The truth of the matter is, when you are a caregiver, you go beyond your job. You go beyond yourself. You become a nurturer and a healer. You learn how to become empathetic and compassionate to those in need. You learn the virtue of being patient. You learn to be flexible with your time because you also have to consider other people’s time and what they need from you.
My mom is a very hard-working woman. Before she became a caregiver, she was a flight attendant for 23 years. Needless to say, hospitality and caring for people came naturally to her.
After she retired from working at the Philippine Airlines for 23 years, she relocated to the US. To make a living for herself, she embarked upon her journey as a new caregiver. She has since then been a caregiver for 18 years.
Caregiving was something my mom took pride in. More than a job, she became fully invested in the people she took care of. After all, she spent most of her time with them. Grocery shopping, salon appointments, lunches and dinners, you name it.
So it was very disappointing for my mom to hear that there were people who looked down on caregiving, who viewed this occupation as a less than ideal job.
Her friends would ask her tactless questions like, “Do you really clean up after someone for a living? I wouldn’t want to do that! I don’t know how you do it.”
Much to my mom’s dismay, she was disappointed at how her own friends were condescending of her livelihood. To my mom, she saw caregiving as rewarding and honest hard work.
Besides the fact that what she does for a living went beyond any other person’s comfort zone, her job entailed something else entirely worth noting: sacrifice.
I cannot even tell you all the times she would tell me how isolated she felt because she couldn’t see friends or her sister because she had to be with the person she was taking care of for the majority of that day, and maybe only had a day or two to herself out of the whole week to be able to do her own thing.
I cannot even tell you how many Christmases, New Years, Thanksgivings, and family gatherings she’s missed because she had to be with the person she was taking care of. I cannot even tell you how many times she has cried to me over the phone because she would have rather spent the holidays with her family rather than having to be with someone else’s.
Besides having the job description of caring for, giving time and attention a hundred percent to someone more than their own family, caregivers also have to sacrifice their time with their own family.
I think some people look down on caregiving because it is not a glorified one. It is a lot of hard work. Oftentimes, dirty work. And it can be a thankless job. It is not the kind of job where you walk in an office suit, or the type of job that entails going to glamourous, social events.
The truth of the matter is, it is a job so much more than that.
When you are a caregiver, you become someone else’s hero.
So to all the caregivers out there, thank you. Thank you for all the sacrifices you make. Thank you for choosing to be someone’s hero.
“Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.”