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To feel like crying over not starting maternity leave?

(29 Posts)
Lambzig Wed 17-Oct-12 10:19:13

I am 36 +4 weeks pregnant. I work pt Monday to Friday and today was supposed to be my last day in the office with the next couple of weeks taken as annual leave (I have 10 days left this year) before 'real' maternity leave starts.

I got in today to find that client meetings and conference calls have been put in my diary for monday and wednesday next week and apparently there is no-one else to do them (my team has one person on maternity leave already and one person out with client for four weeks and one person sick, so it has been very very busy) and my leave has been cancelled. The company has just been merged/taken over and several people including my line manager have left. I feel pretty vulnerable going on maternity leave at the moment, so don't feel I can say no.

I am pretty senior so am expected 'to go the extra mile' as part of my job which is normally not a problem. I dont want to let people down, but feel like bursting into tears as am finding the commute, combined with heavy workload, combined with my DD 2.5 suddenly turning into demon toddler the last few weeks, totally exhausting. I feel i have been staggering through the last week or so until today and now its going to be another week. I am having an ELCS at 39 weeks, so now will not have much down time.

Not sure I expect anyone to find a solution, but really needed a rant and DH will go ballistic.

bragmatic Wed 17-Oct-12 10:21:47

Oh, that's a bummer. Must you do the week? can't you do just the mon and wed?

aldiwhore Wed 17-Oct-12 10:26:12

YANBU to feel disappointed. BUT can you carry that cancelled annual leave over to tag onto the end of your Mat Leave?

I guess as you're pretty senior, coupled with the difficulties your company faces at the moment, they are not unreasonable to request you do two extra days next week? If they're stuck they're stuck.

Major bummer though. I suspect next week will be a long one, but it is only one week, then you'll be off. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, and enjoy your Mat Leave when it starts!

redskyatnight Wed 17-Oct-12 10:26:26

That is really rubbish. It's tough to have your mind set on something and then have to change at the last minute.

Can you change the meetings to teleconferences and just ring in from home? At least that would save you the commute plus means you could at least keep the work you have to do to a minimum.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Wed 17-Oct-12 10:27:05

Has all of your leave been cancelled or just the Monday - Wednesday?

If I were you I would agree to do Monday - Wednesday and no more. If the person who cancelled your leave doesn't agree, I would be visiting my GP on Wednesday and getting signed off for the rest of the pregnancy.

HipHopOpotomus Wed 17-Oct-12 10:27:08

Gosh that is dreadful - what a shock. No real advice, but I do remember all the extra pressure/stress/strain when I was about to have DC2 (compared to when I had my first). there is so much more going on with the toddler etc than there was the first time around.

I guess you could insist and talk to HR. Or you could suck it up. If I chose to go in for the additional week (in your position) I would glide through the days gracefully, doing what I HAD to do, but not much more - i.e. make it as pleasant and stress free as possible. Stay calm, remember its just another week.

BTW didn't your diary show that you weren't in?? Is it worth checking that perhaps there has been an error? If its a current 'policy' that annual leave is cancelled, is it possible to start your maternity leave early and take the leave at the other end? Or you could get signed off sick with stress. With both babies the Doctor offered this to me from about 32 weeks even though i didn't ask and didn't need it (I didn't take it but I didnt have brief fantasy's about it smile)

Once you get over the 'shock' you'll be fine - it's just another week and then you will be off for months and months and months!!!

ThickCut Wed 17-Oct-12 10:27:26

Surely if you've given them notice they can't do that? There's nothing they can do if you say no. They've had months to sort something out. It's not your problem op, start ml as planned I would

HipHopOpotomus Wed 17-Oct-12 10:28:42

aldiwhore but they haven't requested she does extra days. Without consultation or conversation they have cancelled her leave and put appts in her diary. Cowardly dastardly behaviour!

strawberrypenguin Wed 17-Oct-12 10:29:24

Gosh how horrible, if I were you I would check with HR if they are entitled to do that and/or phone in sick for those days.

Woozley Wed 17-Oct-12 10:32:10

Don't compromise! Go on leave as planned. They have had how much notice? I'm guessing 5 months at least. If they aren't organised it's their problem. They will manage without you. This is how stress & health problems start at work, you keep moving the boundaries to what you will accept. Learn to say no.

EagleRiderDirk Wed 17-Oct-12 10:33:18

Did you get confirmation of the leave in writing? They're allowed to cancel leave but they have to give adequate notice, so if your leave is 10 days they have to give you at least 10 dys notice that it's been cancelled.

Also make sure hr are aware you aren't being allowed your leave and that it needs tagging onto your soon to be accrued holiday. I know a couple of people this has happened to and as far as hr knew they were on leave, so they got shafted out of their leave. Not good.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 17-Oct-12 10:35:36

Talk to your boss and see if you can just do the essential meetings rather than the whole week.

Sastra Wed 17-Oct-12 10:36:58

Poor you. Can you just go in for those meetings?

Lambzig Wed 17-Oct-12 11:26:13

Thanks for the responses. I had booked the annual leave, it was approved and it was marked as annual leave in my diary, but my PA was told to put the meetings in my diary as well.

I can still take the Tuesday off, and will get the two days annual leave back to carry to end of maternity leave, so will just have to work the Monday/Wednesday. I could just go in for the meeting times those days, but if I have to do the commute and go in, I might as well work and keep the annual leave days for later at the end of maternity leave.

We are not very procedural regarding notice for annual leave/approval etc and our HR person is not here today. I think its just been assumed by a board member that I will be flexible.

