When something bad happens to Mom everything changes. Roles are all out of whack and the kids often have a difficult time coping.
I saw all the anxiety in both of my children when I became very sick, and throughout my multiple surgeries. It was a scary experience for everyone and the timing could not have been worse. Our entire holiday season was turned upside down, graduation was disrupted, and routine activities became a tremendous challenge.
Having a take charge mom in my corner was my saving grace! She was able to maintain a balance for my kids and offer that much needed normalcy when our lives were anything but normal.
I work hard not to dwell on my health, however, SO many conversations pop up about my issues no matter where we are. My policy is always honesty with my kids no matter what the subject. My kids are people who want to know what I am facing and need my comfort through the hard-to-handle details.
As moms we want to protect our children as much as possile. I can’t protect my kids from all of this, but I work to help them handle the difficulties and range of emotions. I believe in their inner strength and resilience, and understand their need for the truth.
Illness is a process. When children are involved there are so many additional adjustments. Often times I have great guilt and worry about how my illness will manifest later in their lives. I’ve read how a major illness can dramatically change a child’s development. My oldest child is essentially an adult and had the best of me, yet my youngest is witness to so much more and I feel like she is being shortchanged. I am simply not the person I once was.
I do not want my family to resent me or mourn the loss of a once vibrant and active mom. Not a day passes that I do not say a prayer for THEIR strength through all of this. My hope is they remain as normal as possible, and grow into stronger people having faced a trying situation early in their lives.