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21 weeks, still exhausted, work suffering. How do I cope?

(14 Posts)

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FluffyCoo Mon 26-Oct-09 12:44:45

Sounds like you're having a terrible time - how awful of your boss to be so unsupportive. This sort of thing really makes my blood boil!

Whether boss likes it or not, your employer has certain responsibilities toward you in terms of your well-being in the workplace, if they haven't done so already, insist that you have a risk assessment by your Health & Safety/Occupational health people. Also, do you have a HR department you can talk to? Even if you just have an off-the-record chat with them for starters, at least you'll have flagged the issue and can take it from there - your boss will then have to work along with them.

Being on maternity leave is definitely NOT a valid excuse for making you redundant (although I know companies are doing all sorts of sneaky things to pregnant women right now), make sure you know what your rights are and don't be bullied!! Citizens Advice are ace and there is tons of info out there on the internet re employment rights.

Good luck and take care - I really hope things improve for you soon x

watercress Mon 26-Oct-09 13:31:33

Sorry you're feeling so bad and having a rough time.

I'd definitely get your HR department on side - as Fluffy says, ask for a risk assessment if you haven't already had one, and chat through the problems you are having (I hope they are sympathetic). They have to look after you in the workplace, as they would do for anyone else who was ill - sounds like your boss is being a bit of an arse.

And ignore your mum's comments. I'm sure she means well, but remember that every pg is different and different women have different experiences of it. You are not being lazy or inept or rubbish, you are pregnant and feeling lousy. And that is allowed.

Take care x

anonandlikeit Mon 26-Oct-09 13:42:02

Firstly, listen to your body.... if you feel crap &exhausted then you need to rest.
Not everybody blossoms during prgnancy & sometimes it can be very exhausting, the anxiety of an unsupportive boos will just add to things.

I'm not trying to be doom & gloom but you must put you & your baby 1st.
Your body is telling you to rest, do it!
Ignore your Mum, do not try harder, do less.

I know it is easy for me to say, but hoestly IME you need to stop & rest!
Discuss how you feel with your midwife, if you need time off take it. Your wmployer cannot sack you while off sick when covered by a DR's certificate.

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Firsttimer7259 Mon 26-Oct-09 17:03:25

This sounds awful. I really sympathise, I am finding pregnancy surprisingly hard work as well and altho I can sometime manage a full on day I find the next day suffers as a result.

My work situation is much more flexible than yours so I can work around a lot of this and work from bed often. But it sounds like you are going to run out of rope soon. Can you see your GP and discuss need for rest. Might be easier if you could go to your employer saying my doctor says rather than my body says.

Your boss sounds horrid and if he is mean like that I imagine you are right in thinking he will find a way to wangle you out the door. Another approach might be to read up well on your rights and then have a constructive talk with him. I would be clever and not talk about my rights but rather say look, I am struggling. Ususally I am good, and I do want to come back but what are we going to do right now. How can we structure things so I can keep on top of them and the business doesnt suffer. Maybe this is a better appraoch than pretending you can do allthe work you can usually do when you cant. Simply in terms of you then both (fingers crossed) trying to solve the problem. Rather than you being the problem that he thinks needs to be solved by getting shot of you...

Risky but could work...some of it does depend on how replaceable you are tho. Even if it doesnt work it could leave you with an exit route that doesnt involve him trashing you. Otherwise you could be left in a situation where he believes he has to make you look like a bad employee in order to get rid of you and all the effects that will have on your job prospects.

Firsttimer7259 Mon 26-Oct-09 17:04:27

Sorry didnt read your initial post closely enough, you ahve already been to boss...

dont really know what to do, it sucks doesnt it?

FlouryBap Mon 26-Oct-09 17:19:05

I found that when I started taking Floradix my energy levels got SO MUCH BETTER. It is worth a shot?

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anonandlikeit Tue 27-Oct-09 09:35:16

You sound like me when i was pregnant with ds2, just about managing to get through the working day, but not being particularly effective, doing nothing at home but collapsing & sleeping.
Worrying about being seen to manage, not wanting to admit that i needed to give myself a break. Not wanting to burden & let down my colleagues in a very small team.....
But please go & speak to your Midwife or GP.

I'm not trying to scare you but I am trying to urge you to take a break, give yourself some rest time, regardless of consequences at work. Nothing is more imprtant than your health & the health of your baby.
I didn't listen to my body, or my family telling me to rest & i looked like sh*t. ds2 was born prematurely at 28 wks & has life long disabilities as a result.
I have returned to work but have to work less & more flexibly to care for my son. I don't know if things would have been different if i had rested, maybe not, but i will always wonder.

I am not saying for one minute this will happen to you but i am just trying to put things in perspective, it is easy to worry about work & money (i did) BUT the reality is, your health MUST come first.

Get yourself to the DR's get a sick note fro a couple of weeks, give yourself a complete break & then see how you feel.

I hope you start to feel better soon x

theyoungvisiter Tue 27-Oct-09 10:01:16

I used to sleep under my desk for an hour at lunchtime when exhaustion got really bad.

My boss was happy because it meant I had a productive afternoon - rather than sitting there with bags under my eyes doing no work.

Is this an option for you? It's amazing how much a catnap picks you up - followed by a walk in the fresh air to wake you up properly.

When you're behind it's tempting to plough on by spending all day at the computer, skipping lunch etc, but this is actually the worst thing you can do.

I would also recommend taking mat leave earlyish. I know the temptation is to work up until the last minute so as to spend the max time with the baby, but it is just as important to go into labour rested and as well as possible. And don't forget, you can add your accrued holiday leave onto the end of your maternity leave so you will get more time than just the leave.

Sariska Tue 27-Oct-09 11:01:14

iwcas, have just seen this. It sounds like a miserable situation.

I don't think you're alone in feeling this tired at your stage of pregnancy and you're also not going to be alone in facing an unsympathetic employer.

A few suggestions:

(1) Know your rights. Probably you already do, given that your role encompasses HR - but have you been in your job long enough (2 years or more) to entitle you to statutory redundancy pay. Is there any contractual entitlement? Are you documenting what he says/does? This will be particularly important if you do ever decide to "drag his name through the mud" with e.g. a sex discrimination claim.

(2) Yes, the job market is less than sparkling at the moment - but are you keeping an eye out for interesting vacancies? Could you register with some agencies? Contrary to popular belief, some employers will take on pregnant women. (E.g. I have a friend who was hired at 7 months pregnant.)

(3) Definitely think about starting maternity leave sooner rather than later - and remember you need to give your employer notice by the end of the 15th week before your expected week of childbirth. But also think about using up any outstanding holiday now with the odd day here and there. I did this in my first pregnancy when I was suffering back problems and found it useful physically (the more rest the better) and psychologically ('twas somehow easier to get through work if I knew I had a "rest day" coming up).

(4) Are you eating properly? By which I mean proper meals - including lunch - and not too much junk. Sorry if I sound like your mother. I don't mean you're not trying hard enough; I just know it's easy to let the eating thing slip, especially if you're tired and/or only catering for yourself.

(5) If you feel you're getting depressed, please please please speak to your midwife and GP. There are things that can help.

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oranges Fri 30-Oct-09 19:40:58

Can you take a holiday now? I was as you were - exhausted with a manipulative boss at 20 weeks and I just used the last of my annual leave for a fortnight off and its beeen a godsend and a reminder of how my body should feel when its rested and relaxed.

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