When I first started at Coalmarch 3 ½ years ago, I was the first person in my brand new position. The company had just narrowed down its niche to working with just lawn care and pest control companies, and my shiny new job was the first of its kind.
Because we were transitioning our sales focus, we had lots to learn and there were a lot of unknowns. From day one, my boss, Maria, and I sat down to begin the long process of figuring it all out (and to some degree we still are!)
My first happy hour with my new Coalmarch family
Ten months ago, I was excited to once again find myself having to “figure it all out” when another equally exciting, shiny new position fell into my lap: mom-to-be. And not just any mom, but Coalmarch’s first.
This was a new frontier. The endless doctor appointments and weeks of maternity leave weren’t what made it so crazy - it was that we were about to have someone actually be pregnant at work for the better part of nine months. We're lucky to have lots of dads here at Coalmarch, but no one had gone through a whole pregnancy here in the office...until me.
Once again, as we do so well, Maria and I sat down to “figure it all out.” While I was the first to be pregnant on the job, she was the first to manage a pregnant employee, to plan for her leave, and to deal with any pregnancy side effects that might rear their ugly heads. Without any real documentation on how to handle this, we both jumped right in and decided that we were going to set some goals, do our best, and learn the most we could to make this the best first office pregnancy possible.
I’ll break it down, so you get the full picture of what she and I were dealing with:
What we didn’t have:
Documentation other than a basic maternity leave policy
Examples of how others handled this situation
Resources at our disposal for how to approach tough subjects
ANY idea of what to expect
What we did have:
A solid history of making something out of nothing
Years of experience together figuring out the unknown
Two of the most determined, driven people at Coalmarch
An amazing support group of friends in our colleagues
In other words, we were going in totally blind. Luckily, we were used to this. We welcomed the challenge and, not to boast, but as usual, we crushed it.
Fast forward to January 27th, 2017 - the day before my due date, and last day of work for me. I did it! I made it, and we made it as a manager and managee, as a department, and as a company.
In fact, “made it” is an understatement. My work family was my support system throughout all of this. They were the people I told before most of my family knew. They threw me baby showers, came to my gender reveal, rubbed my belly, donated clothes to me from their wives, and encouraged me to hang in there when I needed it. They were there to give me oreos and sugar when I was falling asleep at my desk in my first trimester, to keep me motivated and upbeat as my body changed, and to tell me how much they would miss me as I packed up on my last day.
"Our” last day in the office
So while we initially didn’t have the resources or processes in place that other companies have, we were still able to “figure it all out,” and set things up for the next person lucky enough to become a Coalmom.
In the end, the amazing family that I have gained in the past 3 ½ years is not only what got me through so many of the challenges of pregnancy, but is also a group I am so incredibly excited to introduce my son to as soon as he makes his grand entrance.
And to those of you who are asking, “Will Meg be back?” Do you even have to ask? Of course I will. I’ll see you in April.
Hudson "Huck" Joseph Parrish and his big, squishy cheeks officially joined the Coalmarch team on February 2, 2017!