First timer.

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello all,

New to the forum and thought I would post a little about myself, and see if I can get any advice.

I'm a 29yo single parent, I have 3 children, 11yo boy, 9yo girl and 5yo boy. I work 20he's a week as a support worker, currently work towards my level 3 in health and social care. Also care for my 61yo dad who lives with me and my 22yo autistic nephew who has recently moved in with me as his mum, my sister in law, couldn't cope. My brother, his dad still sees him and helps around his work schedule. My 32yo sister has schizoaffective disorder, so I support her also, picking up her son, helping around the house, though she is married her husband works full time. Also my 68yo mum is on ambulatory oxygen so I take her to get her jobs done twice a week.

I am starting to feel now, after almost 4 years of trying to balance everything, that I'm on the edge of collapse. I tried leaving work last year and managing on carers allowance for my dad, he requires personal care, but financially and with so many people to provide for it wasn't managable. Is there anyone that can offer financial advice? I can't give up my children, dad, nephew or anyone else I care for personally, so the only place I can change is cutting back hours at work though I love my job :( any advice is appreciated.

Hi, and welcome to the forum.

I'm afraid I'm going to start by completely disagreeing with you.

You are supporting FOUR PEOPLE - that is THREE too many, and really, given that you are a single mum, working, with three children that is FOUR too many.

This can't go on.

One of the brutal truths in life if that the more you help others, the more they put their problems on you! While you support all these relatives, they will go on counting on you. No one is going to say 'Oh, poor Felicity - she can't possibly cope with all of us'....oh no, they are just going to 'collapse' on you.

In families, one member is often designed the 'coper' - you've been appointed to that role by the others, and maybe that is what make you feel you're 'puling your weight' or that's your 'assigned role' or whatever.

But, 'just because' your employment is in care, DOES NOT MEAN you have to take on every needy person in the family. It's ridiculous!

Let me put this another way - it's also, you know, not fair on your children. Once we have children our FIRST priority is to them. It just isn't fair to spread yourself so, so thinly amongst all these other people.

Maybe you feel that if you 'resign' from any of the caring roles you've taken on that chaos and disaster will ensure. Maybe you feel #only I' can carry all this.

You're reaching burn out, and the fact that you are thinking that the only possible way you can reduce your care burden is to cut back on your employment shows just how close to the edge you are.

Before we get on to the practical issues of just how to resign at least three of these care roles (and ideally fou!) please please take on board the following 'essential messages' (!!)

(1) You were NOT put into this world to care for everyone in the family who needs care (however many Level 3s you've got!)

(2) The more you do, the less anyone else will do (that's human nature)

(3) The more you do the more you'll be taken for granted (that's human nature too)

(4) There is ALWAYS an alternative! (your Carees may not like it, but there is!)

(5) If YOU collapse then that does not help your carees, your children or YOU

(6) Saying 'no' to demands made on you is hard, but it CAN be done.

(7) Finally, a term we use a lot on this forum is 'care manager' - that means that while we don't provide non-stop hands-on care, we do 'organise' the care to be provided by the state, other family members etc. That's what has to happen here.

Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear - but I would say to you to re-read your post, as if you were a stranger, and see whether you don't come to the same conclusion. Looking after FOUR PEOPLE is NOT ON.

Time to say 'Stop'.

(PS - remember, there ARE alternatives, even if your carees don't like them. BUT, why are THEIR lives more important than yours and your childrens??????)
Thank you for your response.
I knowI need to step back, I'm not having much luck with social services however, i am waiting for them to come and assess my dad, my mum only requires help outside the house, which they won't fund and she can't afford, and the other 2 although receiving PIP have had no response from social services at all.

I understand about managing care rather than doing the hands on stuff. But how do i get to that stage. Dad has been waiting almost 12 months for an assesment, he had OT out and we got him a edition done downstairs and a basic needs assesment for when he gets a carer, but no cliser to anyone coming.

Thanks again xx
A massive big hug to you as that is a A LOT on your plate.

Don't be afraid to chase up social services. And KEEP chasing them up. Daily if you need to. Make a nuisance of yourself if you have to. You don't seem to get anything unless you shout. A year is an unreasonably long time to be waiting. Ask to speak to a manager. Threaten a formal complaint. The assessments are essential to getting help. Once they are in place you should be able to step back more. Also get yourself a carers assessment and flag to them YOUR need to work, there are perhaps help they can give you to achieve this.

Also think about what else you can drop. It is a wonderful thing you have done to take on your nephew. And I completely understand why you have. But in return for this very, very kind act your brother might have to step up and take more responsibility for your Mum. Could he take her out twice a week rather than you to free up some time?

You really shouldn't have to give up a job you love. And your children should be your priority.

Keep us posted. There are plenty of people who will give you moral support here to make your situation better. Sending a big virtual hug.