Caring for Two and Starting a New Job


Caring for Two and Starting a New Job

work-life-balance-mdLast night, on Your Caregiving Journey, Kathleen ( @kayepeanyc ) joined me to tell us how she’s doing as she adjusts to her full-time job and continues to care for her mom and her aunt.

Kathleen’s caregiving story began after losing her corporate job in 2008. Within a short period of time, she found herself looking for a job while looking after her dad, her mom and her aunt. Her job search finally landed her a full-time job, which she began in February. She continues to care for her mom and her aunt, who both live in separate homes. Her dad passed away in 2009. You can listen to our show in February as Kathleen talks about looking for work while caregiving.

During our discussion, Kathleen spoke about how difficult the transition has been, more difficult than she anticipated. She's going to work on creating a team of help, recognizing that she can't be the one who does it all. It can be difficult to let go and let others help but she was reminded a few weeks ago of how helpful it can be to have the help. Her aunt, scheduled for eye surgery, had asked Kathleen to accompany her to the procedure. Her aunt then decided to ask Kathleen's mom's caregiver to help, which worked out great. And, her partner recently volunteered to be the one who calls to check in on her mom.

Kathleen also spoke about being as compassionate with herself as she is with everyone else. She gave a few examples of how she does this: When she has the thought, "I don't want to be here," when with her mom or aunt, she accepts the feeling and then lets it go. When she recently emptied cupboards at her mom's house, she felt sadness when packing her parent's dishes they once used when they entertained. She felt the sadness, then released it. The self-compassion means she no longer beats herself up for how she feels. She accepts rather than judges.

I'd love to know: Have you changed jobs during caregiving? How did you manage the transition? Please share your experiences in our comments section, below.

Resources: Be sure to join our Working and Caregiving group to connect with others in a similar situation; just go here to join.

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Hi, I tried to make the time during dinner prep to listen to the show but it just didn't work out. I work part-time and livein with my Grandmother. Since I work for a school district - working in a school office, I have been moved twice now into different schools and even different work hours since caregiving started for me three years ago. The first move lasted a year and was the hardest. I went from working mornings to working afternoons. That shift started out confusing for Grandma but eventually it was a good fit for me since I could clean house while she was at the hairdresser Friday mornings! The stress of the environment at work was horrendous and work environment was not at all positive so I struggled more with attitude. I went in to HR as the school year wound down to ask for a transfer to anywhere. . . found out I had been scheduled to be moved again anyway! The move to an new school is stil within 5 miles of home. I am back to working mornings and after a bit of difficulty with adjustment to new staff, I can say it is a good place to be. I am afforded time off whenever I need and can comp time instead of using up sick days. I am also flexible to stay for the office manager whenever she may need to be gone but that happens infrequently. I miss the house cleaning time on Fridays but now Grandma doesn't leave the house, the hairdresser comes in. Sometimes it feels like a rollercoaster when going through the changes and I anticipate being moved due in the future to budget issues.