AIBU to not want to work extra hours? work life balance when pregnant.

(20 Posts)
SicknSpan Fri 14-Mar-14 19:31:08

Im 29 weeks pregnant with dc3, work part time an have a big project on the go. I was initially leading the project but after a long spell signed off with Hyperemesis, and the current project lead being put in place to cover for me, my boss and I agreed that on my return it didn’t make sense to hand over leadership of project to me again. We could not be certain that Hyperemesis would stay away enough to allow me to work (it didn’t with my previous 2 children and I had numerous spells in hospital during the whole 9 months each pregnancy). Also it was not clear when I would need to go on maternity leave due to other issues and I completely agree that taking a step back was the right thing to do, I am very pleased to be providing support to the project and that im still involved but glad that I don’t have the added pressure of leading it at present. Stress was a major factor in my sickness levels before.

A big deadline is looming and there is so much work still to be done I am being expected to work much longer hours to get the job done. Normally I would of course log back on to my laptop in the evening. This is pretty routine and I would do this a couple of times a week just to be on top of my normal workload let alone if there was a big chunk of work needing to be done.

However I am still on medication for Hyperemesis, (still throw up anyway but to a manageable level) and I am asleep on the sofa by 8.30pm every night after getting the children to bed/eating dinner if I fancy it. We are having some major building work done, so life is a bit upside down at home, dh has enough on his plate with project managing that and doesn’t get home til just before dc bed anyway- I just can’t see where I can possibly find another 3 hours a day to spend on work.

I could put the boys into after school club for 2 afternoons a week so that I could work longer but I resent being expected to work unpaid overtime and then having to pay for childcare to allow me to do this.

On the other hand, I do not want to let my project lead down and not “going the extra mile” would be a big black mark against me in career terms. Not that I have a career as such, I worked my way up to specialist level in my field before dc came along and have stayed there ever since quite happily but I value my reputation and would hate to feel that colleagues were thinking badly of me. My boss has already made it plain that he feels let down by my absence earlier in my pregnancy.

I don’t know what to do. WIBU to not work the extra expected of me or am I being precious? Do I need to just suck it up and get on with it?

Jengnr Fri 14-Mar-14 19:33:39

Tell them if they expect you to do it at the very least they fucking pay you for it.

pinkroses5 Fri 14-Mar-14 19:33:58

Um no, YANU!! I'm not as far gone as you, haven't had hyperemesis and I'm still struggling with work - and that's 9-5:30 with a tiny commute... Don't do it, look after yourself xxx

Sirzy Fri 14-Mar-14 19:35:46

If it is normal in the job for work to be done extra then I can see why it is being expected but if you can't cope you need to discuss it with your boss and come up with the best plan.

Bombaybunty Fri 14-Mar-14 19:37:17

Have you done a pregnancy risk assessment with your manager?
This should outline the hours expected of you, at your stage of pregnancy I would expect you to be considering fewer hours not more!

SicknSpan Fri 14-Mar-14 19:51:15

Sirzy it isn't regular for everyone to work extra, but when things are busy in their own work areas folk tend to either stay late (which I can't do because of part time hours being done to fit in with school run) or work is done at home in the evening. When I am now asleep!

Bombay my boss did a risk assessment but I didn't see it and he didn't discuss it with me apart from to say he'd done it and sent it off to HR. I did ask him to note on it that I was concerned that volume of work could cause problems for Hyperemesis which he said he had done, but this isn't really about that it's more about the fact I am completely exhausted, mentally and physically (it's not been an easy pregnancy either way).

redskyatnight Fri 14-Mar-14 19:57:37

I think if it's normal in your job you should try to do what you can. Maybe speak to your manager it is too much?

The main problem is (I imagine) that is OP doesn't do the extra hours, it means someone else will have to do them (and I assume OP's colleagues are also already working extra ... so this will not go down well).

