Working Moms w/o 6/24 — The Bump
December 2019 Moms

Working Moms w/o 6/24

A place to rant, rave and talk about work.

Re: Working Moms w/o 6/24

  • mrszoobearmrszoobear member
    edited June 2019
    So I had to take the day off work (again) because of pregnancy symptoms. 

    I know most women don't have symptoms bad enough to need to take a bunch of sick days, but I have only worked 2 or 3 full weeks since about week 7 of being pregnant. My 1st trimester symptoms were awful. I went days without being able to keep any food down at all.

    Now that I am in my second tri I have been getting bad headaches to migraines every single day. It is completely unbearable. Especially since my job requires me to stare at two computer monitors all day. The fatigue hasn't gone away either. I want to sleep all the time!

    My next appointment is on 7/2 and I plan on talking to my doctor. Hopefully he has a solution to make me feel better. If not I am hoping he puts me on a lower form of bedrest (not complete bedrest but at least the kind that will keep me from getting fired).

    That's another huge issue. Work has been so kind and understanding about my pregnancy but at what point do they say enough and just fire me? By all means the have the right to by now. I'm very experienced and a great worker (not trying to boast, just explaining why they haven't let me go yet). But at some point my attendance is going to matter. I know I wont be getting a raise next quarter because of this. 

    I have used up all my sick days and PTO at this point. So all this time I am taking off means money I'm not making and bringing home. My husband is being great about everything and covering the Bill's I cant pay. But I feel guilty that I'm putting all this extra pressure on him right now.

    Sorry for such the long rant. Just needed to get all that off my chest.
  • Whew. Happy Monday.

    Already had a compensation call with my Director this morning, CHANGES CHANGES AND MORE CHANGES. Someone put me out of my misery.

    I would have already left, but honestly I will not find another job that gives me the flexibility and pay that I currently make. I work from home, so I try not to complain when many others have it worse than me, but in the new structure of my career I have to basically meet with 10 + customers a week and they are all 2-3 hour drive from my home. 

    I am over it for this pregnancy.Trying to not make any irrational decisions during this time of high emotions, but hey life sucks, but we have to pay the bills. 

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  • rjgmcmanusrjgmcmanus member
    edited June 2019
    Today is good, though I am kicking off this Monday into high gear already. I've already started compiling a list if my duties and detailed descriptions of how all the processed go so that when I go on leave, it's easily delegated. My boss is appreciative. In spite of all this though, I am nervous about what I will come back to. We are a department of two people, and I do a LOT, and she already has her hands full with her own tasks. We'll see how it goes.

    On the upside, found out my annual increase was submitted, and I should be seeing that in next month's paycheck, so yay!
  • ...aaaaaand just found out in follow-up questions that the pumping time is unpaid. My lunch break is already unpaid. Which means I will probably have to take a shorter lunch to continue to receive my full 8 hours (I get paid hourly, not salaried, and that's difficult since I go home to take care of our dog on lunch breaks), or will need to come in earlier/stay later to make up that time.

    Or, I simply dont get paid as much for those months I'm pumping and take the breaks and my same length lunch break.

    Whomp whomp.
  • @rjgmcmanus Does your company have a policy about smoking? Do workers get paid if they take a smoke break. Honestly I find that not getting paid for a pump break is a little ridiculous. Also, I am glad they are reviewing their place for you to pump. I had to pump in the bathroom for an extended period of time with my first child and it may have been one of the worst experiences ever. The knocking, people waiting outside, etc. was a little unbearable.

  • At my old job we had one bathroom on the floor.  It wasn't stalls, literally one toilet for everyone on the floor.  We had a separate, non bathroom space for pumping.  The moms there pumped in the bathroom anyways because the seating was bigger.  They'd be in there an hour at a time and drove everyone else crazy cause we'd have to hold it for an hour. 
  • @klmcguire I'm trying to figure that out...because there are definitely a TON of smokers at my office who I know aren't clocking out for their breaks. But I don't know what the official policy is.
  • Another week has gone by, and business is picking up at my work and it’s exhausting.  I’m trying to keep a positive demeanor, but when you really feel like you’re at a dead end with your job, you have no motivation and it’s just draining.  I’m still not getting much assistance from coworkers as I have some physical tasks that don’t work very well for me right now, with dizziness and such.  

    I’m trying to keep looking forward, doing well at the job I currently do to keep the peace, but also adding to my workload with projects that will hopefully lead to my next line of work.  I’ve started teaching at a new yoga studio, which is great for exposure and experience.  I plan to offer online classes and courses in wellness in the near future as well.  My husband and I have been working on a few screenplays that we’ve had in the works for a long time, in addition to his graphic design work that he would like to turn into a business that we control together (I run the front of house, he’s the artist).  

