By Guest Blogger and Remarkable Woman, Kim Wells
(Editor's Note: Is the suspense killing you Type As or what? Ha! Yesterday we heard part one to Kim's story. Below is the rest...)
So…after finding out my business unit was being sold, everything was suddenly so NOT GOING ACCORDING TO PLAN!
I was five months pregnant, the sale was scheduled to occur either right around my due date or right after, and all I could focus on was all my “oh my gods” I had amassed.
- OMG, how will I pay for my delivery out-of-pocket?
- OMG, how will I get health insurance coverage for the baby?!? I had read normal births could run $10k to $15k and Caesareans up to $25k if any complications.
The rational me, now able to see this and get perspective should have allowed myself a time to freak out and then reminded myself that more details were promised, odds were we might have jobs depending on the buyer, and that in the worst case scenario the standard severance policy (with health insurance provisions) would likely prevent my worst case scenario from happening.
So I convinced myself, the Myth of Doing It All wasn’t necessarily gone and I just had to concentrate on showing my value and optimally positioning myself as a valuable employee for a potential buyer… (super preggo)
Oh… but in my less rationale moments, I cycled back to my worst case scenario and the series of “whys” amassed.
- WHY is this happening to me?
- WHY NOW, why why why?
I had waited this long to get financially stable and have the perfect career situation to have a first baby and then this? Had I not built up enough good karma? Did I not deserve a break or was this a result of my super career woman pursuits where my husband and I moved every two years and owned five houses in ten years to further our careers with optimal flexibility for the future?
At the same time, I began thinking pretty hard about whether the situation was really as terrible as I could sometimes frame it. For you Type A corporate and entrepreneurial gals, I am a planner. I am unafraid to admit I’m rather obsessive compulsive about it to the point where people tease me about my organizational skills and my husband asks each weekend what I have on his 'to do' list. So everything not going according to plan was rather difficult for me to cope with because I hadn’t planned it!
About this time, I read Brene Brown’s (another remarkable woman) new book Daring Greatly. Her messages about opening up to uncertainty and having the courage to show vulnerability to truly connect with others and grow as a person and they resonated in a huge way.
So what did I decide?
My situation was an opportunity. I reframed my outlook, and I started to laugh more and stress less.
Imagine being nine months pregnant, less than 24 hours away from a scheduled induction for delivery, and interviewing for the next big step in your career. What does one wear? Do you attempt to conceal the giant bump or do you make jokes about it? Do you forego water the hour before to see if you can last at least one hour or just ask for a mid interview bathroom break?
I decided to get a big print shell to wear with my classic black suit jacket to keep the focus off my mid section and impending delivery, wore my nicest black maternity pants, and had my family in town for the delivery drop me off for the short waddle up to the front door of my interview location.
I navigated my interview while laughing about the need for a potential bathroom break and felt successful with my big print top when two of the panelists mentioned they didn’t notice I was even expecting until I got up to leave the room.
Yes! I focused on my skills and ability, and not my status as a very pregnant soon to be mom!
What did I learn?
Sometimes the most unexpected events can provide opportunities you might never have considered under other circumstances. The interview went well and I was offered the job with a flexible start date after my pre-planned three months of maternity leave. Everything was back to going as planned because I regained control of what I had control of: me.
As a new mom in a new position where I get to help define my scope, I find that being open to uncertainty and “leaning in” at work and at home is a whole lot more fun and less stressful. Try it sometime!