SicknSpan Fri 14-Mar-14 20:03:42

I think that's the problem redsky- I am already doing what I can and it isn't enough. Nobody else is working extra hours, they are managing it within their normal 40 hour week but because I don't work full time it is only me being expected to do extra. They would have to do extra if I couldn't and this is the bit I feel bad about.

It is actually a bit irrational to be bothered that other people would have to work unpaid overtime if you don't do unpaid overtime. It makes sense to all do a bit, rather than it falling to you because you are PT. And in the circumstances, it makes sense for you to just work your hours and the rest of the team to step up because you are ill.

I suggest that you talk this through with your GP (or the most sympathetic GP at your practice). I found my GP very supportive when I was pregnant and she had a sane outsiders perspective.

Did you have the same employer through your previous pregnancies? I wonder whether your manager has an issue with you having a third baby. I get the impression that many people think that 2 is 'the normal number' and having a third maternity leave is taking the piss. Possibly even more so if you have needed sick leave while pregnant. It isn't a view I agree with, but I wonder if it is a factor here.

Bombaybunty Fri 14-Mar-14 20:40:46

The risk assessment should be done with you! How can he fill in the details about your commute and how your pregnancy is progressing?

The risk assessment takes into consideration mental and physical fatigue - working hours.
www.hse.gov.uk/mothers/index.htm

Your employer is being unreasonable.

Suzietwo Fri 14-Mar-14 20:51:08

You have my sympathies. I'm also 29 weeks w my third. I'm self employed and have spent the last 3-4 months working 12+ hours a day 5-6 days a week

I never intended to work this many hours when I went SE and definitely not long term.

And basically, I've lost it this week. Even without your sickness issues, I'm exhausted and fed up and sick of being so busy and so tired. I want to go to bed for a week. Or 10.

I don't mean to be me me. I just wonder whether this is the stage at which this level of commitment to work (partic w two other children) starts to be impractical. And whether it's time to start focussing on being pregnant and taking less on.

But then maybe it's just been a long week!

wobblyweebles Fri 14-Mar-14 23:12:51

No you shouldn't do it. You are pregnant and unwell and you're already doing your basic hours just like everyone else is doing their basic hours.

soulrebel63 Fri 14-Mar-14 23:38:06

Live your days instead of counting your years

Iggi101 Sat 15-Mar-14 00:00:50

Risk assessment doesn't count if completed without you!

Viviennemary Sat 15-Mar-14 00:06:37

Don't do it. You don't sound as if you are very well. Would it not be better to be signed off sick.

If everyone else is working 100 percent of their contracted hours and no more, then you should do the same.

not work more because you are part time. They agreed to you working part time. If they are that short that worksnt getting done then mayne they need to be employing another pair of hands.

As it is, you are avaliable to fulfil ypur contracted hours. There was (and still is) every possibility that you could need to go on ML early. Every hour you do before that for them is a bonus.

Plateofcrumbs Sat 15-Mar-14 01:56:21

If you're being expected to do disproportionately longer hours than someone working FT, that is unreasonable, pregnant or not.

I would be looking to get a fit note from my GP which limits the number of hours you can work.

Chunderella Sat 15-Mar-14 06:56:37

Just don't do it. I can see why you don't want to piss them off for career reasons, but it sounds like that ship has sailed. They're not going to think more positively of your earlier pregnancy absence because you put the hours in now. You're pregnant and unwell so you need to tailor your work accordingly. And your risk assessment was totally inadequate. I can't believe you weren't even shown a copy. You need another one doing.

zeezeek Sat 15-Mar-14 14:15:16

How do you know they aren't working for hours in the evening as well? Unfortunately if the work needs doing, then it needs doing and - pregnant or not - you have to do your bit. If you can't cope then go off sick and give your maternity replacement a chance.

Zeezeek, that is a bit naive. In many cases her going off sick won't mean that her team gets a replacement member of staff, they may well just end up with one team member less. If that is the case then it would be better for her team for her to just work her contracted hours rather than be signed off sick. A fit note for her contracted hours sounds like a great idea.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now