Author Topic: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS  (Read 5078 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Ceallach

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4750
    • This Is It
Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« on: November 18, 2012, 05:21:08 AM »
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 ).
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17502
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 05:38:33 AM »
Should I just shut up, slow down, and assume everybody understands the reasons why?   
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

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 778
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 05:47:52 AM »
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

I would rather talk about non-pregnancy related topics but apparently pregnancy is everybody's business!)   

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

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2576
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 06:00:23 AM »
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

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 764
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 06:10:13 AM »
Should I just shut up, slow down, and assume everybody understands the reasons why?   

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!
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 06:11:57 AM by peaches »

Ceallach

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4750
    • This Is It
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 07:02:03 AM »
Thanks guys, that's what my instincts kept telling me but at the time I find myself explaining every time. (I also end up not leaving when I say I'm going to, hence the new directive from my boss to slow down!)    I think an email might be a bit formal as we aren't a massive office, but I'll ensure everybody knows what hours I'm aiming for and try to stick to it (if I don't I will have to stop working altogether so that's a powerful incentive!)

Btw, my boss is female and her kids are still young, she genuinely wants to know how I'm doing/feeling etc, so there isn't that separation there of work vs personal. But it's with my staff I worry because I don't want to distance myself from them but neither do I want to give them irrelevant personal information!
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


AmethystAnne

  • mom, grandmother, and an enthusaistic knitter & crocheter (formerly Laura___)
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3864
  • So much yarn, not nearly enough time! :D
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 09:02:47 AM »
Ceallach......listen to your boss SLOW DOWN!  You are a conscientious worker/manager that your staff is very familiar with. I bet they see you visibly fading the longer the workday goes on.

Make the announcement to your staff about your reduced hours and follow through. Isn't " follow through" one of the qualities that good managers exhibit?

Also, if one of your staff were pregnant and experiencing what you are, wouldn't you cut her a break?
Please do the same thing for yourself.

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 496
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 12:42:23 PM »
Overexplaining when you have no need to sometimes makes people come off as "guilty" when they have are not.  More than likely nobody is thinking anything of it....especially women who have already been in your shoes.

You sound like a conscientous and considerate person who worries about others being burdened...but we all have times in our lives when we can't do as much as we would normally do.  For you it's now.  For others if it hasn't come yet, it will.


WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 12:54:08 PM »
Yes please stop with the excuses.  Everyone gets it - pregnancy is a physical state and it takes a physical toll.  But listening to someone complain about their physical state is exhausting to others.  Thinking of it as sharing.  When you share your negative physical symptoms, you are sharing the misery with them - you the physical them the listening.  When you don't tell others about your negatives, you are keeping them all to yourself; Which do you want to do to your staff?  Share negativity or spare them negativity?  IME having positive energy and less complaints to listen to makes for a better work environment.  I know you want to feel like you aren't letting anyone down, but I think inadvertently you will bringing folks down by talking about the negative, because you are introducing a negative conversation stream, a culture of complaints if you will, into the work environment. 

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8034
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 01:25:00 PM »
As Cake Eater pointed out, tiredness and backaches are not exclusive to pregnancy.  There are lots of reasons why any given individual might not have gotten a good night's sleep or might have a backache, headache, or any number of other uncomfortable ailments even though they are not pregnant.  I think too much emphasis on the specifics would give other coworkers a feeling that you expect to be pampered just because you're pregnant.

I think you should follow the suggestions of several posters here and just lay out how things are going to be for right now.  Let them know you are nearly always 'available' through email if they need you.  And then just follow through. 


Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13648
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 01:30:16 PM »
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 like this.  I worked with a woman who had a very difficult pregnancy.  We never knew when, or if, she'd be in.  Drove me crazy, even though I understood.  If she had just done the above?  It would have been a lot easier.

And if you actually have a good night and have more energy, use it to do something at home, rather than staying later at work.  Especially with the holidays very much on the horizon, I'm sure you have plenty of things to do!
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

rigs32

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 516
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2012, 01:57:53 PM »
As long as you are understanding of your employees health issues once you're back to 100%, I say you're fine.  And that comes from someone who often gets frustrated at work with the way child birth is treated.  But that's because the culture of my office is that women can take the max time after having a child, men shouldn't take more than a couple weeks, and other health issues must go on the back burner as the work load requires.


Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10770
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2012, 03:59:13 PM »
I agree with those who said send an email making it clear what your hours are, and dial back on the complaining a bit.  It can make your coworkers very uncomfortable, and is particularly hard for people who work under you. 

Example from my workplace:

My supervisor often goes home early because of pain or exhaustion (I think she might have a chronic illness?), and is quite vocal about it.  It makes it hard for those of us she supervises.  I'm never sure what sort of mood I'll catch her in, and if it's okay for me to ask her questions when she's tired/in pain. 

Recently she stayed home sick on a day when we were supposed to have a meeting (she didn't contact me to cancel the meeting, but the department received an email from her boss saying she would be home all day).  I never contacted her to reschedule the meeting because I thought it was best to leave her alone (when she returned there was a lot of talk about how overwhelmed and exhausted she was).   She wound up getting upset with me ("How am I supposed to evaluate your work when we aren't meeting regularly??") but I was really just trying to respect her by not bothering her.

So I'd say let your coworkers know when you'll be available, and how you want them to deal with the situation -- do you want them to behave as normal, or leave the communication to you, if they don't know how you'll be feeling?       

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5505
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2012, 04:56:27 PM »
Should I just shut up, slow down, and assume everybody understands the reasons why?   
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

Yes and yes and yes.

People are selfish. They don't want to know what is going on in real detail.
What they want to know is:
When you will be available
What they need to do and what you will be doing.

I much prefer to work with someone sho is clear and open about their limitations and availability than with someone who overestimates  and then leaves me scrambling or uncertain in some way at the end (even if the second person does more work than the first).
 I vastly prefer certainty over more help in a sporadic manner.

And ditto with letting husband pick up the slack. It's not slack. You are growing a person. It takes work.

(I am currently about 6 months pregnant and just admitted that I need to get an exam  deferred.

GSNW

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 553
Re: Avoiding being a pregnancy SS
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2012, 05:12:57 PM »
The fact that you even care about how your exhaustion affects others means you are not in any way being SS.  From what I have been able to glean from your posts, you work hard, you care about your staff, you sound like the kind of boss/co-worker most people would like to have!  We have all worked with people who have a million ailments and everything is an excuse for them not handling their duties.  I do *not* think this is the case with you! 

IMO, you will be more effective in shorter spurts when you're not working yourself to the point of blind tiredness.  Get the rest you need and deserve, reasonable people understand.