A day in the life… #CarersWeek

Image result for juggler cartoon

*

I woke feeling awful, a cold in my head,
And with no real desire to get out of bed.
The clock said half five and the day had begun
As I crawled from the covers and peered at the sun.
The dog needed walking and feeding and play…
But I needed caffeine to kick start the day.

*

“I’ll just have a turmeric milk,” said my son,
“And then I’ll work out, while you get some work done.”
So I heated the sulphuric gunk of his choice
With spices and honey; cursed under my voice
As the bright yellow powder went flying again
And I dived for the dishcloth before it could stain.

*

“I’ll just clean the windows, before it gets sunny.”
(It’s only a bungalow, saves him some money…)
I fell off the stepladder, risking my neck,
Then slipped on the water on freshly-oiled deck.
But the glass was all sparkly (apart from the bird
That left me a ‘calling card’ as the last word).

*

I did all the housework, and fed cats and fishes,
Then sorted the bird feeder, laundry and dishes…
“The bed will need changing,” I’d hoped to forget it
That thing is so big that I always regret it,
The duvet’s as big as a family-sized tent
By the time it was done, I was totally spent.

*

But the garden needs weeding, the bindweed runs riot…
I wonder about herbicides on the quiet,
But dig up the stuff by the root and the bale,
“The cat has been fighting, there’s blood on his tail.”
I chase the poor moggy, and check his condition
(I’m flagging a bit now, in need of nutrition.)

*

“The filter needs cleaning, and while you are there,
I’ve ordered some bits that need fitting with care…”
“Tomorrow?” I whimpered, but no…no such luck…
So we tackled the pond-filter’s foul-smelling muck
Oozing up to the brim, full of leeches and worse
Which we baled and disposed, while I cringed and he cursed.

*

“A new bulb needs fitting, and don’t touch the glass!”
They’re radioactive, these things, so I’ll pass.
“You may as well clean out the pond pump as well…”
Well, yes, as I’m covered in muck now and smell…
“That big clump of irises really needs moving…”
A day that keeps giving and just keeps improving…

*

“I’ll just get a shower, I need to get clean…”
Well, I understand that, I know just what he means!
“…and you can make lunch, do me steak, eggs and cheese.”
“Some mushrooms with that, dear?” “Mushrooms? Oh yes please!”
So I cooked and washed dishes again for my son,
It had been seven hours… at last I was done.

*

Though I worked seven hours, they’ll pay me for three,
“We expect, as his mum, that you’ll do it for free.
And we know you’re on call every day of the year
And will not even notice when weekends draw near,
And you cannot go sick or claim pay if you do…
But you don’t have to go out to work, so whoo hoo!”

*

This week, in the UK, is Carer’s Week. There are over seven million carers in the UK alone, and the effects of being a carer encompass everything from social isolation, to poverty, to damage to physical and mental health.

Many carers are children, many are themselves elderly and in ill health.

One in four people in the UK will be a carer at some point in their lives…and the rest of us may need a carer. So, it makes sense to learn what the caring role entails. There are some Key Facts on the Carers Trust Website here.

Most ‘family carers’…and that includes friends… are unpaid and remain unhelped, unsupported, unnoticed by all except carers’ charities.

Some of us are, under fairly recent new rulings, lucky enough to be employedย  to provide the care for our family members. What that employment pays for and covers is nowhere near the whole range of care and assistance that may be required, but it does mean one less digit on the unemployment figures, while effectively barring you from any of the support available to unpaid, family carers. It also alters the dynamics of family relationships, not always for the better.

Please spare a thought for carers, especially the ones you know and you probably know more than you realise. The smallest of gestures… even a phone call or email… can make a huge difference.

Take the time to learn how being a carer affects a person’s life

… and never, ever tell them that they are ‘lucky not to have to go out to work’!

