Parent Carer? (Carers Week).

Am I a stay at home mum or a parent carer?
….or both?
Where does it differ? Where does one move to the other?
It is complicated and hard to understand.
I am a stay at home Mum.
I am a parent Carer

It is Carers Week here in the UK.
A week dedicated to raising awareness of caring and the challenges carers face.

‘A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.
A parent carer is a person aged 18 or over who provides or intends to provide care for a disabled child for whom the person has parental responsibility.’
(Definition provided by Working Together).

Do I see myself as a parent carer?
No.
I am a parent. I see myself as a Mum looking after my child.
Am I a carer?
Yes, caring for my child.
A parent carer?
You can see how it is difficult to use the label.

I claim Carers Allowance as I am unable to work due to my childs needs.
I am entitled because I care for my disabled child for at least 35 hours a week.
I claim £62.10 a week, ( 37p per hour) to care for my own child….
…because I am a Carer.
It feels wrong no matter how I explain it.

BUT…..
I am a Carer. A parent carer.
My girl has disabilities.
I am not recognised as a Carer by the public because I am her Mum…..
…because that is my role? As a Mum?
To care.

Parenting a child with additional needs is hard work.
It presents so many challenges.
Life changes. It is life changing.
It is a constant battle to access help and services your child needs.
It is a constant struggle to ensure school, family, friends provide appropriate support.
It is exhaustion as sleep deprivation through the childs broken sleep pattern, your own anxieties, sleepless nights; burys itself deeper and deeper.
It is emotionally draining as you see your loved one in pain, or struggling, or having meltdowns…
It is emotionally draining as you hit that wall where no one understands.
It is isolating and lonely as ‘friends’ become lost, you find yourself housebound.
It is frustration as days out become limited as activities become physically or emotionally difficult to deal with.
…..it is so many things that can’t be seen.
But does it go beyond parenting?

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