Thursday, November 13, 2008

Discussing pregnancy and kids at work

Yesterday I met with a couple of associates from a vendor that I manage. It was my first time meeting them in person. We had been having some issues wrapping up a project and starting a new one so I set aside an hour for us to talk before they took another associate out to lunch. It was me, two men and a woman who was the senior team leader.

We went through the agenda items I had laid out and came to agreement on all of the big factors. As we were wrapping up, I mentioned that a colleague of mine would be taking over when I went out on maternity leave in March/April. Well, that changed the entire tenor of the conversation!

For the next thirty minutes the team leader and I discussed all kinds of child related issues. I tried not to exclude the two men but it was challenging as neither had children. After a while I started to feel uncomfortable but it was difficult to bring up new, more inclusive topics. I wonder if any of you would have advice on how to change the conversation?

I also got my first question as to whether I would be returning to work after giving birth. Surprisingly it was from the team leader who has a four-year-old and went back to work herself after 12 weeks.

Anyone else ever had a similar experience? Or find that others you work with talk too much about their pregnancy/kids? I appreciate building personal relationships but I think it would have been better suited to a 1:1 discussion rather than a team meeting.


Donna said...

Well, at my work there was a woman that waited on the edge of her seat for me to get pregnant (in hopes of getting my office). Ha! the joke was on her since I took 3 years to get pregnant and tons of fertility treatments! She ended up leaving the job (I have no idea if it was because I came back to work after I gave birth or not - who knows - an office was her main agenda). As far as changing topics, I like to switch to pets and animals with some of the ladies at work who I know have dogs, cats or horses. As for men, I usually slip into some sports related topic. I know the essentials and then they just take off blabbering away.

Mommy, Esq. said...

It is fun to now be able to participate in kid banter - used to drive me crazy though when I had none.