Why am I so Busy?

I honestly thought being unemployed would be more relaxing.

I mean, I knew as a crazy list maker that I’d find things to do each day. However, I really thought that I’d have time to sit around and watch daytime TV or read a book. I imagined myself taking long walks around Lake Elkhorn and making lots of lunch plans with my friends. I have a few prenatal yoga DVDs that I thought I’d be bored of by now, but I haven’t even opened them yet.

I’ve only been out of work for 2 ½ weeks, but I swear I’ve been busier than I was when I was working!

Between putting the house together after our big move, working on some freelance projects, random errands, a quick trip to NYC with my family, working with BVU on their huge holiday party/fundraising event and applying & interviewing for jobs, I’ve been running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.

Next week, my husband and I will be going away for a super awesome 7 day cruise to the Caribbean, so I’m looking at that as enforced relaxation time. Of course, leading up until then I still have to deal with two Thanksgivings (one at my house, one at my MIL’s house), pack for the trip, run even more errands and finish some freelance postcard designs.

I should have some big news to share soon (as if selling our house, getting pregnant and losing a job wasn’t enough for this fall), perhaps as early as this afternoon. Let’s just say that I might not have much more time to sit around my house and “do nothing”…

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Is she Pregnant or Just Chubby?

Searching for a job in this economy is difficult – there are so many qualified people out there that it’s hard to even get through to the first stage of interviewing.

However, as difficult as a normal job search may be, it’s even worse when you’re pregnant.

According to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy. However, we all know that discrimination still happens.

But why?

Yes, I happen to be pregnant, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be committed to my job. I’m a really hard worker who is looking for a long-term career path at a new company. Due to my pregnancy, I will need to take maternity leave in the spring; however I WILL come back to work as soon as my leave is over.

Unfortunately, when an interviewer sees a pregnant woman they may feel that once she goes on maternity leave, she won’t want to come back to work. Not only that, but she may require too many accommodations even after her return.

Well, that’s just not fair!

Not all of us can survive on one income. Even if my family could survive on just my husband’s paycheck, I DON’T WANT TO! I enjoy working and it’s not fair to assume that once I have my baby I’ll want to stay home and stare at it all day long.

So, how do you interview while pregnant?

I’ve done some research on this, as well as spoke to a Human Resources professional and my headhunter, and I’ve found that during the interview process you are pretty much forbidden to disclose your pregnancy.

Not only are you not supposed to say anything, they can’t ask either. It’s just as forbidden as asking a potential employee their age, weight or marital status.

At 5 months of pregnancy, it really depends on what I wear to decide whether I look pregnant or just a little chubby. I’m not *hiding* my pregnancy from potential employers, but I’m also not sticking out my tummy and telling them to call me Mommy.

Once I receive a written job offer, I will disclose my pregnancy. However, I will also use that opportunity to tell them how committed I am to the position.

Will there be hard feelings that I’ve kept this from them? I hope not, because the only other option is to disclose the pregnancy in the interviewing stage and forever wonder if that was the reason I didn’t get a job offer.

I’ve heard the horror stories of women who couldn’t get a job while pregnant, but I’ve also heard about women who were hired while obviously showing. It pretty much comes down to the fact that if someone doesn’t want to hire you due to your pregnancy, would you really want to work at that company anyway?

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Oh yeah, Did I Mention that I’m Pregnant?

So even though this blog started out being more marketing and business oriented with tips for marketing/running your small business, little pieces of my life started sneaking in.

When those subjects turned out to be the ones that interested everyone the most, I decided to just roll with it and amended the blog focus to be, “my musings on marketing, business practices & life in general.”

Under my “life in general” craziness, I’ve talked about everything from my frustrations with selling our townhouse, losing my job and trying to find a new one.

What I haven’t talked about, until today is that I’m pregnant.

My husband and I had always said that we’d be happy with one child and since we felt secure in our jobs and money situation, decided to start trying to conceive last spring.

Now as any regular Pocketful of Joules reader knows, although I FELT secure in my job situation, I ended losing my job. So that just goes to show you that no matter how much planning you do to make sure you’re “ready” to have children, something always smacks you in the side of the head that you didn’t think about.

Moving onto the “Isn’t it Ironic” section of this post, I found out on a Thursday that it was a possibility that I might be losing my job. I found out a couple days later (after taking three tests, yes I’m thorough) that we were pregnant.

Although the timing sucked, we were (and still are) ecstatic!

Well, cautiously ecstatic – knowing the high possibility of miscarriages in the first trimester we tried to keep calm about things. We only told my parents and siblings and decided to hold off on telling anyone else until we passed that 12/13 week safety zone. Well, we TRIED really hard to not tell anyone, but I did tell a couple of my close friends that served as an awesome support system.

After a few weeks of being quietly ecstatically pregnant, we received a contract on our house Labor Day weekend – and then I found out that I was definitely losing my job when I went into work that Tuesday.

Let’s recap: super happy about being pregnant… but about to be jobless and homeless. Hmmm…that was so NOT in my plan!

Luckily, we were able to move into a rental house owned by my parents that just happened to have just enough space for us and our growing family.

I’m currently 19 weeks pregnant (in the 5th month for those non-preggos) and the baby and I are both healthy and happy.

I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy so far with no morning sickness or odd cravings. I was actually hoping to have a weird craving so that I could send my husband out on a wild goose chase for something random, but maybe that will kick in later.

And yes, I’m planning my next blog post to be about the difficulties of looking for a job while pregnant. Because, although it is illegal to refuse to hire a woman due to pregnancy, everyone knows that discrimination still happens.

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