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Page 2 | 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: |
FancyNancyClancy2 Thu 26-Nov-20 00:27:20

I would be very tempted to maybe do a reverse on her, next time she makes a little comment about not being pregnant yet just say that you enjoy your freedom and isn’t it terrible to be so tied down when you’re still so young.

Next time she mentions your age just say doesn’t have children age you like ten years so at least we’ll be the oldies in the office together.

She might start to realise then how insensitive her comments are.

TDMN Thu 26-Nov-20 00:27:32

How about
'Id rather not discuss that, its personal. Anyway how about that weather/report/tv last night'
On repeat
And if she pushes go 'look, i dont want to discuss it, can we please talk about something else?'
And then if she really pushes it, take her aside and say 'look, i didnt want to say anything but is everything okay at home because you've asked me about this xx times in the last xx days and its starting to feel really intrusive, are you okay?'
Shame her!!

Lalliella Thu 26-Nov-20 00:27:33

Your colleague is a cunt. I had fertility problems in my early 30s and used to get comments like that from people. It was really hurtful. I used to pretend I didn’t want children and say things like I was enjoying my life too much. But inside I felt awful.

If you’re feeling brave tell her you’re bored of her comments. Just yawn and say “not this again, can you change the record?” I wonder if deep down she thinks she got pregnant too young and is worried about it, so she’s having digs at you as she’s jealous in a weird way.

Abneyandteal19 Thu 26-Nov-20 00:28:13

Another option if you are worried about getting upset getting your words out is to categorically ignore her- speak to her about professional things of course but when she make a personal comment blank her, walk away, ask her a valid work question in return. Simply do not engage. This way you are professional and engaging with anything work related so can't get in trouble but showing her that you will not be drawn into your personal life- good luck

TerribleCustomerCervix Thu 26-Nov-20 00:28:56

Also, regardless of what your position on having kids is- she is being totally, totally out of order.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re maybe being oversensitive because she’s hit a nerve. Don’t let anyone try and tell you that she wasn’t to know about your personal circumstances or “didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” Fuck that.

There is no context where her comments are appropriate and she needs to be pulled up on it.

Lalliella Thu 26-Nov-20 00:30:03

FancyNancyClancy2

I would be very tempted to maybe do a reverse on her, next time she makes a little comment about not being pregnant yet just say that you enjoy your freedom and isn’t it terrible to be so tied down when you’re still so young.

Next time she mentions your age just say doesn’t have children age you like ten years so at least we’ll be the oldies in the office together.

She might start to realise then how insensitive her comments are.

Good idea to reverse it, tell her you’ll be thinking of her up to her armpits in nappies when you’re out partying / on a fancy holiday.

SandyY2K Thu 26-Nov-20 00:30:05

Very annoying behaviour. I'd tell her you find her comments intrusive and would like her to stop.

Seriously...her behaviour shows she lacks maturity and isn't ready to have a child.

Thirtyflippingone Thu 26-Nov-20 00:30:11

Does she do it in earshot of anyone else?

Sometimes. The comment last week that made me cry in the loo was "You want to get a move on and get pregnant already, you don't want to end up a lonely old woman". She said it in earshot of another colleague who is her 50s and childless not by choice. A few of my colleagues have previously told me that they are childless not by choice, as in have had fertility problems (they brought it up, I didn't ask!), so not sure how they feel about overhearing comments like that.

OP’s posts: |
LouiseTrees Thu 26-Nov-20 00:30:14

Just go with something simple like “ sadly it’s not that easy for every one, I’d appreciate if you’d stop making such comments” Then go to your manager if she makes even one more

Enough4me Thu 26-Nov-20 00:30:21

Discuss with your manager, but also practice body language to show she bores you. Look past her when she talks about any non-work issues, be busy... remember you need to grab a drink and have to go, positively engage with others instead.

You feel she is trying to provoke a reaction but, if your reaction is disinterest, she will lose interest. Perhaps she's secretly stressed about having a baby and sees you as a free person, apparently happy, and wants vindication that she's right.

Worriedaboutcovid19 Thu 26-Nov-20 00:30:43

Id turn this around on her.

"Are you actually happy being pregnant?"

Her: yes?!

"Oh right, you just go on about others not being pregnant or not having kids so it must be on your mind quite a bit? Its normal to have second thoughts. Im here if you need to talk" concerned face

Watch her suddenly become defensive. She'll end up displaying the reaction she wants from you!

