National Caregivers/Caregiving Month

I did find a website at one time, and I believe I lost it when my old computer died, that showed all the holidays and special days celebrated around the world.  It was really cool. Now to add to that I’m finding each month now has a theme.  The theme for November came across my news feed as National Caregivers Month, or something of the sort.

This is a tricky tightrope many caregivers face: to talk or not talk about your “secret” life?  For many of my clients whom I have helped with their resumes, this is a sticky and sore subject.  It also crosses boundaries whether it be an caring for an elderly parent, grandchild, your own child, or homeschooling parent. How to explain gaps of “paid” employment?  Should this go on a job application? Should my business/work/church colleagues know about this part of my life?  How can this resume work?  Many people are nervous about putting the caregiver time down and just don’t want to discuss it.  One effective way I’ve dealt with it on resumes is to put down volunteer work and experience in its stead.  Volunteer work and experience is still experience.  Participating in home based businesses like Pampered Chef and Avon is another.

I don’t usually get political.  However, one time I listened to one of Howard Zinn’s recorded speeches and couldn’t agree more that a parent who stays home with a child through the first five years should be given some type of stipend.  Caring for a child/ren is a very demanding task in all ways and is 24/7 for those who can’t afford other alternatives.  Caregiving is not easy, no matter what form it may be in.  Even the caregivers who are paid are undervalued in what they do.  Usually though, if someone tells me they are a caregiver, it usually means they have given up a lot to care for someone else who may or may not appreciate the intensive labor of love the caregiver is giving.  It’s almost like a code among people who do this.  Say you are a caregiver, few people will take you seriously on the professional level and the attitude is you sit home all day watching TV, not doing anything constructive.  Yes, I know there are people who may do this but on the whole all the caregivers I know who are open about it take what they do very seriously and don’t regret the choices they have made.

I’m sure at some point there will be a ribbon and color for National Caregivers Month.  I don’t even know where this originated from and really don’t care.  The question is: who will be the ones wearing the ribbon, the people who came up with the concept or the caregivers themselves?  

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