When I first announced I was pregnant on social media, I was almost 7 months along and had MASSIVE anxiety leading up to the announcement. Dave would ask me every week if this was the week I was going to make it ‘official’. Each week I had a new excuse as to why this wasn’t the right week for it. And to be fair, I did have a few reasons for not wanting to make my pregnancy public.
I was still nervous something could go wrong in the last few months and we would lose the baby.
We had tried for over a year to conceive with no success and I still don’t think I really believed it was ‘real’.
I had just started a new career and business as a Realtor specializing in income and investment properties, and I was worried that my current clients would ditch me; new clients wouldn’t want to work with me; and that my colleagues wouldn’t take me seriously.
While I knew that Reasons #1 and #2 were deep-seated, highly unlikely fears that I needed to work through, Reason #3 felt very plausible and very real. Working as a Realtor, you are running your own business. While there are perks to running your own business, there are also huge disadvantages, for example, no Maternity leave or Employment Insurance (EI), unless you’ve paid into it. Being in the business less than a year, I had not paid into EI. So I knew that taking any sort of time off was a big risk for me financially, especially if I lost any clients before the baby even came.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, I was actually able to keep my pregnancy a secret longer than usual because I was doing virtual house tours, Zoom meetings rather than face-to-face meetings. and not seeing many clients in person. As with anything though, eventually, you just can’t hide it anymore. So I held my breath and posted our gender reveal video on Facebook (check out my Facebook page if you're curious!)
Of course, we had great reactions from family, friends, clients, and colleagues to the news. But I was still nervous because people can be happy for you on a personal level, but then take a completely different perspective on a business level. Luckily (or maybe because my clients are the best!), I didn’t have any fallout after the pregnancy. I did, of course, have questions from clients:
- Are you still okay to take me on?
- Will you be around when my house closes?
- Can you still answer questions for me after the baby comes?
- Do you have a transition plan in place?
- Are you sure you’re up for this?
To which I responded YES to all of them. Because let’s remember people, we’re pregnant, we’re not dying. No, I may not crawl around on my hands and knees under your house for you at 40 weeks pregnant (although I did do this at 38 weeks!), but other than that, I’m your girl. My current plan is to work with baby, but schedule as much work into evenings and weekends as possible so that Dave can take over baby duty when he finishes working.
So to all the soon-to-be mamas out there worrying about how to announce your pregnancy when you have a career or a business to run, here are a few tips:
Don’t overthink it too much. Your clients are your clients for a reason, and while you may get questions after the announcement of how you plan on supporting them, as long as you have answers to those questions that make them feel thought of and well-cared for, you will be totally fine.
Have a transition plan in place if you plan to transition business to someone else, or at least a rough idea of how you plan to continue working with baby along for the ride.
Any clients who do end up ditching you because you’re pregnant are clients you probably don’t want to work with anyway ;)
Mostly, just remember you’re a badass woman who is growing a baby while also working a career to support you and your family, and those two things alone make you a rockstar. Anyone who can’t recognize that isn’t worth your valuable time.