It’s another day and another argument in the house. What is it with teenagers? Everything you do as a parent is wrong, and really everything they do to a parent is wrong on some days.
One of my girls is very feisty, she is ready to take on an argument at anytime. We usually have the standard arguments, you know the pick up your clothes, do the dishes, clean up after yourself. But other times we have worse arguments. Like all families arguments are not fun, but when you combine a single parent with terminal cancer it’s unbearable. I have to be mum and dad, I can’t take a rest and I cop all the crap from the kids.
My kids really are great kids, they have been to hell and back in a speedboat with me. But sometimes what they have been through and are still going through intensify the issues. I have not always been there for them. I had to work to pay the bills and then when I got sick, I had to give up a lot of the things we did. I was incapable of taking the kids to their sports and a lot of school events. I was so ill with Chemo and working at the same time I let down my kids. Then when the after effects of the chemo made me have to take a year off I was again unable to do for my kids. As my son got older and got his licence he was able to drive his sisters to places and he also gave up University for a year to take care of me and his sisters.
But I was a bit shocked when arguing with the feisty one, she said “You don’t know us and you don’t get us. You are no better than a dead beat dad. You’re just not there”. This was harsh, and I lost my cool and ranted and raved about all I had done for them. She pointed out all they had done for me and all the horrible things I put them through, when I was unable to control myself.
Now I have cooled off, I can see what she means. Since I was diagnosed so many things cut back and the Chemo was hell for all of us and then I spent a year in an out of hospital and sometimes I was so out of it that I had no idea what I was saying or doing. I called my kids some horrendous names and said shocking things to them. Sure I wasn’t in control. But you can’t take back the damage of those incidents. You can’t undo the hurt. You can’t repair the psychological impact on those kids as they watched their mother turn into a harridan and then next thing you know she is on deaths bed.
So yes I was an absent parent for a while and my kids got into some bad habits while I was unable to play the role of parent, I was not able to be there and I was just not what they needed. I can’t change the past, but I can try to change the future and try harder to be a better mum. I know this is going to cause a lot more fussing and fighting as I bring them back into line of doing the jobs they have to do, cleaning the shower, doing their share of the house work and making sure homework is done. I know we can do it, because underneath all the carry on, we do love each other and we are one. We travel in a pack and do everything together. We always make decisions together, and support each other.
My kids have been through a lot and probably need a lot of help as they grow to get over all the drama and trauma they have been through, but they with the grace of God will make it.