I received a reader question the other week, which I would love to throw out there for your suggestions…“I am 9 weeks pregnant, and will be sharing my news at work shortly – do you have any suggestions on revealing your pregnancy at work? Any tips for my conversation with my manager?”
After going through this now, um, three times…here is some of my advice…
Know what you are entitled to, both during your pregnancy and maternity leave. As an example, my company gives off some time prior to the due date of the baby, we also have a paid maternity leave, as well as FMLA. I looked all of this up prior to my conversation with my manager, so that I could share the information, or at least, point them in the right direction.
Be aware of the team deadlines that are coming up, and how your leave may affect those deadlines. Talk to your team about the deadlines and your inputs as much as possible prior to your leave. If you travel, give a “drop dead” date that your travel will have to stop. As someone who had to fib her way out of Poland because their recommended flying periods are different…I highly recommend being aware of this before getting on a plane
Remind your manager of your timing…if needed, frequently. While we are aware of how many months, weeks, and at times, minutes pregnant we are at any given time, not everyone else is! Especially if your boss is in a different location from you, they may have a hard time remembering that your due date is approaching. I didn’t comprehend this until I saw my boss from my first pregnancy in person…and said – “whoa, I didn’t realize how close we were getting to your leave!”
Be prepared for not everyone having a positive reaction. You are jumping off the walls with excitement, your family is happy for you, your friends can’t wait for your bundle of joy to arrive…but at work, well, chances are, someone else is going to have to do what you usually do. Especially in the current economic times, it is more often that someone will take over your responsibilities, as opposed to someone being hired temporarily to do your job. Good planning will help to ensure that there is smooth sailing in relationships with your colleagues!
Here is a little snapshot of how my conversations went….
“I am excited to share that I am expecting. I am currently 12 weeks along, due in XX. I know that we have a lot going on right now within the team, so I wanted to be sure to tell you the news as soon as possible, and as well as the potential timeline.
While things are sometimes unexpected, I am expecting that I will be able to travel internationally until X, and domestically until X. I will most likely go out on leave starting XX as we have a policy that gives time off before the baby is born. If all goes according to plan, I will be back when my 16 week maternity leave is up, on XX. There is obviously a lot that will be going on during my leave, so I will be sure to share with you a list of my responsibilities, and am happy to talk through everything as much as is needed prior to my leave.”
Of course that is a bit concise…but it covers the main points of the conversation!
For the most part, all of my news sharing went extremely well, and my managers were all extremely happy for me, and were happy to work with me to address any time off, shift of responsibilities, etc. I know that not everyone is that lucky though!
What advice do you have for the reader momma to be?
Yesterday, so many people were rocked to their core by the events in Boston. Pictures, stories, and videos seem to be everywhere. We continue to wait and hear whythis happened.
Last night on the MMB FaceBook page I posted:
“It’s the kind of night that bedtime hugs and kisses last a little longer than usual, that you can’t resist going in just to stare at the miracles God has blessed you with one more time, and that parents go to bed praying that our children will be the force of good that overcomes whatever evil is out there.”
Once again, as a parent, I felt helpless. Not only could I not get information about what was going on as I was trying to shield my children from the images on the screen, or hearing the word “Boston” connected to tragedy, as my husband’s family all lives in the area and they would, to put it mildly, freak…but I felt helpless because I don’t know what kind of world I am raising my kids in. Are we really living in a world where when an elite group of runners are accomplishing a unbelievable feat, there is a bomb that goes off? Or one where children are killed in their classroom?
Unfortunately – that is the world we are in. We don’t know if, when and where there will be another attack in our country. We don’t know if there is someone who is wishing evil so vehemently on us. We don’t know what causes that kind of hate, or destructive behavior.
But here is what I do know….as parents, we can make sure that in the face of tragedy – we make sure that not only our children see the good, but we teach them to bethe good in the future. We teach them kindness, compassion, and strength. Obviously, the best way to teach this is by demonstrating those characteristics in ourselves…but how else can we do this as parents?
Last month, I shared one of MMB’s “Real Moms”. She talked about teaching her kids social responsibility, and asking them every night what they did kind for someone else. I started putting this practice into play in my house. After prayers every night, we ask, “What did you do that was kind for someone else today?”
At 4 and 2, the answers started off shaky (and they continue to be for my 2-year-old!)…but in addition to asking the kids, my husband and I have to answer the question as well. It is embarrassing as a mom to stand there and say to my child that the nicest thing I did that day was hold the door open for someone else. As a family, we have challenged ourselves to do more kind things for others, every day.
