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Well i just found out i was pregnant, i want to keep this baby so bad, but its seems impossible. I am a full time student, and i work full time at a hospital. I need that job and i need to finish school, and im not about to quit school and owe them 25,000 yeah right. Im scared to death to tell my parents, because they will be super upset with me, i need to know how to tell them.... oh and also my internship that i need for school falls on the month that i am "due". i have no idea how to tell my instructor, or what i am supposed to do because who is going to let me internship at their business, and let me go on maternity leave. Im scared and no one seems to understand, maybe someone on here can! Thanks!

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OK, very simple. You're not the first woman to get pregnant while working, and it may astonish you to discover the support you get from colleagues, bosses, parents etc. Little secret: most parents are fierce and strict about things in an effort to protect you. They know perfectly well you could get pregnant, because how do you think you came along in the first place?

Bosses know women get pregnant, and contrary to TV they're not all ogres. Heavens, some of them even have families.

Hint: what ticks people off are arrogant people and wimps. If you go in (as I can't see you doing, in your concerned state) and start going 'hey, I'm pregnant, you owe me', that might get their back up. Equally, surprisingly, a timid mouse approach actually brings out a similar irritation, like why is it their problem to fix it. The most successful approach is quite simply a pragmatic, reasonable, 'hi, could I take a minute? I just found out that I'm now expecting a baby around the xth of x, and that's about the same time as my x. Do you know what the options are, so that I can complete the exams if at all possible. I wish I knew for sure, but of course babies have a habit of being a bit unpredictable.'

As for your parents, sure, they might react, they're human, they have plans (for you), but they're also, at the end of the day (if you're still talking to them) concerned that you get the best shot at life. Depending on who you get on with best, try them first. You might be surprised. Again, if you look guilty, or embarassed, they might take it that it's not really a baby you want.

So if you really want to keep the baby, which is wonderful, legitimate, and your right, then simply act as a responsible adult, plan and take the best steps you can, and simply ask.

Maybe, and I don't say this is right, just a bizarre thought, the reason no-one seems to understand is because they really don't get why you'd be scared, when their experience tells them that most bosses, parents, etc. understand that life happens, and will do their best to work around it.

It's true that going into a company and effectively saying 'hi, hire me, and I'd like my first three to six months off straight away is probably going to look a little like, what are we young lady, your parents? So finesse it. Understand their position - companies are trying to survive, without the advantage that government has that it can put you in jail if you don't give it money. One possibility then is that government tends to be somewhat 'soft' on social issues, cos it's not their money.

So, one possibility is just to get money direct from the government (I assume you're US, I'm UK, so you'll need to ask around), another is to get a government job. If you do approach a company, be reasonable, understanding of their position, but also dignified and proud of yours. 'You know, I get that this is going to seem a little awkward, but I had my heart set on x, but as you can see, I'm going to be a bit distracted for the first few months. I really want to make this my career, and I appreciate that the last thing you want to do is give me paid leave when I haven't even joined, buy I would really value the experience. Is there some way that I could be responsible about this, and get that experience, without compromising you or letting you down?'

I think most companies would be so astonished at a rational negotiation, that they'd be impressed: here's someone who has every excuse to whine, demand, threaten, but she really does seem to want to do this, and is willing to make it work. Maybe we should hire her as a negotiator, she certainly sounds sensible enough!

Hope that gives you something to ponder. You're an adult in a perfectly reasonable adult position, else the human race wouldn't be here. Just be a little understanding of their position, and you might be surprised at how understanding others are of your position.

Playtime: parent discusion - just a scriptwriter's hallucination, but hey, it doesn't have to be a disaster:

'Hi dad, you remember you said never, ever, to sleep with a guy and get pregnant'
'WHAT DID YOU DO?'
'I won the lottery. I just wanted you to know.'
'What's that got to do with being pregnant?'
'Absolutely nothing, but if you're going to explode, I'd rather distract you so I have time to get clear.'

... at which point, you've basically said, I know you're going to get mad, so why bother? I get it, I'm pregnant, you're mad, let's move on.

I've been terrified of many things in life, and constantly amazed that in retrospect, it all worked out.

You don't have to be mystical or believe in magic, but it helps!

Good luck.
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