Karen is a 43 old manager for a large company. She has a husband, two kids in elementary school, and a mother she is the primary caregiver for. Even though her mother still lives on her own, she struggles. Karen stops by every morning to get her breakfast and monitor her medicines. She stops by again in between running the kids to soccer and piano practice. More then once she’s had to leave home in the middle of the night to tend to her mother’s needs. She knows both her job and her family are struggling trying to keep up with all of the demands.
Chances are if this description doesn’t fit you, you know someone in this situation. Statistics currently show that approximately 29 percent of the US adult population is providing care for someone that is chronically ill, disabled or aged. And that number is only expected to rise.
Caring for someone is always a difficult situation. But when you add in other full time jobs, such as a career or a family, the situation can quickly turn desperate. How do you do each job to its fullest? Unfortunately, the entire situation takes its toll in many ways. Divorce rates rise. Problems with children develop. And even work can suffer by losing jobs or chances for promotions.
Yet what do you do? You’re doing the best that you can.
The biggest first step you can take is to talk to those around you. Its easy to keep your frustration inside as you run from place to place, yet that’s the worst thing you can do. Instead, open up conversations with those around you. Remember, you are not alone. Talk with your supervisor or HR department. Is there a way you can do your job remotely, even just a day or two a week? Are there part time opportunities if you can move in that direction? The biggest challenge is learning about your options. Once things are on the table, it can relieve stress by seeing you do have choices. You can make the best choice for your family situation.
Also talk to your co-workers, friends at your kids’ school, at your local health club where you work out, or even at your church. Wherever you attend regularly and have a friend or two, open up about your situation. Chances are you’ll find others that have been there, done that, and can offer a world of advice.
Then reach out to those that can help. This isn’t something you can take on all alone. The more you reach out, the more resources you will find. Sometimes you simply don’t know what type of help is out there, what can save you money, and more importantly what can save you time.
Time is your premium now. In order to have more time doing things for you – and that includes work, your kids, your spouse and your friends – make sure you ask for help in the areas help will matter most.