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Pregnant, poorly, stressed and worried about everything

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by rebbywoo, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. rebbywoo

    rebbywoo New commenter

    I'm really struggling.

    I've found out I'm pregnant (currently 9 weeks) and have not had a great pregnancy so far - no vomiting, but quite severe depression, palpitations, sleeplessness and anxiety.

    This has not been helped by my MAT lead who has basically come in and steamrollered my department this year, dictating what we teach, when we teach it and taking away all of our planned lessons, replacing them with their own (no deviation allowed). I've been told my department need extensive training from their (very well-paid) "advisers", and that we have to teach an extra hour a week as our grades weren't up to scratch. I've been told "it doesn't matter if the students enjoy the lessons. What matters is they pass the exam".

    The issue is, our grades are bad because we've been teaching what we've been told to teach, as opposed to what we know we are great at and get results with (I was even told to abandon a novel because it was "too hard" for the students and instead to teach one I've never read). I had to rewrite our curriculum four times last year and we had to change our assessment methods three times to "get it right" - resulting in a whopping 12 assessments a year for all year groups, plus EOY exams. I lost two staff over it. No wonder our students have suffered - they've complained to me numerous times. Now I'm the one off sick as I seem to catch every infection going and I feel terrible.

    Before I got this job, I was a well-respected teacher who consistently got great results. My students were happy, I won numerous school-based awards voted for by staff and students, I was consistently given positive feedback from students and parents and I was undertaking training with the middle leaders programme, having been chosen as a 'rising star' (my new school wouldn't let me continue this as they are an academy). I was heading up multi-school scheme of work development and working closely with partners abroad. I left that job confident in my own abilities and now I feel like I've been run down and criticised to the point where my confidence is gone and I'm having anxiety attacks about just getting in to work. Just typing out how respected I used to be makes me cringe.

    I've told my boss I'm leaving, but I still have ten weeks to get through before I go. I'm having panic attacks and palpitations daily; I've seen the doctor who thinks it's stress and anxiety related. He offered to sign me off, but I didn't think that would help my prospects of securing decent supply work, which I will need when I leave, so instead he gave me reduced hours, but I think that is making it worse.

    I don't know what to do. I feel an incredible sense of guilt when I am not at work because my students need me, but I feel guilt when I am in work, because I know anxiety attacks and stress are going to hurt my baby. I wonder if I will ever get my confidence back, and I worry it won't ever come. I desperately want to be signed off, but I'm scared that I won't secure good supply if this happens, or I'll get a bad reference. Part of me wants to get out completely, but I don't know what I'd do and I wouldn't secure anything at 5 months pregnant anyway, so supply is my only option.

    This is probably making very little sense and I apologise, but I feel at my wits' end and I don't know where to turn. In my darkest moments I feel like I'd just rather not be pregnant because then I can just get another job, and then I feel terrible for even thinking that. I'm so trapped; please help.
  2. fairypenny

    fairypenny Occasional commenter

    Take the doctor’s offer. Please allow yourself to be signed off. Your health is important, and now you have the health of your baby to think about too.
    Any illness during pregnancy is treated differently to “normal” illness, so if you are worried about that affecting your prospects in the future, you can always point out you were pregnant at the time.
    knitone, joLT, cazzmusic1 and 7 others like this.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sorry you're in a dark place.
    First priority is to get better from the stress related stuff. The doctor's seen more of it than you.
    Secondly, you (temporarily) need to shift your mindset.
    If you're going in 10 weeks, I guess you've resigned rather than working until near the due date and taking maternity.
    If the MAT leaders think they know best, let them do their worst. You're going to get your own time back by using their plans and resources and doing exactly what they want. There will be no consequences for you if the results are terrible.
    Unfortunately, this is a bit rough on your students, but sometimes you cannot solve all the worlds problems.

    Good luck. Enjoy preparing for your baby. Look after yourself and the baby as your first priority.
  5. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    As others have said, the health of your baby is the absolute number 1 top priority. Everything else is a very distant second. Your students can compensate by studying more, they can retake their exams, etc. A problem with your baby's health could potentially last them their entire lifetime.

    Please get signed off, and let the so-called management justify their large salaries and poor decision-making by managing the situation that they themselves have created.
  6. katykook

    katykook Occasional commenter

    Have you contacted your union? Forget about the students and your work prospects for now, make the baby your priority.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    They treat you like sheet? You feel like sheet. Which is bad enough at the best of times. But even worse in the first trimester.

    Decent supply work? No problem. You may have to kiss a few frogs but that's the great thing about supply. You have a bit of a hairy time and you can decline to go again. You're English? As in - teacher of? No problem.
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  8. rebbywoo

    rebbywoo New commenter

    Thank you, all. I'm going to speak again to my Doctor and get signed off. I got a call today to tell me they're taking my GCSE class off me, which is pretty much the only reason I was dragging myself in anyway. I just feel so far from my real self that the more I think about it, the worse I feel. It's just not worth it, I know.

    I'm sure I'll find something, it's just worrying leaving a job (and the SMP as I'm not within the time frame, sadly), with nothing to go to. Anything has to be better than this. Thankfully, we are moving to a much cheaper city and my husband's salary should cover us in a stitch.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really do appreciate it.
  9. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Sometimes the difficult choice is the right one. Take care.
  10. dibble1979

    dibble1979 New commenter

    Sounds like you made the right choice for you and your baby. Good luck with everything
  11. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Problem solved
    Easy to say, but hard to do.
    Yes, you're in danger of losing maternity benefits, but sometimes there's more important stuff.
    Good luck with the move.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It is a bit of a worry but you have got a plan B and I'm sure you'll muddle through.

    Nobody wants to have to compromise but the alternative is just getting shafted. So it's definitely the right thing to do.

    GP for you. Aaaaaaand.... relax!

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Totally agree. Don't feel guilty for an instant.

    Chill. Relax. Enjoy this time with your bump.
  14. Dancing Butterfly

    Dancing Butterfly New commenter

    You should be entitled to Maternity Allowance though - you need to have been employed for at least 26 weeks in the 66 weeks prior to your due date and have earned at least £30 per week for 13 of those weeks. It sounds more complicated than it is, here's a link to more info: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility
  15. rebbywoo

    rebbywoo New commenter

    Yes, I'm entitled to £140 a week allowance, so I do get something! It's not all doom and gloom. We should be able to pay the bills :)
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Hurrah for @rebbywoo (great name btw) and babywoo!
    thekillers and EmanuelShadrack like this.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    Do not under any circumstances put yourself at risk and your pregnancy. Your health is your treasure.

    Congratulations :):):)
  18. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    I'm very pleased to hear this.
    Excellent :)
  19. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    Supply agencies don't care about how good the references are: I was in a similar boat like you before joining the school from hell; they gave **** references regardless of who looked at me. ********! Anyway, left the ****** place and did supply work. 18 months later, landed a permanent role. My mistake? I should have taken sick leave earlier and left that ******* school, draining all the sick leave they offered on full time pay. They give a **** reference? Bleed the basards dry.
    cazzmusic1, rebbywoo, Alice K and 2 others like this.
  20. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    I managed fine on basic maternity after baby 2 - worked out about 112 a week back in those days. Lots of long walks to the park in a second hand pram and a holiday at my parents' in the summer. It was totally, completely worth the lack of stress. If the palpitations and depression continue discuss with gp or midwife possible thyroid disorder - pregnancy can make one worse if you had it before and never noticed it.
    The need for English teachers will last forever. Your baby won't be a baby for long at all.

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