The thing about getting pregnant is that, so often, the timing isn’t quite ideal. Either you’re pregnant when you didn’t really plan for it or you plan for it but find it takes way more time – or way less time – than you expected.
And so, when my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby in August, neither of us had factored in that, by December, I’d be pregnant. We’d just imagined it’d take longer.
But there it was. And there was I – working in a well-paid but temporary job. And, with a freelancing husband who works from home, when it came to getting a mortgage to upgrade to something a bit more baby-friendly than our 1-bedroom apartment, we were told by every bank we visited than least one of us had to have a permanent job if we wanted to secure any kind of loan.
And so I started looking. As anyone who’s ever looked for a job knows, it can feel like a full-time job in itself – tough when you’ve got an actual full-time job. Even tougher when you’re feeling a bit queasy. Add to that the panic I felt about the massive life change we were about to go through – and that the bigger I got, the more time was running out to get something – and it was a bit of a hectic situation.
Luckily for me, I had an AMAZING boss who knew my situation, got it totally (no, she wasn’t a mum herself at the time) and kept an eye out for roles for me.
Eek! The interviews!
And, then, I was offered an interview. And I got a 2nd interview.
By this time, I was nearly 6 months pregnant. My bump was sizeable but I didn’t want it to show for the interview. Was I deliberately hiding it? Yes.
Why? Because I really felt I was perfect for the job and was worried that a massive baby bump would be a huge distraction in the interview room, and would instantly discount me.
So, for both interviews, I wore a dress that tied at the top (like the one above) and that flowed loosely over my bump and thighs, with trousers (not done up!) underneath.
And, both times, I was careful not to rub my belly (I was very much at the belly-rubbing stage…).
I had a feeling things had gone well and, when I got the call to say I’d been offered the job, I was delighted. I’d already talked my tactic through with my husband: if offered the job, I was going to say thank you very much and I’d think about it.
Then I’d work out how to tell them I’d be leaving in just a couple of months to have a baby.
When I was ready, I rang and said I’d love to accept the role. Then straightaway, I followed up by telling my boss-to-be I was 6 months pregnant. Just like that.
“Congratulations!” he said, without missing a beat.
Within a few weeks, I started and had nothing but well wishes from my new colleagues. I did hear whispers that one member of staff had asked why I’d been hired when I was so pregnant but, other than that, everyone was fantastic.
Cover was put in place for my maternity, and I worked there for 2 months before going on leave for 9 months.
(There might have been a bit of kickback karma in that I finished work on a Friday, 3 weeks before my due date, but my waters broke a mere 2 days later and I had my little girl at 12.39am on the Monday, the first day of my actual maternity leave and 21 whole days earlier than expected ?)
I sent my colleagues a pic of my new baby (pictured above) on the Tuesday morning.
I went on to have 3 more happy years at the company, and am still great friends with the boss who hired me.
But would I do the same again? I’m not so sure I would.
Now that I look back, it does feel kind of brazen, but I was simply spurred on by the fact we needed a new house for our baby and, I must admit, I had tunnel vision on it.
What do you think?
Would you / have you hidden your bump to get a job or for any other reason? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook