4 Work Events You Can Avoid Guilt-Free When You’re Pregnant
Every mom-to-be is a glowing goddess making a miracle by growing an entirely other human being inside of her, right? Well, maybe you’re more of a moody, swollen-footed, can’t-wait-to-get-this-baby-out, pregnancy-brain-stricken mama. No one expects you to enjoy every single second of your pregnancy. (Heck, nobody reasonable expects you to enjoy any of it.) With that in mind, getting your pregnant self dressed to impress and schlepped to a work event may not sound ideal. Check out which work-related activities you can safely pass on — and which ones just might give your career a much-needed kick.
Definitely Deliberate Ditching…
1. Margarita Mondays: Or, for that matter, any “hey let’s go out and do shots after work” type of group gathering. Even though the entire gang is going, you may not want to spend your precious would-be sleep time in a crowded, noisy bar watching your coworkers polish off bottles of pinot as you sip on Shirley Temples. Unless your boss is pretty much demanding that everyone go (as a “group bonding experience,” of course), don’t feel bad about skipping out on this one.
2. The Mud Run: As a team-building exercise, your boss has made the executive decision that the entire department will participate in one of those crazy-grueling, crawl-through-the-mud runs. Let’s start with the basics here — physically, you’re out of this one. Even though workouts are typically okay for mamas-to-be, there’s a limit to what you can safely do, and it’s not likely that your doctor will give the thumbs-up to army-crawling through half a foot of mud. Hanging on the sidelines cheering on your team is perfectly acceptable. But participation is a big no-no.
3. Due-Date-Day Anything: Do you really want your water to break in the middle of a workplace party? That’s not exactly the lasting impression you want your colleagues to have of you. Unless it’s been made very, very, extraordinarily clear that missing an event that happens to fall on your due date will so negatively affect your return to work (following maternity leave) that you may as well quit now, it may be safer to stay home. And more comfortable too!
4. The Holiday Party: This sort of work event is an iffy situation when it comes to deciding whether to take a pass or actually attend. If it’s a midday, lunchtime, in-the-office affair, then by all means go and eat your fill of holiday-themed cupcakes. But if it’s more of a bad drunken karaoke party hosted by the neighborhood watering hole, skip it. Anyway, there’s a 50/50 chance that you can just say you were there and no one will be the wiser.
But You Seriously Shouldn’t Skip…
1. The Morning Meeting: Whether it’s once a week, once a month, once a quarter, or once in a while, skipping out on the early a.m. meeting is not okay. You might have morning sickness, and you might have gotten what feels like half an hour of sleep, but sneaking in at 10am after everyone else dragged themselves out of bed at 6am just won’t do.
2. Dinner With the Boss: The head of your department invited you (and your S.O.) to dinner at their house — not a party, not a company-wide retreat, but an intimate, “let’s get to know each other better and talk about where your career is going” dinner. Unless you’re actively in mid-morning sickness vomit mode or you’re starting to have contractions, do your work-self a favor — pick out a nice host gift and go to dinner.
3. Award Ceremony: Like some other work events, this one is almost too close to call. If you’re not the award recipient (especially if you work for a large organization), there’s a decent chance your coworkers won’t miss you. But if the night is all about you, everyone is likely to wonder about the woman of honor’s noticeable absence. Waddle yourself to the podium, accept the award, make a funny quip about being pregnant, and call it an early night.
4. Your Shower: Your coworkers have generously planned a baby shower for you. Maybe they even decided to spring for a real restaurant instead of hosting it in the break room and have coordinated a midday out-of-the-office meal that works for everyone’s schedule. Whatever the plans are, this work event is for you — and only you. Missing it for anything other than dire circumstances would be more than rude and probably guarantee your post-maternity leave return will go without any kind of coworker welcome.
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(Photos via Getty)