… I’m an unpaid carer. There, I’ve written it down so it must be true. I’ve been caring for both of my parents one way or another since September 2015. I work part-time, my employers have been incredibly supportive allowing me to work from home and the office. I study, soon to complete (I hope) my BSc (Hons) in Health and Social Care. I love to sing and have been going to see my fabulous vocal coach on as regular a basis as I can. I have a fantastic b/f who is also a carer for his Mother and I have wonderful friends who totally accept that I might make a coffee date with them and either have to break it or rush off home as I’ve received a telephone call.
It hasn’t been an easy transition for me. Although I moved home some years ago to “look after” my parents, I had a good life. Worked full time, out every weekend, had short breaks and holidays alongside the limited caring I actually needed to do back then. Now it is very different. My only night away from home in two years was when I was recently in hospital having an operation and my b/f stopped with my parents to ensure they were safe. (He has cover, I don’t). I see my b/f perhaps once in three weeks due to both our caring responsibilities and these days I feel blessed if we get an hour together in a coffee shop, it really is the little things that matter.
Life has changed, a lot. I have encountered many emotions on this caring journey. Fear, anger, jealousy, impatience and once or twice out of sheer tiredness and frustration I’ve shouted and then cried bitter tears for doing so. I have also experienced such love for my parents it is untrue. I’ve learnt to look after them but let them have the little bit of independence they still have and to do what they want to do…although I am so like a Mom to tell them off! We laugh, we pray, we sing songs together. I’ve become more relaxed and less tense, more patient, more tolerant and less stressed out. I feel absolutely blessed to be looking after them as difficult as it can be.
So this week I took the plunge and contacted the relevant department to be registered as the carer of my parents. I’ve put this off for so long and I don’t know why? Wishing it wasn’t true won’t change anything. Now that I’m registered it feels almost liberating that I’ve finally come to terms with life as it is right now. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this post operative recovery time has really given me time to think.
There are a lot of things I’ve had to change in my life due to my caring role and yes I do get the odd pang of envy when someone is booking a holiday or a late night out but honestly, I’m so happy to be the one caring for my Mom and Dad, I wouldn’t change that for the world.