P is NOT for Perfect
I have been giving myself a hard time this past week or so. I've been snappy, intolerant, and tearful and I am not even really sure why, sometimes it all just feels a bit too much. I have been frequently asking myself how can I keep giving off this impression that I have it all together when at the best of times my kids are wild, unruly and rarely hear a word I say.
As I sat down to put Poppy to bed, mad at her for throwing my phone and smashing the screen I remembered what's important, I don't care about the phone, or the sand that's spread all over the garden instead of neatly in the sand pit, I don't even care that instead of painting pretty pictures she chose to paint herself and the garden furniture. What I actually care about is the way she looks at me, the thoughtfulness in her voice when she says sorry I broke your phone Mummy and the love that shines through in every little 'huggle' she gives me.
I remember being pregnant with Dylan and just wanting to get everything right, to be the perfect Mum, I signed us up for parenting groups and classes to make sure we were armed with all the knowledge we needed and one of the only things that stayed with me was when the midwife opened a session by saying 'I know you are all worried about being good parents so I will tell you now, the very fact that you want to do right by your child and be a good parent, means you already are!'
Because the truth is none of us are perfect, none of us have it all together all of the time, most of us shout, lose our temper, need a break, none of this means we love our little humans less and it definitely doesn't make us bad parents.
As co founder of The Little C Club I have now talked at a number of groups and both myself and Jen are always mindful of how indvidual the conversation about cancer needs to be, every family is different, every child is different and while we know there is evidence to support open and honest communication with children, if you are that parent who is just not quite ready we certainly think no less of you! In fact timing is a really important factor, you need to feel ready to embark on these conversations in order for the information to come from a positive place. In some ways thats the beauty of the cards, they can be used in different ways to tailor the conversation to each inviduals needs, and to have something tactile to draw from helps open the conversation and gives both parent and child a confident starting point. All of that said we are not perfect, like everyone we have good days, bad days and downright bloody awful days. We don't always feel positive about our diagnosis of secondary breast cancer, we too are scared of the dreaded P word (progression), we suffer with scanxiety and the knowledge that treatment or prognosis could change at any time.
We are just two Mummy's trying to do the best we can for our small people and hoping that sharing our experiences and creations will help lots of other families do the same.