In May 2009 I graduated college with a double degree in German and International Business from the wonderful Grand Valley State University, GO LAKERS!
I moved back home and interned full-time for FREE at a local fashion magazine doing social media and marketing, before that was even a thing! On nights and weekends I worked at a country club serving and at a tanning salon to make up for the 40 hours I wasn’t getting paid and made some serious cash.
In May 2010 I landed a job working in an insurance office. I didn’t love it but it it was salary and I could drop down my hours at my other jobs. I found out I was pregnant and let my job know right away. They seemed supportive, or so I thought.
My due date was Jan 19, 2011 but I went into labor a month early with Tracen and was in the NICU for 10 days. At 4 weeks postpartum I started getting emails and calls from my boss asking when I’d be back at work. At 6 weeks I told them I could come back part time for a few weeks until I could secure a daycare spot and then come back full time at 8 or 9 weeks, their response is below:
This was sent to me on Feb 1, 2011-41 days after giving birth to a premie who was in the NICU. We have multiple family members that are lawyers so I reached out to them right away. Since I wasn’t there a full year I had zero FMLA rights so technically, this was legal. Was it considerate? HELL TO THE FUCKING NO, but that’s a different story.
Looking back at my emails from that time I have zero idea how I didn’t freak out and dive deep into postpartum depression. We were barely scrapping by with the money we were making and now I was out of a job and had a new baby. I found emails between my sister in law and myself talking and I confidently said “It’s not the end of the world because we just got our tax money back and I at least had my other job still!” Positive Chelsea for the win.
I started looking for jobs right away while upping my hours at the tanning salon at night so I could be home with Tracen during the day. I leaned on family to help watch Tracen while we worked. Jerek picked up another job at a pizza place and we got help through the state for medical coverage.
Say that again with me, YOU DO, WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. You can’t help what situations are throw at you but you can help with how you react.
In May 2011 I got hired into my current automotive job today. A job that had a significantly better salary, daycare onsite, 401k, healthcare, bonuses, 4 weeks paid vacation, car lease discounts, PAID MATERNITY LEAVE and so much more.
Some days I want to throw it all in and hustle 10 times harder on my business but then I also remember how amazing it is that I have this full-time career and can run these along side of it.
People have made comments about how lucky I was to get the job because I knew someone that worked there but honestly, I don’t feel lucky. I’ve worked hard to get where I am today. Sure I knew someone there but my resume and interview is why I got the job. I’ve been working since I was 14 and in college, I always worked 2-3 jobs while taking 15-18 credits every semester and paying for everything myself. I work hard in the office and hard at home, I’m 1000% grateful for this job but I’m not lucky, I’ve earned it all.
So thank you for firing the new mom. For giving me 5 months at home with my son. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to find something 1000 times better than you could ever offer me. And as Ariana would say,
Thank you, next!