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Feel bullied by my pregnant colleague

(459 Posts)
Thirtyflippingone Wed 25-Nov-20 23:58:28

I've name changed for this, as it's embarrassing and potentially outing.

One of my colleagues is currently pregnant, and without fail, a few times every week, she will randomly bring up the fact that I haven't had children yet. She says things like:

"Are you not pregnant yet Thirty? Tick tock"

"Do you not worry about your body clock and running out of time?"

"You don't want to leave it too late".

"You want hurry up and get pregnant, you're nearly 40!" (I am thirty fucking one, she is mid 20s).

"You want to get a move on and get pregnant already, you don't want to end up a lonely old woman".

"Don't you worry about not having anyone to look after you when you're older?"

"Are you going to apply for the promotion? You might as well if you're not planning on getting pregnant anytime soon".

I usually laugh off her comments with "one day, just not yet" or "haha, think I've got a few fertile years left yet". But the truth is that I am unable to get pregnant atm, for reasons I don't want to discuss with her, anyone at work, or on this thread. I do want kids eventually, and being reminded of my "body clock" and my body's current shitty state several times a week is stressing me out and upsetting me tbh.

I'm not sure how to handle this situation; I am a people pleaser, and hate confrontation. I am counting down the weeks until her maternity leave starts, but it's not for a while yet and I'm not sure I can go on like this. I cried in the toilet the other day after one of her remarks. I feel pathetic for saying that I feel like I'm being bullied by her, but I genuinely do feel like that.

I know I should just say something like "could you please stop asking me about my womb", but I'm not sure how to phrase it, and embarrassed to say that I'm scared I would end up crying if I did say something like that. This girl is also really nosey, so she would want to know why I was bothered about it. Ugh.

I'm thinking of talking to my manager about it, but worried she'll think I'm being ridiculous. I'm a professional woman in my thirties, why am I letting this get to me so much?!

YABU = suck it up for the next few months and keep laughing it off.

YANBU = talk to your manager about it.

OP’s posts: |
HennyLenry Thu 26-Nov-20 00:00:34

She seriously needs to mind her own business

HennyLenry Thu 26-Nov-20 00:01:03

Definitely talk to your manager about it.

AntiHop Thu 26-Nov-20 00:02:05

She's being a right pain in the arse. I'd start with telling her firmly to stop. I'd that doesn't work, then talk to your manager.

FredtheFerret Thu 26-Nov-20 00:02:31

It's difficult if you don't like confrontation, but if it were me I'd take a deep breath and say to her What you are doing is really unkind. Have you actually considered that I might desperately want children and have had problems conceiving? Why on earth would you make comments like this to anyone? Stop now, or I'll be raising a complaint about it.

I'd then pick up my bag and go and have a little cry in the toilets. Hopefully she'll be shame faced when you return. If she tries to bring it up again - or even apologises - I'd say that's fine. Change the subject now.

Newmumatlast Thu 26-Nov-20 00:04:42

FredtheFerret

It's difficult if you don't like confrontation, but if it were me I'd take a deep breath and say to her What you are doing is really unkind. Have you actually considered that I might desperately want children and have had problems conceiving? Why on earth would you make comments like this to anyone? Stop now, or I'll be raising a complaint about it.

I'd then pick up my bag and go and have a little cry in the toilets. Hopefully she'll be shame faced when you return. If she tries to bring it up again - or even apologises - I'd say that's fine. Change the subject now.

I agree with this absolutely.

Thirtyflippingone Thu 26-Nov-20 00:09:04

@FredtheFerret

That is an excellent script, maybe I need to practise something like that in the mirror several times. Atm I'm scared that that's what I would intend to say, but in reality I'd end up just shouting "will you fucking shut up asking me about my uterus already?!" And in my profession shouting at colleague is frowned upon, especially a pregnant woman I'm guessing blush.

OP’s posts: |
Thirtyflippingone Thu 26-Nov-20 00:11:35

I also don't want to end up shouting or crying, as I genuinely think she is actually trying to upset me, and I don't want to give her the satisfaction of seeing me lose it.

OP’s posts: |
StrawBeretMoose Thu 26-Nov-20 00:12:28

FredtheFerret

It's difficult if you don't like confrontation, but if it were me I'd take a deep breath and say to her What you are doing is really unkind. Have you actually considered that I might desperately want children and have had problems conceiving? Why on earth would you make comments like this to anyone? Stop now, or I'll be raising a complaint about it.

I'd then pick up my bag and go and have a little cry in the toilets. Hopefully she'll be shame faced when you return. If she tries to bring it up again - or even apologises - I'd say that's fine. Change the subject now.

Unlike the PP I actually really disagree with this approach as she sounds like the kind of nosy insensitive cow who would still continue, and quite possibly enjoy the OP's discomfort.

CorianderQueen Thu 26-Nov-20 00:13:07

If she says it again just tell her it's tacky to comment on what another woman chooses to do with her own womb.

