How to elevate your picnic game, according to the Vintage Tea Trips team
How to elevate your picnic game, according to the Vintage Tea Trips team

Shayna Sappington

You can now book your appointment to shop at Penneys
You can now book your appointment to shop at Penneys

Jennifer McShane

There’s nothing quite as believable as the story you tell yourself, about yourself
There’s nothing quite as believable as the story you tell yourself, about yourself

Niamh Ennis

The weekend shopping fix: picnic essentials, soft bras and more
The weekend shopping fix: picnic essentials, soft bras and more

Holly O'Neill

Nail stickers are the key to nailing your nail art
Nail stickers are the key to nailing your nail art

Holly O'Neill

Embroidery artist Domino Whisker shares 5 of her favourite creatives to follow
Embroidery artist Domino Whisker shares 5 of her favourite creatives to follow

Megan Burns

Wallpaper inspiration for every room in the house
Wallpaper inspiration for every room in the house

Megan Burns

Image / Editorial

Pregnancy, Maternity Leave And The Fear


by IMAGE
16th Apr 2016
blank

It’s exactly a year since I left my job as editor of the women’s magazine Irish Tatler (I know because I am getting those anniversary pings from LinkedIn). It was a job I had for five years and one I thought I’d never be able to parent alongside – then I had my first baby in 2013. It was not an easy gig to hold as a mum, but with great support from my team and partner (yep, still not married) I managed to hang in there and do, I think an okay job.

Faced with the prospect of my second child coming along, I just couldn’t see how I could manage two kids under three with a role that mind and time sucked most of me; I just couldn’t figure how it would work. Time to look around, but hey, I’m pregnant, so no one is going to touch me. Or at least that was my thinking. Then the perfect thing came up, editing Cara magazine, a beautiful title with a more considered pace and less emphasis on the personality of the editor.

I’ve no intention of going for the job, but a chance meeting with a colleague (who doesn’t know I’m pregnant) encourages me to take the leap. I apply for it and get called for the interview. At this point, I’m eight weeks pregnant and thanks to my first pregnancy (and a massive craving for Haribo in the first trimester) I am feeling, and looking, quite pregnant already. So I wear Spanx to the first meeting – not, I’m sure, medically approved.

I get to a second interview. I am now just around the 12-week mark. And so the dilemma arises: Do I now share my baby news, risking colouring any prospect of being employed, or do I keep shtum, as I am legally entitled to do, and let them hire me on merits alone. A quick Googling will back a myriad of advice. Tell them, don’t tell them – don’t move jobs!

I decide to tell. I just can’t deal with any potential negative fallout from not giving them the information in advance of making their decision. But I’m pretty sure as to how it’s going to go down. I picture myself in the room having dropped the ‘bumpshell’ and the whirring sound of tumbleweed blowing through the room. Game over. End of the line.

I’m also in the strange situation of having told almost no one that I’m pregnant; I’m about to turn 40, so I’ve been wary of jinxing it. Yet I’m about to share this very personal news with veritable strangers. Not how I pictured my first disclosure. So it comes to the end of the interview. How do you actually segue into the pregnancy conversation? That point in the interview where they ask, ?Any questions for us?? ?Yes,? blah, blah on this and that, ?Also, I’m pregnant.? Just what every employer wants to hear.

But to my amazement, I still got the job. They even had a whole plan figured out for my maternity leave. A year later and things have moved on again. Three months into my maternity leave, I popped into the office to show off the newbie, and remind myself that I used to do other things outside of wiping bums and cleaning. I walked out with the opportunity to go for a promotion, and five months into my maternity leave, was made Editorial Director of the publishing company.

The moral of the story being, don’t call into work when you are on maternity leave, and don’t underestimate yourself and the people you work with, and work for. As women, we so easily write ourselves off, be it through motherhood, or age, or just a general lack of belief in our abilities to make it. I felt the fear putting myself out there, but I’m glad I did it anyway. My hope is that other women feel it and do it anyway too. You never know what might happen.

By Jessie Collins

@thecollinsline

Also Read

shells cafe
EDITORIAL
A Sligo cottage is transformed into a cool and cosy surfers’ haven

Still one of our favourite homes ever, the easy-breezy interiors...

By IMAGE Interiors & Living

Rosanna Davidson and her twin boys
premium REAL-LIFE STORIES, PARENTHOOD
Rosanna Davidson: ‘I had sort of accepted that I was a girl who couldn’t have a baby herself’

For Mother's Day Lia Hynes sits down with Rosanna Davidson, whose exceptional journey into motherhood has given many hope.

By Lia Hynes

blank
EDITORIAL
‘We went to the zoo today – and life felt deliciously normal’

What’s seldom is truly wonderful, writes Amanda Cassidy Dublin Zoo...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
Is marketplace feminism stealing the limelight from real female-driven issues?

‘Femertising’ is big business. Brands are increasingly taking advantage of...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
“You’re weird Mammy… other mothers iron”: Author Elske Rahill on writing and motherhood

“Every baby costs you a book” – that’s something women...

By IMAGE

blank
EDITORIAL
There is something uncomfortable about Kate Garraway sharing her husband’s desperate Covid texts

We are used to celebrities oversharing their lives. But sharing...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Social media’s obsession with filtering faces is a form of self-gaslighting’

By Amanda Cassidy