Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Few of the Latest Developments

Just as fair warning, the post below is not intended to spark a debate about being a working mother. If there was any feasible way for me to stay home and not work, I would; however it is not in any way possible for us to be able to swing that financially. The spirit of the post is to simply update folks about how we're doing, what's new with us and Eliana, and to ask for your prayerful support as we seek to resolve my work situation described below. Thanks :)

It's been much longer than I would have liked since I last updated. A lot has been going on in the Delisle house. Much of it is incredibly joyful; some of it is not.

Last Sunday, we headed to the cemetery for the first time in a while. Between the blizzards we had (and yes, we did go to the cemetery, shovel in hand, and dug a bath to our sweet Isaac's grave so that we could visit) and then Eliana's birth, it had been a few weeks. That made my heart hurt, and for some reason, made me feel a little guilty. But we made it there last Sunday, and I stood there and cried like I hadn't in quite some time. Because this time, Eliana was with us. We introduced her to where her brother was buried, and explained to her that he lives with Jesus in heaven. Spencer and I both know that a then 2 1/2 week old doesn't understand that... but it felt like we needed to tell her something.

This past week I received a phone call from the school where I teach that in order to preserve my position there, I would need to return to work sooner than expected. I had hoped to stay out the rest of the school year, and had been told that doing so (which took me 9 days beyond the 12 weeks of FMLA leave) shouldn't jeopardize my position. My thoughts immediately raced to how to manage feeding Eliana while being back at work and not wanting to interrupt our routine. The following day I received another call saying that human resources would not let me return to work earlier than I had indicated on my leave form (which, coincidentally, asks you to list your dates of expected leave), and that my position at the school would now become a vacancy. As a teacher returning from leave, I am at the "end of the line" for vacant positions within our school district, essentially being assigned any "leftover" position once the transfer season is over. The long and short translation is: my 20-25 minute commute could potentially turn into a 90+ minute commute, depending on where the vacancies are... if there's even a vacancy for which I am certified at all. If not, I would be put on leave without pay indefinitely. I'll flat out admit it: I am stressed. My principal is great and is doing his best to figure something out. Please, please be in prayer about this on our behalf... that there would be a way to retain my position at this school; that if I can't, God would provide a desirable position with a manageable commute; and that I don't end up on leave without pay indefinitely.

And lastly, just a few picutres of Eliana's sweet face that I get to wake up to each morning...



She loves her activity mat and trying to hit the purple elephant!

53 comments:

Paige said...

Stacey- Prayers coming your way. As a teacher myself, I find it hard to believe that they could do this. I was under the impression (from our district/state anyhow) that after a leave of absence such as this you are guarunteed a job...just don't know what grade or school that would be. Eliana is precious as always- we took CAllyn to the cemetery on our way home from the hospital- and don't go out quite as much now either. I understand your guilt...but in reality we are going for ourselves not our babies anyhow.

Anonymous said...

Are you in the union? If so, can the union president help?

Lauren said...

I'll be praying for you, Stacy. God already has His hands all over this and I know he'll take care of all of you.

Your daughter is beautiful! I can't get over all that hair!

Mommies-Miracles said...

Stacey, we are praying for you here, I don't understand how they could do that to you! I hope things work out for the better.

Anonymous said...

She is a beautiful baby girl. Your job...how can they do that to a new mother. I do not understand the US system. Here in Canada, new mothers can take 1year leave. Or, it can be divided between Mother and Father. I feel for you in the situation. Praying for resolution. Hoping someone can help you.

Anonymous said...

Stacey- I too am a teacher in a union (where I am on the Executive Board) and can you seek them out for help? Also, the FMLA is not a teacher union mandate (or whatever the proper term is) it is a legal right you have as a working American. I'm sure right now you can think of a much better way to spend your time than fighting this but if you meet the requirements your are eligible. Hope you don't mind my input.

Here are a few sites to check out:

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm

http://www.employer-employee.com/fmla.html

Sonya said...

That is awful that your job is being like that. I hope something gets figured out and soon so that you don't have to spend your whole maternity leave worrying about it.

Amy, queen of the world. said...

