Cancer and Child Loss
October is a month for breast cancer awareness but it is also pregnancy and childloss month. Eleanor, who lost her first child, writes: On National childloss day, Oct 15th, we are urged to light a candle for our fallen angels…This project goes on around the world in an attempt to keep a light going across the globe for 24 hours.
She also gives tips on what to say to people going through this here.
You also have to check out Acidicice’s post where she gives an amazing nail art tribute to this day: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Nails.
Cassie from Life with a Ladybug shared some useful cancer resources and shared how cancer has affected her family here: Let’s Get Real… Let’s Talk About Cancer
No, I don’t have Cancer, but I know people who do. I know people who are busy fighting the battle of their lives. I know people who have fought this battle and have won. I know people that are fighting it for the second time and I know people who have lost this battle.
The Reluctant Mom shares her experience of a friend who has cancer and her problem on whether to pray or not as an agnostic here.
An amazing post from Cindy’s husband, Seth, on his battle with cancer: Why I lost 15kg – My Cancer Story: I know my cancer will never go away, but I’m not going to give it a chance to kill me.
Some writing on the social injustice of children trying to get ahead and do well in Matric in the face of poverty: My Heart is Heavy and My Mind is Racing.
How is it that as educated and empowered South Africans we can allow this injustice to continue without asking someone to be accountable. Yes education is a basic right, and we make education available but should we not have an equal platform for every learner.
Some posts about moms raising kids of different races are worth reading: Sharon (The Thing About Raising Brown Children) and Laura (Raising a Rainbow Nation) both share how they are dealing with it and the reactions they get.
Real life is better than screen life
Harassed Mom Laura got lost in the moment at her kid’s school’s concert, in this post: You don’t need to watch Buzzfeed videos to be amazed. There is inspiration everywhere.
I don’t think any amount of inspirational videos can create the feeling that you get when you experience amazing moments in real life. We forget that real life is more amazing than what is on our computer screens.
An interesting post from Mandi when she experimented with being Unplugged.
I spent less time telling them what we needed to do and more time doing what they wanted to do. With me….
I’ve done a bit of thinking and made a list of the things I need to do for me before I can give them all they need on a daily basis. Because I believe as mom’s we need to fill our own cups before we can fill their’s.
Melanie continues her princess series with Sleeping Beauty:
Then there’s the message that parents really don’t want to hear: you can’t protect your child from everything. The king and queen thought that by getting rid of all the spinning wheels in the land, they had removed the threat. But all that did was to ensure Aurora’s curiosity when she finally saw a spinning wheel for the first time.
I agree: rather make your child aware of the danger than make them ignorant of it.
A great one on the Little Mermaid: Don’t Lose Your Voice: I want them (her children) to know that the right man won’t mute any of their qualities – the right man will help them blossom and grow and shine. I want them to know that who they are is enough even without a man.
I like this post from Heather of Acidicice because she shows how another blogger has influenced her for good on the road of body image.
Tam writes so honestly. Her posts are raw and it was not long before I was in tears. I dug through her links to old posts and she really gave me some food for thought. She talks about healing, about self love and about your body not being the enemy. She paints pictures of you mistreating another human being the way you mistreat yourself….
It certainly is easier to go through life without reflecting, without being present, but the results of this could be dangerous for me health wise. …I am going to stop being an asshole to myself and take it from there.
An encouraging post from Shan: A Child Changes You: Yes I do agree, Moms need to look good and keep it sexy in the bedroom but when you up half of the night and being messed with poop early in the morning, the last thing on your mind is putting makeup. I dress up when I feel like and it’s not all the time, I’ve realized that my life has changed but that doesn’t mean it isn’t for the better. I’ve decided to become a mom on a mission! Mission to help other moms like me get their groove back.
Shan also has a great swimsuit post about acknowledging your body after baby. We need to be comfortable in our skin, yes sometimes we may feel like it’s not worth it but when I look into my 2-year old eyes, I realise every single stretch mark is worth it!I would choose her any day over a flat tummy.
