The Power of Unconditional Love: Reflections on Carers Week 2023
Rose Mabiza • 5 mins read
17 November 2023
It’s Carers Week 2023, a time to honour the countless individuals who provide unpaid care in the United Kingdom. It is a time to pay tribute to the selfless heroes who dedicate their lives to supporting their loved ones.
In time for this celebration, I will seize the opportunity to share my personal story of caregiving and highlight the unique experiences I've had in caring for my autistic son. I will discuss various aspects of caring for him in this blog, including strategies, lessons I've learned, and support systems that have been invaluable to me.
Recognising and supporting carers in the community
This year's theme, "Recognising and Supporting Carers in the Community", provides us a valuable opportunity to shed light on the challenges carers face throughout the year and emphasise the importance of ongoing support.
Carers Week is a reminder of carers' integral role in our society. It's a chance to acknowledge their selflessness and contributions to their loved ones. From managing complex care routines to navigating healthcare systems and financial strains, carers take on immense responsibilities. We must understand these challenges and work collectively to provide support.
My journey as a devoted carer
As a mother to an autistic child, my role as a carer encompasses overseeing every aspect of my son's life. It requires patience, understanding, and a deep commitment to his well-being.
Understanding his unique communication needs is fundamental in caring for him. Whether it's managing school meetings, hospital appointments, or therapy sessions, I'm there by his side, advocating for his needs and offering unwavering support.
It's not always easy, but my love for my child drives me to navigate through the highs and lows of this journey.
Finding strength and embracing self-care
Being strong and caring for myself becomes essential to caring for my loved ones. Through personal experience, I have understood the importance of self-care and how it directly impacts my ability to love and care for my son.
The demands of daily caregiving can easily lead us to neglect our needs. However, I have discovered that taking moments for self-care is rejuvenating and empowering. It allows me to recharge and renew myself to better support and care for my son. Prioritising self-care is not selfish - it is necessary for our well-being and ability to show up fully for our children.
Addressing perceptions and cultivating understanding
As a mother and carer, I often encounter various perceptions and attitudes from others regarding autism and caregiving. However, instead of allowing these perceptions to discourage me, I choose to educate and raise awareness.
My journey of caring for my son has been filled with unique moments, both uplifting and challenging. It has taught me the power of unconditional love, resilience, and unwavering dedication. This journey presents me with countless opportunities to learn and grow as a caregiver, mother and individual.
Inspiring others through sharing
Being a carer can undoubtedly be challenging, but it also brings moments of joy, empowerment, and personal growth. In this space, I aim to uplift and encourage individuals in similar caregiving situations.
Through sharing my stories, experiences, and insights, I hope to inspire others who may be navigating the same journey of caring for a loved one. By highlighting the accomplishments and growth of our loved ones, we celebrate their unique strengths and achievements. Together, we can create a supportive community where we can find solace, guidance, and inspiration.
I have first-hand experience of the joys and challenges of caring for someone. The theme of this year’s Carers Week is a timely reminder of the multitudes of unpaid carers who deserve our heartfelt recognition in the United Kingdom and around the globe.
By sharing my stories, supporting one another, and advocating for understanding, I hope to create a community that uplifts and inspires others. Let's stand together and show our appreciation for the incredible contributions of carers everywhere.
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Click on the links below to read more articles from Rose:
- My story – A mother, a wife and a woman
- Why I’m now telling my story publicly
- The burden of speaking for many women
- How I got into health and social care
- Autism acceptance: A mother’s journey
- Embracing our autism journey as a family
- Dealing with stress and autism at home
- My autistic child’s potty and personal hygiene training
- From Anguish to Adventure: Tips for Traveling with an Autistic Child
- Managing Anxiety in Autism: A Parent's Perspective
- Coping Strategies For Supporting My Autistic Child.