21 Tell Tale Signs You’re a Working Daughter

You might be a working daughter if…

woman in waiting room
  1. You can’t remember where you put your car keys, but you’ve memorized both of your parents’ Social Security numbers.
  2. You no longer take an aspirin when you have a headache. Instead you “dispense meds” for yourself.
  3. You have a story about poop, but you are too polite to tell it.
  4. You think  cereal and wine are an acceptable dinner.
  5. You think the six most annoying words in the world are, “You should take care of yourself.”
  6. You know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
  7. You’ve spent an entire lunch hour, plus an additional hour, on the phone trying to sort out an insurance claim.
  8. You’ve thought about billing a doctor for the time she or he kept you waiting. You may have even drafted the invoice.
  9. You’ve spent your time waiting for the doctor by filling out yet another HIPPA form, MOST form, or DNR, but you would have preferred to read an old issue of People.
  10. You just may have taken that copy of People from the doctor’s waiting area to read later. But of course, you’ll never find the time to do that.
  11. Even though you go to a doctor’s appointment at least three times a month, it’s never for you. You are overdue on your teeth cleaning, your physical and your mammogram.
  12. You’ve given a home health aide more instructions than you’ve ever given to your kids’ babysitters.
  13. Your heart stops every time your phone rings – especially after 9 p.m.
  14. Speaking of phones, you keep your cell phone on and with you at all times.
  15. You have a strong opinion about Friends? Yeah, you think you had some of those once.
  16. You have siblings and it’s complicated. You might be a #workingdaughter if....you have siblings and it's complicated. Share on X
  17. Your house is a mess and you are so over it.
  18. You’ve read those studies that say people can’t multitask and you laughed at the thought of those weaker beings.
  19. Speaking of laughing, you’ve told some really inappropriate jokes about cancer, Alzheimer’s and dying. You know laughter is the best medicine.
  20. When someone asks if caregiving is a burden or a blessing, you respond without hesitation, “Yes.”

You might also like:

Caregiving is a Gift

Dear Caregiver, It’s Normal

The Truth About Siblings and Caregiving


10 comments on “21 Tell Tale Signs You’re a Working Daughter”

  1. Cathy Chester Reply

    Excellent, you dedicated and loving working daughter. I hear you loud and clear. I applaud you even louder. Wonderful post. When can we meet for drinks? 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Reply

    The paperwork is ever ending! #13 always stopped my heart. And agree with ‘yes’ blessing and burden. Caregiving changes us…

  3. Matt Reply

    or how about #22. “When someone who isn’t a caregiver wants to tell you how you can and should do a better job of caring for your parent and starts off the “helpful” advice with “You know, what you ought to do is…”

  4. Julie Reply

    In the 7-1/2 years I cared for my dad, my 2 siblings would generously give of themselves and make the one hour drive to come visit him once every 2-1/2 to 3 years. (That sounds bad; believe me, it’s way worse.) My dad would always share some of the highlights of their 2 hour visit. By highlights, I mean things he knew would stick in my craw. (Whatever that means. I think it means “rub me wrong” or something like that.) He would tell me something they said or did and then pause. As if he was waiting for my reaction. And I swear he had a twinkle in his eye and an impish grin on his face. He was pushing my buttons and he knew it. And he loved it. He was starved for a little deviation from his normally uneventful every day life. And although I never came unglued , I did always have something to say. And he would always chuckle about it. But I digress. This post is about the unwelcome, unsolicited, uninformed comments from the ungrateful, spectator siblings about what we’re doing, what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. Example … There was a spell where my dad wouldn’t cut his hair. He wouldn’t let me cut it, and he wouldn’t let me take him to the barber. I bugged him for weeks about it. Well, my sister showed up one day during that spell. When my dad was briefing me on their visit, he told me my sister had said, “Tell Julie to cut your hair.” I gasped. How degrading is that? First, her thinking she can bark orders at me. Second, her giving dad strength to tell me to cut his hair. As if he had been wanting a haircut, and I had been ignoring him and neglecting him. I asked him if he told her I had been bugging him relentlessly for the last few weeks about cutting his hair. He chuckled and shook his head no. He was enjoying the little hornet’s nest he had stirred up. I didn’t overdo it, but I didn’t bite my tongue either. That wouldn’t have been any fun for him. Besides he knew me. He knew how I would react. And he would have wondered what was wrong with me.
    My real issue is why are the non-caregiving siblings always so rude and hurtful to the caregiver sibling? And they are. And we all know it. What is wrong with them? There is something psychologically wrong with their thought process. Their behaviour is not what one would consider proper behaviour. Why is that? Why do they so often attack the caregiver sibling? They make unwarranted and untrue accusations of abuse and neglect. With no evidence at all suggesting any of that is taking place. Those are accusations that would ruin a person’s life if they were convicted of such things. Yet the siblings casually spew their false accusations with no regard for the damage they are doing. Even after authorities determine it’s all untrue, the community has already already spread the word that you had been abusing your dad all these years. Your reputation is ruined. You can’t get a job. You can’t even do volunteer workS because of the lies the siblings told. The siblings both know they are lies. Yet somehow they feel it’s ok to tell people these lies. What is wrong with them? I mean I didn’t expect accolades for (lovingly) taking care of their father for over 7 years, but I can sure didn’t expect them to try to have me out in jail for it either. For them to tell outright lies. And come over to the small community where my dad and I live and tell people on the street that they don’t even know, but who might know me, that I had been abusing my dad. People I hadnt spoken to in 3 years heard that rumor. It spread like wildfire. So even though I know I’m not guilty, and the authorities know I’m not, community members still think I am or wonder if I am. No one would spread the rumour that I had NOT been abusing my dad. So I have to live with the shame as though I had been. My siblings took something that I had done that felt gratifying – something I had lovingly devoted my self and my life to – the last 7 years of my youth – something that gave me a sense of value, something I felt proud of, and turned it into something that made me feel bad. Something that is now shrouded in a dark cloak of shame. Feeling unappreciated, and now a feeling of sacrifice. That I so carelessly undervalued and underappreciated my own life to such a degree I would give it away so easily.
    I want to propose legislation to protect family caregivers from attacks and accusations of elder abuse from the spectator (non-caregiver) siblings. I don’t have exact numbers, but I think it happens to a lot of us. And it needs to stop. And them ripping off the caregiver’s share of the inheritance. That also has to stop. The non-caregivers gang up on the caregiver and agree to take this share. And people at banks and funeral homes blindly believe the non-caregivers. Because it’s 2 people’s words against yours. THAT has got to stop also. Hell, even an attorney you hire believes the liars. What is wrong with people? Here’s what it boils down to. Whatever you do, DON’T be a family caregiver. NOTHING good can come of it. The bad far outweighs the good. By a long shot. DON’T do it. The family member you care for won’t even appreciate it. They will miss their children who are never around and never call. And they’ll get tired of you. Tired of you bugging them to eat, and take their meds, and take a shower, and cut their hair. When a policeman physically takes your dad’s drivers license after he nearly drove off a cliff into the ocean, your dad will later believe that he can’t drive anymore because YOU took his license away from him. He will insist that he had his license after the cop took it away, and that you took it from him.

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