My son who started with “I let my sister sit next to me while I ate dinner” has changed into giving answers like – “when the boys were picking on one of the girls on the playground at school, I told them to leave her alone, and I played with her.” His answers are developing, and we know that he is becoming more aware of being kind to others. My greatest hope is that building awareness at a young age will mean that in times of tragedy, my kids will be helpers. They will be the ones running to help others in need. They will carry an injured person to safety. They will be the teacher that shields their students. They will be the one who stops and asks someone “how are you?”, and means it.
Unfortunately, I know that there will be tragedy to come…but I also know that as long as we promote good in our children, love will always win.
Since owning a home, I have found myself searching for more service providers than I could have imagined. Tick control, air conditioning repair, appliance service men, carpet cleaners, masons, painters…the list goes on and on. While I usually ask friends or neighbors for information first, I have also done the “look, see, and pray all works out” from the town paper, or a simple google search.
I was really interested to have the chance to review Vyne.Me which offers people a platform to leverage FaceBook, the widely used Social Media Platform, to recommend services to their friends, or seek service recommendations from their friends. Vyne just isn’t about the home either – you can look up doctors, dentists, massage therapists, and hairstylists.
To find a trusted provider – you can ask your friends by posting a recommendation request on Vyne, FaceBook, or through a private FaceBook message to friends.
You can also save recommendations of providers – when your friends add their recommendations to Vyne, the recommendations are saved in one place. You can add reviews, and have them available in one spot. We all know I have a bit of “mommy brain”- so I have had many times where people have told me about someone great, and I forget, or I lose the email in my inbox, or its lost in a random FaceBook status update. I love having recommendations saved in one place.
I would encourage you to check out Vyne.me today, and sign up (sign in is in the top right hand part of the website) with your FaceBook account. Once you sign up, you will see a listing of categories. Within the categories, you can find your friends recommendations both from FaceBook, and those that they have entered in Vyne. You also have the option to search recommendations by location as well. It could not be easier to share and receive great recommendations.
Have you had a challenging time finding reliable service providers? Do you think Vyne.Me will help?
There are a few things that makes today’s Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken recipe really exciting…
1) It is a freezer meal
2) It can be cooked in the crock pot (obviously)
3) It does not contain a “cream of something” that most crock pot recipes do…
My entire family LOVED this recipe (kids included). In the future, I will probably double the amount of pineapple, because my son loved it! If you know that you have pineapple fans in your house, I definitely recommend using more. I also feel like this is a great summer crock pot recipe, as the flavors are light enough to be enjoyed on a hot summer night. This made me pretty excited because besides making pulled pork, my crock pot is usually retired once the weather starts warming up.
So….here we go with this week’s recipe for…
Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use tenderloins as an option as well)
1 16 oz can of pineapple slices, drained
1 15 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons of corn starch
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
1. Place chicken in a freezer bag . Mix together fruit, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, and ground ginger. Pour over the chicken in the bag, and mix well.
2. If freezing, put the chicken in the freezer bag. If you are cooking, put directly into the crock pot.
3. (If needed, thaw chicken) Cook in the crock pot for low 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
4. Add green pepper to the Crock pot 1 hour before serving, if desired. To serve, spoon over steamed rice and top with toasted almonds.
Just when I thought all was okay in mommy-world, my husband gives me one more thing to worry about. He has a little habit of making a comment, then going about his day, and I sit there and stress. and stress. and stress. The other night, my he was giving the kids their baths as I was putting away laundry, and he yelled out – “do you think we should be worried about these bath toys?” And so enters the question for today’s Manic Monday Post…Bath Toy Safety.
I popped my head into the bathroom, perplexed (as usual). I rotate bath toys pretty frequently…not only do they get a little gross (despite getting all the water out after baths, drying them, etc), but the kids get excited when new toys hit the tub. My husband was questioning any of the toys that had the “squirter” capability with the potential for mildew/mold growth. He then moved on to the paint question – can we be sure that everything that is used in the bath is safe with being played with in that way? Are there more rules for bath toys than any normal toys? Can the kids be exposed to any added chemicals which could be harmful?
I have thought about the mold/mildew issue over the years. To be honest, it freaked me out so much for a while, that one year for Christmas, my son just asked for bath toys. I was depriving him of bath toys because I had a hard time finding good ones!
So I don’t think my husband is really that crazy (don’t tell him I said that though…) – I tried looking up rules online to see if there was a difference between regular toys and bath toys and did not come across much out there. I found toy safety standards, government recommendations on drying out bath toys, but I still feel at a loss.
I figured we must not be the only one questioning this…so….have you questioned the bath toys that your children use? Have you found any good alternatives? Do you worry about Bath Toy Safety as well?
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