“It’s a myth”, that’s what I’ve heard and read in research articles of how mothers’ brains who are expecting are unaltered.
Although I still think that at times I am going crazy and that I am not able to be as productive as I use to be, I do think that your mind is affected by the changes your body goes through. Just alone in month 6, theses are symptoms you will be going through:
- Those baby flutters or as I like to call them, worm feelings, will start
- Oh the gas
- Uterus is the size of a basketball
- Increased vaginal discharge- yea i change underwear at least twice a day
- Pain and stretching in the underbelly
- Most recent, bloody booty-hemorrhoids
Okay, you get the point. Well its no wonder that we can’t focus or multitask as much as we would like to. Something you have to realize is that you actually are multitasking while doing everything else, like work or thinking about what you and your partner have to do before the babe gets here.
Giver yourself a break. I’m trying too. I have become excruciatingly frustrated with myself because I was the type of employee that was able to do it all. Now i’m missing meetings because of appointments, getting undermined by people from other departments and co-workers and my boss are giving me a break with work (I hate it). To top it all off, our VP spoke to my direct supervisor and insinuated that my supervisor should not expect much out of me, as a result my student enrollment goals should be adjusted. Talk about sexism and discrimination. Although I truly am blessed to have coworkers and a boss who is wholeheartedly understanding, it sucks. I want to do it all but I physically, mentally and emotionally can’t. However, there are things that you can do to make it no one else’s business of what you can and cannot do. You also don’t want people’s pity.
- Stop talking about baby brain and mommy brain. Even though you are convinced that you are going crazy or feel like you are a bit more clumsy than before, stop mentioning it and stop complaining. I know, you are going through so much but at the same time, you are what you want people to see and if you want them to see you as a person who is tired all the time and needs help doing the work, then who is losing out here? Believe that you are this human who was given the opportunity to pop a sucker out. You are strong and you CAN do it. You won’t be able to do it all at once but be patient with yourself. Also seek out a group outside of work and/or talk to HR about what your rights at work are. If you can’t find anyone, I’m here to help! I can be your support!
- Plan! Not only plan for what changes will happen with baby coming into the world but plan for the things you can control such work events or responsibilities and be intentional. If it takes you longer to complete a task, start early and give yourself time to successfully complete it. I use to be able to do projects within hours of receiving marching orders but that’s not the case anymore. You are now responsible for yourself and another being. Time is no longer your own. You will have to adjust to the changes and pee a lot more or pump!
All in all, as a person of color as my dad would say, “don’t give them a reason to fire you”. And although it would be illegal to not provide certain accommodations, don’t be surprised by anything or anyone that might try to undermine your ability to successfully complete your job. I have always been a firm believer of being ten steps ahead of anyone and ALWAYS have paper trail, be transparent and work with integrity.
On the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission you will find information about the type of rights you have as a pregnant person. Per law, while the PDA does not require employers to provide time off for pregnancy disability, it does require employers to treat pregnancy disability the same as other disabilities for purposes of sick leave or temporary disability benefits. Be your own hero and know your rights!
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