Kids at school say stuff about Dad but when he’s ok he’s the best Dad in the world. He makes me laugh all the time. When he’s ill he says weird stuff sometimes. Once he took too many pills. I came in and he was lying on the floor and I had to call an ambulance. I don’t like going to school when he’s having a bad day now. Mum has to go to work or she’ll lose her job. He says he’s ok but I can tell he’s just saying that. I try to make him laugh or do nice things like help cook tea but it doesn’t make any difference. I hate it when the other kids say stuff about him. I just want to punch them but I don’t let them see me upset. I go to a young carers club now and that’s good because other kids there know what its like and the workers are really nice. We don’t have to talk about looking after someone but you just know so you don’t have to explain stuff or make excuses. Last school holiday we went on trips to bowling and the cinema and stuff, which was cool. My best friend is called Amy and I talk to her on the phone when I can’t leave Dad on his own. Chloe, aged 8.
Sometimes my life seems different to other peoples. My mates think I’m boring because I won’t go out when they do. I make up excuses but I can’t go out when I need to look after my Mum. When she got MS (Multiple Sclerosis) she started having good and bad days. On the bad days, she falls over or can’t get up the stairs so I have to help her and do everything. Dad doesn’t live with us anymore. Jenny, my little sister, does a bit to help but sometimes she just acts like a kid so I have to do all the washing up and cleaning and make her behave because Mum can’t chase after her. I pretend it’s ok to Mum most of the time, but I get angry when she doesn’t understand. My teacher used to tell me off a lot for not getting my work done but they didn’t know I was getting up in the night to help Mum. One of them is ok because I told him what was happening at home. It was embarrassing telling them but he was ok about it. I don’t want to stop looking after Mum. I’m better at helping her than anyone else would be but sometimes I just want to go out and forget about it. Tyler aged 10.