I agree with everyone above to speak with your union's representatives, if you belong to one. I'm wondering if they won't let you come back because you will not have medical clearance by then? Since you had a c-section, you have to have a medical release to come back to work. If that's the case, perhaps your doctor can release you earlier? They need to be reminded, however, that in this time of teacher layoffs because of budget cuts, they can't bypass FMLA. It's a federal mandate. They MUST give you a job, even if it IS a 90 mile commute, because FMLA states that you get 12 weeks off with guarantee of a job. Furthermore, my school district said they can't even count snow days and the like against you! When they're out for snow days, spring break, etc, that doesn't count against your 12 weeks!

That being said, I'm also a teacher by trade. My son was just born in December with Down syndrome and a few health issues, so we made the INCREDIBLY hard decision that I'm going to stay home with him (and my 2 year old). Financially, it's going to be a reach, for sure. But we all know that God provides when you do what He's calling you to do! Maybe He's telling you to let go and let him provide for your family for a while! Something to pray about, anyway. :)

Amy, queen of the world. said...

PS: Your daughter? ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is GOD's way of telling you to stay home and raise your daughter yourself. I have never understood how anyone can up and leave their baby in the care of strangers (or even family for that matter) to go and be around someone elses child, missing out on all those firsts and you WILL miss out on them..the first roll, crawl, step, word....when you're spending more of your and your babies waking hours away from them, even if the person watching your child doesn't say so, they'll be the one getting all those firsts that GOD intended for YOU to have. God did not give us children so we could up and leave them.

Sarah said...

Wow. I don't usually comment in general on sites like these. However, I am compelled to respond to the anonymous poster with the 'helpful' advice about children and daycare.
First of all, just because a mother (or father for that matter) works, doesn't mean someone else is raising his or her child! Second of all, none of us can bear witness to ALL of our child's firsts - there will always be something missed, it is a certainty and the nature of life in general. But that doesn't mean a working parent misses all firsts, that's just nutty. Thirdly, you don't (paraphrased) "understand how someone can have a child...just to be placed in daycare"?? What if you need to pay the mortgage?? Put food on your child's plate, in his or her belly?? What if you're a single parent?? What if you actually feel (gasp) daycare is BENEFICIAL for a child's well being? That at the very least there are pros and cons to both?? I just feel that was way rude, way presumptuous, way ignorant, and way out of line given that everyone's circumstances are private and different. Yikes...

Sarah said...

By the way, since I have now commented :), your guys' daughter is breathtakingly gorgeous. In love with her hair, as is everyone else. Just too cute...congratulations. And I will be sure to pray that the job situation works out one way or another...these things always do.

Holly said...

I will pray that this situation will be worked out. How frustrating!!!

Eliana is such a cutie! And she has grown! I'm glad you got to go visit Isaac. There were a few weeks we weren't able to too. But we did trudge thru the unplowed snow to make a snowman at her grave! :)

I am a FT working mom and to anybody out there who thinks that's horrible...get over it! (no mom should ever be made to feel bad whether they are a SAHM or working mom) I enjoy working and even if we were able to financially I wouldn't be a FT SAHM. I would still work PT b/c I LOVE my job and would not want to leave.

Chatty Cricket said...

Oh Stacey, I'll be thinking about you. A similar thing happened to a friend of mine while she was on in patient bedrest- the rules of her leave changed, the hospital we worked for could no longer hold her position, and she lost her job. She later was offered the position back (as the person they had hired to fill her spot unexpectedly went on medical leave), but by then she had found another position with more flexible hours and better benefits.

I am hopeful something like this happens for you and that it will end up being a BETTER situation than you could have imagined.

On a FAR happier note: Eliana? IS GORGEOUS. Her hair is bananas!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a SAHM and I think it is none of anyone's business if you are not. I will be praying that God works out all the details for your situation and that He will lead and guide you thru this. Eliana is beautiful. Congratulations!

Rhonda said...

Wow.... "Anonymous" (aka. Coward) is an asshole.

Stacey already said they can't financially afford for her to stay home. Why don't you try reading her post????

I'd like to know how "Anonymous" managed to be witness to ALLLLLL of their children's "first"...That is TRULY miraculous.

