"It wasn't a conscious choice to become a carer of a child with a disability. It certainly wasn't on my list of 'to-dos when I grow-up', but it is the hand I was dealt."
We have a choice when we become carers, we can begrudge the lot we have been given - or we can accept it and make the most of the situation. Now I am not saying all carers have the same challenges, but I am saying we all have that choice.
From very early on, I consciously chose the latter. I made a decision to do whatever it took to ensure Chloes' life was a full, productive and empowered one.
I have had many times I have though I made the wrong choice & that there has to be a better way.
But when we come through that situation or she FINALLY gets what we have been practicing over & over & over,
it is like euphoria!.
I used to feel I was less then everyone else, because my child was 'a burden'. Heaven knows we get it told to us often enough...so they MUST be a burden.
I also felt we had to apologize for being a huge cost on society & our children will never contribute in a positive way to society.
NOW I KNOW THAT IS THE BIGGEST LOAD OF POPPYCOCK I HAVE EVER HEARD!!!
Today, I stand tall, knowing I am doing one hell of a job in society. I feel blessed to be one of the minority to have experienced TRUE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Yes, that is one of the gifts you receive from having a loved one with a disability!
I have also become a far more genuine person who is a lot less quick to judge people by their looks. From being a carer, I learn't to slow down and smell the roses.
I learn't from watching Chloe that I am no better or worse that the next person. She is amazing in so much as she firmly knows she is the same importance as the next person. Even meeting famous people don't faze her!!!
When you look at the stats of what carers actually SAVE this country in money, you would never again allow some silly public servant or service provider or professor to tell you how much you cost Australia.
Whenever anyone tells me I am lucky I live in Australia when I question why we have lost another service, I respond with telling them they are confused...THEY are very lucky I didn't leave her at the hospital at birth or that I don't relinquish her!!
In 2010 it was estimated that carers save taxpayers $40.9 billion annually (the cost of replacing carers providing informal care with paid care workers).
As carers assist people to remain living in the community for longer they also make substantial savings on premature admission to costly residential care or supported accommodation options. Carers also experience benefits from caring, particularly in terms of their relationship with the person being cared for. Caring can be a very positive, rewarding experience. excerpt from Facts about Carers - NSW Carers Australia