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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...

Beastofburden Sat 12-Oct-13 15:26:54

As I thought....

comingalongnicely Sat 12-Oct-13 14:45:54


WoTmania Sat 12-Oct-13 14:38:07


TheDoctrineOfSpike Sat 12-Oct-13 14:02:33


HorryIsUpduffed Sat 12-Oct-13 14:00:16

Hurrah for line manager.

Wish we could be a fly on the wall for that conversation though shock

ShadowFall Sat 12-Oct-13 13:40:02

Further update - line manager rang me back late yesterday afternoon.

He had not known anything about project manager's meeting, and his response was very much along the "WTF is he doing calling you when you're on maternity leave?!" lines.

Line manager has instructed me to tell project manager to f* off if he calls me again, tell him (line manager) if project manager calls again, and to forward him the meeting request so that he can give project mananger a bollocking on Monday.

Apparently any meeting requests to people on maternity leave should be approved by senior management and communicated through line management structures.

So, no meeting for me! I get to stay home guilt free with my snuggly baby grin

Inertia Fri 11-Oct-13 14:31:13

They shouldn't be asking you to go in at all.

Second the previous posters who have suggested an email response , copying in your line manager and HR.

I'd put something like:

Dear Project Manager,

I am currently on Maternity Leave so will be unable to attend your meeting on [date]. Please contact [Line manager] or [maternity cover] to arrange for a colleague to attend the meeting.

If you need to contact me in future, please use [email or whatever is most convenient] rather than my personal phone number, which is not publicly available.

IHaveA Fri 11-Oct-13 14:27:52

It depends on the culture of the business, I was happy to go in with my baby because my organisation was very supportive of me and all the other employees. It was a two way thing. It was useful for them to have me come in but I think it benefited me too.
I wouldn't have gone in if they were grabby gits.

chansondumatin Fri 11-Oct-13 14:22:52

I would refuse to go. If you give in and go along, they will doubtless load you up with follow-up work at the meeting and expect you to turn up to future sessions. After all, if you can cope when your baby is just 4 weeks, it'll be fine when he's bigger, won't it?

This project manager guy is clearly taking the piss and chancing his arm to see what he can get away with. Don't give him an inch. He's relying on your good nature and trying to manipulate you. He is on very dodgy ground.

comingalongnicely Fri 11-Oct-13 14:17:01

No one is indispensable, everyone can be covered.

If you attend this one, what will you say to the request for one next week, or the one after that etc.

Either reply to the PM cc'ing your Line Manager & HR or just contact HR directly & give them Funky's speil above.

HR should come down on him like a ton of bricks. As a manager there is no way that I would do this to any of my people, it's well out of order.

IHaveA Fri 11-Oct-13 14:14:15

You can refuse or you can go with the baby.
I use to go in with my first DC when they were newborn but I lived really close and everyone in the office was very supportive. Usually one of the admin staff would whisk the baby away. I also felt comfortable breastfeeding in meetings. I did it quietly IYSWIM but no one batted an eyelid.
I used to enjoy going as it got me out the house. I didn't do it with my other kids as I would have had to bring the baby and a toddler or two.

SlightlyJaded Fri 11-Oct-13 14:13:21


You should not be having to think about work AT ALL for the duration of your ML. Even more than the bare faced cheek of asking you to come in, it is the thought of you having to switch into work mode that is so utterly and completely inconsiderate and shows a complete lack of understanding for what maternity leave actually is.

There are many MANY new mothers with babies of 4 weeks who don't make it out of their PJs most days.

As an aside, how imminent is this project? Even if you are taking minimum maternity leave, there should be someone covering your involvement in anything that is current/ongoing?

Whether you respond to your line manager, boss or anyone else, please please do so in a manner that conveys utter bewilderment at even being asked. Please.

WoTmania Fri 11-Oct-13 14:10:57

Just read page two (had only read the first page) and if it was essential yes, baby in a sling is do-able. But....personally I wouldn't go. At all. They are clearly expecting you to go without your baby and a 'couple of hours' all day thing woud be sprung on you. They are probably assuming that once you are there they can pressure you into staying for the whole thing.

ksrwr Fri 11-Oct-13 14:10:48

one of my colleagues came in for a meeting with a 2 month old baby, she gave him a quick breastfeed sat in a quiet corner, then took him into the boardroom in his pram and walked him round and round till he fell asleep, and popped out again later for another feed... it was bonkers but fine!

Tiredemma Fri 11-Oct-13 14:08:02


I have a 5 week old DD. I wouldnt even consider going anywhere near work until she is around 3-4 months old.

My manager actually wouldnt ask though- I emailed her last week for a work related reason (forgot to do something before I left)- she told me to step away from the computer and enjoy my leave.

WoTmania Fri 11-Oct-13 14:04:39

I think YWNBU to go with baby. You could just pop baby in a sling and nurse when needed. At that age babies are really easy and usually fairly quiet.

fromparistoberlin Fri 11-Oct-13 14:02:04

I think in a way its good they are asking, shows how they value you

but you can completely say "look my baby is BF, so happy to come, but they will come too" and then they can decide?

4 weeks is taking the piss IMO

Beastofburden Fri 11-Oct-13 13:54:14

Actually I know some very young macho PMs who would come in on holiday.

I am guessing its just him, not the workplace as a whole, and he is out of line and being cheeky, and his line manager will seriously flame him when he finds out grin

CreatureRetorts Fri 11-Oct-13 13:49:38

They wouldn't ask you if you were on holiday.

It's a sign of disrespect. Don't get sucked in.

Beastofburden Fri 11-Oct-13 13:47:09

embarrass, even.

Beastofburden Fri 11-Oct-13 13:46:51

not "invoke", funky, that means, activate or call on, you must mean something else. "cancel"? "revoke"?

And I would suggest that is not the best first response to this. If her line manager doesnt know about this, and would nuke the project manager all by himself, theres no need to embarass him with the HR department.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 11-Oct-13 13:28:08

I would send a message to the HR dept; copying in my line manager and the project manager as below

'Hi. I have had a message from PM asking me to attend an all day meeting on xday, [put meeting details from the diary that you saw earlier] whilst I am still on maternity leave.

As you know, attending this will invoke my maternity leave as it is not an agreed KIT day.

The PM contacted me on my private mobile number, which I had not given to them.

Please could you ensure that PM deletes my mobile number from their contact list, and in future, contacts my maternity cover or line manager, who should between them have a full understanding of projects that are currently running.

Kind Regards


angelinajelly Fri 11-Oct-13 13:19:06

I can't believe he did this. I'd definitely be asking my line manager to explain how the PM got my personal mobile number, and making it clear it isn't to happen again. No way should you go in for the meeting. I hate it when work contacts don't respect time off- whether it's mat leave, sickness, or just Saturday, people need boundaries between work and private time.

Beastofburden Fri 11-Oct-13 13:14:27

Well, if this is the kind of workplace where you are supposed to come in during maternity leave, let us assume your manager reads his emails when he is away from the office?

Email him, say that you have been asked to do this, and was this with his permission and support?

Frankly, your project manager needs a bit of a refresher course if he can't project manage his way round a period of maternity leave. He knew it was coming up, why wasn't he prepared? that would be, er, managing the project, no?

agree that many project managers I have worked with are callow young men with no clue whatsoever about babies and an inlfated sense of their own importance

TheDoctrineOfSpike Fri 11-Oct-13 13:09:14

I like Lepample's suggestion.

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