General Etiquette > Life...in general

Avoiding being a pregnancy SS

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Ceallach:
Now that I'm 31 weeks pregnant, I've gone rapidly downhill in terms of energy levels and am getting very worn out and physically unwell.  Despite not wanting to slow down it's become inevitable, and the problem is that I find myself continually feeling the need to justify myself. My boss has told me to cut my hours back (same pay, she just doesn't want me to wear myself out doing long office hours) but I feel incredibly guilty leaving in the mid-afternoon when my team are still hard at work.   Note that I'm a manager so my role doesn't correlate to anybody else's role, e.g. it's not as if I'm not "pulling my weight" and creating more work for everybody by doing less, it's just that I can do less to support and assist my staff than I could before, and they don't get as much face time.  I just feel like a slacker!

I tend to be very clear to my colleagues and staff when I'm having a particularly bad day e.g. I'll mention that I got no sleep or that I'm suffering from severe backache.   And when I do leave I might say something like:  "I'm absolutely exhausted, I got no sleep last night! Heading home now but I'll be checking my emails if you need me". Is that dismissive of the fact that others may also have reasons why they're tired?   I mean, let's face it, most people would love to leave work early!   As somebody who has spent my entire career being first in every morning and one of the last to leave, it's weird for me being the last to arrive and first to leave, which is why I seem to have this need to explain myself every.single.time.   But I'm worried that I'm whinging constantly by explaining what I'm doing and how I'm feeling.    Should I just say "these are the hours I'm working" and stick to it? 

I have the same problem at home, I'm constantly justifying to DH why I need to rest and therefore can't always do my share of dishes / prepare dinner / clean up etc (again, not needed, he's not pressuring me in anyway and in fact is encouraging me to rest more!!).   

Should I just shut up, slow down, and assume everybody understands the reasons why?   I get anxious about letting people down, so want to explain why this sudden limitation has hit me!  But I don't want to irritate people by bringing it up too much.  (Ironically I have the opposite problem with friends, families and acquaintances outside of work & home - I don't feel the need to justify anything to them seeing I'm not "letting them down", and in fact it drives me nuts all of the intrusive questioning and pressure I get from people telling me I should have quit work by now! I would rather talk about non-pregnancy related topics but apparently pregnancy is everybody's business!)   

Any advice or suggestions to avoid being an annoying SS for the next 8 weeks?  (Hopefully not too much longer than that!  ;D ).

cicero:

--- Quote from: Ceallach on November 18, 2012, 05:21:08 AM ---Should I just shut up, slow down, and assume everybody understands the reasons why?   

--- End quote ---
yes.

for work, I would sit my team down and say "I want to give you guys a head's up that, with Bob's consent, I will be in the office less in the coming weeks - there will be days that I will come in later or leave earlier. I will continue to lead the team through emails at home." I wouldn't make this about the pregnancy (even if it is, and even if everyone knows that it is) and I *really* wouldn't give people TMI about sleepless nights, backaaches, etc. it's not their business.

for DH - i would just listen to him when he tells you to rest. ;D

bonyk:
For work, it might be better if you could make new "official" hours and send an email:  "Hi colleagues, for the foreseeable future, my hours at work will be 10-3.  If you need me outside of then, please feel free to email.  I will be checking frequently."  I think giving more information than that ends up coming across a little snowflakey.

As for your DH, I wouldn't worry too much.  That's what he's there for.   ;D


--- Quote from: Ceallach on November 18, 2012, 05:21:08 AM --- I would rather talk about non-pregnancy related topics but apparently pregnancy is everybody's business!)   

--- End quote ---

Hee, wait until the baby comes!  Very intimate details about how (s)he got here and how you're healing will be considered fair game for polite conversation.  I still have fantasies about saying to people, "Did you seriously just ask me that?  You want to know _______ about my (body part)?  Really?"

CakeEater:
Like any other medical condition, you have been given reduced duties. Why, your pay level, and the actual, physical symptoms aren't anyone else's concern, or their problem. In fact,as you say, if you tell people you're going home early because you didn't sleep last night, Mary or Fred are going to be thinking, 'I didn't sleep last night either, why can't I go home?' and start fuming. Same with aching backs etc. None of those symptoms are specific to pregnancy.

No-one wins a medal for powering on through the late stages of pregnancy and working until the first contraction. And if you get a non-sleeping baby, you'll be kicking yourself if you didn't rest up beforehand when you could.

peaches:

--- Quote from: Ceallach on November 18, 2012, 05:21:08 AM ---Should I just shut up, slow down, and assume everybody understands the reasons why?   
--- End quote ---

Yes.

As someone who worked all my adult life, and raised two kids while doing so, I want to say "lighten up!".

While balancing career and family, it's important to take the long view. You have put in a tremendous amount of effort at work and gone the extra mile in the past. For a short while, you need some reasonable adjustments.

This will all work out in the long run. Stay positive, and try to enjoy this special time in your life!

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