to be going on maternity leave again?(45 Posts)
I'm very prepared to be flamed here and tbh I think I might be being U.
I had been in my job a year when I went off on maternity leave for 10 months to have DD. I returned to work last autumn. I got pregnant again in February and have just announced that I am pregnant again and am due in November so will go off on mat leave again in the autumn - so my total time at my job has been -
1 year working
10 months mat leave
1 year working
1 year?mat leave
My sister joked that I am the kind of woman that makes employers not want to employ women. Also, it's fairly obvious that a lot of my colleagues are annoyed that I am pregnant again - there are a couple in particular that seem quite anti-children in general. It's a bit hard, I feel hated at work at the moment but deep down wondering if they are right.
Can I respectfully ask, please, I am feeling a bit sensitive now so please if you think I am being U that is absolutely fine and do tell me that but please don't get abusive or swear or start with personal insults because that's not fine! I know I posted on AIBU but I am asking for opinions, not insults.
YANBU to be pregnant, as a woman that is your choice. Its not fair if you are being made feel bad about this at work. You shouldn't feel you have to leave your job because of pressure.
Course you're not being unreasonable! I may be biased here as when I went back to work after my first maternity leave I was (unknowingly) pregnant with our second child.
It had taken so long to get pregnant the first time that I honestly thought the chances of it happening again were low to zero. We don't always get to choose when our children come along.
Of course YANBU, it's up to you when you have your family.
However, that said, I would find it very frustrating to manage, particularly in a small business. Especially as colleagues would often be annoyed and resentful about this type of thing. Are you planning on going back after this baby?
Congratulations by the way!!
You are not doing anything wrong or at all abnormal. Your sounds like a fairly typical plan when it comes to having a young family.
But surely you can see why your colleagues and employers don't see this as the ideal situation for them.
I think you would only be being unreasonable if you made them hold your job open for you until the end of your mat leave, and then decided to give notice. If you are definatly going back after dc2 is born, you have nothing at all to feel guilty about. You could end up being there for the next 10+ years and outstay your negative colleagues.
Oh pish to the rest of them! Let them moan. Nothing can be done about it. * Congratulations* tho!!
I don't see anything wrong with what you're doing. Personally I think your sister is the one BU (but I asume she was joking - if a bit insensitively!).
Surely the laws re maternity leave were set in place to allow women to keep their job in the workplace secure - and have a family? I'm assuming nobody's questioning your partner's ability to hold down his job and have children, so why should they do so to you?
Keep your head high and don't let anyone tell you you're doing anything wrong.
Don't think you are being unreasonable. Seems like you are having 2 children with a roughly 2 year gap in between which is pretty standard.
Unfortunately I can also understand your colleagues frustrations and don't think they are being terribly unreasonable either.
No help I know but think you'll just have to accept their reactions.
What are you supposed to do instead?! Give birth on the floor of the office/shop/etc (depending where you work!) and go right back to work straight after?!
I can understand why it is annoying for the others, but that doesn't make you unreasonable.
Thanks all! It's a really big organisation of 600 staff btw. I feel much better now!
Just a bit crap because I was so excited after my scan and sent an email round just telling colleagues in my dept, some of them have not even acknowledged it or said congrats, one rolled her eyes when she saw me and said oh come here then and give me a hug and one said OMG that is SHOCKING!
YANBU at all.
Also, re the whining colleagues stuff, it gives your colleagues work opportunities too. I used to work at a place where there were people off on maternity leave most of time. It meant that people got to work in different roles, got different experiences that benefit their own career such as working in a different area or at a higher level for a while. It meant that there was a group of good motivated workers who knew there were opportunities rather than being stuck in a rut. People very very rarely left because of those opportunities.
You have a perfect right to be pregnant whenever you like, and a perfect right to take the full maternity leave for each and every one of your pregnancies.
