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I took care of both my parents for 5yrs. I lost them both within a year of each other, with dad being gone less than a year. I moved across the country and ended up eventually having to give up my job to do this.

I am not bragging here but I was left a decent enough inheritance that I don't need to work as long as I am not foolish in the near future. I recently relocated back to where I was living before.

What I am find annoying is there are a couple of people (one in particular) who seems overly concerned about me not working. Every couple of weeks this friend(who lives in another state) will ask "how is the job search going?". Well I haven't even really started looking, and I am getting resentful of this question coming up.

I don't know if it is jealousy, or they're trying to find out what I was left, or it is concern.

I guess what ticks me off is was WORKING, I took care of both my parents for 5yrs, my father was 24/7 the last several months of his life. What do these people think I was doing? Sitting around eating candy and watching TV?

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts or a response that will nip this in the bud I would appreciate it. I wouldn't keep asking someone "so have you found a job yet?" when the person hasn't indicated to you that they're looking.

And if someone is jealous of someone who put their life on hold for 5 yrs and now is dealing with both grief and trying to figure out what is next, but is also in a financial position where they don't have to just take a job, well I would be happy for that person, not resentful or badger them with questions.

Thanks.

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You're right Linda. For years I didn't(and many can relate) have a normal sleep pattern. I couldn't go to bet at 11pm and sleep through till 8am, as I was needed. Now I can go to bed as late as 1am and am wide awake at 7am, I can't sleep in. Some days I need a nap to get in my 8 to 9 hours of sleep.

I guess I need to find a job that allows afternoon naps....LOL.
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irishboy, the other thing people don't realize is that not only are you adjusting to not being a caregiver, but you're also dealing with the grief of losing your loved ones. You're physically and emotionally exhausted and grief is a process that takes the time it takes.
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ShelbysMom, trying to balance a full time job and full time caregiving is really impossible. I am glad for the time I had with my parents, shortly after leaving my job they did massive layoffs anyway. Jobs come and go, the time I had with my parents while it could be trying at times was also rewarding. And I got to know my parents better, and can say my dad became my best friend.

I think you're doing a wonderful thing.

Just be prepared for SOME people to think once your mom is gone that you need to find a job right away. It is surprising, while some people don't ask and just wonder how you're doing, others seem to think "well that is done with, you need a job now". Not realizing you had a job, a very hard job that didn't end at 5pm. And that you can't just turn off the caregiving mode, like a light switch.

Heidi73, not only has this friend not done any caregiving and I don't see her doing any caregiving if her mother(who is 82 but in decent health and lives alone) needs it. She had to spend 3 days with her mom after she came home from the hospital about 2yrs ago and made a big deal out it, this was while I was still caring for both parents. I remember thinking is she kidding, she had to do for a few days what I have been doing for a few years. I didn't say anything, but I remember thinking back then, if her mom needs help down the road she won't be the one doing it.

While she was often supportive over the phone and through emails through the care and passing of my parents, I now feel this judgment and what I believe is jealousy.
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Irishboy, this person is probably jealous. And they probably have no idea what it's like to care for an elderly relative. (Maybe they don't know what it's like to care for a person at all.) Looking out for an elderly relative is hard work. It doesn't get easier since the senior is just going to get older, more frail, or deeper into Alzheimer's.
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I'm very interested in this topic because I actually just left a full time job to care for my 97 year old mother with late stage dementia. Long story short is that I could not handle working full time AND managing my mother's complex care. My true friends have been very supportive of me regarding this decision, but it has been a very common reaction among those who don't know my personal circumstances to proclaim "are you crazy!?" They cannot fathom leaving a good job to care for a parent and running the risk of never being able to secure new employment, especially at an advanced age. Like the original poster, I will likely not need to work again if I am careful. Now that I can focus on my mother without the stress of work, I find I am a better caregiver and a more content person. People who do not understand what we go through as caregivers' just do NOT get it, and no amount of explaining our rationale will have any impact on those that criticize our choices. I may look for employment again, but on my terms and doing something that I truly enjoy. I don't have any false expectations about how potential employers will view my "time off"- there is an incredible prejudice out there against older workers who have been out of the workforce for any length of time. When I think of the skills one needs to be a caregiver (patience, creativity, energy, organization, loyalty, negotiation skills, nursing skills)- I can't imagine any job we wouldn't be qualified for! Anyway, I love some of the suggestions to the original poster on how to respond to those perhaps nosy/perhaps well-intentioned questions and I may steal some of them to use myself.
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daisy, yes, people asked me this type of thing all the time when I was home with little ones. And no, many of them did not regard this as my job.
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Does anyone ask this to mothers raising young kids? People are well aware that running a house and kids is a "job"- it's the mother's duty to stay home and care for them. Now that one's parents need to be cared for by their children, it's also the same kind of vocation. It's the adult child's duty to be away from the work world to care at home.
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Well thank you all again.

