I have read a few posts on social media about Mums on benefits….you know the ones….
So here it is.
Lets talk about being an Autism Mum.
I am a stay at home mum.
I also am a qualified paediatric nurse.
I went to college for 3 years then university for 3 years.
I am currently unemployed.
Now, I say choice but that feels wrong.
I don’t work because I can’t.
I can’t because I can’t get childcare.
I can’t get childcare for my girl as there are very few people who can cater for her needs.
The people that are able to, charge more per hour than I would earn.
So I stay home.
On benefits because I chose to be my girls’ carer.
I chose to look after my own child rather than go to work to care for others.
Yes, I am her Mum and it is to be expected I take on this role, but by doing this I can’t work to earn and provide for my family.
I need benefits to live.
To be my girls carer.
I don’t sit home all day spending my benefits on make up and cigarretes.
I sit at home all day budgetting how I can stretch my money to cover Diesel costs and car park fees for appointments.
I don’t sit home all day painting my nails and getting my hair done.
I stay home ringing and emailing health professionals and chasing up paperwork.
Here I stay.
……and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Benefits are there for a reason.
My girl is one of the reasons.
I don’t abuse the system.
I get ‘paid’ by the government as I am unable to work.
(I use the term ‘paid’ very, very loosely!)
I get really offended by statuses about benefits.
If I could work, I would.
I trained really hard to become a nurse.
I didn’t want to give it up.
But I am glad I did.
I have learnt that family is more important.
Infact, it is the MOST important thing ever.
More so than money…
…and money can’t buy you family.
We claim benefits.
We need them.
Am I ashamed? Am I embarassed?
I didn’t claim any for 2 years when we were entitled to because I felt guilty about doing it.
Guilty to claim from a system there to help?
The system is far from perfect.
Many people I know have lost money they are entitled to.
I am quite sure that actually the same will happen to us when the time comes…..politics, change in legislation etc, etc.
But for now we claim.
I will stand up and shout it loud:
I am a stay at home Mum on benefits.
I am a carer for my child with additional needs.
I am her PA, her secretary, her nurse, her cleaner, her hairstylist, her chef, her taxi, her physiotherapist, her speech and language therapist, her anger management coach, a housekeeper, a personal shopper, a lifeguard, an event planner, a teacher, an accountant…….
…..but I sit home all day…….