Pregnancy is usually a joyful time for moms and their partners. Planning baby showers, deciding on names for the little one (or ones), decorating the nursery- it’s all sunshine and rainbows. But for moms who work outside the home, getting a positive pregnancy test result can prove more challenging than enjoyable.
Whether you have an idea of how your boss will feel or not, it’s nerve-wracking to approach them with a doctor’s note or an early guess at a due date. Plenty of employers won’t bat an eye, but plenty of others will have a big reaction- and they’re not always positive.
If you’re already stressed about money, childcare, and other scenarios while pregnant, having to address your looming maternity leave might just cause a freak out. Smaller businesses generally have to follow the same rules as bigger ones when it comes to maternity leave and holding open a job, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for moms to slide back into their old role after having baby. And many bosses purposely make things difficult, if this collection of confessions is any indication.
These 20 moms share what happened when they shared their happy news with their bosses- and the reactions range from mild enthusiasm to downright scorn.
20 Surprise Work Announcement
Whether parents are expecting their first or tenth child, gearing up for an announcement is always exciting. It’s fun to think of creative and different ways to tell the soon-to-be grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and even friends and coworkers. This mom is understandably upset about her boss telling everyone at work before she had a chance to.
It seems like this mom’s situation is similar to families whose well-meaning relatives or friends spill the beans on social media before the mom and dad are ready. However they do it, these people are stealing expecting moms’ thunder- pregnancy is a special time in mom’s life, so she should get to do things the way she wants, particularly when it comes to announcements. Here’s hoping she at least got to tell close friends and family, and her boss didn’t spoil that.
19 Biased Boss Cuts Hours
At barely three months along, most moms aren’t even showing yet, but this mom was already experiencing what appears to be workplace discrimination at that point. She was also a college student, which means she’s obviously not lazy or wanting a free ride. But this boss had the gall to tell her there weren’t enough hours- for her existing employee plus the new people the boss just hired?
It seems straightforward here: the boss is angry about her employee’s pregnancy, or the fact that she’ll go on maternity leave at some point and is lying about not having enough hours to go around. Unfortunately, it might be hard for the pregnant mama to fight this, since the boss hasn’t said anything discriminatory. Looks like it’s time to find a new job- and fast, before this mom’s belly begins to grow.
18 Firing By The Numbers
In contrast with most bosses, this one at least seems to recognize that firing a pregnant employee for that reason alone is against the law. But that doesn’t stop him from being mad, and apparently threatening this mom with termination. Fortunately, it sounds like she has a solid support system and isn’t too worried about her boss’s rampaging.
A pregnant mom’s health is way more important than any “numbers” that her boss needs to make, although if she’s not able to do her job, the boss might have a valid reason to terminate her. It sounds like both have strong opinions on the subject, but the boss hasn’t yet made a move. Maybe he’ll wait until she goes out after having her baby, and she just won’t be asked back.
17 Baby Out And Back To Work
The way this reads, the boss is also a woman, which means she should have at least a basic understanding of how due dates and pregnancy and postpartum work. That said, scheduling someone for the day after her due date? If this mom was having a planned C-section or induced labor, putting her on the schedule for the following day is just ludicrous. She’d still be in a hospital gown at that point.
However, if the mom wasn’t scheduled for surgery or any labor augmentation, she could still be pregnant nearly a month after her “due date,” which may have been what her boss was counting on. Either way, a scheduling snafu alone doesn’t make her an awful boss, does it? Maybe there’s more to the story than what this Whisperer is sharing.
16 Boss Passes Judgment
When it comes down a boss’s concerns over their people versus their company, it’s clear that this boss lacks empathy and human understanding. It sounds like they are more worried about productivity than the employee’s health. That said, nothing in the Whisper indicates that this mom’s pregnancy is causing her job any issues.
As a mom, I can relate to “wasting” company time going pee every five minutes and sometimes puking in the bathroom with morning sickness. Those minutes probably add up to way over an hour- but in the scheme of things, this mom’s ER trip shouldn’t matter one bit. Besides, if she hadn’t gone to the ER for whatever health scare she was having, the boss could have had a big legal and physical mess to clean up.
15 Bosses Gossip Too
In another obnoxious case of a boss telling their team about someone’s pregnancy without permission, this one takes a tragic turn since the mama wound up having a miscarriage. Here’s where it would have been nice for the mom to make the announcement decision herself. Maybe she wouldn’t have told anyone and would have preferred privacy surrounding the miscarriage. Or maybe she could have processed her feelings on the subject before having to face delivering the bad news to coworkers.
