to take new baby to work meeting?

(83 Posts)
ShadowFall Wed 09-Oct-13 14:40:41

I'm off work on maternity leave at the minute, having recently given birth to DS2.

I've just had a call from one of the project managers at work, asking me to come into the office for an important meeting about his project. He knows I'm on maternity leave, but he wants me to come in anyway.
Apparently the meeting should just take "a couple of hours", but knowing the project, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it overran. Project manager has offered to reschedule the part of the meeting most relevant to me (but by no more than 2 weeks) if the short notice is a big problem for me.

Going into the office without DS1 isn't a problem, as this meeting's scheduled for one of his nursery days, but not taking DS2 is a much bigger problem.

DS2 will be just over 4 weeks old when this meeting's scheduled, and I'm breastfeeding him. We had a very rocky first week with the breastfeeding, and although we're doing much better at it now, it can still take a while for DS2 to get properly latched on and start feeding. I'm very reluctant to try introducing him to a bottle this early - or even at 6 weeks old - in case it throws his breastfeeding off. And I can't leave him for a couple of hours with a babysitter if they've got no means of feeding him.

So, WIBU tell the project manager that I'm only going to attend his meeting if I can take DS2 along, so that I can breastfeed him if he gets hungry? When I know fine well that project manager wants a meeting with no children present?

My line manager is off work today, so no chance to talk this through with him until tomorrow at the earliest. No idea if line manager knows anything at all about project manager's important meeting requirements yet...

It would have to be a KIT day, but you won't get extra money for it as you only earn money from KIT days in a week where the salaried amount goes over your maternity pay for that week.

Also, you cannot be compelled to take a KIT day, they have to be mutually agreed.

I would also ask that they refrain from contacting you during your maternity leave, and that only your line manager should contact you for appropriate reasons (i.e. not because they have their knickers in a twist).

If you do go in, take the baby, along with muslins, nappies, changing mat, crying baby, the works. It won't last long grin

gintastic Wed 09-Oct-13 18:57:17

I was asked to work while on mat leave during the first week of the summer holidays this year. I said no, as although my baby was older (8 months) I can't just magic childcare out of nowhere for 3 children.

They asked again the next day, despite being told all of the above.

It's one of the main reasons that Friday is my last day working for them, as I started looking for a new job - this was the final straw for me.

Dubjackeen Wed 09-Oct-13 19:12:36

OP, first of all, congrats on your new baby. In your shoes, no, I wouldn't be attending the meeting. I would also be irritated that someone else was given my personal mobile number. Start as you mean to go on, refuse politely, but very firmly. You are on maternity leave. If, for some reason, you never returned, e.g you won the lotto/ got a new job or whatever, they would have to manage without you. I actually have never heard of someone being asked to come into work, while on maternity leave, I do not think it is a reasonable request. If you agree to it, it will continue to happen.

MistressIggi Wed 09-Oct-13 19:27:17

Why why why would he think that's ok? It is not a keeping in touch type day.

Have a look at this leaflet from DWP. Show your employer page 17 where it says "Your employer cannot make you work during this time if you don't want to."

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 09-Oct-13 20:55:14

If you aren't critical then don't go.

I actually feel that you almost have a moral duty not to, otherwise you will be setting a precedent in your office that women on maternity leave are fair game to be contacted 'well shadow did it'.

I would contact your line manager tomorrow, but in a 'what the fuck is this guy doing calling me on my personal mobile when I'm on maternity?' way.

Quincejelly Wed 09-Oct-13 21:58:32

In my experience, a lot of people in the workplace do not have the faintest idea what a baby is, let alone what maternity leave is like. A lot of them seem to think it´s like taking time off to shampoo the carpet. I had them calling me all the time wanting this and that and they had no idea whatsoever that the tube journey to work (when I went on a purely social call because they wanted to give me a present for the birth) for me with a month-old baby was one of the most challenging things I´ve ever done in my entire life and not something I would repeat lightly.
In my case, they just didn´t have a clue. In the end it did become clear to them when they were trying to discuss work with me with a baby (then older) bawling in my ear in her sling and with me not being able to hear a word they were saying.
I think it´s up to you to make clear to them that they are really asking an awful lot - and as other posters have said, set the precedent for other women, and make it clear that they are asking way too much.

