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Am I being a bad parent... by worrying about when to tell my new boss that I'm pregnant?

This week, one expectant mum is wondering when the right time to share her news is.

Image: Shutterstock

EACH WEEK IN our series, Am I Being A Bad Parent?, we hear from a reader who can’t figure out what to do about a tricky parenting situation.

To get a balanced view, we put the dilemma to a group of Irish parents, keeping things anonymous to encourage honest answers.

Being offered your dream job is something that many people work towards throughout their careers, but what happens when it coincides with finding out you’re pregnant?

This week, one reader is conflicted over telling her new employer that she’s 10 weeks pregnant before she accepts her dream job.

Have a parenting question you’d like some other mums and dads to weigh in on? Let us know anonymously here!

This week’s dilemma

I’ve just been offered my dream job, but I’m 10 weeks pregnant. I don’t like the idea of telling anyone this soon, yet if I don’t do it now it’ll have to be said within my first week or two of the new role. This is a position I’ve worked very hard for but I don’t know how to handle accepting it while pregnant. I’m also aware that my maternity leave will coincide with a big event that’s one of the projects I’ve been hired to work on. Am I being unreasonable by worrying about this?

Our anonymous readers’ responses

No you are not being unreasonable. This is a very tricky situation. Strictly speaking, you don’t have to tell anyone about your pregnancy, however – as you say – you will be only there a short while before you have to announce it and your impending maternity leave. With an important deadline and event on the horizon, it may add a lot of stress to your pregnancy. I’d suggest you and your partner give careful consideration to what is best for you and your family before you decide.

I don’t think you’re being unreasonable. Two big life events happen to be coinciding, and it’s totally understandable that you’re concerned about the future and worried about the effects of telling/not telling your employer. However, like most things in life, honesty is the best policy. My advice would be to tell your employer your news while accepting the job, explaining that you’re cautious as it’s still early days. It’s up to both of you then to make a plan that’s best for both you and the company.

Yes, I do think you’re being unreasonable by worrying about this. Presumably if you’re taking the job then you already have a sense that this is a company you’ll feel comfortable and content working in, and part of that is trusting that your employers are reasonable enough to understand that pregnancy is not an “obstacle” or a hindrance, it’s just a natural part of life. As to when you tell them, I would say do it whenever you feel most comfortable doing it, be that before the role starts or later on in the job when you get to know people better. Good luck!

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to worry about this. You’re obviously well within your legal obligations, but the obstacles you may face here are more cultural and there’s not much point pretending they don’t exist. I think the best course of action is probably to tell your employer as soon as you are comfortable with sharing the news. If they are the right employer for you long-term, and they’re invested in you, they’ll understand even if it’s not the outcome they were hoping for. If they don’t react in the way you hope, then it might be good to start considering your (next) next step.

So what’s the final tally? Is this reader being unreasonable?

Yes – 1

No – 3

Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Have a parenting question you want answered? Let us know anonymously in our survey here or email us on family@thejournal.ie and we’ll put it to the real-life experts: your fellow mums and dads.

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More: Am I being a bad parent… by thinking it’s okay to use the iPad as a distraction tool?

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