So, being the martyr that I am, I decided that I would do what was best for my employer and stay at work as long as possible. I guess I feel like I owe them for giving me this promotion knowing that I was pregnant. Plus I am just forming a team, so who will show them the ropes if I move on? I’m the only one of me in my business so there is nobody else to teach them.
For any pregnant ladies who might be asking themselves the same question, here is my advice (for what it is worth). Leave when you feel physically and mentally ready to leave. Do not allow any other influences to decide when you should or shouldn’t work. Your body will tell you. I am 34 weeks pregnant and was ready to leave a couple of weeks ago! But I’ve made commitments and I am in a senior position so I need to honour them. If I had the time again I would have been more selfish.
Reasons why I wish I could leave already
1. I am tired. Too tired to get up, too tired to get dressed. Too tired to learn. Too tired to listen. Too tired to care.
2. I ache. All over. By lunchtime, my back aches from leaning over my laptop. My shoulders burn with pain. When I get up to walk somewhere my groin feels like it used to after I’d been horse-riding. I look about 90 hobbling around!
3. I have nothing to wear. Even my casual clothes are too tight now and I am loathe to buy new ones this late in the day.
4. I am super-stressed. Setting myself huge milestones to reach and promising the world to my employer has become a source of real physical stress since I realised I have only 4 weeks left at work to do it all in! I think I experienced my first panic attack in the early hours of Saturday morning, and I’ve felt short of breath ever since. I feel like a coiled spring.
5. I have lost my ability to learn! This role is new and I’ve no-one to learn from. Things are being thrown at me from all directions and I don’t understand them all. And I don’t seem to be able to find the energy to learn.
6. I cannot concentrate. Lack of sleep is affecting my ability to concentrate on anything or anyone. And when I can’t get my head round something that I need to do, I feel the panic rising like bile from the pit of my stomach.
7. I am incredibly emotional. Tears and tantrums. Mostly tears. But some people (particularly work colleagues) are beginning to seriously grind my gears!!
8. It’s too much. I have 2 children (10 and 5 years old). The 10 year old is a dream generally, but is going through a very sensitive stage! My 5 year old is incredibly bright and gorgeous, but has anger issues. Hit me so hard yesterday that it took half an hour for the red mark to fade. And today he punched a teacher. I have a meeting with school next week, but I don’t have the energy to go and I most certainly can’t afford to leave work early. And there’s still housework to do, and preparations for the arrival of baby. I actually cancelled my birthday weekend away (I’m 40 on Thursday) because I know I will have nothing left by Friday.
9. I hate the travelling. Sometimes my journey to work takes me about an hour there and invariably 90 minutes back. That is mentally and physically tiring in itself. But my main concern is the paranoia about going into labour when I’m not near my home! Having Group B Strep I’ve been told I should go to the hospital as soon as I know I’m in labour to get the IV antibiotics into my system as soon as possible. The further away I am from my home town, the longer that will take. Those are valuable minutes that I don’t want to lose.
10. No-one will think any better of me. Ok so I do think that my boss appreciates the fact that I am doing what I can to help them out before I leave. But he has no idea how much physical and emotional stress I am putting myself under in doing so. And so he’ll never truly appreciate how hard it has all been. And when I don’t deliver some of what I have promised, there will be no allowances made for my reputation!
So, whilst that might all have ended up sounding like the ravings of a bitter woman, I hope you take it as it is intended. Make sure you go when you are ready and listen to your body. Right now I am so exhausted that I have nothing to give my family. Work are getting the best of me. My family are left with the tears and tantrums; shouting at the kids, sobbing into my husband’s shoulder. The ironing piles up, and new dust settles on the old. My body is saying “slow down”, and I’m ignoring it. If you can listen to yours, please do!