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the strangeness of maternity leave

(10 Posts)
crazyhead Fri 08-Jul-11 17:55:35

I am over half way through my preg and am just starting to think about maternity leave. I have a pretty desirable/competitive job where I manage a great group of people, and I guess one of them will cover me while I go (quite a few people will go for it I reckon) and it is starting to hit me how strange it’ll be, especially when I come back, because I’ll be displacing someone who’s got my opportunity. One of my colleagues actually asked me about it today – which gave me a bit of a jolt! It is natural of course but funny that when a manager gets pregnant, their team of course are going to think ‘wow, what an opportunity!’ even if they are fond of you.

I think I’m fine at my job and have my strengths, but in a field like mine you know the person in your job will probably be just as good, and it is a really funny feeling. Blokes never have to go through this paranoia, do they?! Anyone else feel similar?

catsareevil Fri 08-Jul-11 18:04:25

If they arent as good at dong the job then it reminds everyone how good you are (and really you should be better than them as you are the one who has been promoted into the role and who is doing it at the moment)

It is a good opportunity for the person who gets to cover too - even if it is only while you are on leave, it stands them in good stead for applying for other jobs in the future.

9DonkeysAndABoy Fri 08-Jul-11 18:08:37

I am having similar thoughts, though not quite the same, as I am in different circumstances. Not to make you paranoid or anything, but do you think they could permanently displace you?

crazyhead Fri 08-Jul-11 18:16:39

I think that's a sensible way to look at it catsareevil - I did get selected for internal promotion - but I suppose I also feel we all have our strengths and I don't feel irreplaceable. Someone else in my team is about to come back from leave who is brilliant and I can't wait to see her, but so was the person covering her in a different way, and it must be hugely weird for them too. I remember my colleague going through this feeling too before her baby.

I agree about the opportunity for other jobs thing - and I'm honestly pleased someone else has this chance! I suppose it is a strange shift that's all. In my field, you get so many applicants per job and it has given me a real sense of randomness IFKWIM

I know we are so lucky to have maternity rights in this country - it is just a funny feeling and I wondered if anyone else was having it!

crazyhead Fri 08-Jul-11 18:22:28

ps @9Donkeys, no my rights were heavily protected from the moment I told them I'm pregnant (large organisation that is very big on this stuff) - so I doubt it really. Plus I get on very well with my boss, which helps.

I've worked in companies before where they would have flung you out like a shot and I saw them do it - I'm well aware that my situation is a lot luckier than that. Is yours one of the latter type? If so I hugely sympathise

I know that you can't have it all btw, I really do.

cookielove Fri 08-Jul-11 18:25:00

We had a similar situation at my work, one of the colleagues became the manager, but she was crap so it was all ok when the manager came back grin

cookielove Fri 08-Jul-11 18:25:43

We had a similar situation at my work, one of the colleagues became the manager, but she was crap so it was all ok when the manager came back grin

cookielove Fri 08-Jul-11 18:26:08

She was so crap i posted it twice wink

9DonkeysAndABoy Fri 08-Jul-11 18:40:25

Crazyhead, I do think you can have it all grin. No, mine is not quite as bad, knock on wood, I don't think they can fire me that easily, or at least not without me suing their ass off. It's a huge corporation, though private sector - it sounds to me like you are in public sector. In my case roles just aren't that well defined (I think it's a bit of an American culture which I am still getting used to), and why people get opportunities or don't isn't that well explained. I would say I was probably discriminated against, as noone would give me any projects (all our work is very project based), once my pre-pregnancy projects ended, given I was leaving anyway, so they did not want to deal with change of management mid-project. To some extent this is understandable, but on the other hand I have been a spare part for about 6 months now, I am finding it hard to see how it will change when I come back, even if I was appreciated before! But maybe I am too paranoid.

I think you are lucky, and obviously smart, so wouldn't worry, but it is strange. I cannot even imagine it - I have to say in my industry, as it's all very dog-eat-dog, I have never seen anyone move 'backwards' in their career (ie. your replacement), hence my question if they could replace you.

theonlyhb2 Fri 08-Jul-11 19:34:35

my nan said to me "are you worried your colleagues are going to steal your job?" and I hadn't thought about it. So I did ask them and none of them even want it whilst I am gone ha ha ha

it so weird, next week is my last week, what do I do if I don't work? I love my new little team and I really don't want to leave at the moment, we could do such amazing things over the next few months.

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