Priorities: Pregnancy, Sickness and Work
Whether you are a working lady or are already a full-time Mutti, it’s difficult to adjust your priorities when you find out you’re pregnant. From cleaning the house, to lifting shopping bags, to attending stressful meetings – how do you decide what you can and can’t manage? I have really been struggling with prioritising the important things in life since my Bump began to grow – and keeping a clear, sensible head is made even more tricky when you’re not sleeping, you’re ill or you are a compulsive worrier! Nature and logic dictate that your unborn baby should come first…always! But this is made tricky by modern life; the fact that the majority of us have to work to be able to live, and sometimes resting as much as your body requires just isn’t an option.
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This fortnight’s dilemma has been whether to go into work when I’m feeling like death warmed up and am in my third trimester! Normally (non-pregnant) I would make the effort to go in and sort things out, as I always spend any sick leave I have worrying that everything will fall apart when I’m not there (yes, the start of maternity leave is going to be fun) and feeling guilty that I’m sick! Ridiculous I know. But this week or so has been tricky; I’ve had this cold for over 10 days now – which, for a cold, is a long time – and it hasn’t been made any better by the fact I’m fighting for two, plus the stress of the engagement party hasn’t exactly helped. My body obviously needs to rest A LOT to get over this, as the small nuggets of rest I’ve been grabbing haven’t made a blind bit of difference, and the cold seems to have mutated into something worse than it was this time last week. So what does one do in this situation? Sit at your desk consuming as much vitamin C as is humanly possible in the vain hope that the sickness might disappear, but placing your health and the health of your unborn child at risk of further sickness developments? Or stay at home and rest but feel like you’re weak for not going into work? Well, today I have opted for the latter. After hearing horror stories yesterday about people collapsing and ending up in A&E after attempting to battle on through with this cold I thought it would be best to rest, as I have to think for two now! Do I feel guilty for being sick? Yes. Do I feel that it’s irrational guilt? Most certainly. But isn’t my unborn baby and our combined welfare more important than any job, any dishwasher that needs emptying, any dirty laundry that needs washing (Sssh! I’m not good at sitting still!)? Of course. It’s taken me a while to realise this – but there we go! Nick will be proud.
Part of me sometimes wishes *hangs head in anti-feminist-thinking shame* that we could go back to the 1950s where dilemmas like this wouldn’t really exist as once married you generally gave up your job… Controversial I know. Although thinking about it, I probably would have ended up marrying my first boyfriend, so let’s not go there and be thankful for 2012!!!
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Oh well, perhaps we’ll win the lottery and I’ll never have to juggle work and having a young child! And we can get a cleaner. And a horse. In my dreams.