When I was asked by my co-director to write a blog on being pregnant whilst working, I honestly didn't know what to write. Apparently us pregnant women battle through quite a bit to just function on a day-to-day basis, let alone run a company, but as someone who doesn't like making excuses about such things I've never found it an issue to work.
That said, the offer to write the blog brought about an opportunity to reflect on the last 8 months. Not only have I learned first hand how it feels to grow a baby whilst maintaining a busy, demanding job but I've also shared the experience with a work colleague who was 10 weeks ahead of me with her pregnancy.
The Early Stages
Keen to not let anything beat me, I carried on with my responsibilities. Meetings, events, networking groups - apart from looking for new clothes to accommodate my new-found bump, nothing was different with the exception of feeling nauseous and falling asleep as soon as I got home! What made me feel worse? Seeing Josie, my pregnant co-worker, bouncing about with bags of energy whilst I actually did feel a bit like death warmed up!
Josie, our Education Manager
The difficulty came when some health problems reared their ugly head, and I insisted on maintaining my work load. Networking lunches (the favourite element of my job) turned into nightmares. Not being able to eat what was on offer whilst trying my very very best to concentrate on what those around me were saying. This came to an abrupt halt when my doctors told me that they could not permit me to work anymore.
Creating my bed...
Those around me know I seldom take time away from the business. As an owner of an SME, I can't! But this also meant that whilst I should have been resting I was being bombarded with Emails and phone calls - even from the most understanding contacts - paying no attention to "out of office" responses. I had no choice than to take doctors advice and started to wind down; one of the most difficult things I've ever endured! It forced both Tom and myself into streamlining the business to ensure all processes and systems were slick and straight forward. It was probably the best thing to ever happen to the business; ensuring it ran as close to clockwork as is possible for a service-based company!
Charlotte, our Studio/Office Manager and Julie, our Commercial Manager
What made my "winding down" easy, however, was having the fantastic support of my team. The fact that they'd been trained up to help in all elements of my role from the moment I found out I was pregnant really helped. I was now able to delegate to Tom, Julie and Charlotte and they're such a great dedicated team that it made it a lot easier for me to let go.
Baby Shower fun My daughter, my bump and I taking time out Josie and her beautiful baby boy
It's almost time!
Josie has given birth to a beautiful baby boy, who we are looking forward to joining us at Movie Makers in the future! Now, we're just weeks away from meeting the newest female addition to the Light Films family. I think contacts now understand I'm not in the office, and that Julie is a great replacement for me - she deals with the sales, commercial management, staff management and oversees the accounts with Charlotte. So if you have any enquiries please do get in touch with them - or even if you just want to introduce yourself! They'll be pleased to hear from you!
The moral of the story? As a manager, business owner or just busy worker - be prepared, train up your team and be completely honest with yourself and your contacts about what you're able to do. Being honest, doesn't mean admitting defeat!
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