When your mum becomes your PA...

In order for me to complete university away from home, and get to lectures in one piece- a PA (Personal Assistant) has been vital in me being able to be as independent as possible. I have actually enjoyed the process of hiring PA’s despite it being a little stressful to find one in time. Yet, when looking for a PA, it had to be someone who could drive as well as being capable to suit all of my needs. By having a car it would mean that I could get to hospital appointments easily. However, when advertising it was often extremely hard to find someone who was fairly young (not that this is essential!), was capable of the job, could drive and was okay being with people aged 19- 21 all of the time. After 30+ applications it became clear this was all quite a big ask! 

Who knows my full medical history? Who would have experience in Cerebral Palsy, seizures and visual impairment? Who can drive and wouldn’t mind being with young adults all day? Who would actually quite enjoy lectures? 

There is actually only one person who ticks all those boxes- and that’s my mum.

When you go off to university you do not see your family as often, you miss out on basic daily things that you had taken for granted. Even if this just being able to give your mum a hug or the jokes you all have. I even miss watching TV on an evening and being squished by my Dalmatian who thinks he is the size of a chihuahua! Yet with my mum being my PA I do get a bit of this back which is lovely. Without realising you can just miss things that happen, not intentionally in the slightest- we all just get busy! Also, I miss her, and the rest of the family when I am not there, with her being my PA it means we get to still see each other often.

My mum completed her degree in Animal Care (Zoology) while I was doing my GSCE’s, so she is more than aware about what a degree entails, and is used to lectures- even if we both have a dislike for research methods! It has actually been quite amusing to be with her in lectures, and I am pretty sure some of my new lectures believe she is an student. I was so proud of her when she completed her degree, not only that, she did it while still looking after the rest of the family- in comparison I have it quite easy! Maybe a slight downside is her ability to make me laugh, during a lecture, on the front row- not that it hasn't happened so many times before...

The rest of my house mates love my mum being around, aside from the fact she is there for any advice, she is the 'house mum'. If you've had a bad day at work or a lecture has completely gone over your head, sometimes you just need a hug from a mum. I know that was something that I was slightly weary of, what if the rest of my house didn't want a mum around? Even if I explained it wouldn't be like that? Yes, she is my mum, yet in this role she is my PA. She is there to support me through university and do any social activity I want with my friends- even if that is going shopping in Leeds and going out for coffee with some friends.

By having your mum as your PA it means she can be a part of that section of your life- which is rare. She can be part of your memories at university, the inside jokes, the laughs and the tears. She can do hydro- therapy with me (when I get round to booking a session...), come on nights out, go to concerts and even sit in a 2 hour research methods lecture. Aside from that, I have your mentality about life so I know it will work just fine. You've taught me to never give up, even if its hard at times and that things can always be accomplished- I will certainly need that advice when completing my degree. You've taught me to laugh through the pain and to laugh at myself- it's always more fun to be that way. We joke through the hard times and make the most of the good because who knows what is around the corner.

I am so glad you can be there to witness it all.

~ Chloe x

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