19th October 2023
Saying yes to something is a thoughtful process instead of an inherent given. Caring makes you empathetic but having boundaries makes you happy. As a Quaker I make time for silence. Worship is silent and by emptying thoughts from my mind I am clearer and calm. Is it like meditation? No, Worship is with Friends and involves a collective silence, there is a bond. Meditation doesn’t empty my mind in the same way and transcendental meditation takes you deeper on your own. In Worship we listen to God within, together.
Always ask a busy person they say, if you want something done. But from where do busy people come from? In my case it is from an early age of caring. Being a child carer and an only child meant that juggling and organising was essential and luckily it suited my personality. I didn’t receive any pocket money and my work at home was much more difficult to manage than homework from school.
Cook weekend breakfast, prepare and cook dinner with Mum, washing up, hoovering, dusting whole house, washing windows, clean gutters, clean shed and garage, sweeping dust, cobwebs etc, washing car, brush dog, wash dog, mop kitchen, wallpapering with Mum, wire plugs with Mum, hang out washing with Mum, grow seedlings with Mum, plant seedlings, gardening, mow lawns, find holiday, book holiday, write cheque, shopping with Mum. These are some of the varied things which made me busy as a child.
Being responsible for a household brings a quickness in growing up. There was also personal care for Mum in my everyday life. I didn’t know it as this; I knew it as love. Help Mum wash and bath, help Mum dress, help Mum with blood sugar testing and insulin, help dress and clean sore ulcerated toes etc for Mum, help Mum on toilet, help Mum with sewing, crafts, reading, radio, TV etc, help Mum go to hospital appointments on bus, help Mum with medication and doctors.
I also helped Mum with her harp, which is why I play it today. I also play piano from childhood. Battling my own health problems during my life started then too (later known as endometriosis).
There are many child carers and recognition is key to finding support for both carer and loved one. Carers need to be able to find down time to provide care.