Sainthood

Friday 28th November is Carers’ Rights day in the UK. A while ago I tried to write something that describes some of the frustrations and the grind of being a part-time carer, and the things a carer can end up taking on; here it is.

Sainthood

“Hey Dad, I got your paper!”

This is what I say, day in, day out,

While I’m getting out the key to get in my father’s house

Cause ever since something happened to his mind

Every day I turn the key and I don’t know what’s there to find

Don’t know if it’s my dad that’ll be behind the door

Or some medical emergency that’s sprawled across the floor

But hey, I got the paper so he’s got some routine

And while he’s reading it I’m OK to get his house clean

“Hey Dad, you had your lunch yet?”  Persuading him to eat

That’s another of the little challenges I got to meet

There’s always something wrong, always got some reason why

He doesn’t eat that sort of salad or that bread’s too dry

But I try, and I try, and I try…

“So how’s the golf? Who’s winning?” Conversation’s artificial

It’s not like I’ve got much to say, but some talk is beneficial

He has to be interested in something, right?

And I try not to worry how he’ll manage tonight

Because after all, at three I’ll be closing this door

Cause I have to be back home to my little one at four

From carer to a mother, there’s nothing in between

But every day I want to shout –  this isn’t me!

I’m not some safe, floral-clad retiree

Watching daytime TV and just waiting to die

Getting what kicks she can get from the WI

Nah, this isn’t me!

Of course I over-compensate.

Cause I’m only thirty-eight

So in my car I’m listening to drum and bass

Turned up so loud it makes the car shake

And my ears bleed

And for a second, I feel free…

And then I get out

And I’m back

At the school gate

With a smile

And a handshake

And I make small talk that I can’t take

And I smile and I nod and I tell them that I don’t work

Cause these days my situation’s all in reverse

I’m a parent to a parent and a parent to a child

I’m a lawyer with the doctor and a doctor with the lawyer

(And a pain in the arse to social services)

And I can speak in tongues.

In medical terms, in legal terms, in welfare terms, in financial terms, in parent terms, in teacher terms, in half terms, in inset days, in non-uniform days, in jolly bloody phonics cause I’m engaged in my child’s education..

And for this, I don’t get paid.

And for this, I don’t get thanks.

And for this, people say – nothing.

Except for a few that might call me saint

And tell me I should do all of this with a smile on my face.

Cause that’s what you do in the big society

Cause they say that we’re the answer to austerity

Be an example, carers! Be proud!

So this is me, day in, day out

Day in…

Day out..

Day in…

Day out…

Bring the paper

Bring food

Well and truly

Trapped in sainthood.

http://www.carersuk.org is a great resource for carers, and highlights many of the obstacles carers have to face. Do check it out and consider supporting their campaigns if you can.

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