Background- I’m a single mum of three children although the middle one lives mainly with his father. My eldest daughter (18) has Asperger’s syndrome only recently detected (last two years) and mental health problems (the professionals believe she has borderline personality disorder, she is a self harmer,has past trauma, lives with auditory and visual hallucinations, and also struggles socially due to Aspergers)
My daughter is doing well presently, currently fostering kittens and working on her recovery.
My worry is I’m starting my access to higher education course in Sept and I already work volunteering a few hours a week for a mental health organisation. I’m also hoping to go to university next September, but I’m starting to worry that I should be there for her and is this fair on her?
The thing is…I need to do further education and my work to build us a more secure future. My youngest (7) goes back to school this month and I feel like I’m running out of time to get qualified…I can’t get the positions I’m working towards without this degree at the moment. But am I doing the right thing investing in this right now?
Part of being a good carer, is looking after yourself and following your interests and living your own life. Juggling studying and caring isn’t easy; but nor is juggling work and caring. Make sure you let your lecturers/tutors know you are a carer.
I studied for a part time degree when my sons were small.
I also chaired a disabled children’s charity, and arranged all sorts of things.
I also belonged to the WI.
Wait and see what your workload from the course will be, but don’t be surprised if something has to give.
Also make sure you have a dishwasher and tumble dryer.
I absolutely loved being “me” again, didn’t say much about my son’s disability, loved having something new to think about.
Is it fair on the kids? YES! They need to know that you are a person in your own right with hopes and dreams, and a happy mum is so much better than a frustrated mum.