2nd Trimester

Sick leave / mat leave

Hi All,

Lately I’ve been struggling a lot with work. Generally I don’t like to open up / discuss this or “admit defeat”, but presently I feel I am at a rock and a hard place.

I took over management last June and it’s been a crap show ever since. I never have enough staff to work their shifts and I’m always being pulled in to cover and work front-line.

My boss kept me in my previous role (which is a FT role in itself), plus work my new role. I’ve expressed the stress it has brought on and that I felt overwhelmed.

My boss told me it’s an expectation of me as a manager to cover any shifts on top of my normal 5 day a week shifts if I cannot find coverage, which I often can’t.

Then in November I found out I was pregnant and I had a bit of complications, light bleeding etc. My boss was very supportive at the time, however that quickly has changed.

Since June last year it’s been an expectation I am on call 24/7 (I get work calls / texts as late as 11pm, when work shifts end around 7:30 the latest). To my personal cell. I’ve put up boundaries but they are not respected, and often my personal life with my husband is affected as I am so stressed I can’t enjoy my day or I end up having to work on any of my days off. To top that off, I bank time instead of being paid so I can only work a max of 35hrs a week paid, then everything goes in to a reserve for when I can find the time to take it off, which is practically never

The issues I’m facing now is that my boss was going to hand over my position to the person who would be taking over for me, come May 1, however we are experiencing extreme staff shortages so we haven’t had an opportunity to train properly as we’ve been pulled in to different roles. My entire time I’ve been getting by with “the stress will go away”, then come to find out my boss wants me to hold this position for another 10+Wks. Our bookkeeper also decided to quit and her last day is this Friday, so my boss has asked me to pick up that role as well, since she’s stuck and hasn’t found or doesn’t want to find a new one, so essentially I was supposed to move over to just doing bookkeeping come May 1 and this is now not the case.

I’m becoming extremely overwhelmed, having shooting pains in my stomach, can never do anything or relax because work is 24/7, and I’m stuck on what to do. I’ve expressed some things to my boss and also have a drs note saying I need to do light work yet she keeps adding more because no one else can or will do it

My husband wants me to take stress / sick leave and then roll it in to mat leave (if I return after being on stress / sick leave my boss will make my life hell at work) but I feel immense guilt. I just want to care for my baby and know the stress is not health as I’m not sleeping or eating properly and am constantly depressed, but struggling to not feel guilty with leaving the organization high and dry and stuck.

I’m at a loss and really looking for some advice. I’ve talked to numerous counsellors and they all say I need to go off and take care of me and baby as they come first but I’m struggling with not feeling guilty…


  • You have to take care of you and baby!!!! A job is just a job. They are not your family they do not love you. With staffing shortages everywhere you will 100% be able to find another position elsewhere that will value you. If you give them enough notice that you are leaving they can find someone to take over some of the positions you are currently taking care of. I understand the guilty feeling you have - as I was in a similar situation - I gave a month notice and felt the guilt everyday. Once I quit and was done it was amazing and so so so so so worth it ! 
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