I found myself doing exactly that, on the morning of December 5th after receiving the call from my doctor, "Congratulations! You're going to be a mom!" To which I nonchalantly glanced at coworker #1 sitting to my left, and coworker #2 sitting to my right, and responded, "Oh, wow. Ok, thank you. Bye." and hung up. My first day on the job was November 5th...I had been there for exactly 1 month.
I had so many thoughts running through my mind, excitement/fear about the baby growing inside me, nervousness about the reality that I was going to be a mom, anxiousness about telling my coworkers that I would be leaving soon after I just settled in...so I stepped outside to get some fresh air. The first thing I did was walk next door to the convenience store and out of the 10 cards they had, found one that said, "Congrats! Woo-hoo! You did it!" (Which by the way, is the same card my coworkers gave me on my first day of work) and I wrote something like "I'm pregnant! Love, wife".
The second thing I did was return to my desk and google the above blog post title. All of the articles that I found online can be pretty much summed up by this: You have the right to wait to tell your boss until you want to. There were also a bunch of articles going through the nitty gritty of maternity leave. I'm not sure what I was looking for, maybe a script of exactly what to say, but I found that nothing I came across seemed helpful. And then to add to my nervousness, I had a realization that I work for the government and they are probably tracking my google searches and have probably already told my boss that I'm pregnant and planning on quitting! Great!!
Maybe you're confused as to why I even had anxiety over telling my boss, so let me explain:
- I knew 100% for certain that I had no intentions of returning to work after having Jack
- The company and coworker #1 had spent a lot of time training me, and I wouldn't even work for them for a full year
- I know how awesome of an employee I am and how hard it would be to replace me ;)
- With sequestration and budget cuts, it seemed highly unlikely that they would be granted the funds again to even hire for my position
So after the internet failed me and the government stalked me, I finished out my work day and headed home. When Ben walked in the door, I handed him the card and said, "Look at this weird Christmas card we got today"...he read it, looked at me, re-read it, looked at me again, and then with a really red face, he hugged and kissed me (Marines don't cry).
We decided that it would be best if I put off telling my work for another month so our families would be the first people we told while we were home for Christmas. We told my family on Christmas morning by having my mom open a bib that said "I love my grandma" while webcamming with my brother and sister-in-law. It was a bit confusing because she first thought the bib was from my brother (he has 2 little ones), but then when I said "It's from me and Ben!!", she still just responded, "Aw thanks guys, I'll bring it when I visit John & Beth" (brother and sister-in-law). I finally had to say, "I"M PREGNANT"--and then everyone was shocked/excited.
We told Ben's family over dinner at the favorite local pizza place. The night we came into town, Ben's sister announced that she was expecting, so over dinner, Ben said "Hey mom--Bek is not the only one!!" Everyone again was confused and didn't really believe him, but after we kept insisting that we were not kidding, hugs and congrats were passed all around.
After a great vacation home with both of our families--I returned to work the first week in January and decided it was time.
I asked some of my close friends and family for advice on my task at hand, and I think what sunk in the most came from my cousin. She said, "Nikki, I know you're awesome and that you are a great employee. But everyone is replaceable. Everyone. Even you." With that in mind, I asked coworker #1 (my counterpart) if she would step outside with me. We sat on the benches and I told her my news, to which of course she was super excited and said how happy she was for me. With renewed confidence, I then walked into my bosses office, asked if I could close the door, and shared my news of being pregnant and not planning to return to work. My boss was incredibly supportive and shared in my excitement.
And that was it!! So if you are nervous about telling your boss that you are pregnant and not returning to work, my advice is to just get it done and over with as soon as possible so you can start using the "I'm pregnant" excuse to get out of almost anything! Seriously, it works great!!
Last week was my last week at work, and while it was extremely bittersweet, I am so thankful for the time I had working there and wouldn't have changed a thing.