To feel like I can't work with pregnant service user?(181 Posts)
I work as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities. Today I have just been informed by my manager via email that one of my main service users, a woman in her mid twenties, is pregnant. The father also has LD and it's a very delicate situation.
I've been fruitlessly trying for a baby for over a year and was recently diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. It's been the worst year of my life and some days I can barely hold it together. There have been some dark, dark moments.
I am this young woman's main worker and she makes up the bulk of my hours (zero hours contract) I will now basically be expected to support her with this pregnancy, probably from scans, to mothercare shopping and through until after the baby is born.
I cannot do it. I'm a strong person, but this is the one scenario my mental health just isn't up to coping with. I'm in tears just thinking about having to deal with it.
AIBU? I feel like I'm going to have to talk to my manager, but it's such a deeply personal thing to discuss.
I just don't feel strong enough for this
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What a thoughtless thing to say. Op I feel for you. I'm sure if you speak to you manager they will be supportive. Put your own health first. Xxxx
That's an empathic response myoriginal You've clearly never lived with infertility!
You say she's in her mid twenties. How old are you?
Not sure what my age has to do with it? Infertility is heartbreaking to live with at any age!
That sounds very tough indeed, I don't blame you for feeling that this might be too difficult for you. I'm sorry for what you're going through.
You'll get the usual nasty spite from some posters, ignore those replies and focus on the supportive ones xx
I think you are going to have to explain your difficulty in dealing with this to your manager. I do understand why you would find this very hard
What does her age have to do with anything???
I am so sorry you're in this situation, and completely understand why you're dreading the idea so much. I've also been through some unpleasant stuff to do with fertility recently (multiple miscarriages) and I see work as a refuge from it; I'd hate to have that taken away. What is your relationship with your manager like? Unless you have good reason to think they won't be sympathetic then I really would have this conversation with them, horrible as it would doubtless be, rather than endure something that you're dreading to this point. How easy will it be for you and a colleague to 'swap' service workers?
Can you not separate work from your personal life?
Can you not activate your tact filter before posting thoughtless comments?
OP, you need to speak to your manager and tell them how this is affecting you. Yes, your job is to support your service users but this shouldn't be at cost to your own mental health and your employer should recognise this and support it.
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Yes, but service users / customers / patients or whatever you want to call them still need to be provided with their service.
OP - I completely understand where you're coming from, I would find this impossible too. I hope that you can talk to your manager and find a solution to this My thoughts are with you.
To the nasty previous poster- clearly you are fortunate enough never to have experienced infertility. You're a lucky person
Some people let their emotions run their life, others control their emotions. If we all let things bother us in our work lives the world would grind to a halt.
Well you have to look after yourself first and if you feel how you feel that's how it is. I would suggest that if your resilience is so low you should really consider looking for support yourself and perhaps being a support worker for vulnerable people is not the best role for you at the moment.
Working with sen on any level can be really tough OP , everything's sensitive and you as a support worker are always expected to deal with any discomfort easily which is not always possible. I think you are perfectly reasonable in wanting to discuss this with your manager. I know it's really hard to talk about things that are so personal but I'm afraid you may have to , I had to do something similar myself lately and my line manager was very understanding.
I hope it all works out for you.
Op pop over to the infertility board. There are people there who get it.
I'm torn on this one.
A difficult situation for you, or sure, but you are employed to do a job. Perhaps this isnt the job for you. Is it just the fact your client and her partner are less than society deemed perfect parents that you feel so much angst, or would other pregnant people also draw out this level of feeling?
Thank you for the kind responses.
My managers are both lovely, so will hopefully be sympathetic. My concern is for my client as well as myself. I'm afraid I won't be able to hold it together to support her the way she should be supported.
It feels like a huge cosmic joke to be honest. Yes I should be professional, but I'm also human and this is the most painful thing I've ever been through.
Sorry for your losses Margaretcavendish It is so cruel and unfair.
<face palms> at some posters.
OP you need to look after your own mental health before you can care for others. Why torture yourself? Better to face up to this now, speak to your manager and withdraw so that someone else can pick up where you leave off and support this woman through the pregnancy.
I completely understand that you will find this hard. It must be very daunting. However, your post says you have been informed today. Speak to your manager by all means, but give yourself some time to decide whether you can do it or not. you may find you are stronger than you now feel.
Where will it leave you work-wise OP? Can they put someone else on her case and you on something else or will it effectively mean you can't continue working there? Horrible situation for you and I think you're right to prioritise your mental health but it's probably worth taking the time to think through all the implications before you decide what to do.
If it's 'just' a matter of speaking to your manager (and I get how uncomfortable that would be for you) then I think you have to really, I would have thought the bare bones of your situation is explanation enough and you shouldn't have to go into great detail, I think most people would see how difficult it would be for you to carry on working with her.
I hope you manage to get something sorted quickly so it's not weighing on your mind
Also , in response to the person saying your job may not be appropriate for you - I have a similar job and some clients I have really struggled with. I am a professional but I'm also human , just like the OP.
That's very harsh!!
Op, I sympathise, I really do, but unfortunately through your life you will have this. Friends, loved ones etc.
Firstly there are other options so you can explore those and as long as it has not developed to premature menopause you do have a small chance at conceiving naturally. At the moment that really doesn't help though.
I am infertile and we decided due to family dynamics we would not Pursue adoption etc. I have 7 grandchildren from my step children and 4 children I am extremely close to. They are all my world.
I look after them, love them, help them grow and learn, they stay here often and our very much my family. You have to find away to adapt and take joy from what you can. It's the only way you can live your life without bitterness and hurt.
Maybe just try, one day at a time, this girl needs your help and support and think of the difference you would make to her and her baby. You may just become the most important person in their lives.
No it won't be the same but at least give it a go and you may find it helps. If it doesn't you tried. Big hugs, have your tears, have your upset and then give yourself a period to try and make it work.
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