Michelle Karr said...

Will be praying!

Tammy On the Go said...

Oh I do hope doors fly open for you, that something you did not even know was around the corner will just suddenly be there.

Your daughter is a beatiful little girl, and I am so glad you are a teacher. I can't wait to hear how God will move things for you.

thank you for continuing to share..I am so blessed to be able to stay home and I hope to remember you in my days and pray that your job situation brings you peace.

she is just stunning mom.

Tammy On the Go said...

oh and please ignore the ignorant comment at the top, some people live in the clouds and don't really know God at all.

Robin said...

Lord,
If there is "any feasible way" for Stacy to be able to stay home and not be stressed out with this job situation, Lord...swing those doors wide open and provide in the way you would see fit. We know God that you can provide and that you care about every need big or small. We cast our cares, worries and fears on you, the one who will provide and take care of us. If it's not in your plan for her to stay home, then please provide another option that would provide the income and stability they need. We trust you to have the best plan for them. Amen. :)

Stacy...you obviously saw that argument coming...I just want to pray boldly for the desire of your heart.

belle said...

prayers for you..... the Lord knows your heart and He has the perfect answer for you. i'll be praying daily that He relieves your stress so that you can cherish each and every day with that amazing and beautiful little girl!

melanie said...

oh, Stacy...this just flat out stinks. My husband is going to be a certified teacher soon and this story definitely resonates with us. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this added stress and a situation that is all but out of your hands. We will be praying.

Seraphim said...

Dear Stacy, I ache that at this precious time you are having to worry about this situation. I am so sorry. Apart from being illegal for any workplace to do this in Australia, it is just wrong morally speaking as well. Yes I know this is NO help but I am mad for you!
I'm praying that a solution offers itself up for you. I just wondered if you had thought of doing some freelance writing in the meantime? You are a truly beautiful writer and maybe that would be a way to have some income from home in the interim?
Lots of love from Perth xxxx

Jen said...

Hi, Stacy. I am a teacher in Oklahoma (and mom to three beautiful babies here on earth and two sweet girls in Heaven) and went through a similar situation while I was on maternity leave with my 2nd and third. My first child was born in the middle of the summer, so my maternity leave was completed by the time school started back. So, I was clueless as to how leave works during the year. My little boy was born on March 6th, so the timing was perfect...or so I thought. I had planned to stay out for the remainder of the year, but the 'rules' changed once my leave started. So I completely understand your strss and anxiety. I then had our 3rd child on March 10th , 3 years later, however, the same thing happened, but I was prepared for it that time. I hope it encourages you to know that it was resolved both times. Their informing me I decided was more of a technicality (to make it 'public') then anything. I did talk to my union rep and she was very helpful. You are given the right to take leave and return to a job somewhere in your district. They have to make that work, it is not your problem. However, it was pretty scary to see my job listed as vacant on the district's website! Anyway, I ended up going back the last 10 days of school (with both of them). Both times I was nursing, but I was able to pump on my lunch and then on my plan (which was about 2 hours after lunch). I just missed one feeding (the morning one in between before I left for school and lunch). I had no problems, and on the weekends and then once school was out, I got right back on my regular nursing schedule. I even exclusively nursed and bottle fed with breast milk for my newest baby until she was 9 months old!! SO anyway, I say all that to let you know that it will work out, and if you do go back early, you will find a pumping schedule to fit your daytime needs and continue as usual at home in the afternoons with Ellie. I will say a prayer for you. Enjoy your time at home with your baby. I think that is the GREAT thing about being a mom and a teacher, you do leave them for a few hours during the week, but you have every weekend, holiday and summer at home. It's the best of both world's! :) Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. jhankins6@cox.net

Carie Hatmaker said...

Hi Stacy,
I don't think I've ever commented before, and I found you through a prayer request on MckMama's blog before Isaac was born. I was faced with a simislar situation after my son was born, but my HR department worked with me and I was allowed to come back early with a note from my Dr.. I am not a teacher, and I live in GA., so I realize things could be different, but it might be a possibility. I, also, will pray for you. Eliana is adorable, and such a blessing! I had my second miscarriage last fall and your blog was a real ministry to me! Thanks for being so transparent to a world of people you don't know. God IS using you!

