Went Back to Work after Maternity Leave to a Pandemic and a Layoff
IT HAPPENED TO ME.
I dialed into a surprise 4pm Zoom video call my boss placed on my calendar. After very brief obligatory pleasantries he said, “let me jump right in” and then proceeded to tell me that they were eliminating my position.
I was let go from my job not even one month after I returned to work after maternity leave. In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
But truthfully, I felt that my job was in jeopardy the very first day I came back, weeks before the world turned upside down. It wasn’t hard to read between the lines when during our first one-on-one meeting, my boss basically told me that “You need to figure out what you're going to be working on because there really isn’t anything left for you to do here”. So instead of being able to focus on getting back into my role and putting out great work, I was fighting (a losing battle) for my job.
How quickly things can change.
This is the same boss that I praised for being so understanding while I was pregnant in my How I broke the baby news to my boss blog post.
My ultimate fear came true and I have now joined 2 camps: 1) Working moms who were pushed out of their position after maternity leave and 2) the 6.6 million Americans and counting, who filed for unemployment benefits last week.
There is a minute by minute battle in my mind to not let these negative thoughts take over…
I Wasn’t Good Enough
I was the only one in my department who was let go. My boss could’ve chosen to change my responsibilities, demote me, anything else, but I wasn’t even good enough to stay.
Was I ever wanted, valuable? Did anyone fight for me to stay? Was I ever thought of as part of the team?
This Never Would’ve Happened If I Hadn’t Gone On Maternity Leave
While I was gone, I had no one fighting for me. If I would’ve stayed I would have been there to solidify myself as indispensable on the team.
I put work in to layout plans of action and discover projects to help grow the business, just to hand it over to someone else.
Did I Somehow Ask For This?
God, this is not what I meant when I wished for more time with newborn son.
I Am Embarrassed
In this society there is a lot of value placed on what you do for work and the feeling of worthlessness without one is heavy.
My husband who just started back working after an unexpected job loss (yea, we’ve been going through it lately, but that’s a blog post for another day) has been my rock. With him, both my parents and my close friends, I’ve had my dream team sowing into me words of comfort, a brighter perspective and an ear to let me vent.
They’ve helped me to see...
This Job Was A Placeholder
I got this job about a year before my husband lost his. I was able to get health insurance just in time to have my son and the paycheck helped carry us through. This wasn’t my career, just a placeholder.
No Man Can Remove Me From My Job Without God’s Permission
Being let go was unexpected to me, but it didn’t happen outside of God’s plan. So, what I feel is rejection, is actually redirection into the next assignment.
God Replaces What You’ve Lost With Something Better
Sometimes he has to force things out of your hand and even though it hurts, it’s necessary, to make room for the bigger blessing in store.
I’m Now Able To Put 100% Into What's Most Important
Suddenly my schedule is completely clear, LOL. This loss means that there are more important things that need me at this time. My newborn son, my husband, my family, friends.
I Am More Than What I Do
If all I had to offer is what I did from 9-5, that would be a pretty small existence. But I am so much more.
When I look back over my life, I can say with confidence that God has never failed me and I don’t expect His record to change now.
And, I believe the very same for you.
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