Being asked "so have you found a job yet?"

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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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