Serving the people of Bradford, Harrogate, Selby and Craven Districts

Life as a parent carer

I’m Rachael. I am a mum and a full-time carer. My husband works full-time and I took a career break to support my children.

My son, who is nearly seven, has an autism diagnosis and hypermobility and my daughter is currently undergoing an assessment for autism; she is nearly four.

Both children are so different so caring can be challenging – managing their special interests, behaviour and personal care, as well as appointments, school meetings and making sure the children’s needs are being met holistically.

During lockdown, my daughter loved it as she had no pressure to see other people and she loved being at home. My son found it hard to understand, so routine was key. The children needed and wanted homeschooling, focusing on science, crafts, baking and any type of messy play. My moods were up and down, I was exhausted, but as soon as they went to bed I would be planning the next set of activities and ordering craft stuff. I missed my extended family and close family – my support network.

Sam, the Carers’ Resource worker who had supported our family called me one day, checking it was ok to talk. She was a tonic.

The call was unexpected but so needed. Sam checked how we were doing, dropped off an art resource pack and was the first person to ask how I was and how I was coping. It really lifted my spirits. Speaking to Sam really helps me, she understands my world, she understands that being a carer is tough and it’s ok to admit that and she reminds me to be kind to myself.

Thank you from me, my husband and my children.