Welcome to our blog for keeping family and friends up to date on the latest Clemmer-family news, and all the ramblings of a stay-at-home mom trying to stay sane among all the craziness!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fellowship of Pregnant Ladies!

A friend of mine confided in me today that she found out yesterday, for sure, through a test at her GP's office, that she is indeed pregnant. I am so excited for her and honored that she decided to share this with me since she is trying to keep it quiet. However, it makes me wonder why we feel the need to keep our good news on the low-down due to fear of our job situation.

Women have come so far over the years and gained access in the workplace that they've never had before, but still somehow, pregnancy seems to be a death sentence for the career of a lot of women. It is almost as if society sees a pregnant woman as crippled when it comes to the work force. I completely understand that a company loses time from that employee as they take off for doctor's visits, in some cases, morning-sick days, and ultimately a maternity leave. And yes, I realize that having a new baby also takes its toll on an employee's performance - there's going to be days when the baby is sick and there's no sitter or daycare won't take them. There's going to be days when parents have to take time for wellness check-ups. And yes, there are always the cases when an employee decides not to come back to work after the baby comes.

However, it's frustrating to me that many women feel like they're doomed at their jobs once they tell their employer that they're expecting. To see my girlfriend asking my thoughts and advice on pregnancy in a whisper makes me sad. While her husband can enjoy being congratulated at work, why does she, or any of us, feel like we have to hide our pregnancy until we can get a feel for how it will be received?

I look around the office I work at and see that most of my coworkers already have grown children. That means that at some point, they too had to take time off to be a parent. But, I also see that most of the women in my office are still in customer service jobs while men rise to the sales or executive positions. I'm not saying that the company I work for is sexist, although it is a running joke around the office, but I wonder how many women face just this kind of discrimination at their place of employment. Sure, like I said earlier, women are achieving more and more as far as position, title and even salary are concerned, but at what cost? I don't think it's any secret and I feel that few people would dispute the fact that women do have to work twice as hard (a lot of time for less pay) than men for the same jobs. Often times the world seems to think that we have something to prove. But why?

Often, we are not just dedicated employees, but we are full time mothers, wives, daughters, and siblings. We are active in our child's life, be it PTA, sports or other extra-curricular activities. We serve on our women's committees at church. We take care of parents and grandparents and still manage to have family dinner most nights.

I say hurrah for the woman who does it all, and another hurrah for the woman who chooses to stay at home with her family. Both are honorable choices, sometimes made out of necessity one way or the other. But whatever your decision, please, please support your sisters at work and home when they are facing the same decision! Pregnancy shouldn't be something women have to keep secret, but until that day, let's support and uplift one another - besides, who understands better than our girlfriends?


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