Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Bitch Session

I've been interviewing for a job over the last several months and have turned a couple down because they didn't fit me well.  I thought I had found one in higher ed that would work for me.  The only snafu was that they wanted to call a reference that I didn't want them to call--someone who I had worked with and whom I had a contentious relationship.  This was during my last several months at my last job and a big part of why I left.  I was on FMLA during most of that time and struggling to balance a very sick child and a terminal diagnosis for my mother, among other things.

Well, I was still offered the job.  I guess for that I should be thankful.  But I was subjected to a lecture about the importance of regular attendance.  I was biting my tongue until it nearly bled, because this is what I wanted to say:

Yes, I missed work.  Yes, I left early.  Those days, primarily, were used to take my child to therapy or to a psychiatrist's office.  There were days I was caring for my other child--an asthmatic with severe allergies--when she was too ill to go to school.  And in all honesty, there were probably some times that I was exhausted from it all.

I'm one woman.  I can only do so much and meet so many needs.  Caring for a child with attachment disorder full time is a huge job.  Getting an IEP written, taking kids to doctors, taking kids to therapy, taking kids to psychiatrists, not to mention medical and psychiatric specialists.  I would love nothing more than the idea that I could dedicate myself 100% to my job.  But that would be a lie.  I can't.  I don't live a typical mom's life some days and some days I never will.  That's the reality.

So the dilemma:  do I tell my new workplace or not?  Do I pretend I'm not the mother of two children who need more care than most?

I don't know what the answer is.  I hope I figure it out.

1 comment:

  1. No, you don't tell them... As a "workplace" it is none of their business, and legally, they cannot penalize you for family medical illness issues. Now, after the "them" becomes a "we are a work family and I know you as a person", then sure... But, that's only after you know the "them" and you trust that the "them" don't need to be treated in the manner of the ignorant "they". :-)