When questions are presented, they demand answers – even when those answers might be complicated. For many career minded women who are expecting a baby within the year, a question with a potentially troubling answer is how might the boss take the news of the pregnancy?
It is extremely unlikely that your job will be terminated due to a pregnancy, and should still be secure when you return from maternity leave. But if you are career oriented with goals to advance high in the company, there are cases where employers will limit your potential due to the new divide between work and family.
If you are like many women, you may choose to wait until your second trimester before sharing the news of your pregnancy with the boss. This plan provides you enough time to decide if you really want to return to your job after maternity leave.
In an environment where you are on good terms with your boss and have been promised opportunities to advance in your career, a baby is unlikely to change those plans. Even in smaller businesses the baby bombshell will likely be welcomed by colleagues and employers – close knit offices tend to develop very strong relationships.
But in an office with high turnovers or frequent changes in management, you may be less secure with sharing the news of your pregnancy. In an office where there is very little interpersonal connection, it can be very difficult to convince employers that you are committed to balancing your work and home lives after the baby is born.
One way to know for sure if there will be a conflict over the baby is to sit down with your employer in a one on one meeting before sharing news about the pregnancy. Explain your position on the team and your goals for the future – you can then ask your boss if there will be opportunities to fulfill those roles.
If your boss is willing to assign you new responsibilities, you can then discuss if those plans change as a result of maternity leave. However, if you receive significant pushback on your goals, you may consider taking your full maternity leave, and use some of that time to find new work that will be more accommodating of your situation.
Every person must cope with different realities, and sharing news of a baby can be challenging for even the most driven women. Unfortunately the answer to the question is very complicated as what is best for the family may not always be what is best for your career.