Family and friends

If a member of your family or a friend, or someone else you know is living with cancer, this group is the place to share your feelings and get support.

Parenting!

87JS
Posted by

I’m writing with a bit of a vent and a bit for advice.

How do i parent!!!!!!

Cancer seems to be consuming my dad day by day and it’s really getting the better of me emotionally recently. 

I have a 3 year old daughter, I live with my parents after a separation. A blessing in disguise as I’ve been given so much more time with my dad and my daughter with her grandad. 

But today was hard, I just wanted to cry but I had to work and get my daughter from pre school, play, make dinner and be normal for my daughter. I felt tense and snappy putting her to bed because I could feel myself filling with tears, ready to go as soon as she would just go to sleep!

How do you parent on the days when you emotionally really struggle to get by? 

Im starting to worry, should the worst happen, how I will get through it and how will my daughter behave or react with the changes.

Leer1975
Posted by

Hi, I'm sorry about your Dad and how tough it for you all. Its hard trying to be normal for the kids but then it's what we do to make it easier for them I guess. My kids are pretty much continuing as normal as they can and my father is terminal and needs 24 hour care. On one hand I want to make day to day as normal as possible for the kids but then I think that I should be allowed to express just how hard this is. There's no right or wrong, there's days where I can pull it off and days when I can't.

What I would say is that you should allow yourself to feel however you feel and that's OK. Your daughter will love you no matter what and sometimes we can't protect them from the reality of the situation however hard we try to put up a front. I hope your doing OK and your parents are fortunate too that you are there with them. Please take care x

Puglover
Posted by

Dear 87JS

I'm so sorry for your situation. I'm in a very similar boat. I'm also a single parent with my girls and I having no contact with my ex, so he can't take them for the odd weekend to give me a break, I work four days a week and have no siblings or any other family who can help.

It's my mum who's ill with stage 4 inoperable bladder cancer. 

What I do is rest as much as possible so that I can parent as well as I can when I'm in the working week routine. I try and make sure I have a relaxing bath most nights now that the weather is getting cold and take myself off to bed at 9pm when the kids go (in fairness, mine are a bit older than yours at 11 and 14). If I want a cry then I'll have one alone in my room. I'm trying to eat as well as I can but admittedly have been getting a few more takeaways than usual as my energy is just zapped with the emotional heaviness of what is going on. House work is at a bare minimum - I conserve my energy for food shopping and laundry. I also see a counsellor which is immensely helpful. Just basically trying to practice self-care as much as possible because I fear that if I break down now, who have my kids got? 

So, I guess the upshot of what I'm trying to say is look after yourself. What is that saying, fix your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else with theirs! It's true. Also, there's nothing wrong with being open with your daughter in an age appropriate way and letting her know you're feeling sad sometimes. One thing I've realised to be true after being told it countless times when I was going through the divorce was that kids are really resilient, they don't tend to dwell on sad feelings. They acknowledge them, might ask a couple of questions and then move on. 

Wishing you and your family strength at this difficult time. 

PL