Kazzaa, that is pathetic in a funny way that a shrink doesn't get it.

Heidi73, I think you're right, in their mind they're working so I should be working. But I did in my response (almost verbatim to what you said) mention caring for two elderly parents for several years, moving, and now taking time to restart my life.....completely ignored in her response. Which to me says either she don't get it, and is still being judgmental. Totally ignored what I wrote and discussed other topics.


That part of my email was completely ignored. I also think it is jealousy. She has to work and I currently do not. Which bothers me, were you jealous when I gave up 5 yrs of my life to take care of two parents? Why wouldn't you be happy for someone you're supposedly friends with now that they have the time to have take a breather and wish them well?

I decided I am going to have go less contact and be vague in my emails going forward. It saddens me, but if people don't support you or judge you, well I am not going to tolerate that.
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This person probably has a vision of how they think things "should be," or thinks they would have to be working so you should be, too. Next time they ask, just thank them for their concern, say you spent a lot of time caring for your parents, including moving to care for them, and now you're grieving and readjusting to life without them and you are aware of your situation and will make the next steps when the time is right.
Or, I like what Sodonewithsal1 writes: Reply "Why do you ask?"
A better approach for this nosy person would simply be to ask how you're doing and let you say whatever you need to say instead of trying to decide when you need to return to work, etc., or whatever they're getting at!
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As a stay at home mom with, at the time a two year old then twins on top of that, I have heard it all. What is your career? Why don't you work. What???? Made to feel inadequate. By both friends, peers, and my husband (who had a nice inheritance). So I can say tell them you do not HAVE to work right now. And go about your life and enjoy the freedom your parents left you.
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Good for you Irishboy! ive just been away for a wkend and i met and got talking to a "shrink" of all people!! LOL he asked me what i was doing for a living? when i said "caring for mum" he said yes but what do you really do? whats your real job? EH caring for mum? and hes a shrink?? I didnt argue whats the point? if you have to explain that to a "shrink" HA! why bother? oh people are funny!!
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Irishboy, I am sorry for your loss. My mother has moved into a nursing home and I am really in awe of what you have done for your parents. It is true that most people have no idea of what others are going through (and I say this as someone who has been hurt, but who has also hurt others unwittingly).
I would give your friend the benefit of the doubt - it is easy to misconstrue emails, but you know best what to make of it.
I hope you take good care of yourself.
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I hope they do. I would have preferred some acknowledgement instead of ignoring what I wrote. If it was me I would have at least said "OK, do what works for you". So I don't know if ignoring is still not getting it. I think when I mentioned that I want to see elderly relatives one is over 90 and not wait until next year that would have gotten a "that makes sense"..or an "I understand"...crickets....LOL.

To me silence, still shows someone being judgmental.

Going forward and I going to go less contact and limit the emails to vague topics, and not mention my trip again, I will just go on my trip and see the family in NY.

Regardless, if they ask again about job hunting, I will ignore the comment just like they ignored what I wrote. I am DONE explaining myself to people in situations that don't require their approval or an explanation.
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Hmmm, Not surprising your comments weren't addressed. Many of us have the same sorts of responses from family members. Maybe your friend has somewhat of a new perspective and will stop with the questioning about work.

Good for you, Irish.
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Well I heard back on the email....LOL. But no comments on what I said about jobs or my being a caregiver, that part was not mentioned in her response. I am just going to plan my trip but I won't be doing the side trip to see her. Maybe just as well, I have several people to see in NY, without going to NE as well.

I am hoping at least that stating I am not currently looking for work will nip this constant questioning in the bud. If it does come up again in an email, I won't respond to that question.

I feel I spelled it out in my email, and no more comments should be made on that subject.

Thanks everyone.
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Good for you Irish! Let us know if you hear anything back!
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Well thanks again.

I sent an email to this friend last night. I was polite but direct. I broke it down in three parts.
1) Getting a job is not my main priority right now.

2) I want to take this trip back East to see family, a few of whom are quite elderly and waiting till next year may not be wise.(not that I needed to explain this but I did).

3) I just came off the hardest job I ever had taking care of two elderly parents, I am taking sometime for myself now.

I also used gladimhere's line about the transitioning from being a caregiver.

I will see what kind of response I get back. I have decided I am NO LONGER discussing any job related conversations with this person. And will say so if it happens again.
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If you volunteer, YOU HAVE FOUND A JOB. May not be what they want you to have, but it's a job
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I feel you. Tell them no, why do you ask, Or tell them it's none of their business. End of conversation. I'm sorry these people are so nosy and insensitive. Some people you have to feed with a long handled spoon. You keep your distance and hopefully they will keep theirs.
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The delay is due to transitioning. Took it easy for a few days, spent time at the library, and read a book. I too, delay responses to emails many times. But, then I am lucky if I ever receive replies to mine. Sibs can just be so ugly.

