Hey, my name is Daphne and I’m 16. I want to write music that people can connect with and feel but also be able to dance and move along to. My mother requires care because she has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which affects her nervous system but mainly her legs. I have been her carer for 5 years.
I care for my mum because I get home earlier than dad, and have holidays because I’m currently a student. Although I love what I do and I love my mum, I didn’t always think I would be a young carer. It just suddenly dawned on me that I would have to look after my mum and the house.
My responsibilities include doing the family washing, cooking and cleaning. I also have to clean up after mum if she has an accident, like falling. Just like me I’d imagine other young carers would also have to clean the house and make sure the space is easily accessible.
A good day caring for my mum is not being interrupted when I’m trying to study. A bad day caring for my mum is being interrupted to do things that ‘normal’ people would do. Being away from my mum makes me feel nervous. I don’t know if today is a good day and if she will be able to do everything by herself. Or if it was a bad day and when I come home I will be heavily relied upon.
Being a carer has changed my life because I feel more stressed about due dates and tasks needing to be completed for school. But I’m also grateful for the responsibility it has given me. Because of my caring role I am unable to freely go places with friends over holidays. I don’t want to be too far away in case anything happens and she is home alone. My worst fear is that something bad will happen and myself or dad aren’t there to help her.
Being a carer has taught me to take responsibility for my actions and to listen to how other people say things and not necessarily the words they say. To be able to understand a person without them having to tell you how they feel. I would cope better with my caring role if I didn’t feel so worried and stressed if something was to go wrong.
I would like others to realise that although sometimes we may feel alone, and pressure on us. That the stress may start to build, we will always love the person we care for and wouldn’t change the life we had. That our lives have shaped us and given us skills we can use when we are no longer caring.
My piece of advice to my fellow young carers is that you are an important member in someone else’s life. That your presence is needed and valued, and although you may start to stress out of think that it’s over bearing. You are strong enough to get through the tough times that life will give to us.