I dont think there is anything I can do as the work environment is really worrying at the moment following the merger/take over and I do need to come back to this job and dont want to leave on an unhelpful/sour note. I am so fed up though and so tired. Its ridiculous that they have refused to recruit for the two of us on maternity leave and I feel really sorry for my colleagues (most of whom I line manage) who will be left to deal with things.

Hope the baby doesnt come early so that I at least get one week off.

Woozley Wed 17-Oct-12 11:31:53

Your PA should have told them you are on mat leave from then & that you would not be attending. Please please either get him/her to cancel the meetings or do it yourself. You are NOT being difficult, you are being reasonable. Set boundaries & stick to them.

missnevermind Wed 17-Oct-12 11:38:35

I think its just been assumed by a board member that I will be flexible.

I think I would stand in front of the board member and ask him - I am assuming him - how flexible I looked!

Lambzig Wed 17-Oct-12 11:55:53

How on earth did you guess it was a man? [sarcasm emoticon]

I did go and speak with him. His comment was, "oh yes, sorry about that but there is really no-one else to do it and you know the clients and you aren't having the baby for three weeks are you? - I would consider it a massive personal favour. At the moment we need to pull out all the stops and I will make sure you get recognition for it, it would help us all so much."

I have said that unless events take over or other health issues I will do my best to make the meetings (feel that leaves me a bit of wriggle room if I can't cope), but that I have commitments after next wednesday which mean I cant be more flexible.

There is a bit of a (macho) culture about work coming first here which I have struggled with since returning from maternity leave. One colleague was asked to and did postpone his honeymoon (not sure I would have stayed married to him) and others quite often do work/conference calls from ski-slopes and beach resorts when they are meant to be on holiday.

Woozley Wed 17-Oct-12 12:49:44

Ugh. I would start looking for other jobs towards the end of mat leave.

merlottits Wed 17-Oct-12 13:16:55

I'm going to go against the grain and say you should suck it up.

You obviously have a senior role, the company is struggling for personnel. You aren't actually ill or unfit for work, does a few more days really make a big deal?
Is it the hormones talking?

I think in this economic climate we all have to be a bit more flexible and be grateful to have jobs.

The goalposts were changed a bit when I was due on maternity leave with my 3rd baby but I had to dig in, I suppose I also felt it was better tagged on the the other end as its horrible going back to work.

Horrible when you've been psyching yourself up though, I get that. I hate the end of pregnancy.

Bingdweller Wed 17-Oct-12 13:21:19

What a pisser sad. I'd be tempted to pay bastard board member a wee visit whilst holding bump and having major Brixton hicks in his office. Lay it on really thick too!

Lambzig Wed 17-Oct-12 13:47:02

I think its because I am so tired. DD goes to nursery on my working days and I was so looking forward to a few days with my feet up and some time to get my head straight.

DD has chosen the last two weeks to suddenly break her perfect sleeping record and wake up three or four times a night demanding to come in Mummy's bed. As a consequence I am getting no more than two hours unbroken sleep and am usually done with sleep for the night by 3 - 4 am. She is also refusing to get dressed every single day, completely losing it and ending up on the naughty step for hitting which results in getting her dressed taking between 30 and 90 minutes. Along with a whole other heap of out of control behaviour that I expect is linked to everyone talking about the new baby soon.

As we have redecorated the entire house since I got pregnant, i feel between working, DIY and looking after DD I havent stopped for months (I know thats life for most people) or had any down time. I havent been out without DD for months and I am super anxious at this stage in pregnancy convinced something will go wrong or be wrong. Just feel at the end of my tether.

Merlottits is right though, I am just going to have to suck it up. Thank goodness for being able to have a moan on Mumsnet.

ishopthereforeiam Wed 17-Oct-12 13:51:05

YANBU but can you do the calls etc from home / work with a citrix token to log on for other work etc?

oscarwilde Wed 17-Oct-12 13:54:55

I have said that unless events take over or other health issues I will do my best to make the meetings (feel that leaves me a bit of wriggle room if I can't cope), but that I have commitments after next wednesday which mean I cant be more flexible.
I agree with Merlottits that unfortunately you are going to have to suck it up. It sounds like you have said the right thing though with Wednesday being your absolute last day. I would also come in for the meetings and then sod off early - they can't expect to take the piss and for you to do a full day when you should be on leave essentially for medical reasons.
Obv I don't know what line of work you are in, but if I were a client and the senior person in the room was there to sell to me or take on work on behalf of their firm which they would immediately be handing over, I would take a dim view of it. I think it demonstrates really poor continuity and business planning to send someone in who is clearly about to go out the door for several months minimum and to whom I am quite possibly going to have to brief her successor too, all because her company can't get their act together.
Personally, I'm 35+2 so I really am sympathising even if it doesn't sound like it. I can't wait to get out of here.

Lambzig Wed 17-Oct-12 14:04:39

Thats what I said too. The clients are basically going to see me for an hour or so and then they wont see me for six months minimum so seems a bit pointless - then who/when am I supposed to hand it over to as THERE IS NOONE ELSE AVAILABLE and then I will be on maternity leave. Makes no sense and would have been better to rearrange client meetings when someone who will be here is free.

However, I have suck it up face on now.

Jenny70 Wed 17-Oct-12 14:18:55

I'd worry that you were having contractions early and needing bedrest to stop a prem delivery... I am all for stepping up in senior role etc, but if meeting isn't going to achieve anything (ie. No-one to hand over to) I'd throw a sickie.

"Your representative has gone into early labour" will stop client being too upset at reschedule, surely.

And if bedrest stops labour until 41+ weeks, well done you.

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