Enjoy your day tomorrow.
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Well thank you both. I was really taken aback. Even if I was currently looking for work do they think I would be landing a job in the next few weeks? I mean come on....LOL.

I have 3 elderly aunts I want to see, telling someone to go next year, many months from now, may not be wise. One is over 90, and I already mentioned on the phone I am planning a trip to see them.

AK daughter, don't feel bad. I am shocked by the comments but it gives me more insight, and I have joined a book club in addition to doing volunteer work at the library.

gladimhere, apparently it isn't a job. You know thinking back over the last few years this friend would constantly in emails tell me about their busy socially life and what they were doing over the weekend, while I was pretty much housebound with mom and dad. And they knew my world was going to Dr. appts, doing the shopping, cooking, no social life and no friends in the area where my parents lived.

Now I have so time for myself and I'm supposed to be only job hunting.

I didn't even have the luxury(as many caregivers know) of going to sit in Starbucks for 45 minutes or go to a 2 hour movie.

I also love what you said about "transitioning", that is so true. In fact I am going to include what you said in my email, I just got the email today and want to wait awhile before responding.
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Irish boy, unbelievable! What is the problem with people? They have no idea what it us like to care for one parent much less two! These people are not friends. Friends offer support and assistance to caregivers. This is a job that requires a period of transition from caring for others to caring for ourselves.
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Sorry, Irishboy, I am the one who suggested you go visit your friends. I have a new suggestion - join some clubs that interest you. Maybe quilting, a book club, bowling? Get out there and make some new friends. It sounds like this one needs replacing.
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I just have to give an update on here...LOL. I sent an email to this friend I mentioned saying I was coming back East most likely in the early fall to visit family. I have a few elderly aunts and some cousins I would like to see. And I would like to visit this friend as well.

I mentioned this to this friend and also inquired about coming to see them(they live in New England and I would be going to NY), their response just floored me. They said they THINK(no one asked them) I should get a job first and than look to going east in the spring/summer of 2015.

Unreal.

I was actually quite angry, I am going to respond and include some of the well written comments you all were kind enough to suggest. Including I am not looking for work, I am working on rebuilding my life, and I just came off a big job of taking care of two elderly parents.

And I won't be visiting them when I go back east.
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kazzaa, sounds like you have been throught a lot. I like your Bucket List. I may take a visit back east to see some family and old time friends. I am just getting used to actually being able to go places even if it is to Target and not be playing beat the clock because I never left my dad more than 90 minutes at the most to run errands for the last 6 months of his life.

Oh, as luck would have it someone asked today "how is the job hunting going?", oddly enough someone I do volunteer work with. So I used Debralee's wise words, I said "well for the last 5yrs I had a 24/7 job, no vacations, no time off, no help"...shut them right up!!!!! I guess that is what it is going to take.

I wasn't rude, but I had a tone in my voice....LOL. Hey, it worked, and I will use it again with the next nosy person.
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Well irishboy i know most of my ex friends WOULD just put them in a home but as we all know here its not that easy if they dont want to go you cant make them! I think its their own guilt as they could never do what we do! also my friends were jealous that i had the guts to walk out of an unhappy marraige whereas i dont think anyone of them are that happy now?
I dont claim to be a martyr as soon as i cant cope anymore mum will have to go into a home im dreading that day and would rather she pass now than do that to her but we just never know whats around the corner?
Irishboy i have a "bucket list" i almost died twice in the last five years so when i got through it i made a list of all the things i want to do in life........go to vienna and stuff my face with chocolate cake...........go horseriding in Argentina learn to tango move to spain..........start my own coffee shop..........get two donkeys and a dog.....buy a small house by the ocean in Spain oh and of course meet my soulmate!!!!!

Watch this space ive always been fairly stubborn and get to do what i set out to do!! You should think about something youve always wanted to do maybe tour europe? ride a bull in texas? do something good for you and stuff those begrudgers!!
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kaazza, I used to get that as well. Just put them in a home. Well first their my parents and as long I could manage the care I did, people can be so ignorant.
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Debralee, I love your comments. That's perfect. I think that would shut them up!
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Working for 5 years, 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day!!! You better be on an never ending vacation! Tell the nosies you have a job, taking good care of yourself. Enjoy it for as long as you like.
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Ha! irishboy being Irish i would just say " listen im so busy spending money ive no time for work" i bet youll never be asked again!!! Oh people can be such asses at times!
Yep i get "so no MAN yet?" "shame you never had kids" "why dont you just put your mum in a home and get on with your life"

Life is hard asses make it harder!!
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