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I Work Multiple Jobs and Mother Needs Care

You are in a pickle.  If you are working 12 to 16 hours a day with an elderly parent needing care, you have no time for caregiving.  You will be lucky if you find time visit with that kind of schedule.  You may be asking, “How on Earth do I make it work, caring for Mom and running a family with my work schedule?”  Whether you are paying off debt, your spouse may not be able to work or you have many mouths to feed, the fact of the matter is that you might not have enough time.

Below are a few questions to consider when approaching this issue.  I urge you not to create unnecessary barriers when attempting to answer these questions.  Answer them carefully and honestly.  When emotions and scattered thinking get in the way of our decision making, it is extremely difficult to make the best decisions.

Think of it this way: looking at life is like looking through a kaleidoscope. You may feel stuck looking at your current, stressful situation one way, but if you are willing to take a step back, open your mind and be honest with yourself, you will see that the kaleidoscope can shift. The answer may have been in front of you the entire time; it just required you to look at it from a different perspective.

Let us begin.

Can you work just one job?  If you are married, is it possible for your spouse to work part-time instead of you?  I am going to guess that you would already be doing this if it was possible, but one never knows.

Could Mom move closer to you to reduce travel time?  Extra time spent driving is mostly wasted time – at least until the day self-driving cars become common place.  Would you ever consider moving? If you have children, moving school districts adds all sorts of stress to an already stressful situation, though it is still an option to consider. Could Mom move in with you?

Do you have siblings? Can they share, or even takeover, the workload while your schedule is booked solid?

Can Mom hire someone or an agency to assist?  Of course, your mother wants you, even though you may not realistically be able to respond to all of her needs.  Although it may be tough to admit, care from a paid caregiver is okay.  If you lived in another state, it would be one of your only choices. I know you love your mother, but turning over her care to someone else does not mean you love her any less.  If you are overworked and overtired, how are you supposed to give Mom the best care she deserves? It does not make you a bad son or daughter; it means you need help.

Try this.

Spend a few hours with Mom, and work out a plan.  Lay all of your “cards on the table” so to speak, and figure out together how to meet her needs.  Be open and honest.  Two heads are better than one when faced with this situation.

If you have read this far, you are likely not the type of person to throw your hands up in surrender at the first sign of trouble. You can figure this out, and your mom or dad will receive the care they deserve because of your efforts. 

Here are some options to consider on your quest for care.

  • Additional social opportunities
  • Local support organizations
  • Exploration of her finances to pay for help in the home
  • Other family members who may have availability
  • Mom or Dad covering college tuition or other expense of yours so that you can be around to help her.

This is a very difficult situation and is one that will require two willing individuals to find a solution. Both of you need to adapt and make some changes for this caregiving situation to work.

You can do it!

About this Post

Written By

Mary Haynor

RN / CEO - Emeritus

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