Namreen writes about inner beauty:
Though my physical appearance has altered and changed through our years together, he (my husband) has found beauty in something intangible to the naked eye. Sometimes it takes someone else to look beyond our physical form…to peel away our mortal layers…and find what lies within us all. For true beauty is not seen, but felt in our gestures towards others!
Being a Mom is Tough
Lyndsay also writes 2014, the year of the fail. I have read so many posts on having it all and getting it right but I honestly don’t want it all. I don’t want to be super mom, CEO and charity worker in my spare time. I just want enough of each to feel like I have done enough. I want my kids to feel loved and encouraged and supported. I want to do well enough at work to settle into a career. I want to be a good (soon to be) wife.
A brilliant post from Laura about how she finds the pre-teen stage so much more difficult than all that has gone before: Parenting Just Got Real
Parenting a pre-teen will rip your heart right out of your chest. It will make all those early challenges seem like a walk in the park. You will wish for those days where you argued for hours with the toddler over which shoes to wear or how to cut their bread. You will miss the days where the talked non-stop about nothing and everything. You will wish that the next milestone had a start and end date. This stage, for me, is when parenting got real. It is NOW that you start to really be a parent because it is the years that lie ahead of us now that will really determine what he becomes and where he goes.
Three amazing posts from Pregnant in Cape Town: She talks about Finding My Mommy Instincts:
And I won’t judge you when I see you online ranting, crying or begging for understanding when things go wrong, because every one of us has days where everything goes wrong. At some point your baby won’t eat or sleep or won’t stop crying or you will feel like every decision you have made was wrong and you are the worst mommy that ever was and the guilt will come in waves and seemingly overwhelm you. And on those days I hope you do come online and share those feelings with all of us, because I won’t judge you – I will reach out across the internet with a huge virtual hug and remind you that you are the PERFECT mommy for your babies and that every decision you have made was the exact right choice for them and you.
I was never planning on being this mommy. This mommy who can’t be away from her child for more than 2 hours without panicking that she might starve. This mommy who is never ever away from her child for more than 10 minutes when she sleeps. This mommy who has no nails (for the first time in my life). This mommy who’s hair gets washed in the bath once a week and then only every other week gets to brush the dreadlocks out that form when your hair stays in a mommy bun 24/7. This mommy who feels guilt over needing to sleep so bad that I put my child in her cot in daylight.
… I suffered through excruciating pain to keep breastfeeding til 6 months and now 1 year, and there are some days now I would sell my soul to have introduced a bottle to her so that I could have just a few hours out of the house without worrying that she might need a feed when I’m not there.
(But a more posititive ending)……FINALLY, the heat of the day is beginning to ease a little and the air is moving again. I am most definitely a Winter girl. As the air cools I can feel some of the heavier emotions begin to drift a little too.
She also writes another post about going back onto antidepressants: Reaching for a Lifeboat: There is no shame for me in this and anyone who casts shame can bugger right off. I’m doing what I need to for my baby and my family and myself. If any of you are out there, feeling like you’re desperately treading water just to stay afloat and that you’re going under as often as not – don’t ignore the lifeboat floating right alongside you out of the misguided fear of looking bad or weak. It takes tremendous strength to reach for help, especially when you’ve used all of your energy trying to do it alone for so long.
An affirming post from Cat about how everyone is stressing out and how we cope by sneaking chocolates while they aren’t looking! You are not alone.
Jolene is doing a great series on Mommy Burn Out. I think we all need these tips. One thing I took away from her last one (Avoid Mommy Burn Out) is that we should focus on the things that are going right. Also having a vulnerability outlet: someone to talk to, like a mother’s group.
If it’s any consolation, says Belinda, parenting does get a bit easier after they turn 3!
Stacey wrote about a typical day with her special needs child, Travis. What stuck me most was not the challenges she faces, but her acceptance.
I want you to know that I can talk about this without heartache or bitterness. It almost feels like I am describing the life that Travis should be living, the life of an ordinary 7-year-old boy, from a great distance.
Once I wrote a blog post about how haunted I am by the ‘ghost of the child that could of been’. That ghost is fading. Much like after you lose someone you love, the agony of your grief fades to a dull ache, and eventually, years later when you think of them, you feel your pain in an abstract sense.