Jenn said...

Stacy-
Prayers your way. I'm a new mother myself (although my Max is nearly 5 months now) I can certainly understand what you're grappling with on many levels!
I didn't find out until a week or so after my c-section that my maternity leave was no longer going to be paid. That was a sore blow.
I'm fortunate to be able to work P/T now and from home via telecommute.

Lift your concerns to God and let him worry. Concentrate your efforts on that precious little lady and let the Lord work his magic.

FSD said...

Eliana is gorgeous! Congrats once again. I'm sorry your visit with Isaac was so painful. :-( I

Good luck with the work situation. It seems like there should be some recourse for you. I'm not a teacher, but it seems like those familiar with the unions and such have given you good advice. FMLA is tricky, but I didn't know you absolutely couldn't return earlier than your stated date, particularly if you get your doctor to recertify your paperwork with a new return date. Do you have the option to tack on any vacation at the end of your leave? If so, do you have any vacation time remaining? If not, does the district allow people to "gift" you days? I know it will work out. God has been so faithful thus far. He'll continue to show Himself strong. Just stand on the Word and trust in Him.

I, too, am a working mom. I went back to work when my daughter was six months old (my law firm has an amazing mat leave policy). There is a long story behind this, which I won't bore you with, but I went back after my firm had laid off several attorneys, so I was afraid I was going back to chaos. (I was the only attorney left in my section, in my city) God worked it out amazingly! I'm now part-time, working only 3 days a week, which gives me more time with my daughter, plus a career. (I thought fewer attorneys meant I would be forced to remain full-time, but it worked out differently than *I* thought) I share that with you to say that even in the midst of my work uncertainty, God worked a miracle in my favor. I believe He can do the same for you. He knows your heart and situation. I can't wait to read your testimony on this!

Ignore the rude comments about SAHM vs. working mom. People have very strong opinions on both sides of the aisle and there's no changing that. Just do what's best for your family. And don't worry about missing the "firsts". God has orchestrated it so that I've seen all of my daughter's *significant* firsts (e.g., sitting up, crawling, walking, saying mama/dada, etc) Most happened on my off days, and some happened on days I was working from home. Again, God provides. And guess what? If you happen to miss a "first" that's important to you, when Eliana does "it" again, it will still be a "first" FOR YOU! I think people think "first" means "only". Not so. My husband has missed some firsts because he travels for work (e.g., he didn't see Zoe sit up the first time), but he was just as delighted as I was when he did finally see it.

jacks grandmom said...

Stacy I will definitely keep you in my prayers that everything works out well and that you have your job back at your old school first but if that is not possible that it is in a very close school. I loved visiting with you and your Mom and Eliana on Friday- Eliana is just the sweetest prettiest baby and that glorious hair! I will keep you all in my prayers.
Aunt Robin

Kacey said...

I hadn't checked in in a while and hadn't seen Elliana yet! She is absolutely beautiful!!!!! I cried just seeing her and seeing how awesome God is. What a beautiful blessing. I recently found out I'm pregnant after trying for 3 years and 2 miscarriages. He will carry you through if you just let him!

Desiree said...

I was in this work situation after I took a year off to be with my baby. I was scrambling to try to find a job, and was very stressed. God opened up a door and put me in the best teaching position I could have asked for. It will work out in the end. Something will come open and you will have a job. Praying for you guys.

Courtney said...

What a beautiful little girl! I am so happy for you all! I will kepp your family in my prayers!

Jacksmom said...

Stacy,

Perhaps anonymous doesn't even have children. Please try not to stress over missing Ellie's firsts. There were some things that my mom saw first but they were no less special when I saw them for the first time. She will amaze you so much, and it just continues as they get older. I am praying very much for you and your job to work out. I totally get that you could still have a job, but it could be an unreasonable amount of commute time. I am sure it is so stressful. Just try to enjoy your time that you are allowed to totally dedicate to Ellie, and let God focus on the rest. We're looking forward to seeing you guys next week!

Paige said...

Stacey - Praying for your sweet family! God is in this situation as in has been in so many others you and Spencer have faced.

