At Least I’m Consistent

sunrise-216580_640My late grandmother got sick in 2003. My mother and grandfather lived with her and so were her main caregivers. I also helped with her to take some of the load off them. For a while I worked until she kept having recurrent health problems and had to go in the hospital one time after another. At Christmas 2003 she had to be transferred to a hospital an hour away. I needed to be more available to stay with her so I called my supervisor and told her I needed to take some time off to be with my family.

Her response:
“You’ll have to get a doctor’s excuse.”
“I have to get a doctor’s excuse for my grandmother being sick?”
“She’s in the hospital. I don’t know when she’s getting out.”

So I quit.

We decided to try and get personal care. She didn’t want strangers coming in so it was decided I would take the PCA classes and be her aide. I needed a job and she needed the help. So I became her aide, even though I felt sleazy at the time for being paid for taking care of my grandmother. But it worked out.

A few years later I decided to go back to school and finish my social work degree. She always wanted me to finish; in fact she was still ticked off nearly 10 years after I quit college just a few credits shy of getting my degree. But that meant I would quit being her PCA. She wasn’t happy about that but agreed to a new aide.

While in school part time I went back to work. But my husband got sick.

o I quit–work, not school.

See a pattern forming here?

I finished my degree and in the meantime other family members started having health problems. I got a part-time job that was quickly turning into a full-time job and also the long drive started to get to me.

So I quit.

I like the way I really stick to things.

I’ve been looking for part-time jobs closer to home but have had no luck. The area I live in has been economically depressed before the economy ever went in the crapper.

But… I’m also torn. I need to work, I like to work. But I feel guilty for wanting to work and lazy for not working. We need the money.

But to me family is more important than a job and we’ve cut back on a lot of things. And guess what? We don’t miss them.

It works out. It always does.

(I’m submitting this post to Caring Across Generations’ #Blog4Care blog carnival. Go here to check it out.)


8 thoughts on “At Least I’m Consistent

  1. Avatar of MissAngieMissAngie

    Hi Lisa,

    I really related to your post. I have been in very similar situations. Employers do not understand. I was laid off twice for missing too much work because I had to care for my mom.

    I am laid off once again now. Things are a bit tight around here but I know my mother is being taken care of properly and she would rather be with family. Thanks for posting.


    • Avatar of LisaDLisaD Post author

      I’m glad I found a site where people understand my situation. No, employers don’t understand. They say they’ll work with you but in the end most of them don’t.

  2. Avatar of LarryLarry

    I can relate to this also because I was let go from my last job because of time I had to take off to take care of mom and I was all she had.

  3. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Hi Lisa–This is a terrific post for the blog carnival. It speaks perfectly to conundrum–how can you be available to your family when they need you and hold down a job? It’s just tough.

    I love how your understand your priority–family–which allows you to make the right decisions. Your priority leads you.

  4. Avatar of PegiPegi

    @Lisa, you did an outstanding job of describing what so many of us have been through. It’s not an easy choice, especially when financial issues develop. There was quite a bit of back and forth with my employer as my husband’s health continued to fail. Apparently, one is only allowed so many diseases and or hospital stays before the most understanding employers loss patience. No matter how many hours you work, or how much you take home with you. I do believe, if you able; the choice of family cannot be wrong. Thank you for sharing.


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