By Rana Askoul
I’m 26 weeks pregnant with my second baby. It’s that time when you can no longer hide that growing bump, specially second time round. For those that don’t know, you start to show earlier in the process post the first pregnancy.
As an entrepreneur, I’m in constant meetings with old and new clients to try and win new contracts. When you are an owner of a small business, people buy into you before anything else. Therefore, first impressions matter a lot. With existing clients, you have to continue showing them that you are on top of your game. That you can think, lead, innovate and deliver – results that is, not babies.
Imagine my disappointment when I read an Economist article a couple of weeks back that said the following: Research has found that pregnant women are perceived as “less authoritative and more irrational, regardless of their actual performance”. I had a prospective client meeting the next day. I picked my most overflowing top that did a very good job concealing my pregnancy “symptom”, and I closed the deal.
But then, I was never one to play by the rules. Specially rules based on misperceptions and flawed judgements. Being a parent of course changed me. Who can claim otherwise? It has changed me for the better. I’m calmer, wiser and more empathetic because of it. So is my husband.
Being pregnant isn’t a definition of who I am and what I am. It just simply means I’m pregnant. It doesn’t limit my ability to think, lead, innovate and deliver – again, I’m referring to results not babies. It doesn’t make me less or more authoritative and it definitely doesn’t change the dreams and goals I have set for myself. Having children has an impact on my dreams and goals. I hope to not only achieve personal aspirations, but to include my family with me on that journey and be part of their journey. So does my husband.
So here’s a secret I’m letting you in on: “Sshhh, I’m pregnant”.