So you're about to start the rollercoaster that is IVF whilst trying to juggle life and keep up with your day job? I totally get that it can feel like a challenge (I struggled to think of different excuses to tell my colleagues each day), but don't worry—I’ve got you! Here are some tried and tested tips to help you juggle IVF and work whilst still staying sane.
Research your company’s policy for fertility treatment/time off/sick time so you are aware before you speak to your boss and can think of how to work around it.
Work out how much time you’ll need off - Think about what time you would like off throughout the process, which parts you can continue to work through and how much time you would ideally like off for the other procedures depending on the type of work you do (how physical/stressful).
Develop a plan before talking to your boss - Before you speak to your boss about the time off you need, it can be helpful to think about some ideas on how you might make up for lost time if early-morning appointments run over and you’re late for work. Can you stay later? Offer to do certain tasks at home? Get a co-worker to cover for you? Work from home certain days?
Think about how you will tell your employer, what you will say, how much to disclose, may make it easier and less scary. It will also make it more likely that you will say everything you need to, especially if you ware feeling emotional having the discussion
Speak to HR if don’t feel comfortable telling a manager – it can feel scary having to tell your manager, and lots of people worry about it affecting their impression of them and their future career prospects. So think about who you would prefer to talk to.
Reduce extra commitments where you can - in and out of work, fertility treatment takes up a lot of time and energy, so reducing commitments and not taking on extra work would be sensible at this time.
Schedule self-care into your day to help you have some time out and a chance to relax and recharge your batteries, for example, read your book or go for a walk in your lunch break, take time away from your desk – walk into town/the canteen or sit in your car.
Enlist an empathetic ear- Think about telling a colleague that could cover for you when needed, and discreetly agree to take on extra roles or more physical tasks without you needing to tell others. They can also be an ally in changing the subject if the office talk gets too much about babies etc.
Balancing work and IVF may seem like a crazy juggling act, but open communication, prioritising self-care, and a bit of planning will make it that bit easier. Remember, taking care of yourself is super important during this time, and finding a healthy work-life balance will help your overall well-being.
The IVF Positivity Planner has a section specially for coping at work and creating a plan to cope at work. So grab a copy if you'd like a bit more support xx