Even if she wanted the support of her coworkers (who are potentially her friends, too), it’s her private business to reveal a pregnancy or a pregnancy loss. Bosses who go around spreading personal information probably do deserve a punch in the face, so this mom’s frustration is understandable. Then again, maybe the boss’ terrible social skills and gossiping will wind up getting her fired.
14 Force Testing Force Firing
It’s strange to think that there are workplaces where bosses actually think that an employee’s potential pregnancy is any of their business. Most (normal) bosses wait until their employees bring in a doctor’s note or let the news slip on their own. This sleazy boss is a little too close for comfort, trying to force the employee into taking a pregnancy test by threatening that she’ll lose her job if she doesn’t.
The only good thing about this is that if the employee is pregnant, and the boss fires her without knowing it because she doesn’t take a test, that’s fodder for a discrimination lawsuit. But still, who wants to work for a boss that tries that hard to confirm or deny a worker’s pregnancy? If she is knocked up, it’ll show eventually.
13 Pregnant On The Down Low
What workplace forces an employee to hide her pregnancy? It’s strange for many reasons, but probably the worst part is that the boss’s daughter is a teenager who’s knocked up and the boss wants congratulations for that. Apparently, the boss thinks that her high school age daughter is better equipped to be pregnant and care for a child than an adult who has a job.
Based on the law, you can’t get fired just for getting pregnant, and you also can’t hide a pregnancy for the entire duration. So this boss has both her information and her thinking wrong- does she expect the employee to hide a 9-months big baby belly when the time comes? Maybe it’s a ploy to keep the employee from accessing medical benefits from the company or something, but whatever the reason, it’s fishy.
12 High-Risk Job
Twin pregnancies aren’t always considered high risk, but this mama’s was. First of all, her boss telling her that she has to choose her job or her health is rude and downright illegal. Secondly, this mom should have chosen her health instead of her career, because it resulted in her staying with this jerk’s company and actually experiencing a miscarriage on the clock.
I hope this mom sues her employer for something, anything, because she’s obviously in enough pain over losing her twin pregnancy to worry about a job. That said, unfortunately for most moms who experience miscarriages, they won’t get maternity leave or really any time to recover emotionally before they’re expected to be back at work. Here’s hoping this mom canned her jerk boss and focused on healing herself.
11 Pregnancy Pounds Problems
It’s common for doctors to tell newly pregnant moms not to lift over a set amount of weight. It’s a basic safety component during pregnancy, but it’s particularly important as mom’s belly gets bigger and her center of balance is thrown off. But your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations for you during pregnancy, and not making you lift over 20 pounds is one of them.
It sounds like the boss might be purposely making trouble for this mom. Given the nature of the other moms’ Whisper confessions, many bosses seem to think that a woman’s body is their own personal property. That means if she can’t do what they want, they have no use for her, pregnant or otherwise. What an unfortunate situation to be in for moms who need their jobs to survive.
10 Job Openings Closed
Imagine setting things up with your job and leaving to give birth, taking your allowed maternity time off, and then being told there’s no job left for you when you try to return to the office. It happens to many moms, unfortunately, although it’s against the law in most cases. What’s worse is in this situation, the company seems to have taken this mom’s maternity leave as an opportunity to fire her.
What kind of company says they don’t have space for an employee on leave to come back, but then advertises job openings? Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, so hopefully this mom lawyered up and filed a claim. Not that she’d want to go back to that job now- but at least they’d pay her for her time and lost wages.
9 One Exhausted Mom
While pregnant mamas are a perfect poster child for the term “exhaustion,” this mom denies feeling tired until someone noticed she was looking haggard and told her to take a break. But isn’t that what most pregnant moms wind up doing, especially when they have older kids to take care of? They keep working and keep running until someone offers to step up and help.
In this case, this pregnant mama has a somewhat decent support system at work. Her boss was attentive enough to see that she was tired, and thoughtful enough to send her home for a bit of rest. Hopefully, there aren’t any ulterior motives here, like firing the pregnant mom for not fulfilling her job duties. Let’s think positively, though, and assume that the boss just has his or her employee’s best interests at heart.
8 Boss’s Baby Mama
With a Whisper this brief, it’s shocking that it’s chock full of intrigue. Did this pregnant mom have an affair with her boss? Were they both single and happened to hook up once? Are they in a relationship? Is the boss supportive of the pregnancy? Plus there’s the fact that this confessor doesn’t specify what the coworkers think she’s using her pregnancy as an excuse for.
Maybe she’s tired all the time and not getting her work done, and blaming the pregnancy? Or maybe the boss is giving her special treatment because that’s his bun in her oven, but the coworkers don’t know that. It could be that the coworkers know all about the baby’s paternity, and they’re simply suspicious and jealous surrounding the entire scenario. If only we knew more details of this sordid story.
