Ironically, a few years ago I was at a market in a neighbouring suburb and after a purchase from a regular store I’ve frequented for about fifteen years, the woman said goodbye, by wishing me a happy Mother’s Day. I was a little startled and told her I wasn’t a mother, she had said it the same way people might finish a sale by saying “Merry Christmas” or such. She was very, “Oh, that’s OK” about wishing me (not a mother) a happy Mother’s Day.
In reality, I’ve had two younger sisters, one now twenty-eight. Whose nappies I’ve changed and baths I’ve given, but I’ve never had children and certain me having is not going to happen. For a few years I also took on the role of step-mum, but that also wasn’t a scenario I was given any credit for and Mother’s Day has just come and gone and I’ve found I’ve been influencing a younger generation in the last ten years, since my disability, with the young carers I’ve had. I haven’t had many young carers, but at the moment I’ve two carers who are half my age.
And I’m finding myself doing a cross between parenting and mentoring. That’s my weird term Pentoring, I’ve matched together for it.
One chick, is one of sixteen children and her mother is present and a good mum, however this young lady has the bratty behaviour of a child who has not much reason for discipline and hasn’t been taught to ask for things, she just helped herself. I’ve had to implement the rule “Helen’s house! Helen’s rules!” when I’ve hit a brick wall having her to do things in my home and don’t worry. I turn my back and she goes and does things exactly how she wants to do it.
The other young carer I have right now is finding her way and I have many, many suggestions and much wisdom to share. She has had a very different situation growing up and while I can offer her these things, I can’t enable her by doing it for her.