I am also praying too that your heart and mind be protected. People all have opinions and my hope and prayer is that you will not allow the devil to get to your heart and mind because of the comments of others. Praying for protection and that God will reveal himself in this situation!

JB said...

Stacey, we are praying for you in WA! My husband and I both teach and we understand the frustrations you must be feeling right now. I don't know where you teach, but I am sorry that they are working against you rather than with you right now. We adopted our second son with no notice last May and I had to enlist the union to get the last 3 weeks of school off. God is good and he has a perfect plan for you. We will pray with you that it all works out.
Meanwhile, enjoy that beautiful baby and don't lose sight of the joy she has brought to you!
Jennifer

Stacie said...

Eliana is still so beautiful...

Work-related: Could you possibly tutor? A friend of mine did that, privately in her home, while her babies were little. Just a thought.

kayla marie said...

Hi Stacey,
I've been a nanny for years, I know that I am a benefit to the children I care for, and I'm sure the care provider you choose will also be. As far as "the firsts you will miss", you daughter won't knowyou missed them! She will know if you miss her first bike ride without training wheels, or her first home run. Those are the firsts that are important!!
Kayla

Mommy Attorney said...

Please ignore the working vs. SAHM comments. I was a working mom for nearly a year. And I understand doing what you have to do.

I would RAISE CAIN about them violating the FMLA. It is a federal mandate and their silly little rules don't trump it. They have to hold a comparable job for you. Get tough. Tell them you will be consulting a lawyer (and follow through with that threat) if they do not resolve it. You have federal protection and you should use it.

Stacy D said...

They should have a comperable position, but with our system being so large I could end up at a school that is 90 minutes each way. What I want to do is ammend my leave paperwork to return before the 60 FMLA days expire so I can, keep my current position. I am being told I can't do that though.

Emcognito said...

Stacey-You don't know me but we once chatted on a fitness board and I've followed your story for a long time now. I just want to say I wish you the best of luck with everything. It's infuriating that your district would put you through this stress when you least need it but I hope it all works out for the best. As a fellow teacher, I know it's hard enough to leave work at school- I'm so sorry that the stress has reached into your home as well.
Best of luck to you, your husband, and to Eliana. (PS-I have taught two Elianas in my teaching career and both were absolute angels, by the way!)

Erin said...

I will definitely be praying for you. I'm am not sure if by law that your Human Resources Department can tell you that you cannot return to work earlier than indicated on the FMLA forms. I would contact an employment attorney regarding this. It is my understanding as long as you provide a doctor's note stating that you are able to return to work that they have to comply. I took just five days FMLA last April for knee surgery and I came back to work earlier than indicated on the form as it is just an estimate it isn't written in stone. My doctor sent the note in and I was good to go. Something doesn't sound right here.

On a different note, I love the picture of your daughter, she is just so beautiful.

connie said...

So we will pray for that - for God to provide a way for you to return to your old school, ... or for Him to do something even better. Something you can't even see yet. :)

When I was struggling over issues about working outside the home, one day I thought about the moms I know who have work outside the home as well as inside the home, and what it would mean if they didn't. Like we would not have the awesome pediatrician we have for our children. And my OB would have started working way late (after her child was raised), and would therefore have way less experience. What about the nursese who are caring for my daughter right now? And the physicians, and respiratory therapists who are all moms? I absolutely believe those women have been called by God to have the professions they have, and that my life is significantly impacted by them. I know so many frients who have outside work, and looking at their children, I believe they are not doing the wrong thing, and that their children are not suffering. As long as you are doing what you believe in your heart that God has called you to do, you can trust Him to care for your children, and for your needs, regardless of which it is you are called to be - working mom or SAHM. Not that I believe you are questioning that, of course. Being a mom is a ministry. But so is being a teacher, waitress, housekeeper, etc. My entire day is made when I get a coffee through the drivethrough section of a fast food place, and am told to "take care," or something similar. We all have opportunities to touch lives every day when we are doing the work we've been given to do. It would be wrong to refuse to be used by God in the areas He's given to us. I try to be patient with the well-meaning females in my life who don't realize that telling me with a small amount of righteousness, that they stayed home to raise their children while they were young, knowing that they probably wouldn't say it that way if they realized it was hurtful. Sometimes we are harder on each other than we ever mean to be.

