Being ill means that quite often you are a burden to those you love. This leaves you feeling angry at yourself and angry at the world. In our house tempers flare when I am really unwell. The past few months have been hard on me, but they have also been particularly hard on the kids. I am a burden on them at times. I try to minimise the impact of me passing out and vagueing out has on the kids, but I can’t completely take it away.
I have had to make my kids cancel some things they want to go to and I have not been able to do somethings that I should be able to do. The kids get cranky, they get cranky at me and at the circumstances that have put them in this position. I get cranky at them, for being cranky at me and it just turns into a big mess.
Their feelings of being annoyed are perfectly normal, hey they are only human. Then they also feel guilty for being annoyed. I try to tell them that it’s alright to be angry about it and it’s alright to feel burdened, they shouldn’t feel guilty for having normal emotions. I also have to tell myself not to feel guilty for things that are outside my control and Lord knows I have no control over what the brain tumour is going to do.
I try to make sure that I spend a bit of extra quality time with each child individually. I also arrange a system of taking turns to be around mum. or I set myself up with everything I need in one area so they don’t have to worry. We did trial a system of mum phoning a child, three rings then hang up and they know everything is fine. But the system doesn’t work so well, when mum forgets to do the call, then kids get concerned and come home just to find mum was too engrossed in watching Vikings to call.
I guess the main thing is to understand that guilt and frustration are normal and they have to be treated as such, so things don’t blow out of proportion.