There is a silent epidemic that is taking women out of the workforce. These women went to college and are on a career path - until they get the call from Mom that something has happened to her.
I excelled in school and graduated college Cum Laude with Bachelor's Degree in Logistics Management. Immediately after college, at the age of 21 - I was hired by a large cold distribution company and was promoted 3 times within 5 years. I was responsible for managing their fastest growing division and working over 70 hours a week. After several years of this, I decided to change jobs for one with less stress and for less money.
I eventually got married and worked until my first child was born. I stayed at home until my second child started kindergarten with the hopes of returning to the workforce. But my mother became ill that same year and my life spiraled into something I never saw coming. My days included running to and from the hospital and then helping my Dad at his home in the evenings.
The passing of my Mom devastated me so much. So much about my life has changed. My 80 year old Dad was left alone. Now his care was my and my sister's responsibility. Once again, I had high hopes of returning to the workforce. But then about a year after Mom passed away, Dad suffered a stroke. I spent a month taking him to and from hospital visits, then to rehab preparing for his return home - but not to his home, MY home. He has been living with with me, my husband and our two children for almost 8 years. I am his primary caregiver.
Today, I manage all medical and financial affairs for not only my Dad, but for my father and mother -in- law and my disabled brother-n-law (their son). I had no idea that all of my hard work and dedication in getting through college, finding a solid career path for myself in corporate America would never be a possibility ever again. Instead, I have found myself in this role as the Care Manager of four family members. Not at all how I envisioned my own future on my graduation day. Many times I look back and ask why did I even make the decision to go to college? I remember myself as a professional being groomed for a director position by my supervisors. Who was that person?
I don’t recognize her anymore.