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Awful timing: new job (on SLT) from September and just found out I'm pregnant...

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by woody9, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. woody9

    woody9 New commenter

    Hello, I haven't posted on here since my first pregnancy in 2011/12; I'm feeling very differently about this one!

    I'm wondering if anyone can give me any advice on how to deal with a very difficult situation. I was offered a new job in April and will be starting on SLT in a new school in September; I was so excited about my promotion and looking forward to getting stuck in to what I knew would be a very challenging year with a steep learning curve. In my head, I was completely focused on my new role and doing my very best at this next year.

    However, I've just found out that I am a few week's pregnant - it has come as a massive shock and I am still reeling from it. The pregnancy was unplanned (and we were actively trying to avoid it - it is a complete fluke that it has happened); my husband and I were considering having another child at some point (we already have a wonderful daughter who is nearly three), but were obviously going to put off considering this until I had settled properly into my new job. My husband is really pleased, and my daughter will be over the moon, but I feel devastated! However, ending the pregnancy is not an option for me - I just could not live with myself.

    I feel so incredibly guilty about the inconvenience this will place on the school - and how bad and unprofessional this will look to the staff - and I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on how to approach the situation with my new Head (something I am having sleepless nights about)? I estimate the baby will be due in February, which will mean I will only have one full term at my new school before going off on maternity leave. To minimise the impact on the school, I am planning to take a very short maternity leave (between 12 and 16 weeks) and then return full time before the end of the school year. My husband will then take over being at home with the children, which he is excited about. I am the main wage earner and he was planning to go part-time in September anyway, to be the main carer for our little girl and take her to nursery school and back on the days she will be going.

    Do you think that this short maternity leave plan would appease my new school in any way? I am dreading their reaction as I realise it looks incredibly unprofessional to have allowed this to happen. I feel totally out of control of the situation and I only hope they believe me when I say how sorry I am that I have allowed this situation to arise. I want to show my commitment to the school and try and manage the situation as best as I can, under the circumstances.

    Any advice would be very gratefully received, as I am currently feeling incredibly low and anxious about the situation and am losing sleep over it. I would love to be able to relax and enjoy my pregnancy (I loved being pregnant the first time round) but this terrible timing in terms of work is over-shadowing everything. I also had a fairly traumatic birth/aftermath the first time round and this is adding to my feelings of stress and panic - I'm fearful of going through it all again.

    I'm sorry for the incredibly long message - just needed to get it all off my chest - now feeling teary. I know that it's entirely our fault we're in this situation and I feel really stupid - before people suggest it, we have already decided that my husband will get sterilised after this one! I also realise that there are lots of people dealing with far worse situations than mine, and that lots of people struggle to get pregnant, so I know I should be grateful and stop complaining. I suffer from terrible anxiety anyway, so not dealing with this very well!

    I would be very grateful for any advice or similar stories (that hopefully worked out okay in the end!!)


  2. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Firstly congratulations! Now I'm going to talk straight...

    From what you say in your message you seem to be rushing into making decisions. You didn't get pregnant deliberately and if you choose to share that fact with your new school it should ease their thoughts about you somewhat. These things happen. People who start new jobs then for example get ill and end up needing time off sick etc would expect understanding and compassion from an employer just as you should with a pregnancy. You may spend many years at this new school doing a fantastic job but for this pregnancy they will just have to wait for you. It is better they interviewed and chose someone they really want than disregard you just because of pregnancy and choose someone else.

    You may feel differently as you go through pregnancy again and may end up wanting longer on leave so don't promise anything too early then have to retract it.

    Another way to look at things is that if the school wanted to make redundancies at some point (I've been through this situation) or capability procedures, they certainly don't show employees of any level any care or compassion. It could simply come down to who had been there the least amount of time or had the least skills etc. not a very nice way of looking at things but when the tables are turned it's worth considering whether they would go as far as you are in trying to please them and inconvenience them the least.

    They should expect a female of child bearing age to be off on maternity at some point anyway so please try not to worry as much as you are, just be honest with them and make the best of your time there.

    It might be worth looking into whether you will have continuation of service enough to get a full maternity package or not.

    Good luck, hope you get it all sorted soon so you can enjoy being pregnant again xxx
  3. woody9

    woody9 New commenter

    Thanks, Coolgiraffe - you make some very good points and helped me get things more in perspective. I think I am (slowly) starting to come to terms with it and try and see the (many) positives, rather than just seeing the whole situation as a total disaster! There's nothing I can do about it now, anyway. Just going to have to get on with it and hope for the best: hope my new school is as understanding and philosophical as you!

    In terms of continuous service, I'm moving within the same LEA, so assuming that I will retain this and therefore get full maternity benefits. Is this assumption correct, do you think? We're REALLY stuffed if not, as I'm the main earner!!

    Thanks again xx

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