Post # 1
So, my Dr. wanted me to go on maternity leave after I had some problems with high blood pressure. I am a teacher and had planned on working until school was out/ I had the baby (school lets out a few days before I’m due), but it just didn’t work out that way. I’m OK with that and have been enjoying the extra time off to finish getting the nursery ready, etc.
However, I have felt the need to avoid seeing/chatting with certain family members (and friends) since starting my maternity leave. Many of them are teachers who worked up until their due date and have made very judgemental statements in the past about people taking leave early. (Which, I don’t understand….I am not being paid for the days I am taking off and don’t see what it should matter to them, since I haven’t asked them for help in any way.)
I’d love it if it just didn’t come up, but I don’t know what to say when someone inevitably asks me “how is work?”
Post # 3
Just say “Fine”. If they ask more questions, change the subject. Usually, I just say something like “I don’t really want to discuss that, how’s your daughter’s dance lessons coming?” Just refocus on something entirely separate.
I’ve had a lot of issues this pregnancy and it’s gotten to where I don’t tell anyone in real life any thing. I just change the subject. If someone gets pushy, I look at them directly and firmly say “I’m sorry, but that is none of your business”.
Post # 4
Ugh, how can they be judgemental when it was your doctor who wanted you to start leave? If anyone asks, I would just say that unfortunately your doctor wanted you to start leave early and then change the subject. Sorry to hear that people are being judgemental!
Post # 5
@dreamocracy: Thanks. I know! One family member has said (in the past) “Oh, I don’t see how people can do that…we just couldn’t have afforded it.”
Well, Darling Husband and I are not exactly rolling in the dough, but me being out of work for a few weeks aren’t going to break us either. We just won’t be able to do as many extra things….which we wouldn’t have done anyway because of the baby.
@stuckinwonderland: I like this approach. I have had to say that before about things in the past, so I think I could do it again! 🙂
Post # 6
I’m usually ok with being a little more specific, so would probably just say “My doctor and I decided that it was best for the health of myself and the baby for me to commence leave a little earlier than originally anticipated”, and then shut the door to further questions.
Post # 7
I would definitely just say that your doctor reccommended you take the leave early. How can they argue with that?
Post # 8
I wouldn’t answer any questions you don’t want to. If you provide the doctor explanation they may follow with another nosy question. I feel you should just shut it down with “work’s fine, i’m on maternity leave.” If they ask why I would say, it was the best decision for me and the baby. You don’t have to justify your decisions to anyone.
Post # 9
I would just be honest. I’d tell them my doctor recommended starting leave early due to blood pressure. No big deal.
I stopped working at the beginning of my third trimester because I couldn’t take the back pain. No one judged me.
Post # 10
@tnbellebee: i would think that if you are comfortable with the decision then you shouldn’t feel any embarrassment about explaining why you are off work early (there IS a good medical reason, after all!!). So maybe you need to come to terms with it yourself a little bit?? I know I only worry what others will think about something if I’m questioning my decision myself.
I think it would be sad to be avoiding friends and family in these last few weeks just out of a fear of judgement…
(also, obviously I wasn’t there to hear the tone or accompanying conversation, but I don’t think that “Oh, I don’t see how people can do that…we just couldn’t have afforded it.” is a judgement – just a statement about their own personal circumstances…?)
Finally, I’m a teacher, and here in Aus we have to get a letter from our OB if we want to keep working past 34 weeks!!! No working up to the day before for us, and quite frankly I’m thrilled 🙂 I will try to go to 36 weeks though.