It's always nerve wrecking to tell work that you're having a baby, "I'm pregnant and oh yeah and I'd like a year off please...." but even more so during the current climate where many people are worried about keeping their jobs. I spoke to the wonderful Rachel from A Different Me for her top tips on how to navigate this chat with your manager and come out of it on top. Rachel is a women's coach who focuses on you having a sustainable and enjoyable work and life blend. She wants to make work “work” for mums. With a background in technology sales, she has seen many brilliant & badass women struggle to maintain hard fought careers once they have kids. So after her second maternity leave decided to do something about it and set up A Different Me.
Rachel says: So, the bump is starting to show, you are feeling suitably exhausted and you are starting to get your head around the fact that you are going to have a bloody baby!! This took a while to sink in for me despite the never-ending heartburn, sore boobs and
knee buckling tiredness.
The initial excitement at finding out you are pregnant is often replaced by your second thought as a working mum of - “how the
f**k am I GOING TO TELL MY BOSS?! .Unfortunately, it will always feel like the wrong time in the financial year, project cycle, client deal, team reorganisation – the list goes on as to why not now to share your news (working mum guilt kick’s in early I am
afraid). However especially this year in the midst of a pandemic as we bounce in and out of lockdown the anxiety about how
being pregnant may affect your work prospects will I am sure be even more acute.
It is indeed a sobering fact that working mums have born much of the brunt of the pandemic on both the home & work fronts –often taking the lion’s share of the childcare & domestic duties subsequently losing out financially and career wise and for many being furloughed at a much higher rate than men…including pregnant women.
However, you are pregnant it may not feel like an ideal time – but it is just the time, and so you need a plan.
First of all, take a breath and steady yourself, work back from the disaster scenario that you have kicked off in your head and think positively. Managers are people and therefore in the majority of cases will be delighted for you in the first instance although the response or wording may not always be as helpful or appropriate as you would like (but that’s for another week). I know that telling your manager can be a daunting process as you may well be concerned about your role – with good reason unfortunately in many cases, and the subsequent implications for your career, manager, and your wider team all within the context of a Covid world feel scary. However, you can take certain steps to manage this conversation that can really help set you up for a controlled and positive dialogue hopefully