General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

How to stop the pressure to come back early?

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So I am expecting #2 this fall.  I'm full time and am eligible for 12 weeks of mostly paid leave. Woohoo!

The issue is that if I take my full leave and dot deliver early, I'll be out for all of the holidays. Again, woo hoo!  However, my boss had been hinting that this was inconvenient. I made some very noncomittal remarks to the effect of "we'll see when we get closer," when I should have just bean dipped. NOW, we've hired a new clerk. She will be my backup for my time off. She also just had a baby five weeks before starting. So now that's all I hear from my boss. "Well new clerk only took five weeks!"  All the dingdangity time.

How do I politely shut this down?  I'd rather not go to HR right away.

"It's great that new clerk only took five weeks, and that worked so well for her family. However, the best option for my family is to take the twelve weeks I have requested."

Ask her point blank if it is going to be a problem if you take the full 12 week maternity leave that you are legally entitled to. 
Other responses:
"I'm not coworker, so I'm not sure why you're bringing this up"
"Why are you mentioning that"
"I don't think I'm supposed to hear that information about co-worker"
"So you've said"

She may get the hint and knock it off.  If not you'll need to escalate

I'd say to boss "Boss, I hear what you're saying  about how CW only took 5 weeks maternity so you are asking if I could to the same.  I wish that were the case with me, but it's not.  I need the full 12 weeks.  I"m even taking some of it without pay because my health is more important than money and I want to make sure I'm at my best when I return to work afterwards.  I'm doing everything I can to make sure CW is up to speed before I leave.  If there's anything else you need me to do, just let me know. But cutting my maternity leave short is not an option."

I'd even email this message to boss so that it's time and date stamped.
It sounds like the clerk was new and started five weeks after having a baby.  Maybe she needed to start generating some income, whereas you've been working all along and are in a better position with paid leave accrued. 

I would just keep it light and say, "Yeah, I know you'll miss me, but I plan to stay caught up/get x project done/cross-train Jane to do A and clerk to do B, etc.  Don't worry, the 12 weeks will go by fast and I'll do all I can to leave you all in good shape."


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