I’m no longer a mother – Finding humour in Carer’s Allowance

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work this way in America (I wouldn’t know) but in the UK, you get a pretty penny for having a defective kid. Grace gets ‘DLA’ (Disability Living Allowance) and it’s a darn good thing she doesn’t actually have to LIVE on it because it’s a pittance for someone who needs to live on it. And then there’s the extra tax credits monthly etc etc but the one that is the funniest to me is that I get something called ‘Carer’s Allowance’. You see, when the government finds that you’re living with the burden of an atypical child, you’re no longer a ‘parent’ you’re now known as a ‘carer’. And when you have to care for someone special, they pay you for it.

This is such a weird situation, don’t’chya think? I mean…didn’t I go into parenting knowing that I have no idea what type of children God will bless me with? Why does having a child who needs extra care (isn’t that what being a parent is all about?) deserve a salary and a special name?

Don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but when we visited the geneticist for the first time, she actually suggested that if I ever get pregnant again, I have a test to see if the baby has Rett (the chances of that are NONE by the way) so I can ‘terminate’ it. She said this to me as I was holding my sweet baby girl in my arms. I just put my hand out, stopping her mid-sentence, and laughed out of awkward shock. I didn’t go on my usual “Yeah, that’s how Hitler felt too” monologue. But I’m pretty sure it’s this “gee sorry we didn’t catch that one soon enough – here’s some money” mindset that has changed me from a ‘mother’ into a ‘carer’.

Grace rocks. Heck, we should probably just adopt another one since we know what we’re doing now!

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