Ok so you would have thought telling your clients that you are pregnant, all of whom you have a good relationship with, would be easy, not so for me apparently.
I felt like they were going to hate me for letting them down… God maybe I even hate myself a little for letting them down. And here the mind f*ck begins.
So when the time comes, and the bump is starting to show, I need to tell them.
“Ahem, I have some news. I am expecting a baby….. I’m sorry”
Wow, hold up… why the hell did I just apologise for the most wonderful miracle to have ever happened to me? Am I mad?
But I guess I am sorry… and if that’s the case then am I more sorry for them or for me? And then I feel really bad.. What kind of mother am I going to be if these kinds of thoughts go through my head now?
But of course they were delighted for me and everyone pretended not to hear the ‘sorry’ word. However it continued to play on my mind for some time to come.
And then another time, when telling a different client our news, I said “yes very exciting, very unexpected”….. Um unexpected, really? Well no Holly you tried for almost a year for this and wanted to have a baby all your adult life so you can barely call it ‘unexpected’. But once again this slip was made because I felt incredibly anxious about whether I might be judged and whether my client might treat me differently knowing I am heading off on mat leave.
The reality is, not one of those clients treated me differently from the day we announced. Not one of them was mad with me. In fact, I think if anything our relationships improved. I guess it gave me a more human side.
And I can say this now, given my last day at work was a couple of days ago, that each and every client supported me right up to the final day.
So once again it’s a battle in my own mind and one that I’m sure other women have to go through. But don’t be apologetic and don’t beat yourself up about feeling bad that you are off on this new adventure. And if you do feel bad about leaving don’t hate yourself for being a bad mum and caring about your job. It’s natural to feel this anxiety and simply vocalising what you are going through can be a real benefit. I know it has been for me anyway.