    It’s tough when you see great things on the horizon, but you’re still having to pull the weight at the job you’re so done with.  It’s even harder when you have the patience of a pregnant lady!  Ah, well, this has helped me to outline my areas of concentration and we’ll keep pushing forward this week!  Thanks for reading my rant...
  • bookworm492bookworm492 member
    edited June 2019
    @cpk3535 I completely understand.  Been at my job 2 months now,  it's great,  but I'm so deeply burnt out from my old job I just can't appreciate it.  I'm starting to think seriously about quitting in 5 years so I can pursue a path that lets me work from home and homeschool (which will give us the freedom to travel we want). 
  • Has everyone told their jobs they’re pregnant already? I’m 15w4d and haven’t brought it up yet to my manager. My company got bought since my last pregnancy/maternity leave but my jobs the same so I know how coverage will work, I just don’t feel like having the actual conversation with everyone. 

    Also for pumping at work there are state laws that apply as well. I used to work in NYC and due to my company size they had to provide a non-bathroom pumping location. I didn’t pump long enough to use it but hopefully this time around I do. 
  • @ale9687 I haven't,  I'm waiting till early July sometime.  I'm not showing still so no rush I figure.  And I have good hiding outfits for when I do start to show. 
  • I am having the most Monday Monday. And I have two employees out (one planned and one unplanned) so that means Boss Lady aka me is stuck and can’t even run away for 10 mins. I would leave my newest employee unattended. Ugh. 
  • We started working nights last week and are working nights 2-4 weeks in a row. I’m so over it already. I feel more sick at night than during the day so that’s been the toughest part about it. 
  • @mrszoobear so sorry to hear that you are struggling.  It must be so stressful to have to worry about your job security at this time. I'd encourage you to look into FMLA if you haven't already.

    For anyone interested, this article, though massively long,  has a lot of good info about pumping in the workplace and challenges working moms face relating to breastfeeding.
  • @blueskychicago12 THIS. Literally, after yesterday's interaction with HR, I came home in tears BECAUSE of the feeling of being undervalued/not accepted due to breastfeeding, and even told my husband if it had been on my radar when I started working there 5 years ago, and had known how discouraging they were towards new moms, I would've kept looking. Things to keep in mind for the next job.

    I was even talking to a new mom at the office yesterday,  and asked if she pumped to try to get a feel for things. She got suddenly very quiet, and then whispered yes, she does. When I asked how she manages that, especially with not having paid breaks, she told me that as far as HR knows, she formula feeds. She never told them she was breastfeeding,  because she knew they'd make her clock out for those breaks, thus reducing her income. So she found her own space and slips away when she needs to.

    There's something messed up about having to be sneaky about breastfeeding. Am going to be working on drafting a carefully worded letter later about this issue. We will see what happens. 
  • A co worker’s last day was Friday, which means we all have to pick up the slack....but mostly me because she was on my team. It’s great because it’s getting me exposure to maybe become a supervisor before this baby comes but it’s gonna be an exhausting couple of months. 
    ME: 34
    DH: 37
    DD: 03/17/17
    DS: 12/06/19
  • Advice I'm getting from my mom (CHRO of her company, so familiar with HR policies), that coworker, and my direct supervisor regarding this breastfeeding thing: "Don't ask anymore questions, don't make more waves, stay off their radar from here on out and they'll forget about you, and do what you want when you get back."

    What a world we live in. But it looks like that's what I need to do. Ack.
  • @rjgmcmanus I oversaw HR at my last job and would agree with that advice. Try to pump as efficiently as feasible, it's obvious to other employees when you're spending half the time pumping and the other half on your phone's Facebook app (we got a lot of complaints about that,  from other moms who had pumped before and knew how long it took).
  • @bookworm492 It's a little messed up, and priorities are skewed, but yeah...things to keep in mind for the next company. 
  • @janiep81 Absolutely agree. I'm pretty upset being in the situation. I told my husband last night that if it wasn't for the fact that to get maternity leave under FMLA I have to be employed at a job for 12 months, I'd be looking elsewhere. But, since we are now 6 months out, I'm stuck. Definitely something I'm going to be more aware of now, especially since we want a second child. 
  • HR is tricky. And a lot can factor of size of employer (under 50 employees is a totally different animal) and the state you live in. From what I understand if your employer pays you during breaks they then need to pay while pumping. They can’t make just a pumping break unpaid. It sounds like that doesn’t solve your issue @rjgmcmanus, but something to consider. 
  • rjgmcmanusrjgmcmanus member
    edited June 2019
    @anniemarie887 The problem is I live in Virginia, which by law does not require paid pumping breaks. My company has hourly and salaried employees. Our salaried employees are fine, since they're basically making the same amount no matter what, but hourly like me, our lunch breaks go unpaid...which apparently also carries over to pump breaks. It's backwards, but as my mom explained it, legal. The thing is, I KNOW they're not enforcing the same thing for smoke breaks, and it baffles me that this IS something they would enforce. Especially since we are a MEDICAL GROUP. How hypocritical is it that smoke breaks go unchecked, but a breastfeeding mom needs to watch herself?
  • @rjgmcmanus the smoking break thing has always annoyed me (and I smoked during college!). I’m a bit of a bull in a china shop, so I would probably make a massive to do about the smokers. I know your mom said keep your head down... I’ve never been good at that. 
  • @rjgmcmanus I truly wish some companies could see how backward their policies are, especially based on what services or products they provide and represent.  I agree with @anniemarie887, some of these issues are much easier to deal with being in a smaller company setting.  I also promote the thought, “Do it now, ask for forgiveness later” versus asking permission.  It may be a little late in this case, but I might play the formula game with HR like your coworker suggested, at least until it gets noticed.  And it may never get noticed!  Plus, these situations are always more worrisome with your first pregnancy.  Second round, you’ll be a more jaded mama bear like me saying, “F these guys!  I have to feed my baby no matter what!”  😁

