toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
I really feel for you and am in a very similar situation. I work for the DOE -- I'm an Assistant Principal. It's very hard to miss a day of work or to leave early for appointments. However, my daughter has been in such crisis that I've simply had no choice. She was just admitted to NYP White Plains on Monday, and I haven't been to work all week. I am considering taking a FMLA leave of absence, but don't want to make the call on that just yet, given that I don't yet know what her treatment plan will be once she's discharged from the hospital -- and we have February break right around the corner.
My daughter hasn't been going to school since the end of October. Her anxiety has escalated recently to the point of her having horrific panic attacks that last hours (the most recent one was 16 hours long, much of it in the ER at Methodist). Hospitalizing her was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I experienced the emotional pull you describe, but ultimately, when her situation escalated, the pull was no longer there. It was clear what I had to do, which was not go to work. This is a difficult call when you work in a "caring profession" as we do. Your students will be OK. Your child needs care. You wouldn't hesitate if he were diagnosed with cancer or some other serious physical illness. That's what I keep telling myself. I know that treatment is less clear with mental illness, but intensive treatment is needed nonetheless. I've done a lot of research on what's available for kids our children's ages (my daughter is also 12), so feel free to message me directly (we can text too, if that's easier) if you'd like.
Best of luck. I am right there with you.
On Tue, Feb 11, 2020 at 7:27 PM Serena Krombach <slkrombach@...
Thank you, Rebecca!
My son is 12 and has missed almost 25 days of school this year. It's exhausting just to enumerate everything we've been doing to address what's going on with him, and what we suspect is going on, because it doesn't meet the criteria for any diagnosis. We just don't know from one day to the next if he's going to go to school; if he doesn't he can't be left alone, but my job won't allow me to call in sick at the last minute without repercussions (I'm a teacher) and my husband is running out of his days too. So I'm taking time off now. I kind of feel like we need to just assume he's not going and make appointments for intensive therapy during the day, but that means I can't work. I like my job and I miss my students at school and I feel guilty for leaving my classroom and nervous that I'll lose the relationship I worked really hard to build with those kids--and this is probably more acute because I'm pretty new to teaching; it's not something I've been doing for years and years. ....but my son has to come first. Do I just take time off indefinitely? A week at a time? There are too many unknowns right now. Hence the question about how do just figure out how you make the time to do everything your child needs from you??? Probably unanswerable/everyone has a different answer, but just thought I would throw it out there.
I’m sorry your family is having a hard time. It’s absolutely exhausting, mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, etc. My only advice is to try to tackle one thing at a time and let people in your life who you trust support you as much as they can. I’m times of crises, it feels like we really are just surviving day to day. Try to take some time to take care of yourself too. We are here to offer as much moral support as we can. You aren’t alone and it sounds like you’re doing the best you can in a tough situation.
I’m wondering what parents do about their own work when kids refuse school and you need time to make phone calls, take kids to appointments, and, not least, be there with them in whatever other way they need—and when your heart is breaking.
I’m taking this week off work, but I don’t know what the situation with my son is going to look like long term. I may or may not be eligible for FMLA & we’re lucky enough to be okay for a little while if my leave is unpaid—I’m wondering more about how you deal with how much time you take off and the emotional pull of the dueling commitments.