V.A: To rewrite the rules
”I know that I am very young, but life doesn’t have to be over right”
I catch myself once again whitewashing my pregnancy, this time to one of my poor innocent
colleagues by the coffee machine. She hadn’t even said anything before I punched into defense
mode and pulled her over the same edge as people with prejudice.
”You are not that young Victoria. You’re turning 25 right?”
She’s right. But 25 here is not 25 there, and 25 to me isn’t 25 to my friend who said that
unnecessary comment. Or my old colleague who said that kids before 30 in Stockholm is
madness. Social rules, mental plans and an age-based life schedule that everyone are secretly
obliged to follow depending on where in the world you live. Life according to plan.
Because being half way through a pregnancy, 24 years old and two months in on my dream job
wasn’t really according to plan.
Except all the practicalities such as selling the apartment, buying a new one with a large size
elevator, garage spot and space for another family member. There’s a mental process. Will we
manage? Am I too young? Am I ruing my career?
Am I ruining my career. All other thoughts and doubts have knocked on the door, been invited in for
coffee and then quickly rejected. I’m certain that we will manage this, we have an infinite amount of
love to give and we will be amazing parents. But the thought of me taking a big knife and stabbing
it into my career has somehow lingered like a ghost. And every time I begin to land, someone
accidentally shares their own or someone else’s thoughts on my pregnancy announcement. ”He
said that he was so chocked when he heard because he thought you were set on focusing on your
Along with the knife being turned three times in my stomach I understand that the thought has
occurred among others, I mean it has been more than present for me. I guess that’s what
society looks like. Career and children is not a match. Career and women is not as obvious as
career and men. No matter what happens, it will always be impossible for men to carry the same
load - to take over a pregnancy or give birth. Women will always be a bit more uncomfortable, cost
more money and be a bit more of burden to an employer. But does that make it easier to just give
up? Wait until it’s almost too late in order to avoid the uncomfortable talk with your boss? Not have
kids at all? Choose between career and family?
The more I think about it - the more absurd it gets. Because the beautiful thing about life is that you
get to decide for yourself. You draw your own game plan. I have realized that for me, being a
young mom will be to my advantage. My body is made for this right now. I will most likely have
more energy to both be a loving mom and at the same time be successful at my job now, than in
ten years. And in the future when I fight against a man for that manager position, I will have the
same starting point because maternity leaves have already been completed (awful but true).
Being a mom will make me even more empathetic, patient and multifaceted. What an amazing
experience to bring with me into working life and my continued career.
In other words, I will stop making excuses for myself by the coffee machine. Hope you look forward to continuing to follow me when I master the most important and beautiful job in my life so far - in
parallel with my career in PR. Powerful, right?