I just found out I’m pregnant with my first child and couldn’t be happier. However, I know my boss is going to react poorly to my taking maternity leave, and I’m wondering what to say when I tell him. I plan to return to work full-time after my leave is up, but I know my absence during that time will create some challenges. What should I say?
Pregnant in Pittsburgh
Dear Pregnant in Pittsburgh,
First off, are you sure that your boss is going to have a negative reaction or is this just the script you’ve written in your mind? I would take the time to set up a short meeting and say, “Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. Since my job is extremely important to me, I wanted you to be the first in the office to know I’m pregnant, and I’d like to talk with you about taking maternity leave.” Wait for his or her reaction, and then continue. “Although it’s over 7 months away, I’d like to discuss how I can best assist the company remain productive while I’m out on leave.”
Depending on your position in the company, you can offer to train a temporary replacement, or talk about how the work will get divided amongst other team members. By taking a proactive approach, your boss will be more likely to embrace the circumstances. Congratulations on your exciting news!