 

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
This entry was posted in Humour, Life, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to A day in the life… #CarersWeek

  1. vronlacroix says:

    Nicely done. Excuse me for laughing at your humourous poem until the smile was wiped off by your sobering message of carers. I hope that today is a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    Bless you Sue xxx

    Like

  3. jenanita01 says:

    And you do all of these things every day! I’m worn out just reading about them…

    Like

  4. tidalscribe says:

    A carer’s job never ends neither their day or the years. Children grow up and go to school – there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. My friend has been caring for her mother for 17 years- she herself was ill for many years and reliant on her parents – a family that knows more than most what it means. They are lucky in one respect, living in a big house with a lovely view and a garden – carers need spiritual nourishment as well.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      When my sons finally left home, I had already been a carer as a child, and spent a decade as a carer for my late partner. The first thing that happened after his death was the the hospital finally did the major surgery they wouldn’t do till he had gone… knowing full well I would not be able to rest and recover.
      When my eldest son was 25, he was stabbed through the brain in a random attack and will need help of some kind for the rest of his life, let alone mine. I am just glad he survived and recovered so remarkably! But much needs to be done to give carers the support they need and seldom get.

      Like

  5. You are right in that there are so many carers who go unacknowledged, unpaid, are young children, elderly or in ill health themselves. I didn’t know it was Carer’s Week. They are all heroes in my book.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Carers are a ‘forgotten people’ in many respects, because few have any kind of platform where they can be seen or heard and most simply get on with it, with little time or energy for anything else. Caring really is just that for most people…caring… It can be immensley rewarding, but it still robs children of their childhood and is the case of much stress, poverty and ill health that could be avoided if there were fewer gaping holes in the mythical safety net.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. willowdot21 says:

    I know there is a great deal more to being a career than meets the eye. I have been career and caree ( sorry probably not a real word) Being a career is a full time job mostly unpaid. Most recently my eldest sister has become career for husband who has Alzheimer’s which has turned him into a toddler who follows her around, needs to be given jobs and has to have everything explained to him and much more.
    Sue you do an amazing job as do all the many many paid and unpaid careers of this world. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

    Like

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Reblogged this on willowdot21 and commented:
    Many a true word…..A must read for all.

    Like

  8. It is not easy, Sue. The idea that because you are the Mother of someone who needs care you never need a break and can go on and on is difficult and true. I work full time and in the evenings I see to my two boys who both need special care and attention due to their different issues and ailments. It is exhausting and most people don’t see that at all, even my own Mother. Hugs.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      So much passes under the radar…and a lot of people do not realise you are a carer, because you are simply being Mum. But is is not ‘just’ being a parent, is it? There is so much more involved and it is exhausting in ways many would not imagine. You would probably recognise most of the ‘job description‘ I wrote some time ago about caring… I could probably add a few more things to it now too!

      Like

  9. Bless all caregivers, yourself included. I’ve stayed in India where I could afford a lovely woman to care for my husband and now after his passing, to stay on and help me. —- Suzanne

    Like

  10. lbeth1950 says:

    The demands can be backbreaking. Thank God for people who do it.

    Like

  11. Anne Copeland says:

    Oh Sue, this is so heart-rending to read. I truly feel for you, but at the same time, you are a heroine to me because for all you have suffered, and I am certain it is more than any of us can begin to imagine, you are full of endless energy and creativity, and you have given so much to everyone who crosses your path in this life. This was the first time I had ever heard the word carer, for here in the U.S. we are called caregivers, but I like your word better.
    I hope that you have a good Mother’s Day and are able to get some much needed rest. I am assuming that you celebrate that in England as we do here. There is so much to be thankful for. My parents and relatives of their age are all gone now, but I always thank my mother for giving me the gift of life. And that is one major gift that I doubt any of us could ever purchase anywhere. Thank you, Sue, for not only giving those children the gift of life, but for being a nurturing and inspiring figure for them through their lives. I am sure you are the one who led them to being so strong even when such great challenges have shown themselves in their lives. You definitely deserve major kudos!

    Like

  12. I applaud you and all those who share in your work and only wish that such a thing was available here. Maybe someday!

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      As long as there is one person who cares, the work gets done whether caregivers get any help at all, and that is the same everywhere. It would be nice to see carers getting a little more concrete recognition though…everywhere.

      Like

  13. Widdershins says:

    Bless your little cotton socks, m’dear … and I loved the poem. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  14. dgkaye says:

    Beautiful share of such an important role for many of us. And your poem was brilliant – I wondered where that woman finds the time to write! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Like

  15. Hugs and love to you, Sue. โค๏ธ

    Like

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    Definitely slated for sainthood. โค

    Like

  17. Jennie says:

    Really nice, Sue. And very important.

    Like

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