Need your help again, friends. If you read my babbling, you now that this year has already been a nightmare for us. Hubby was rushed to the ER on January 4th with what I firmly believe was Coronavirus. He’s been in hospital/rehab since then and will be coming home tomorrow.

I work 5 hours a day, 5 days a week at a small daycare. These ladies have become like family to me. I make next to nothing and until I sit down to figure out our financial in-come and out-go, I’m not even sure how much difference this small paycheck even makes. It’s more of an “escape” for me—a break from caring for my husband.

He wants me to quit my job. I am currently laid off due to the pandemic and the director says she believes daycares will not open up much before mid-summer. So, I’ll be without a paycheck for approximately 4-5 months anyway. Hubby says I’m “too old” (I’m 66) to work any longer. And when I come home exhausted, I know it does impact my caregiving.

However, although he is not super-demanding, he is bedridden and I do everything for him but feed him. He also has me under a microscope. He questions my every move and makes suggestions as to something else I should be doing. He thinks I need to be doing housework from sunup to sundown.

I am completely on the fence. Hubby is still not well and could very well wind up back in a facility. Do I want to give up this job and face being alone for the rest of my life?

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No. You don't.

He's not even asking you to quit your job. He's asking you to give a commitment now to a decision which you can't even make for the next two months or so, because you don't know where things will be or when your job will go "live" again.

So this is not about the practical realities. This is about his wanting acknowledgement from you that he is more important to you than anything else. And so he is, I'm sure; but the *point* is that his being the most important thing to you is not incompatible with your also being a person in your own right, with your own needs and interests and future to consider.

The job is not *more* important than him. But it is still important, and it's yours. You hang on to it. You already make sure he doesn't come to the slightest harm - by the way, don't let that "impact on my caregiving abilities" thought get out of hand; I bet it isn't true - and having that space and that purpose of your own matters. You matter.
Helpful Answer (17)

I think it's a moot point, really, since the daycare probably won't open until mid summer ANYWAY, right? That gives you time to see how things play out once DH comes home. Play it by ear; if you love the job and want to do it, then by all means, do not quit for anyone or anything. Only YOU can decide if you're 'too old' to work, or if the job is too exhausting for you, right? Naturally, DH wants you around him 24/7, but that's what HE wants, not necessarily what YOU want! He has an ulterior motive wanting you to quit, and you can't blame him I guess.

As far as doing housework from sunup to sundown goes, hey buddy, if you're 'too old' to work in a daycare, you're WAY too old to do THAT much housework! It may be time for a heart-to-heart talk with DH once he does get home. You're not a servant and you don't need suggestions or supervision from him on what to do.

Best of luck Joy!
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"...He also has me under a microscope. He questions my every move..."

Ahmijoy - those are enormous red flags. You matter. If you love working at the daycare, keep at it. Your husband, and forgive me for being blunt, sounds like an enormous entitled control freak pain in the you know what.

That paycheck, once it resumes, gives your much more than an "escape" from under his microscope. Please don't let him take that from you. If he comes home tomorrow, I hope he finds a new you i.e. a wife whose willing to tell him where to stick his microscope.

And really why isn't he going to LTC?
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If your job contributes to your well being and happiness keep your job. 🙂
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Hi Ahmijoy - I did not even have to take a moment to mull this over, but I still did anyway just so I did not reply in haste. So with consideration, my opinion is no, you should not quit your job. I have reasons to offer. First you say the ladies there have become like family. You are lucky to have that in your life, and it is a support system that can be better than any paid therapist session. Those benefits are huge to your mind, body and soul. So, even if you use logic and convince yourself that it is not much money, I would suggest you are indeed receiving many intangible benefits. You cannot put a price on that. Second, there is the toll that full time care-giving takes on the spouse. It seems that your job does not demand all of your time every day so it seems to me that this job is the perfect thing that gives you balance that so many people need. Last, my thought about giving most of our time and energy to a person or situation out of obligation or guilt are that it tends to backfire on us. However well intended our actions are and how much our loved one could use us, it leaves us with no boundaries uncrossed and eventually depleted and understandably resentful. That is only my humble opinion. I will be hopeful that you receive the needed clarity to make the best decision for both of you. Oh, ya, one last thing ... you are not "too old" to work. Not at all.
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czstudio Apr 2020
Just read this GingerMay and thought, wow, what well thought out and wise input. Going to help me too. We place so much value on income and tend to forget about the intangible benefits.  And we women need other women in our lives for all the reasons God made men so different.  Thank you!
If your husband is bedridden shouldn’t he be in some kind of a facility so you don’t have to take care of him 24/7? If the rolls were reverse would he take care of you24/7 and do all the housework and he do whatever you want him to do? Are you suppose to stop living? My mother is 95 years old. Your husband could live to be 95 years old. Do you want to give up your whole life for him for the next 30 more years? Don’t give up your job or your own independence. Find a facility for your husband. Life is too short. The older we get, the faster it goes.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 2020
Amen! Well said.
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Your hubby needs to be in LTC. He’s been bedridden for years with you waiting on him hand and foot. So of course between that and working at the daycare, you are tired. You’ve sacrificed so much of yourself for him and what do you get in return? You have every right to live YOUR LIFE.
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Don't give up that job. I hope u applied for unemployment. The government is adding to it. Then put that money aside. When u go back to work, use that and the money you make for a homemaker to come in and feed him lunch and clean. One less thing you have to do. And remind your husband that you are not his slave and you do not appreciate his criticism. If he can do a better job, then he can do it. You been doing things your way for years and at 66 you aren't changing. Whats he going to do, divorce you. He needs you more than u need him at this point. Stand up for yourself.

