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Being Embarresed About Being A Young Carer

Dear Sam,​

I am 11 years old and a Young Carer but I am really embarresed to talk about it. Most people think that I am just a normal 11 year old girl but I actually go through a lot of stress as I have to help my disabled Mum with a lot of things. Can I please have some advice about how to deal with all this stress and anxiousness about revealing my secret.

​Thank you very much,

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Being a young carer can be really tough. It's okay to ask for help and to do things for yourself sometimes. We all deserve time to relax and do things that make us happy. Learning to talk about it with other people is the first step towards making space for yourself.

Young carers often have to do things their friends don't have to do, or won't have to do until they're older. This can include things like cooking or jobs around the house. These extra tasks come on top of the normal things you're still expected to do - like school work.

It's okay to feel however you're feeling about caring for your mum. Most people love the person they care for, but it's also okay to get frustrated with the situation sometimes. Any negative feelings you have will be stronger if you feel you have no time for yourself, so it's really important to make space for this. You're just as important as the person you care for.

One of the first things to try is talking to your mum about how you feel. If this isn't possible, you can talk to another adult you trust. It's okay to be honest and admit you're feeling embarrassed. Your feelings are important and talking can help you understand them.

To help you talk about being a young carer, you could try writing a blog or a journal. You may want to keep this private at first, but after a while it could become a way of showing people what things are like for you. Talking about the ups and downs of being a young carer might help you become more comfortable with your situation, as well as letting others see what it's like.

Dealing with stress is different for everyone, but for a young carer it can be harder. Make a plan of the week and schedule in all of the tasks you need to do for your mum and the things you need to do for school. Make sure you include time for yourself each day. Having a schedule can help make sure that when you're taking time for yourself, you don't feel guilty about it. It'd also be a good idea to share this schedule with your mum if possible.

I'm really glad you chose to write me this letter and hope this has helped you. Remember our counsellors are always there to support you.

Take care.

Sam

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