I actually feel that you almost have a moral duty not to, otherwise you will be setting a precedent in your office that women on maternity leave are fair game to be contacted 'well shadow did it'.

I would contact your line manager tomorrow, but in a 'what the fuck is this guy doing calling me on my personal mobile when I'm on maternity?' way.

Yes, this.

PansOnFire Wed 09-Oct-13 22:37:13

I know it's tempting to go, but I really don't think you should. Maternity leave is to focus on your family life, before my baby I had no idea that I would struggle to flick that home/work switch in my brain. If you go you'll remain half in work mode when you should be focusing on how to make the most of your family.

It wasVVVU of work to even suggest it.

Loopytiles Wed 09-Oct-13 23:15:17

Disgraceful!

Just say no and contact your lm as horry suggests.

Luvvies Thu 10-Oct-13 18:59:26

Did you contact your line manager about it today?

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 10-Oct-13 19:16:36

My boss suggested I go on a week long course during maternity leave I said no, simples. I went into a meeting with the baby who was ff and older as I had no babysitter wanted to make a point he did not ask me to another meeting. My boss was lovely just a bit clueless.

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 10-Oct-13 19:19:26

Just thinking you should respond to the PM and say see you whatever day and can you have hr make sure they put in a chair suitable for breast feeding the baby. I hope she/sleeps during the meeting it will be a first and then wait for the response.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 10-Oct-13 19:21:33

No, do not go. Far, far too soon. Too soon to leave baby or to take him into the meeting- you would be so distracted and not feeling professional at all. It's very unreasonable of them to ask. You must not allow it to happen.

TheDoctrineOfSpike Thu 10-Oct-13 19:22:48

I really hope the line manger is giving the project manager a "what the fuck were you thinking?" Talk.

Phineyj Thu 10-Oct-13 19:26:34

I agree with Tallister above - if you go in they will ask again. And again.

SeaSickSal Thu 10-Oct-13 20:12:13

Say no. I had KIT days but it's unreasonable to expect them to be used in the first few months.

You could at a push attend by phone maybe?

edwinbear Thu 10-Oct-13 22:14:35

This is easy. You say "I'm sorry, I'm on maternity leave having recently given birth. You will need to discuss the issue with my maternity cover". If you want to be seen to be being flexible and accommodating, you could offer to speak to him on the phone as long as he doesn't mind a baby crying in the background, I did this once or twice when on mat leave but when the dc's were over 6 months. At 4 weeks post birth I wasn't fit to discuss work with anyone anyway to be honest, my mind wasn't really on the job.

PumpkinGuts Thu 10-Oct-13 22:18:18

skype or nothing

ShadowFall Fri 11-Oct-13 10:03:44

To update - line manager was off again yesterday and today, so haven't managed to talk to him yet. I've left messages asking him to give me a call when he gets into the office. I have no intention of making any kind of contact with the project manager, including answering my phone if his number appears, until I have spoken to my line manager.

And I've remotely logged into my work e-mail to have a look at the project manager's meeting request. His "just a couple of hours" meeting is actually an all day 9am - 5pm extravaganza on the original meeting request hmm

TheDoctrineOfSpike Fri 11-Oct-13 11:18:24

Good idea OP. if he does catch you in the hop, say you are waiting to speak to your line manager on thus matter.

naturephoto19 Fri 11-Oct-13 11:38:28

How ridiculous is this PM? Explain to your PM that you wont be attending the meeting however feel free to send me minutes of the meeting to my email address if they think its that important! shock

Zara1984 Fri 11-Oct-13 11:41:55

Your cover should really be handling this. If you do go in, definitely take baby. I have gone in for regular meetings at work as a courtesy during mat leave and have always taken DS. If they think I'm paying for a babysitter or getting DH to stay home from work they can bog off.

Also a cranky/tired baby is a perfect excuse to wind up a longwinded meeting grin

Zara1984 Fri 11-Oct-13 11:43:29

Just seen your latest post. Noooo way! All day meeting when you've just had a baby? Fuck off. Project manager is completely out of line

Zara1984 Fri 11-Oct-13 11:44:13

The meetings I've gone in for have been 1-3 hours tops and usually everyone wants to coo over DS in the end instead of talking about work grin

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