Jacob, caring for his father

My name is Jacob and I’m in the 7th grade. I love playing video games and riding my bike. I am a caregiver to my dad who has Multiple Sclerosis. My brother and I help around the house with cooking, cleaning and laundry. After my father had a bad attack and was hospitalized, we took on a lot more of these tasks. His condition causes some paralysis and limits his mobility.

Caregiving has made me feel sad, frustrated and tired. Sad because it sucks that it’s happening to my dad; frustrating that I can’t see my dad as often when he is in the hospital and tired because it’s just very tiring. Even though I feel this way sometimes, I help because not doing anything is not going to help anyone and I want my father to get better.

My mom usually allows me to hang out with my friends because she understands that it can be difficult always caring for someone and I need a break. Video games also give me a great opportunity to disconnect when I need it.

I have learned a lot of life skills that I wouldn’t have learned if it wasn’t for my father’s diagnosis. I know how to care for myself far better than others my age. I also learned that there are some-50-year-olds that don’t know how to do laundry.

I’ve learned that caregiving takes a lot of patience. Sometimes you need to stop and take a break and disconnect. I’ve also learned that you need to be at peace with the fact that there are some things that you can’t control, you can’t help those things and that’s okay.

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