I’m not feeling it this morning, but I promised myself I’d try harder to write every day. So, here I sit trying to think of what to write about. Ok, I think I’ve got it.
I’ve been taking care of other people since I was around 13 years old. I watched my little sisters first. I didn’t mind so much because my mother (as selfish as she could be) never took advantage of having a built-in babysitter.
When I was a little older, I started watching other people’s children. I watched so many kids over the years. I even went into Early Childhood Development and got my first “real” job as an Instructional Aide before I finished high school. I was working mostly with kids who were nearly at grade level in some subjects but needed help getting caught up with the rest of their class. I loved it but I resigned to start my own family.
When I had my kids, I still watched other kids. In fact, I started my own in-home Day Care. I had to do something to pay the rent and put food on the table because my ex couldn’t be bothered going out to find a job. He said he wouldn’t take just any job… Of course not. He’d rather me do all the work or for us to starve and be evicted. Geez.
Then we moved to Missouri and I got a part-time job at the Elementary school, mostly subbing for other aides who were out for one reason or another. There I was taking care of others again.
I’ve taken care of my nieces and nephews off and on throughout the years. I loved seeing them often but they are all grown now and I never see any of them.
Back in the 90s, I landed a job at the local nursing home, taking care of the elderly. I was CNA (Certified Nurses Aide), not very glamorous I know. I took classes to become a Medication Technician and was certified after a few months of intense study. That led to more responsibility and worked my tail off taking care of the residents of the facility. I worked for several years and I enjoyed the job for the most part but I felt I had to quit because the administration kept jerking us around; they’d change our shifts from days to nights or evenings to days, with no consideration whatsoever. They’d tell us xyz is our responsibility and then change it to something else without even telling us. I had enough and told them I was done.
For the past 10 years, I have been looking after my dad, which was the plan when we first came out here. It’s rough. I have my own health issues but still have to look after Dad and I don’t mind because I signed up for this. His health is declining and I don’t have a clue as to how I’m supposed to keep this up alone, with no help. My family says I should get someone to come in and help but neither Dad nor I want a stranger coming in. I’ve heard stories about older people getting help and then having the help go to Social Services and report that “Those people shouldn’t be living in that place. It’s not safe for them.” They have good intentions but what happens is that the people are forced out of their home. Truth is, maybe we shouldn’t be living in this dump but the new house is not finished and we have nowhere else to go.
Anyway, here I am barely able to care for myself and I’m still taking care of someone else. I look forward to the day I won’t have to take care of anyone but myself, but at the same time I don’t like the idea of losing my dad. But by then I probably won’t be able to care for myself, landing my ass in that nursing home with someone else taking care of me. Ugh.