Parent guilt is real !
I’m in a position that I could write this from several angles – we have the disabled mum – we have the chronically sick mum – and we have the tongue cancer mum.
Any one of those would have been enough for a adult to deal with let along a child – they have had to face the – not today honey mum stuck in bed – or the don’t see mum all weekend cause shes got chronic fatigue and has been in bed for 24 hours only waking once to pee.
They have had to visited me hospital over 150 times, and that in its self can be traumatizing – I’m reminded of one patient who was just like crazy cat lady from the Simpsons was hurling abuse at everyone and anyone – the kids were petrified !and them just seeing me at my worst – over and over.
We have this inbuilt image of the *perfect* parent – and my image is often the mum running around with the kids – dancing, football – carrying them if the get hurt <- this one is hard to deal with, I’ve not been able to carry my kid in forever.
Thinking about my cancer journey – and the mum guilt i have – (I know logic says – it wasn’t your fault – you had no choice etc)
At age 7 and 2 they went from having their mum to having a shell for probably 8 months – my surgeries and radiotherapy wiped me out. to a level no one could have imagined. and i am yet to recover fully (we know i wont now but you never know)
- Post cancer surgery – i had a neck like Frankenstein it was gruesome and i had an arm like a club which i waved around to ensure nothing or no-one touched it.
- i was so swollen i looked like a different person
- I sounded different – and couldn’t say many words !
- I started getting better (post surgery) then radiotherapy made me sick again
- Appointments – there must have been 50 to 100 appointments – from GP to hospital and plastics – dragging your kids along sucks – because you either bring them in room with you – and risk them hearing something you hadn’t wanted to share or leave them in the waiting room with a game or iPad (nurses watching ), they always look so fed up but the have NEVER complained.
- How my daughter panics if i cough and splutter – because she has witnessed me choking and having to have back slaps while turning blue.
- Being mummy’s legs – chronic fatigue is real and if i need something from upstairs i will often ask my legs (kids) to fetch it for me ..
- Coming home to find and Ambulance taking mum into hospital as she ill again – pneumonia kidney infections aspirations cellulitis to name a few.
- Mum having falls – this is a real role reversal – if i fall i may need help – a chair to help me get up or worst case daddy calling to come and rescue the day AGAIN
- Depression – this as mum’s we do anything in our power to hide this – but kids arent daft they realise.
- Mental fatigue – this comes from appointments after appointments the run into one and then when its time to do supper you brain cannot cope !!
- Travel sickness – might sound insignificant – mum mum is 3 hours away – we go through sometime 4 or 5 sick bags – not im not a dramic vomit’r but you know we are n the same car ! they see it
That is just the tip of the iceberg …. but – i am still Mum – i give the best hugs i can make the laugh ALL the time – and I’m still here … now I’m not usually part of the, *at least your still here gang* but for this one – yes I AM STILL HERE i am still Mum and as long as i put things in place to catch them when they fall and support the through everything im okay, and more importantly so are they.
As Mums we have high expectations of ourselves that when something happens that’s not part of the plan we panic we assume we’ve failed – but lets flip it on its head – we have a child that know they a warrior as a mum – one who can still ALWAYS give me smile – who give the best hugs and whilst i cannot play football or run around i do the best craft projects ! She turns full “Mumma bear” when needed and writes the best letters to right wrongs!
My kids will not shy away from someone in need – they will understand disabilities and respect boundaries – they will have empathy by the bucket load.
We have overcome so much that surely the only way is up …
Chin up Mumma your doing a great job !