Full Time Employee - Part Time Caregiver
Having a full-time job and being a part-time caregiver created many obstacles for me. Challenges included me taking a lot of time off from work which historically I don’t do, covering medical expenses since I want to keep my mom home and not in a nursing home for as long as I can, traveling 4 hours 8 hours’ round trip to care for her, and finding a way to give care and rotate with my mom husband’s daughter to provide care giving my mom’s husband a break, and communicating these needs with my boss.
It was difficult for me because I’m a very private person and my pride doesn’t help. I like to handle things on my own unless I really need assistance. I don’t want to share that much with my colleagues unless they are trustworthy and would close hold my personal affairs.
Sometimes because of me juggling caregiving and work lead to me to not be as productive, and I always try to give the best work product as I could. Lack of sleep, traveling to my mom’s house, and seeing my mom health decline no matter what I do caused my health too also decline and caused me to fall into a mild depression which is normal for caregivers.
When it came to the point where I had to disclose my mom’s illness to my boss which was deeply personal for me so it was hard to do. They were understanding thankfully. I’m able to telework
so I can be with my Mom and do my work when I have a free moment or two. My suggestion to you when discussing this with your boss is to just let them know your situation, and see what their response is. If it’s “Take the time that you need your family is more important than the job” Then you know that you work in a supportive environment. If they aren’t that understanding unfortunately you would have to somehow balance work with caregiving and that I know from experience even when your boss is understanding is very difficult and stressful.
Let’s face it even though my boss allows me to telework there are challenges that come with working from home while caregiving. It's imperative that I as a caregiver can set aside time that is free from distraction. Yeah that is very difficult since my mom has dementia and needs help on an almost constant basis.
I’ve found that I’ve had to make sacrifices when caregiving for my mom, but that’s okay because she would do the same thing for me. There are jobs interviews that I have declined for promotions because most likely if you start a new job I wouldn’t be able to have the flexible schedule. This job that I may have gotten would give me the extra money that I would need for my mom’s care. I also don’t get the sleep that I need or see my friends as much. At one point I thought about quitting my job because I couldn’t keep up this going back and forth up and down the road have a full-time job and providing care. So basically I had “Caregivers Burnout”. I will get into “Caregivers Burnout” in another post.
So Caregivers as I say all the time “Stay Strong and Encouraged”. Continue to advocate for a cure for this horrible disease…