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Am I unreasonable to take unpaid leave?

(7 Posts)
Giggle78 Mon 20-Jun-11 15:56:52

Hello - I know what thread I've posted in and its not the AIBU thread!!
So, please give me your thoughts because I can't think straight about this.

Basically, dh and I moved out of home just as I had ds because we needed to do an extension on our house and take it from a one bed to a two bed. We saved money and had a time frame which included dh getting a job after its finished and me staying on mat leave - he assured me it would take 3/4 months. Fast forward 11 months later. We have less than no money left, we are still not in our home and I had to go back to work when ds was 5 months old to keep us afloat.

Going back to work has been horrendous. I think I have suffered from some sort of depression because getting up in the morning has been terrible. I constantly cry. I feel like I can't cope. I aliken it to a broken heart every morning when I have to leave ds. I have started counselling to try and work through this.

So I went to my boss and asked him for four weeks parental leave so I could look after ds and dh could finish extentision full time - he has been offered a ft job from the end of July, so it has to be finished. This would also give me a break from work. I am teacher so it would amount to ten weeks off work which is a decent time to refresh and heal.

However to do this would put us in a terrible financial postion.
AIBU to want to take this four weeks unpaid leave or should I just carry on 'sucking it up' and then collapse in the summer holidays because I am lucky to have that as something to focus on.
What do other people think?

bringinghomethebacon Mon 20-Jun-11 16:01:36

I think perhaps you should go to your Dr and have it as sick leave rather than parental leave if you feel as you do - although there might be implications for your job in having that much sick leave. Why don't you discuss with your Dr as well and perhaps take part as sick leave if your Dr supports that. You would also get SSP which might help financially (although it is not much) and whatever your company pays (if anything) above SSP.

LIZS Mon 20-Jun-11 16:05:19

Sorry, but given that it was your choice to do an extension - in terms of cost and timing coinciding with your baby, then return to work early, all completely out of the control of your employer it does seem unreasonable to expect them to shoulder the disruption of you taking leave at such short notice. What was the response?

Giggle78 Mon 20-Jun-11 16:11:45

It just so happens my maternity cover is still at work and so it doesn't inconvenience anyone for me not to be there. I think boss was pleased because it would mean that he wouldn't have to pay me.

LIZS Mon 20-Jun-11 16:41:10

In that case if you are so stressed then maybe it would be better all round for you to start afresh in September but I'm not sure being unpaid will necessarily help that. Would you still be paid over the summer holiday ?

AntonDuBurk Mon 20-Jun-11 16:42:10

Sorry you are having such a lousy time. sad

Did you go to your GP for referral to the counselling? Does he/she think you are clinically depressed? Do you?

Going back to work with such a small baby is bound to be tough (my DC were both c.10 months when I went back, 5 months would have been much harder I think, physically anyway) and the fact that the situation was not what you had planned won't be helping your feelings of control and positivity.
Even so, to feel constantly tearful does suggest something more in my (unqualified) opinion.

I would certainly be going back to the GP to try to get a diagnosis and some more coping strategies (?ADs) etc. Possibly you might also be able to be signed off sick though you would need to manage this carefully with your manager given that you have already proposed the unpaid leave option.

Really only you know whether you can manage to struggle on for the next four weeks and then recover fully over the summer holidays. If there is an element of depression here then I would suggest you do need more that 6 weeks off to get on top of it.

Similarly, only you know whether the stress of the "terrible financial situation" of taking those four weeks of unpaid leave is something that you can manage or might, in fact, make things worse overall.

Good luck

Giggle78 Mon 20-Jun-11 20:29:32

Thanks everyone.
I really have needed to hear opinions from people who are not 'in it'.
Even harsh ones - but not too harsh which is why I didn't put this in AIBU.
I am talking to dh about it because of course it is a joint decision. I am pleased there is an end in sight to the extension, plus there will be time for rest in the holidays, and dh can get back to work. It will all be better in six weeks time for sure. I've just got to hang on!!

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