You might like to console yourself with the fact you can't do worse than I did...Took mat leave after about 18 months working for company. Took a year off (and more at the end due to accrued Annual Leave).
Came back, and on Day 1, as boss was driving me to see Very Important Client, to introduce me as the person who would see them through to the end of the year (as they'd been unhappy with someone else in team), had to tell her that I was pregnant again and the baby was due in 3 months . She nearly crashed her car!
Many people were unhappy with this (I wasn't too chuffed myself, to be honest!), but at least it got all my mat leave out of he way at once, and I was able to come back to work after them definate that I won't be taking another mat leave
Let them sit and fume...enjoy your pregnancy and your babies, and take no notice of the spiteful ones!
Do they complain when someone goes off sick long term? No! And you didn't take your maternity leave and then leave at the end of it, which is really annoying for employers. I always worry about taking the piss, so would really try and stay there for a good whack of time when you go back after number two. As for everyone else being cross, well it's a place of work. If it wasn't you they'd be cross at something else.
But the pressure does fall on other people having to cover ML, and for the life of me I can't understand why an employee is entitled to holiday leave in addition. How can you be on holiday if you're not at work?
Very hard to get a balance that's fair to all.
ajandjjmum I felt the same way when I contacted HR and they told me I had all this leave to take. They wouldn't let me take it as salary (which would have been preferable!), and they wouldn't let me carry it over (even without the next mat leave). They just told me the date I could start work and that was that!
Recently went for an interview, relatively big company and was advised that they were pleased I had no young children and couldn't have any more as they would prefer to employ someone who was going to be there.
Although it can be awkward (small company - we had 5 maternity leaves within 2 years!! ), generally things work out and it's fine. I just don't understand the logic behind the holiday thing though - and it's not just sour grapes because I didn't get it!!!
You have to remember that society needs us to have children so that when they go to work their taxes will pay for our ageing population. Also when you get your £120 odd SMP your employer gets that back from the government. They may get 90% back if yours is a large company, it might be 110% of that amount if it is a small one. (Approximate figures - am not an HR professional). When you do go back to work (if you do) I am assuming you will be one of us hardworking and focused working mothers, who conscientiously do a very good job as we know we are providing for our children.
YANBU are you sre the reactions are not to the idea of having a larger than usual family close together rather than anything to do with mat leave? I got some bizarre reactions when I announced our third child and I wasn't in regular work.
It's a difficult situation, possibly exasperated by you having been there a relatively short time when you took your first maternity leave.
It's understandable that your colleagues are a bit miffed and maybe they're entitled to be so; perhaps they were looking forward to your return, to relieve some of the pressure they're under?
Someone mentioned that maternity leave is a good thing as it gives others opportunities but that's often not the case. It can mean that a department of 5 has to manage as 4 or that a team of 5 people in a skilled job becomes a team of 4 plus a trainee.
Those of you who are basically saying 'stuff your colleagues' are being rather harsh, I think. It doesn't hurt to have some consideration for the pressure they might be under.
Having said all that, there's nothing you can do about it and nothing that you should feel guilty about. You could have been back for a few years and then taken the second lot of maternity leave, but it just happens that yours is more... 'condensed'.
Anyway, the best thing to do is to not worry about it, get through the pregnancy and enjoy your maternity leave with the 2 little ones, then eventually return to work and show them what they've been missing!
Don't feel bad. How the company covers your workload whilst you are on maternity leave is not your concern and although you can do your best to assist before you go on mat leave, you can't control how well they so this and how your colleagues might feel.
You're not doing anything illegal or immoral and your colleagues should know this. If any of them really have a problem with it then they're probably not the sort of people whose opinions you should give two hoots about anyway IMO.
@Fabby - Hope you told them to poke the job!
It is not unreasonable for anyone to access their hard-won rights. What is unreasonable is that employers don't always put proper arrangements in place for maternity and other absences, leaving the remaining staff with a higher workload. Your colleagues should be pulling faces at management, not at you.
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