    On a side note, any yoga teachers or group fitness instructors here among us?  I’m just starting teaching part-time at a new yoga studio at 17 weeks, and I’m curious about modifications during my pregnancy.  At the moment, I’m still capable of doing almost everything we do in a class, but I think that’s going to change fairly quickly...
  • @rjgmcmanus not sure what type of work you do but look into the willow pump. You can pump cord free so you can continue working while pumping. Right now it’s case by case of insurance will cover it but I’m hoping by Dec they get with insurance companies so it’s actually covered. 
  • @ale9687 Good to know! Thank you!
  • @rjgmcmanus If your coworker sneaks off to pump and hasn't gotten caught yet,  you doubtfully won't either if you're efficient about it.  Don't end up like me in therapy due to all the problems relating to work! I quit a job in late April and still to this day I'm doing work for them because they're so unprepared for transition.  Lesson learned: do my job,  nothing else,  it's a transaction. 

    I wish I had FMLA. I haven't been here long enough.  I think they'll likely be accommodating still,  but it would be nice to have the protection. I don't even want a full 12 weeks off work, that would be too stressful to me. 
  • edited June 2019
    @rjgmcmanus I've been fired up about some pregnancy in the workplace issues lately, too, and while I'd love to raise hell, I think your mom is right.  Unfortunately, if you make waves, you open yourself up to scrutiny and it's much harder to fly under the radar.  My recent experiences have led me to want to deal with HR as little as humanly possibly.  I mean no offense to anyone who works in HR, but my experience at my specific workplace has been that the HR there will protect the company's interests at all costs and couldn't care less about me.  Not a good feeling, but it just reminds me that I need to look out for myself.
  • I work part-time in a company of 3 people. I haven’t told them yet. Probably won’t mention it until after the summer if I can hide it that long (TTM, but I’m also fluffy so I could hide longer than most). 

    I’ll don’t think I’ll go back to work after baby #3 comes unless I can work out a work from home situation. 

    DS - 7.5
    DD #1 - 6
    ~ mmc 7.11.2018 @ 9w ~
    DD#2 - born 12.24.19

  • @blueskychicago12 you are absolutely correct that HR is protection to ensure the company is following employment law and mitigating any potential exposure,  and not there to make things good for employees. 
  • @rjgmcmanus I'm sorry you are finding your job not breastfeeding friendly. I feel very lucky that I work for a large hospital that provides pumping rooms that are private, comfortable and clean (they even provide hospital grade pumps in each room so I don't have to lug mine to work every day). I technically get 2 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch but I never have to clock in and out and basically salary so I can come and go as I please. As long as I'm getting my work done- what I do with my time is none of my boss's business. 

    And personally in the beginning it's important to pump every 2-3 hours, so I would pump 3 times at work or if I couldn't get a 3rd pump in I would do it in the car on my way home from work. As baby is older and supply is established you can stretch out the time more- go to 2 pumps and then when weaning go to 1 pump and then none. 
    Me: 35      DH: 35
    Married: 8/16/2014
    TTC 6/2015
    BFP #1: 1/2016, MMC 3/2016 (9 weeks)
    BFP #2: 6/2016, DD born 3/1/17 at 39 weeks 1 day 
    BFP #3: 1/2019, CP (4 weeks 1 day)
    BFP #4: 4/2019, Due 12/10/19

  • @blueskychicago12 @bookworm492 My background is in HR and sadly I can't take offense. I left a company and kind of switched gears in my career because of how they were treating their employees... promising one thing and then doing something different. Or, when I was on maternity leave and found out that the director had been blatantly mocking some of the employees requests! It's a tough balance of needing to protect the company, but also do what they think is best for the employees. I'm now at a college and am the HR Manager for student employees so it's like a 180 from traditional HR. 
  • I no longer oversee HR and I'm very happy for that :)
  • @rjgmcmanus Congrats! 

    Its 82° in my office right now. The AC is broken and HVAC guy isn’t answering.  :s

    DS - 7.5
    DD #1 - 6
    ~ mmc 7.11.2018 @ 9w ~
    DD#2 - born 12.24.19

  • ninrmsninrms member
    @ale9687 I told my work when I was only about 8 weeks. It was NOT ideal, but I had an opportunity to apply for a part time position (I'm an English teacher), so it kind of forced my hand. I'm very lucky that both my bosses were extremely supportive! Which, they should be, seeing as children are our "business," but my last district wasn't at all supportive to pregnant/new moms...
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