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27 weeks, too much stress and knackered

(14 Posts)
Dutchie77 Wed 21-Sep-11 19:14:34

Today I am 27 weeks pregnant. I thought I could take it a bit easier at work but no... the more I tell them to reduce my workload, the more I seem to get. Been of work at week 15 already, because of work related stress. Talked to my manager about it, but nothing changed. They just don't seem to get it.

I don't sleep that well any more, because of sciatica (and random work stuff that seems to go round and round in my head at night) which makes me even more irritable and tired. I just can't do it anymore.....

Last weeks I haven't been doing anything in the house. No energy. Last few days I went straight to bed after work. It's not only that work wears me out, but the stress. I am afraid that it will influence my baby, or get me into early labour. Especially because it happened to my mum when she was 7 month pregnant.My bump is quite hard after a day work and I feel like exploding.

How do I make work clear that I can't go on like this? And how can I be more assertive and basicly don't feel so responsible?

Anyone with the same experience?


MikaelaL Wed 21-Sep-11 19:37:54

I'm only 11 weeks but have been off work for nearly 6 weeks for stress. This was a growing issue before I was pregnant but got much worse when I was.

I have spoken to my doctor on the most recent occasion about a phased return to work as my manager didn't seem to understand that just going back was unmanageable.

I also pleaded my case with HR for a reduced work load and flexible working. This has been hard to secure but I feel like I am finally getting there.

I often suffer guilt at feeling responsible for too much at work and not being able to fulfil my own expectations. If anything, being pregnant has made me realise that it's just work and it can go hang if its affecting my health or my baby....not sure my bank manager would agree with this...but it does help to put things in perspective.

Keep trying with your manager and get on to HR. Also, a doctors note goes a long way to reminding them of their duties as an employer within the law!!!

Good luck!

Dutchie77 Wed 21-Sep-11 19:43:56

Thanks Mikaela. Think I might go to the GP (again) tomorrow to get a sick note, or reduced hours request.

And the guilt..the guilt.... towards my colleagues. Because I know The workload will be transferred to them.

I just read something on a forum saying: "you have to work at least till you're 65.... pregnancy only lasts 40 weeks." That surely puts thing in perspective.

crazyhead Wed 21-Sep-11 19:49:09

My work can be full on - and I was getting tired out, so one of the things I am doing from now on is to work a day from home midweek, starting next week (I'm nearly 33 weeks now). My thinking is that at least for that day, I can work through all my paperwork from my laptop in bed, and will get a chance to not commute/not work late. Would that be an option?

I think sometimes with work it depends if the problem is that they are being deliberately unpleasant, or more that they understand in principle but are swamped with work as a team/area and just aren't managing it. I manage a team, and it can be really hard to judge people's individual workloads because of all the 'extras' that creep in unbeknownst to you.

Perhaps you could write a list of the tasks currently on your plate and suggest to your manager ways to prioritise these/pass these to others/reduce them? I think if you are clear that you want to prioritise what is important at work whilst looking out for your baby, they might understand better.

HR are absolutely sometimes appropriate in these situations (such as for Mikael) but sometimes worth just being really specific about giving your own proposed solution.

All this presupposes your work aren't just a bunch of b******ds though sad

Catsycat Wed 21-Sep-11 20:03:14

Definitely would say to discuss with your GP, then maybe use that discussion as the basis for a conversation with your manager / HR. My suggestion would be to not act guilty or sorry (even if you feel like that inside), just try to be very matter of fact about the level of your exhaustion and that you cannot cope with the workload physically, and that this is putting you under huge stress. Tell them what you need to happen in order for you to return to / stay at work. Calmly make clear to them your concern that continuing as you are will mean being signed off long term.

You have nothing to feel guilty about - you are pregnant, which is putting physical and emotional strain on you. You are exhausted. You are doing your best, but need your employer to take your pregnancy into account. This is a reasonable thing to expect, and to ask for. You're not asking for the moon on a stick, so don't feel bad. I know it's hard, but don't.

Good luck.

