I had my pre-return-to-work meeting today with my two new bosses (I'm back to work in 3 weeks). I've been thinking a lot about this meeting over the past few days (weeks), wondering just how I would handle it. I knew I wanted (needed?) to tell them my "situation", because for one - I think it's fair that they know ASAP that they only have me for 6 months (and then I'm on mat leave again for another year), and for two - I needed to get it off my chest.
I wanted to do it professionally and I wanted to feel strong and confident and I did not want to show one drop of weakness. So I went in today wearing black, pointed-toe stilettos and lipstick and I held an umbrella over my head to keep my hair dry from the rain.
I got a great vibe from my new bosses. They were really excited that I was coming back to work. They were told great things about me, my work ethic, my determination, my intelligence. They said I come very highly recommended from my previous boss (same company but different bosses due to reorganization). They talked about what my job was going to entail, and some new stuff that I was going to be taking on. I will also be working out of a different location, a bigger building, a bigger, nicer office.
And when we were done discussing all of that they asked if there was anything else we needed to talk about....
And that's when I dropped the bomb.
I know I didn't have to give them the details, but I felt that I owed them some sort of explanation. (Especially since the female boss looked at me like she had been slapped.) Things definitely softened up a bit once I explained the infertility and the past IVF cycles and our less than one percent chance of doing this the way we did. They were quite decent about it anyways. I told them that I realized, for an employer that this is not a great situation. They said that we just need to concentrate now on getting me back in the saddle and up to speed and we'd worry about the rest later. They said that's what contractors are for. They were very professional and somewhat compassionate. And I am grateful for that.
Still, I left there feeling a bit empty inside and a somewhat depressed. I really do enjoy my career and I really was looking forward to getting back at it - full force. I was looking forward to being respected for my strong work ethic and my brains and for how good I am at my job - and not just because I can change a mean diaper. Can anybody take me seriously in my position now? Or will everyone just be watching the calendar until I'm gone again? Will I be reluctant take on new projects, knowing I'm going to have to hand it off to someone in a few months? Can I really get comfortable there considering I'll be gone again in a mere six months?
This is harder than I thought it would be. I feel like I'm losing a bit of my identity.