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.