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I’m worried my team will fall apart if I take maternity leave — Ask a Manager

I’m worried my team will fall apart if I take maternity leave

A reader writes:

I’ve been offered a promotion to lead my department, but I have also been trying to start a family with my husband for one year (with many failed attempts, loss, and much heartbreak). My company is aware of my plans but still wanted me for the position.

However, if I get pregnant right away, I would be out on leave during the busiest time of the year, putting undue hardship on my company. I feel like I wouldn’t be able to take any leave, as our department is busy non-stop, all day long. Any amount of time off to care for my child would be accompanied by non-stop phone calls and emails. I would need to work from home because there are things in my job that only I can do.

I know that life goes on and you can’t plan for everything to be perfect, but I don’t want to have to be worrying about things getting done at work if I were to take 12 weeks of FMLA. I feel like it will never be the right time to have a baby, and I’ll just keep pushing it back and before I know it I’ll be out of time. But as much as I want a child, I don’t want to put my company in a bad place.

Do I put off growing my family until I’m more settled in my new position? Or do I just try and see what happens, knowing that if I do get pregnant, it will put a lot of strain on my company as well as myself?

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.


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