t understand her value. I was too busy to get to know her and I had a process that worked while working around her. I didn’t go to bat for her when I had the chance because I didn’t see the point. She’s no longer at the company.
Then, when I went on maternity leave, she didn’t go to bat for me as we didn’t really have a relationship. I am no longer at the company. I don’t fault her even as I see my mistake, and I don’t think that every woman has to go to bat for every other woman in the organization. Except that I do think that now. Becoming a mom changes everything. We have to go to bat for each other.
Holy shit it’s hard. The pregnancy, the emotions, the balance, the maternity leave, the guilt, the return, the catch up, feeling torn, uncertain, wading through the judgment and cluelessness of so many colleagues that are not on your side because of so many reasons it’s staggering.
But we don’t know, do we? We don’t know until it’s our turn and then we know.
I love that you wrote this and I 100% support you and want the best for you. Like others who have responded, even though it’s a tough time, I know you’ll be alright. I don’t say that offhandedly — you have revealed your character, your intelligence, your heart, your desire to contribute, and your commitment to your baby, and the world will take notice. Some 10,000 of us already have.
Good luck and please let me know if I can help. XO, Kristi