CorianderQueen Thu 26-Nov-20 00:14:12

People hate being called tacky. Or you could say offensive and rude but up to you

Awwlookatmybabyspider Thu 26-Nov-20 00:14:30

You don't have to suck anything up in this life. How does she know you've not been going through IVF for years. Also not every women on the planet yearns and pines to be a mother.

mummmy2017 Thu 26-Nov-20 00:15:01

Tell your Manager first, ask for their help.
No one deserves to be bullied in the way that is happening to you.

Sorka Thu 26-Nov-20 00:15:21

Ugh, why are people like this?? A woman in her twenties, a pregnant woman no less, should have an inkling that not having children is not always a choice.

I also want children, don’t have them, and am a few years older than you OP. I also bloat and gain weight on my stomach so am cursed with people congratulating me or, worse, asking when I’m due. You have my sympathy.

Could you say something like ‘It’s instructive and unprofessional to keep asking me if or when I’m having children, and to make comments about things like my biological clock. Please don’t make any further comments’.

Then if she does or asks you stupid questions about why you don’t want her sticking her nose in, report.

Brunt0n Thu 26-Nov-20 00:15:25

Id ask her “why are you so concerned about the contents of my uterus? You’re pregnant, and that’s lovely for you, but it has nothing to do with me and I’d appreciate if you’d stop going on about it all.the.time, as much as it is nice to talk about something other than COVID or Brexit’ 🙃

WorraLiberty Thu 26-Nov-20 00:16:10

FredtheFerret

It's difficult if you don't like confrontation, but if it were me I'd take a deep breath and say to her What you are doing is really unkind. Have you actually considered that I might desperately want children and have had problems conceiving? Why on earth would you make comments like this to anyone? Stop now, or I'll be raising a complaint about it.

I'd then pick up my bag and go and have a little cry in the toilets. Hopefully she'll be shame faced when you return. If she tries to bring it up again - or even apologises - I'd say that's fine. Change the subject now.

No fuck that.

You don't owe her any explanation or personal information.

Tell her to bore off and change the record. If she doesn't, tell her you feel uncomfortable (not bullied) and you'll be raising it with your line manager.

Sorka Thu 26-Nov-20 00:16:41

Thirtyflippingone

I also don't want to end up shouting or crying, as I genuinely think she is actually trying to upset me, and I don't want to give her the satisfaction of seeing me lose it.

I’ve just seen this post. If she knows what she’s doing and is being intentionally mean go straight to your manager.

WithGusto2 Thu 26-Nov-20 00:17:24

She sounds like an absolute c*nt. I’d make your manager aware and ask her to put it on record. Then I’d say as you’ve been advised above.

Brunt0n Thu 26-Nov-20 00:18:36

“Why are you so obsessed with me?” Is good! “Are you quite alright? You seem really fixated on this, that’s the 3rd time this week” with a tilted head and worried look

Sorka Thu 26-Nov-20 00:18:46

Sorka

Ugh, why are people like this?? A woman in her twenties, a pregnant woman no less, should have an inkling that not having children is not always a choice.

I also want children, don’t have them, and am a few years older than you OP. I also bloat and gain weight on my stomach so am cursed with people congratulating me or, worse, asking when I’m due. You have my sympathy.

Could you say something like ‘It’s instructive and unprofessional to keep asking me if or when I’m having children, and to make comments about things like my biological clock. Please don’t make any further comments’.

Then if she does or asks you stupid questions about why you don’t want her sticking her nose in, report.

I meant intrusive.

Still no sign of an edit button on this site.

earsup Thu 26-Nov-20 00:19:07

What a boring woman if that's all she can bleat about...I would just say I am bored of her little digs..

MushMonster Thu 26-Nov-20 00:21:28

Tell her straight, looking into her eyes, I do not want to ever discuss my lack of pregnancy or pregnancy with you, ever. Leave me alone, I am tired of the same questions over and over.
If she asks anything, I said no talking about it.
If she does it again, tell your manager.

TerribleCustomerCervix Thu 26-Nov-20 00:21:56

Does she do it in earshot of anyone else?

Go straight to your manager. Keep a record of what she’s said and when so you have specifics instead of vague “Nasty Colleague is being mean.”.

If you’re manager is in any way decent, hearing what she’s saying verbatim will mean it’s clear that there’s no wriggle room and they will have to address it.

Sobeyondthehills Thu 26-Nov-20 00:23:42

It all depends on how much you want to give away. I had someone do this and keep asking me when I was having a second, blah blah blah

In the end I lost my temper and said well we have been trying for 3 fucking years now.

But that is probably not the best way to go about it, if you don't want to go into a lot of detail. More subtle way, is just to say, I am fed up with your comments about my womb and sex life stop it or I will raise it with our/mine/your line manager/HR.

Goldensnitchy Thu 26-Nov-20 00:24:15

Ugh what a cow. Just tell her you’d appreciate it if she stopped asking questions about your womb/when you’re getting pregnant (in a firm tone) and if she doesn’t stop go to manager

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