7 Married With Baby?
Ah, the good old judgmental pregnancy announcement reaction. Every pregnant mom has experienced this in some form. If it’s your first child and you look young, you get the 3rd degree. If it’s your third or fourth or beyond, someone wants to make a comment about your fertility or whether you have a TV at home to occupy yourself with.
This mom seems to have a conservative boss who thinks you have to be married to have a baby, or that if you do fall pregnant, the “right thing” to do is get hitched. News to this clueless boss: people have had babies outside marriage for a long time now, and if anything, it’s only becoming more popular. That said, maybe the boss will take pity on this mom for being “unwed,” but it could go either way.
6 Extra Time Off
While most pregnant moms, newly pregnant or otherwise, would love to work fewer hours, most of us need the cash flow. If you’re working, odds are you need the money, so it’s serious when your hours are suddenly cut for seemingly no reason. Just because you drop the hint to your boss that you’re expecting, it doesn’t mean you’re about to go into labor and can’t come in to work.
But maybe all it takes here is clearer communication between the boss and the pregnant employee. Something along the lines of, “I’m pregnant but I’m not going out on leave for about nine months” might clear up the misunderstanding. Then again, this might be the boss’s subtle way of trying to edge out her preggo employee, although it’s a questionable route to take.
5 Expecting An Interview
This is the worst scenario for a pregnant mama to be- having to look for a new job while you’re expecting. But when your boss treats you like dirt from the moment you announce you’re going to have a baby, that’s a sign that something isn’t right. Maybe the bosses never liked this employee, and they’re unhappy about having to cover her schedule when she goes out on maternity leave.
Unfortunately, depending on what the bosses have actually said or done to her, this mama might be out of luck. It can be hard to prove discrimination, and plenty of bosses are jerks but never have to answer for it to anyone. If this mom is early enough along to find another job without issue, that might be the best course of action.
4 Pregnancy Brain Win
While most of us likely walked on eggshells in the office while pregnant, this mom fessed up when she made a careless mistake. Fortunately, her boss laughed it off and blamed her pregnancy- score for moms with pregnancy brain everywhere! Compared with the rest of these pregnant moms’ bosses, this one sounds like an absolute delight.
At least there’s one positive story out of all the awful ones to remind us that there are decent places to work that will help you out when you wind up pregnant, intentionally or otherwise. It’s not all about trying to get moms in trouble or get them fired because maternity leave is an inconvenience- some bosses are happy to see you grow your family and take the time you need to recover and bond with the new baby.
3 Unwise Words To Mom
Any boss that is having “outbursts” probably shouldn’t be in a position of authority, but at least this boss recognizes that she’s having issues. Still, taking it out on a pregnant employee and then suggesting that pregnancy is easier than any other life challenge is a bad move. If this pregnant mama had any respect for her boss before this impromptu “meeting,” she probably lost it with that very sentence.
Perhaps this boss has never had a child, or thinks that pregnancy is always a walk in the park because her own were uneventful. But for moms struggling with morning sickness, body pain, the stress of past miscarriages, or any other side effect of pregnancy, that was an insensitive and thoughtless comment to make. But maybe once her crisis is over, the boss will go back to being somewhat decent at her job.
2 Inconvenience Or Motivation
It’s easy to see this mom’s perspective that her coworkers treat pregnancy as a disability. Plenty of pregnant moms are overlooked because society thinks that a round tummy automatically means physical limitations, but that doesn’t mean women can’t kick butt while gestating. The issue here is that coworkers fawn over this mom, but her bosses expect more work out of her than ever.
On one hand, most pregnant moms probably could use a little extra cash, so working overtime sounds like a good idea. But most pregnant moms also get tired easily, and overworking isn’t good for them or the baby, either. Money concerns aside, this scenario is a toss-up over what’s worse, being expected to sit and do nothing, or being expected to never rest and do everything.
1 Fired While Pregnant
From the way this mom phrases her termination experience, it sounds like she hadn’t had her job long when her bosses saw fit to fire her. She thinks she made a good impression and was a decent fit with the company, and yet they sent her packing shortly after she got pregnant. The question here is whether the bosses knew she was pregnant, and if so, whether she was still in a trial period when they found out.
If she was fired during a trial period of some sort, then the law is probably on the company’s side in this case. Many employers have at-will employment where they can fire anyone at any time for any reason. Unfortunately, while firing a pregnant woman based on her pregnancy is illegal, they could also make up any other reason they want to put on the paperwork.