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Starting dream senior job on Sept 1...and 8wks pregnant.

(6 Posts)
SBizzyB Sun 23-Aug-09 17:05:52

I have just landed an amazing career opportunity that I have pursued since June - there was no job, I persuaded them they needed me, so they CREATED the role for me. It's a senior role, great pay, in a small start-up and I have been so excited.

I was also being made redundant, so I had to get a new job whatever.

Then 2 weeks ago I found out I was pregnant.

I thought it would take ages to get pregnant when we came off contraception as I have friends who have been trying much harder for 15-18 months...so we'd felt at our ages (39) we should at least come off contraception to prepare to get pregnant. We were even going to go for fertility tests when I found out it had just happened!

WORST POSSIBLE TIMING. After much soul-searching, discussion and tears (boyfriend wants me to keep it, but cannot help support the baby much yet as he has huge debts he is paying off for the next 3 years) we decided, reluctantly to end the pregnancy - I was booked in tomorrow.

However, I have been increasingly anxious about this decision, and today, decided to go ahead and have the baby.

It will be hard, but doable. We both want this baby and time is NOT on my side. I'm so scared that this would be my one shot and couldn't take that risk.

It is a small company (20 or so employees) so my maternity will make a big difference to their business plans (no one else can cover me as it's a TOTALLY new role and revenue stream).

They are both family men (CEO has 5 kids!) so I'm hoping they'll understand, but they are bound to be hugely disappointed, it's not the most professional way to start a job, and they will massively have to revise the business forecasts as I will only be there 7 months before I leave.

We can't afford to lose this job and really want to do well, prove myself and make myself a valued part of the company. But we want this baby too, even though I will not be eligible for full maternity pay (unless they are incredibly understanding). I am also prepared to only take 3 months off to prove my commitment.

Am I greedy in wanting it all? When should I tell them (12 weeks, 1 month into the job - honesty is best - but then they may terminate me for other reasons before my probation). How have other mums handled this situation - both in telling them, and after the baby is born? Is it possible to juggle a high-flying career and motherhood?

A long post, but so much to consider.

Scared and excited at the same time, on both counts.

HELP!

pickyvic Sun 23-Aug-09 17:40:30

i really feel for you - such a difficult position to find yourself in but id have to listen to my heart and continue with the pregnancy, you were trying for a baby anyway - its just happened sooner than you thought and i think tbh its always a shock even when your half expecting it.

no advice re the job - like you say they could finish you on other grounds even if your honest with them, that happened to me. (it was a crappy little job though not a high flying career move) and i took them to tribunal.

fwiw we managed - and im certain i did the right thing - no job is worth more to me than my daughter.

i wish you the best of luck.

dontrunwithscissors Mon 24-Aug-09 10:20:37

For me, the biggest issue would be what childcare would be available once ML ended. If your DC can be cared for by either your partner, family member or nanny, I think that would make a huge difference. I would not want to put a 3 month old into nursery, and most CM around me won't take children until they're 6 months old. Secondly, would your work allow for any flexibility? Perhaps making hours up on an evening, once your DC is in bed? If you can squeeze a bit of time in to spend with your DC during the day, I suspect that would really help you to feel balanced between home/work. It can be done - I have friends in the US who have returned to work when their children were 6 or 7 weeks old (ML provision stinks out there), and they managed. What made the difference is a) they love their jobs b) really good, reliable childcare c) flexibile working patterns d) extremely supportive and fully involved partners. Be prepared for excruciating sleep deprivation, and crazy hormones, but it can certainly be done. Oh, and ignore anyone who tells you that you're anything less of a mother for going back to work, or how they would never let someone else raise their children. You're providing for your family - the problem with many people is they're so stuck with traditional gender roles, they can't get their heads around anything else. (Rant over - I'm not specifically aiming at SAHM's and not all SAHM are like this at all.)

As for telling them, I would wait until after you're past 12 weeks. If you can sit down and provide them with a plan of how you can minimise the impact of your leave, I'm sure they will appreciate that. At the end of the day, if they do choose to not keep you on, that's outside of your control. And if that does happen, it's an indication that the company was not a good fit for someone who wants/has a family in the first place.

cruelladepoppins Thu 10-Sep-09 19:56:55

I would wait even longer than 12 weeks to tell them - I miscarried at 14 weeks, after I had told my manager and my parents I was pg. It was awful.

I managed by having DH do as much of the childcare as I did. Can you work part-time - same role, less hours, less expense for them? It can work for some people.

Good luck!

C.

SerenityX Thu 10-Sep-09 21:07:21

You should tell them right away. Not to would seem dishonest and devious. As it's a new job and there is bound to be a probation period plus you don't have statory rights (under 1 year) I wouldn't expect or ask for much. Just not very fair on them and their business. I wouldn't expect that just because they've had a litter of kids each to be sympathetic. They may have planned them and had their wives stay home.

I had a similar situation and went waived maternity leave. I went back after only 2 weeks off. Any longer off and I would have gone 'mad' anyway.

You say you want it all and I can understand that...But the other big issue is your age not just for reproduction but also also for opportunities. In the 40's opportunities for women start drying up almost 8-10 years before men's. Which is why mortgage companies penalise women as well by reducing a woman's retirement age to 55 sometimes.

gallery Wed 16-Sep-09 11:23:57

Something similar happened to me. I was offered a more senior position (my holy grail of where i next wanted to go) and found out I was just weeks pregnant.
I accepted the job.
I told no one about my pregnancy.
I had a miscarraige previously - I found out at 20 weeks, the baby had died at 17 weeks.
It made me decide that I should carry on life as long as I could as one never knows what is around the corner.
I told my boss when I was about 17 weeks. I did a good job- worked up until I had the baby (came 6 weeks early).
I worked hard and proved myself.
It was not an issue.
Apologies that my story has some sadness in it. I am happy! My motto is to take what is offered and live life to full.

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