I'm so excited to share that I'm having a baby boy this November! I've always wanted to be a mom and can't wait for this new season in my life. My journey to motherhood has taken much longer than I had planned and you can hear more about my infertility struggles here. The main reason I wanted to open up about what was going on is that no one talks about how fertility treatments impact your career. I didn't have any idea how hard everything I was going to go through would be. Managing all of my appointments, the side effects, my mood and my medications has been a full time job.
I started IVF right after getting promoted to be the youngest and only female Vice President at my company, something I was so proud of and had worked towards for years. Simultaneously it was the hardest time of my life. I tried so hard to do it all; succeed in my new role, make more money with my side hustles in addition to my full time executive role to pay for expensive treatments and not let on to anyone that I was really struggling as I filled my body with shots, pills and hormone treatments. I woke up after my first IVF surgery last April, groggy and in pain, and immediately started replying to work emails. I wanted to prove that I could do it all and I felt no support from my employer as I went through these serious treatments.
I remember thinking in that moment, is this job even worth these sacrifices?
The clear answer was no, but I still wasn't quite yet ready to make a change or accept that my situation wasn't sustainable. That first IVF cycle failed and I know a lot of it was stress related. A few months later, I had an opportunity to work for a client as a short-term contractor, so I took the job. It gave me the needed flexibility to start IVF treatment again last fall.
I am now finally living what I preach! I've loved working for myself through Livlyhood Career Coaching and freelance public affairs clients in this season because my job fits into my life and not the other way around. I've stayed really busy and made more money than I would've ever thought working for myself.
I've always planned on being a working mother and have wanted to really feel like I had choices when that time came.
We need companies to make smarter choices to keep women at the table and women need to know we have options. I have no idea what the future will bring but I do know that we aren't doing enough to help women in this season. Too many of us feel that the only choice is to work for ourselves and while I admire that (and am loving it!) I'm not ok with women feeling pushed out of the corporate world.
I do hope that by sharing this I can remind women to love their season and to embrace the inevitable changes that will come in your career as you adapt to what's happening in your personal life. You may need to take a step back from your career goals because you need to take care of a sick parent, you need to focus on your mental health, you have a baby, you move, you're getting married, or you simply need to focus more on something else for a season. This is never where I thought I'd be at this stage of my life, but it's turned out better than I ever could've hoped for.
My husband and I are still trying to figure out childcare and how much we'll each share and work. I'm so grateful to have a partnership in my marriage so it's always been a given since we were dating that we'd work together to raise our kids and adapt as life changes.
Thank you for all of your support as I've opened up about infertility. It's not easy to go through something like this alone and when I finally did open up about all of it with friends, family and this community I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. I want you to know that if you're in the middle of the same fog and darkness trying to kill it at work, take care of yourself and desperate to start your family, that the fog will eventually lift even if it doesn't go away immediately.
This one thing I know... women are AMAZING!
Each day I marvel at how many women have been through so much more than myself. The infertility club is one no one wants to be a part of but it's an amazing reminder of the power of women supporting women. I've connected and reconnected with women who've dealt with infertility who paved the way and I still learn from them daily. Women nurture, lead, care, teach, guide, make money, fight for what's right and love our people. It's all such important work! I hope we can remember that every woman we know is going through something tough, regardless of their stage of life. No one's challenges trumps another, and the best thing we can do is to show up for our people when they're in need.
If you feel you belong in Livlyhood, you do! Thank you so much for being here.
I'll end by making a promise that Livlyhood will still be a community for women who work and I'll always talk about the hard stuff that comes with being a working woman.
I now need ALL THE ADVICE from working moms about how to manage the first few months back at work. Help! What tips do you have for me? Please drop a comment below.