Coldcuppacoffee Wed 21-Sep-11 20:46:52

What I have learnt is that noone is going to suggest ways to make your time easier (and likely increase their workload) so you need to be brave about what you ask for.
I took regular breaks in the day and worked later the first time but couldn't do that the second time as I needed to leave on time, but I was much harsher about what I was prepared to do.
I used to use the excuse that I was going to work as if I had to accommodate childcare to see if it was possible to come to work after the baby was born. They were a bit easier on me after that.
I also used to book a meeting room at lunchtime and sleep. I never told anyone!

Sleepy27 Wed 21-Sep-11 21:06:19

Just repeating what others have said really but your GP is really valuable. I've been off sick with stress for a while now. I'm now 34 +4. The GP really helped put things in perspective and give me some ideas of how to deal with work.

I think I could have been avoided being off sick if I'd been more pushy from the outset about what level of stress was ok, but then I did work with some crazy people who didn't really care if you were under stress. At my health and safety check the HR lady bypassed the stress section saying that stress was inevitable and there wasn't anything she would do about it! But that is NOT normal or right.

Go to your GP and discuss it. If nothing else they can be a great source of support. If you aren't happy with the response of your GP, see someone else at the practice. At the end of the day your baby and your health are more important and you have every right to ask work for a bit more flexibility for the next couple of months.

cravingcake Wed 21-Sep-11 21:29:58

Definitely agree with other posters about speaking to your GP.

Have your work got a replacement lined up? If not then just hand stuff back to your manager and say I'm sorry but I physically cant get this done today. Put the stress back on your manager to sort it out, that's why they are a manager (and probably get paid more). If you have got a replacement then start handing stuff over to them, they are going to have to learn sooner rather than later.

Its easy to say dont feel guilty about handing work to your colleagues so just remember they are going to have to cope without you while you are on leave so they might as well start juggling the extra workload now. If you cant put yours and your baby's health first now, when will you?

Sorry, just re-read this and it sounds really harsh but I do mean it in the nicest way.

Dutchie77 Wed 21-Sep-11 21:53:59

Thanks all. Just realising now that me and my baby's health is SO much more important than flippin' work. I already had a conversation with my manager few weeks ago, which ended up in no change at all. She doesn't really do anything for us (besides signing our holiday requests) and we all wonder what she actually manages.

I made a list, with help of my DP, and send it to my manager and HR tomorrow. I'm going to push it, for my own well being, cause I can't go on like this.

...what was I thinking.

Thank you all for the great comments. That helped genuinely helps lots. I'll let you know how it develops

cravingcake Wed 21-Sep-11 22:31:53

Good luck, try to stay strong, or at least appear it on the outside even if you dont feel it on the inside. Focus on your baby & you will do fine.

spannermary Wed 21-Sep-11 22:46:00

Good luck!!! I'll be looking out for your updates...

anonandlikeit Wed 21-Sep-11 22:54:59

Please please listen to your body, if you are knackered and exhausted then stay in bed tomorrow.
Phone in with a sickenss bug have a couple of days total rest & then think about going to the gp.

You must put yourself & your baby first.
I was very much like you describe with my second prognancy & I had ds2 at 28 wks.
Work had to cope then!

Dutchie77 Sun 25-Sep-11 10:47:47

Hi everybody!

I went to work last thursday and friday, but only to do the necessary stuff. After that I went back home (around 10.00) and had some nice sleep and rest. I've send my manager an email that I can't cope with the workload anymore and asked for a meeting on Monday.

Amazingly, my other colleague who is now 17 weeks pregnant has exactly the same problem. She rang me after I called in sick and she also is going to be signed off sick if nothing changes. I'm glad I am not in this boat alone. It clear that it's not only me, but our work that doesn't really care. And I am considering not to return to that job at all after my maternity leave.

Today we and DP are going to the cinema and for the rest of the day...... I'm doing nothing!! (and I am not allowed from DP LOL). Brilliant.

Have a nice Sunday!

Dutchie77 Mon 26-Sep-11 20:02:22

So, today I discussed the situation with my manager (who is mother of two children under 6). She completely understood that I can't keep up with the pace at work. So we made a plan to divide some work to other people and prepare a training plan for my maternity leave.

Besides that I decided (yes, decided... I am so proud of myself) to relax....... how easy is that?! It actually worked. Every time I notice I tense up I tell myself to relax. (When reading this back it sounds so ....duh! Why did it take me so long to understand)

Thanks all of you!!!

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