If God works it out for you to return to work, I imagine the great influence you will have on the young lives you will have entrusted to you.

Donna said...

So many good comments...especially support for ignorant, hurtful remarks. Just know that there are caring folks who pray! Be at peace then because it will work out as intended.

The Hawkinson Gang said...

CALL THE UNION! Praying for you!

Mommy Attorney said...

I probably wasn't as clear as I should have been in my previous comment. First off, a comparable position must be one that is "geographically proximate" to your previous position. That is defined as one that does not significantly increase commute time. An hour certainly does that. See here. http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/Title_29/Part_825/29CFR825.215.htm

And what I meant by the FMLA trumping their silly rules is that their HR rule that you can't change your return date should be trumped by their desire to NOT VIOLATE FEDERAL LAW.

I realize that your principal is nice and you probably don't want to rock the boat too much, but there is a good chance they aren't taking this too seriously. Call your principal and tell her that you believe refusing to allow you to return at the end of FMLA and possibly requiring you to have a 90 minute commute violates federal law. Tell her that if this is not resolved within 5 business days you are consulting a lawyer. Unfortunately people don't always take you seriously until you start talking about lawyers. And I second the recommendation to contact your union if you have one.

Tonia said...

Oh how awful. Not a great way to spend your maternity leave :( I pray that God gives you a peace about what his plan will be (hopefully a short commute!)

Take care and what a sweet sweet baby girl!!

AngelsAmid said...

wow- highly "unimpressed" with Ms. Anonymous post... God gave me my daughter but to keep a home over our head I have to work. My Mom watches her while I work. I've never missed a "1st" thing yet in 16 months. Working isn't exactly abandoning my child & I can definitely tell I am the one raising her. Some people just dont have the option to stay home.

Anyway Stacey, I pray that God helps you keep your position or makes a way for you :)

Jennifer said...

Hi, Stacey!

I will be praying for this whole job situation to work out and for you to have peace about it in the meantime. Remember that "anything is possible with God!" Maybe He is going to make it the impossible possible for you. Based on other post, I think you've indicated staying home is something you would like. My sister-in-law was a teacher and when she and her husband found themselves in a very similar situation after welcoming their first child, God miraculously provided a HUGE like $30,000 raise for her husband. In the final hour, she was able to call her principal and say she would not be returning. She's been home for 3 years now!! Miracles can happen, but regardless I want you to know that I'm praying ultimately for God to show Himself strong on your behalf and give you peace!!!

Love,
Jennifer

Mindi said...

My prayers are with you--God will provide a way!
On another note, we have the same activity mat for our son--and even though we picked it out, it wasn't until another friend pointed out that it's a picture of Noah's Ark on the mat!
Prayers for you in this time of transition, and as you adjust to being Eliana's mom as well as Isaac's.

Kristen said...

Stacy,
I will be praying for your job situation. I am sorry you are dealing with this stress while you should be focused on your sweet new baby.

Please ignore the 'anonymous' poster. You are a wonderful mother. Depending on your degree(s?) you can look into teaching online at a community college, university of phoenix (or other online colleges) and our local high schools have online classes now that teachers can pick up. There might be a way to work from home for a little while if you job goes vacant.

Eliana is gorgeous, I know you are enjoying every precious moment with her. Know you are held in so many of our prayers.

God bless,
Kristen

Maggie said...

I spoke with a friend of a friend and he said to find a lawyer. They cannot take away your job.

Good Luck!

Cheryl said...

Stacy,

I am praying for you in IL. I would call an attorney to discuss what you should do. Most will have a consultation with you for little or no money. Please keep us updated on what's going on and what to pray for.

SHE IS PRECIOUS!!!

Miche said...

I'm not sure if I commented on this but I've been thinking and praying for you guys lots. As always it will work out in God's time just hang in there until he opens up the next door for you :)

Valerie said...

Best wishes, Stacy. That's a really difficult position to be in, and I will say a prayer that it works out for you guys.