Some people are carers as their job – they choose to be the ones who make it their mission to look after others. But some people grow up always caring for others whether it be their parent, sibling or family member – these people don’t have a choice it is simply what they have to do.
Young carers can grow up with a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. They can miss out on things when they need to be at home for their family member. Speaking for myself, I am extremely proud that I grew up as a young carer but I know that the responsibility on me was nowhere near as much as it can be on others in similar situations. As I have grown up, the responsibility has definitely increased as I have realised that one day Connie’s care will fall to myself and my brother. For me, career wise, I was put off choosing a career in the care industry as it is already part of my personal life … I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person!
There are also those who have had a “normal” childhood, free from having to provide care for someone, who get given the role later on in life through no choice of their own. My parents are the perfect example of this as their lives changed when Connie arrived. Mum has always been Connie’s primary carer and just like in the way it does for young carers, it has meant that she has missed out on a lot and whilst other people’s children grow up, she is still needed to look after Connie.
I often wonder whether this would be harder than growing up as a young carer. For me, providing all sorts of care has been the normal way of life and I can’t imagine it being any different. For adult carers who have had no choice, life is all of a sudden changed without warning. Of course, you could flip this on its head and argue that these adult carers had the opportunity to potentially grow up in a “normal” childhood (if that exists). I’m not sure I am qualified to even attempt to say which option would be better (or should I say not as bad!) but I would love to know your thoughts whether caring affects your life or not.
Tomorrow is #YoungCarersAwarenessDay so I would love for you to share this post and let us not forget other carers in a similar place who, although they may not be ‘young’, are still in the young stages of being a carer. A lot of young carers will grow past the age bracket of being a ‘young carer’ (which will soon be me!) but that doesn’t mean the care and responsibility all of a sudden stops.
Please don’t forget to go over and check out my post from earlier in the week about the difference between ‘Being a Sister Vs Being a Carer’