Regrets from a Small Business Employee

About to resign from my job to give birth. I have no maternity leave through the company, my health insurance is not through my job, and since there are only 5 employees, my job of 3 years is not protected by the FMLA.

I do intend to work again as soon as possible, but with a lot of variables up in the air (the physical healing, adjusting to new lifestyle, caring for a newborn, etc..etc..) I cannot be bound to a specific return date. With this in mind, I feel like it’s best to “gracefully bow out” of my position both for me and my employer. So I am not under the added pressure of getting calls and emails from work while I am healing and also for the business-the owner and my coworkers so they are not down a person with a questionable return date.

I’m not financially well off by any means, but have been saving as much as possible during the pregnancy and with my partner, we will just be a one income family scraping by until I bounce back. Which I’m envisioning might be in the 4-6month range, but really have no idea.

So I plan to give a 7 week notice of my resignation. This is not a complete shock as my due date approaches and though the details have not been discussed, my boss IS totally aware I am pregnant. I would like to be as upfront as possible with her while keeping the door open with no expectations on either end.

I’m doing a lot of reflecting while I’m approaching motherhood, and thinking about all of the effort I’ve put into my current job. I’ve no benefits, no paid holidays, no vacation time, no employee incentives at all. I’ve gone above and beyond my job description- come in many early mornings, stayed many late nights, brought projects home to work in my spare time-off-the clock, worked my own family- brought in my boyfriend to help at busy times, my brothers and my father to do renovation work and cheap labor as a favor to me and to the advantage of my boss’s business. And as I look back and think about the future, I am seriously regretting all this time taking the “artsy cool job” that I thought brought me some personal joy for the pragmatic ones that help people build solid lives.

I’ve learned a lot about how NOT to run a business as I sat and rolled my eyes at some of my bosses decisions and watched a rotating door of designers come and go. Which would be helpful had I the opportunity to open my own damn business!

I suppose most people fall into the category of just helping other people get rich. But man, I never took into consideration the importance of a good benefits package until now because I feel like I’ve totally got the short end of the stick here.

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