When Caring for a Parent Means Quitting Your Job

 

MCC5

 

 

 

Meet: Tobi
Caregiver Connection: I met Tobi during the #write31day challenge. She selflessly quit her job and moved back into her parents’
home in order to care for her mother.
Blog: Simply Jesus Ministries
Who she cares for: Her mother, who suffers from dementia and anxiety.
Favorite Bible Verse: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

When I signed up to write this post, I have to say I almost backed out numerous times, my pride screamed, “You can’t tell the world that you struggle, and how you might be a caregiver, but sometimes deep down you just don’t want to care anymore.”

But I write this post, because if I feel this way other people must feel this way as well—and I am learning that when we are honest about our struggles, it makes us stronger. Honesty sends pride packing and we realize that we are not alone with our struggles. (tweet this)

So, whether the person you care for is six or 65, please know that you are not alone.

As I started writing I realized that I could write this post and make it all about me, and how taking care of my mom is hard, and sometimes very, very frustrating–I mean, does she really have to ask the same question every five minutes?

I could say that it is hard and that it’s not fair, I could stomp my feet and throw a tantrum (some days I do), I could tell you that my Mom has dementia and anxiety, and that it is hard and life is an emotional rollercoaster, and it would all be true.

But I have chosen instead to tell you that with God ALL things are possible.
He is able, even when I am not; He is strong when I am having an emotional meltdown in my kitchen; He is peace when my heart screams that it’s not fair, and I feel like she is here, but already gone. He is with me and has been for the past few years of caring for my Mom full time.

I can do everything by the power of Christ. He gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

I have a verse hanging in my kitchen, it’s a cute piece of art that I found at Hobby Lobby and it helps me to refocus when life gets overwhelmingly difficult, and I feel like my heart is breaking. It says:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8

#Caregiver, God is with you when you feel like you're losing it. http://wp.me/p2UZoK-z0 via @blestbutstrestIt helps me remember all of the good in my life: a Mama that spent her life taking care of me, a Dad who will do anything for me, friends and family, a roof over my head, food in my fridge, but above all I have a God who loves me and that alone is a reason to rejoice.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

I remind myself that Thanksgiving is more than a holiday, it is a way of life, and that it is a choice that I have to make on a daily basis. (tweet this)

So enough about me, let’s talk about you, are you a stay-at-home mom taking care of lots of little people? Maybe you are a wife loving her husband through cancer, or maybe you are like me, caring for an aging parent. Wherever your circumstances may find you, I wanted to share a few things that have saved my sanity over the last few years:

• Take care of yourself—this may sound obvious, but it is easy to forget in the midst of the daily grind. Take the time to read a book, go to coffee with a friend, or take a walk and clear your head, it makes all the difference.

• Invest in something—find something that has nothing to do with your world as a caregiver, something that you are passionate about, remember that you are more than just a caregiver.

• Look for the lesson—God wants to use this time in your life to teach you something, so look for it, ask Him to show you what He would have you learn from this time in your life.

Above all else I would tell you that whether you know Christ or not, please know that He is with you on whatever journey you are on, and that He loves you more than you could ever imagine.

Because of Him,
Tobi

Caregiver, what have you learned from your journey that others could benefit from?

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Tobi, I hear so many similarities in our stories. I guest-posted here earlier this month and shared my journey as a caretaker of my mom who daily lives and struggles with a mental illness. You are so right. It really does make a difference to know we are not alone. Thankful for you and you sharing your story.
    Tara recently posted…My A-Zs of Thanksgiving (Part Two: N-Z)My Profile

    • Thank you so much Tara, I think I read your post the other day… it really is a blessing to know we have a support system as well as a God who loves us. I will keep your family in my prayers. Thanks for the comment!
      Tobi@SimplyJesus recently posted…Intro to John {A Love Story}My Profile

  • Tobi….I know and feel your pain! It is hard to be a caregiver. It is hard not to become frustrated. And sometimes we just don’t have a choice but we still get the job done. Because when you love someone that is what you do! Thank you for sharing your story.
    Paula recently posted…I DON’T UNDERSTANDMy Profile

    • Exactly! I once had a friend tell me when I was frustrated “Remember she is the only Mom you will ever have.” She had a great point, even if I didn’t appreciate it very much at the time, it pops back into my head all the time now…LOL
      Tobi@SimplyJesus recently posted…Intro to John {A Love Story}My Profile

  • Very well said. I am sure it’s hard to say some of these things out loud (or in this case write it down), but I like you’re honesty, it is so refreshing and you are right it applies to all different kinds of care givers. You are doing a great job and this is wonderful advice.
    Messy Mom recently posted…A Thanksgiving MemorialMy Profile

    • It was soooo hard, and I kind of wanted to go hide under the bed after it went live today. 🙂 And it does apply to a lot of different care giving situations, my friend with 4 kids under the age of 10 have a lot in common, and share a lot of the same frustrations. 🙂
      Tobi@SimplyJesus recently posted…Intro to John {A Love Story}My Profile

  • What a beautiful tribute to your mom, to God’s incredible faithfulness, and to your biblically driven strength, Tobi. How blessed she is to have you by her side.

    May God pour out comfort and joy as you make your way through the holidays …
    Linda@Creekside recently posted…Awaken Love * The GiveawayMy Profile

  • I absolutely love the beauty and your heart in this post, Tobi. Thank you so much for honestly bearing your soul and your struggles with us. Your faith is inspirational as is your love for your parents. You all are in my prayers. xo
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup recently posted…A Week Of Thanks {Family & Friends}My Profile

  • Thanks so much Anita for inviting me to be part of this wonderful series, so blessed to have met you during the crazy 31days of October.
    Tobi@SimplyJesus recently posted…Intro to John {A Love Story}My Profile

    • And thank YOU so very much for guest posting! I really appreciate your honesty and bravery! May God continue to use you to shine his light in a world in need.

  • Hoping that you are still going strong. A good point you made was to have something just for yourself that is not connected to your caring role. Glad to see that you write .
    Take care.
    Alexa from Sydney, Australia
    Alexa McAllister recently posted…#whenMy Profile

  • Pingback: Keeping it Simple()