Gaelyn writes a letter to her older self – Dear Gaelyn age 39:
I liked what she said about motherhood: You were always meant to be a mother. I know you are doing an amazing job, even when you don’t necessarily feel it. I know you will be so proud of your family, and you should be. You have waited your whole life to have this life, and I really pray that you finally have it. Enjoy every moment you get to spend with them, your children will grow up so quickly, take too many photos and treasure every milestone you are blessed to witness.
From the same blogger, The best advice I’ve ever been given:
I also liked this post from Leigh on How to Bring Out the Best in People: I am slowly but surely growing in understanding that love – a real, raw, un-self-seeking, scandalously generous love – truly trumps everything. It is the strongest thing there is. Love overcomes even the deepest selfishness.
On Mommy guilt, Kathryn writes a guest post on Becoming You:
The thing about guilt is it’s a pretty useless emotion. Not only does it make us feel yuck about ourselves, it also doesn’t accomplish anything. Perhaps you have been spending too many hours at work and not enough with your children. Perhaps your son’s nasty fall was your fault. But wallowing in guilt isn’t going to help.
And there’s something much more encouraging for us mothers to fall back on – grace. Grace which says you’re not going to get it right every time, grace which says “Learn from your mistakes and move on”, grace which urges us to look at the bigger picture and watch out for those magical moments when you feel affirmed as a mother.
On the question of whether to have siblings or not for her child, Eleanor writes: The Three Little Bears had One Child: I want to have another child if it’s right for my family, not because society dictates.
Acknowledging her sisters, Mariza writes Sisters… An Unbreakable Bond.
Most people will never know another human being for as long as they know their sisters. Whether you fought constantly while growing up, lost touch for a period of your adult lives or remained incredibly close and connected from day one… You are never alone, you know you have a friend for life.
Namreen writes: Wardrobe blues
Writing, for me, has always been the best cure for the blues! I have written my way out of so many phases in my life, journeying from deep waters to the shallow shores with the ink of my pen as my trusty companion. The rhythmic movement of pen against paper…fingers dancing on keyboard…words flooding out, has such a calming effect on my mind. Writing out all the bottled up emotions and thoughts, releasing them from the cage of my mind, setting them free and reclaiming balance and harmony…finding solace in this primitive art…that’s what writing means to me!
A great tutorial on how to create a Facebook page from Entrepreneur Mom here.
A thought provoking post from Ursula on cyber bulling. It’s a strange strange cyber world. She talks about her own experience: About 6 years ago I was an admin on the Facebook page of a new political party. I made a mistake (deleting some comments) and apologised. I then had a night from hell when a group of people got the scent of blood and attacked me as a pack. The following day I had a miscarriage. I have always wondered if the enormous stress and distress of that evening contributed to the loss of my baby.
I am sure there has been a lot of cyber bullying and I know that some of our bloggers have stood together against it. Laura also wrote about the parents that stand and watch a bully in action and do nothing: An Open Letter to Parents Everywhere.
People who make other people feel small and hide behind their computers are in my opinion, only making themselves smaller too. (Remember that quote about how if we let our own light shine we encourage others to do the same? Well the same applies to how you make others feel). So …. I don’t have all the right words, I just have a desire, or a motherly instinct, to protect and create a safe space. Each of us can do our part in a small way, even if it is just with our kids.
Can I end off with some poetry again?
First, a quote from Reluctant mom who wrote about her divorce: I hereby pronounce you … divorced (throws confetti) in picture form:
I tried my hand at poetry this month (yes Ursula, you do inspire me).
A Prisoner of My Emotions (this is how I started)
In the early hours of the morning
When my entire body is craving sleep
Anger festers inside me like a boiling cauldron.
There is no winning here for me
Only a tired mother’s act of love
Ursula writes Dancing with the Reaper -poem
wear joy and sorrow casually
they’re just a thin disguise
Dust you are
You have no control
Every month I become more and more aware of the writing talent sitting on these shores. But I know there’s lots I missed. Please link up your best posts for the month and comment on at least three other people’s posts.