Again, do not quit that job. It will be ur sanity.
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Joy, please don’t quit your job! You said so many things “these ladies have become like family” “it’s an escape” “he has me under a microscope” “face being alone” Your heart is not in giving this up. You’ve given up so much already. You need a life of your own. You also need this job in case your husband might not be around anymore and you really need it, either as a paycheck and outlet, or a resume builder for something else.
I know you love your husband and believe in your vows and I admire you for that. Your vows didn’t include being a doormat. Caregiving can look a lot of different ways. I hope you’ll remember that. I always wish you the best...
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I am so sorry that you are struggling with this. You have a kind heart. You love your husband. You care for children and your fellow teachers.

You contribute lots of love and much needed care wherever it is needed. Anyone who has read any of your responses on this forum knows that.

This job means something to you. Obviously you make a difference in children’s lives. Your experience allows you to bring wisdom to fellow staff members at your daycare. They are blessed to have you.

Anyone who works with children comes home a bit tired, regardless of age but if the job is fulfilling to go then it’s a ‘good’ tired. If you had said, ‘I feel so drained’ I would say it’s time to hang it up. Your message clearly says that you are satisfied with your work. That’s a plus in my book!

I believe we should not say ‘no’ to someone without giving them a ‘yes’ to replace the loss but he wants to replace it with nonstop housework. Is that what you want? Doesn’t sound like it?

We don’t know him like you do. If you don’t mind, share a little more please. Is he lonely? Does he want you to be everything for him? Wife, caregiver, housekeeper? What’s left for you? Can you think of anything that will help him in his situation and not take away from your life?

You know that I tried that with my mom. I tried being her everything! I am sure that I don’t have to remind you how miserable and empty I became. I never felt like I did enough for my mom even though I did everything that I possibly could for her, and then some.

I completely lost myself until I burned out. I beg of you not to fall into the trap that I did.

If it would not have been for the support that you and so many others on this forum gave to me I would still be miserable. Everyone’s advice here and therapy saved me from completely cracking up.

I don’t have all the answers for everyone here. I can only try to help a bit and I hope I at least make a small contribution. In the end it is your decision and I wish you well no matter what that is but my vote is for you to stay at your job until YOU want to leave.

Take care and best wishes to you and your husband.
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Ahmijoy Apr 2020
Thank you so much, NHWM, for your support and for the excellent advice. This is a very difficult decision for me. Hubs and I were married in 1974 and we both came from families where the wife deferred to the husband, and even though my MIL worked at the family business, she really went along with whatever FIL said. It was, quite honestly, as we used to say, “chauvinistic”. When we were first married, I was very young (I was 20) and pretty innocent. I quit work 4 months after we got married and became a total housewife. My husband and his parents pretty much ran our married life, knew the details of our finances, our purchases, and compared us to their other children, including his sister, the Golden Child. My husband had total control. We didn’t buy anything unless he approved. It was “his money” after all. In 2003, he suffered a stroke and became unable to handle much of anything relating to finances. Since then, and more health issues, I’ve become 100% responsible for everything. He gives me no compliments or credit for what I do. I’m supposed to “understand” he appreciates it if he, in fact, does.

While getting up at 5AM, taking care of the pets, him and myself and going to work no longer appeals to me that much, neither does sitting here all day and having him judge me if I pick up a book—why aren’t I scrubbing floors or toilets? If I protest, he reacts with anger and sulky silence. Is it worth it? Like you, I want to do the best I can for him.

thank you again for your “air hugs” and advice...
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