I actually think she's insecure about her choice and is projecting onto you to give herself validation!

ilikeboots Thu 26-Nov-20 00:31:10

She is definitely not very sensitive. I would just Could you please stop? You don't know anything about me.... And see how she react

SandyY2K Thu 26-Nov-20 00:32:32

Meant to add that anyone with half a brain knows that if someone doesn't have kids, they don't want them or can't have them...or haven't found the right person to have them with....and none of those things are anybodies business.

snugglepuff Thu 26-Nov-20 00:33:17

Flick her on the forehead then tell her to fuck off

Pepperama Thu 26-Nov-20 00:35:34

Yes, I'd try a firm:. Look, you don't seem to get the message. I told you before that I don't want to discuss this topic.

If she persists, then manager. But you need to give a firm message first, else it's difficult for the manager to know whether colleague definitely knows you don't want to talk about it and take action.

Don't let it get to you, she's just being a cow.

ScreamingBeans Thu 26-Nov-20 00:37:29

I agree, don't give her the satisfaction of seeing you upset, she'll bitch endlessly about how jealous you are of her.

Every time she comments, come back with a pointed remark about how nosy and inappropriate she is. Something like "well when I've decided to have kids, you will of course be the first one to know."

Keep saying it in a piss taking or bored tone, make it clear, you think she's out of order.

If that doesn't work, raise it with your manager.

Fwiw she sounds like a really nasty woman.

GurpsAgain Thu 26-Nov-20 00:38:47

What about a breezy "I'm too young to be tied down with kids just yet. A lot of my friends miss their freedom." 🤭

doorbellringer Thu 26-Nov-20 00:39:07

I agree with snugglepuff. Tell her to fuck right off and ask “have you always been such a cow or is this a pregnancy related thing?” With a head tilt and tinkly laugh. As the script says.

CheetasOnFajitas Thu 26-Nov-20 00:41:34

LouiseTrees

Just go with something simple like “ sadly it’s not that easy for every one, I’d appreciate if you’d stop making such comments” Then go to your manager if she makes even one more

This. Perfect.

Monsterpage Thu 26-Nov-20 00:41:39

If it was me I’d send her an email telling her you don’t appreciate her comments (list a few) and say you’re not sure if she is meaning to be rude or unkind but her remarks come across that way.
Ask her to stop and tell her if she doesn’t stop you’ll assume she is making comments with no thought to your feelings and you’ll have to take it further.
Include a line saying I thought I’d drop you this email as I’m sure your not meaning to be unkind and you didn’t want to embarrass her by confronting her in the office in front of others.
Finish with something along the lines of let’s not talk about this again and let’s just be happy and celebrate your new addition and not focus on the fertility of others.

BlueBirdGreenFence Thu 26-Nov-20 00:44:06

Could you try laughing when she next asks and say to her "I think you're getting baby brain! You know that's at least the sixth time you've asked about my plans for having kids?" I would also let your manager know what's going on as well.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 26-Nov-20 00:47:18

I fear that the line suggested by FredtheFerret might just hand her ammunition. I think I'd take a different line and pretend I was worried about her. Along the lines of -

'Are you worried about keeping your job? Do you think taking maternity leave is going to be looked on unfavourably by the company? Is that why you're trying to persuade others to get pregnant - safety in numbers, everyone in the same boat? You know, you really shouldn't worry about that, it would be illegal to make you redundant when pregnant, or on maternity leave! Although it does still happen of course. Maybe you should discuss your fears with HR and settle your mind a bit?'

And with every subsequent little barbed comment of hers, put on the most sympathetic face you can and say 'Still worried about your job hun? You should talk to HR, I'm sure they'll be able to reassure you and then you can enjoy your pregnancy!'

Really fuck with her mind grin.

LouHotel Thu 26-Nov-20 00:47:53

It sounds like you might have allies in your office who are equally upset. I expect if you go to your manager you might find your not the first person to have said something.

How many weeks until she goes? I expect op If she is making herself unpopular that she might find herself out on her arse when she inevitably asks for reduce hours so get it on record her behaviour.

tcjotm Thu 26-Nov-20 00:52:17

I’d definitely speak to your manager.

I’d also be tempted to say “why the fuck would I want children, horrible snivelling little creatures 😂”

Or ‘look at you starting so late in life, I had triplets at 16, they are at boarding school now doing very well thank you very much, aren’t you worried about YOUR ageing womb, as old as you are?’

She’s a nasty cow. I’d want to give myself the pleasure of responding in attack mode given she knows full well she could be being devastatingly hurtful.

tcjotm Thu 26-Nov-20 00:53:30

snugglepuff

Flick her on the forehead then tell her to fuck off

😂😂😂

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