Will this avoid me from being able to take maternity leave? Will they instead find someone else to replace me if I take time away? When is a good time to tell the boss? How do I break the news? All these questions and more burdened my mind and I intentionally kept refraining from sharing the news at work. I knew that it was only a matter of time until I would begin to show and be forced share. Luckily for myself, I didn’t really begin to show until the 24th week to so. Well, I began to slightly show before but instead began to wear a lot looser clothing and it as well helped that I only go into the office once a week.
I simply requested a time slot to speak privately with the boss. This was pretty routine as I would regularly schedule time with him while I was in the office to discuss prospects, ideas, lead generation, etc. The meeting began as any other of these weekly meetings would; discussing my pipeline, ideas for further networking/ relationship building, client engagement, etc. As we were wrapping up the conversation because we were running late for another meeting to follow, I told him that I had one more thing to share. With so many words, I said, “I don’t want this to impact my workload, responsibility, etc”… then with my heart racing and sweaty palms, I followed with, “…..and I am expecting!” I was so nervous, I was concentrating so hard on not breaking down in a nervous cry. To my surprise, he broke the uneasiness with, “Expecting a new account? Haha Congratulations! This is exciting for all of us around here. We haven’t had anyone have a baby since (for this stories sake, we will call him Jon) and even then, we haven’t had a woman employee here have a baby while working here, since ever”. Following that conversation, we attended the next meeting where the news was shared with many other co-workers.
I was so relieved that the news was finally out and I didn’t have to worry so much about what to wear into the office to hide the growing baby bump.
Although this may not be as much of a worry to all expecting mothers, it just may as well be relatable to many other working moms.
My Tips for Telling your Boss;
1 Become familiar with FMLA laws and with your employers family leave policy prior, so that you are already aware of your rights.
2 Schedule time to speak privately.
3 Focus of the positivity of the news. Never apologize about your seat news due to the possible inconvenience for the company.
4 Set in writing. Once the news is out in the open, be sure to capture in writing details of your company’s pregnancy protocol, maternity leave, how long you are entitled to or plan to take, your responsibilities, benefits (if any), etc to avoid any confusion later.
If you are expecting, good luck with breaking the news to your employers and most importantly, CONGRATULATIONS!!