“If my homework isn’t finished, please don’t think I’m lazy” – A Letter to… my teacher about life as a young carer

Everyone at my school knew about the awful car crash my mum and I were in when I was six, which left mum with chronic pain that’s getting worse. Morven Llewelyn-Howell, 12 writes in Teachwire.

They knew about the operations Mum’s had on her spine, and that I had to stay with family or friends while she was in hospital for weeks, until she was well enough to come home.

A few people also know that after I was identified as a young carer about 18 months ago, a support worker from Barnardo’s comes into school sometimes to visit me and check I’m OK, and arranges for me to go to activity days with other young carers.

But even though so many people know these things, there are also probably a lot of things they don’t know…

Like how scary it is to see Mum have to be ventilated after these huge operations as she can’t breathe for herself, or how much I keep an eye on her and worry about her health, as we can see her pain spreading to other parts of her body.

And people might not realise that as well as helping out at home, I also need to support Mum emotionally. That can be a lot for me to take on and can sometimes leave me feeling upset and angry, even though I love Mum so much and want to help her as much as I can.

At times, that frustration can build up inside and even though my friends and teachers know I am a young carer, I don’t feel I can talk to them about how I’m feeling because they wouldn’t understand.

So dear teacher, if I’m a little distracted in class, please don’t think I’m not interested in what you have to say. It might be that Mum is suffering more these past few days and I’m worried about how she’s managing while I’m not there.

And if I look a little tired, please don’t think I’ve been up late watching TV. It might be that Mum has another operation coming up and I’m struggling to sleep because I’m scared about what might happen.

Read more about this brave young carer “If my homework isn’t finished, please don’t think I’m lazy” – A Letter to… my teacher about life as a young carer

How does your school help children like Morven?  Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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