I care for my mum who has MS. Things have been rough this year, at one pointing thought we would loose our house as the mortgage had ended and we had no way of paying back the amount that was owed (interest free mortgage) but thankfully we found a mortgage and now we have anew one we are repaying. I also finished Uni in May, I got a First somehow. Since then I’ve felt so sad, I cry everyday and just. Want to hide. I’m trying to find a part time job which will enable me to work and care for my mum, but its hard. I don’t want people to think I’m lazy. I’m so sad…

Hi Callie,

It’s fantastic that you got a First - well done!

You are probably not going to like what I’m going to suggest, but it seems such a shame that, after such spectacular academic success, you are limiting yourself only to looking for part-time work, which is probably never going to fulfil the potential of someone of your calibre. I’m not suggesting work can NEVER be both fulfilling and part-time, but I do think it’s an unfortunate reality that the majority of part-time work will be lower status, and not designed with career-progression or personal development in mind.

Does it really always have to be YOU who cares for your mum? I’m not suggesting you should leave home and forget about her, but have you thought about looking into what help might be available from social services? Would your mum want to think that after working so hard for such a brilliant degree, your career options are limited to looking for part-time work that fits around caring? That is not what you’ve studied for, and not how life was meant to be! No wonder you feel sad!

I understand your feelings of responsibility towards your mum, but you also need and deserve a life of your own - a chance to use the skills you obviously have. And it’s not all about just making money (though that would doubtless help your mum too), but about having a future that fulfils your potential, and your own needs, and doesn’t revolve entirely around the needs of your mum. It’s not “being selfish” - it’s the way things were meant to be, that children grow up and use their talents, and have a life!

I do think you need to look into what help might be available for your mum at home (perhaps a trip to the CAB?) so you would have more flexibility around what work you could consider.

You don’t say whether you have tried for many/any jobs, but I wonder if a possible obstacle is that many employers would regard a First Class graduate as over-qualified for most part-time jobs, and wonder why you’re not setting your sights higher? They might worry you will simply get bored and leave.

One final thing that has nothing to do with MS: sometimes, after you’ve worked very long and very hard for a particular goal, actually achieving it can be a bit depressing. I know that probably sounds mad, but if it’s been your main focus for (I’m assuming) at least three years, and suddenly it’s history, that can be pretty tough to adapt to. You can be left wondering: “Where do I go now? What do I do? What was the point?”

I assume, as a recent graduate, you would have access to the university career’s advice service? I wonder if you’ve tried them, to see if they have any thoughts? Do you have any idea, in an ideal world, what it is you would like to do? Is there a reason you did the degree, with some particular career choice in mind?

You are certainly not coming across as “lazy” (nobody gets a First by being lazy), but you do sound a bit depressed, and that’s probably not surprising. Do seek advice and try to stay a bit open-minded about how to get the best outcome for your mum AND you. It’s not about giving up everything to do what’s best for your mum, and I’m sure, if she’s like mums everywhere, that wouldn’t be what she wants! YOU count too - you’re entitled to a life.



Hi Callie,

Bit concerned not to have seen or heard from you again since you posted. Hope it’s nothing I’ve said? Do you feel like popping back to tell us how you are?



Hey Callie, Im 19 been caring for my mum since I was 5. Recently she’s been getting alot worse and i’ve been an emotional wreck aswell these days. I my mums main carer although she doesnt need too much done I just do cooking, cleaning and other things that need done. But you can get work I work 2 jobs at the moment because my mum cant so just so we have some money coming in and you can get hours to suit you! My employers are quite understanding. Also well done on passing uni. If you want someone to speak to get back to me I’d appreciat having someone to speak to aswell. Chin up, Abbeigh xx

Hi, Thanks for your comments. I think at the moment I’m just feeling rather overwhelmed with finishing uni and really frightened about what will happen, what I will do. I’ve spent three years working hard and now I feel a bit flat. I’ve also been suffering with depression for a while and have now been moved onto a new anti-depressant so hopefully I feel better soon. When I have a bad day I feel really down, I felt so worthless and sad anything and everything feels like a mission. I’ve applied for a few jobs, full and part. Got one interview but didn’t get the job and heard from another that I hadn’t been short listed. I suppose its early days, I only finished uni in late May. I’ve applied for about 5 jobs at the moment. I’m doing some voluntary work at the moment too, an Internship at a local museum as I want to work in museums. Problem is most museums are having to get back on funding so jobs aren’t always long term or full time or easy to come by. Anyway I’m going to take a little time out for me, get myself feeling a bit better. I hope something will come up soon. X