Our Director Tanya Allan discusses her thoughts on saying Thank you when someone says you’re doing a good job parenting a child with cancer, instead of brushing it off and saying “Oh, I wasn’t given a choice”

 

I’m calling bull shit on this ‘I wasn’t given a choice” malarkey. We’ve all been there – or maybe you’re still there. Someone says to you, quite genuinely “I don’t know how you do it” because they’re actually in awe of you. And then, because we feel awkward or embarrassed of the praise or because we quietly think we’re nothing but a hot mess and don’t deserve the praise – we say ‘I wasn’t given a choice’ and we shut it down.

Whatever you’re doing to get by, you are coping. You are here and there is power and strength in whatever way you are getting through. However impossible it feels, whatever weight you feel upon your shoulders and in your heart, you are HERE and you parenting, and you ARE coping. THAT is making a choice. On your trickier days when you feel broken and bruised and tired beyond the telling of it, you are surviving and perhaps on your good days you are even thriving. Give yourself some love, compassion and some credit for that.

I’d love for you to stop saying ‘I wasn’t given a choice’

That statement, it robs you of your battle scars, and your strength and the tenacity it takes some days to put one foot in front of the other.

We were NOT given a choice for our children to have cancer, but after that we make a million choices.

We choose to show up, we choose to BE IN THE ROOM when hard stuff is happening, for our own children and for EACH OTHER.

Every time we wake up, convinced we can’t do today, we decide what we want for ourselves and our children and we stand up and get started.

Every time we give ourselves permission to cry in the car at the hospital after another set-back, that’s a choice to give yourself relief, to release a pressure value. It’s a choice of self-kindness.

Every time we smile at our children and make hospital a game, that is a choice.

Every time we convince them they CAN do this next invasive procedure, that’s a bloody hard choice, but a choice we make.

I know exactly how we do it. By deciding what we want from our days, by deciding to guide and parent and love our children through some of the hardest times they’ll ever see.
I wasn’t given a choice to parent a child through childhood cancer, but I made a million choices after that.

I am in constant awe of the men and women I know parenting this gig –. If someone tells you “I don’t know how you do it” I certainly hope you choose pride in a job bloody well done and I hope to hear you say “Thank You”.

Remember, the Time for Courage… is NOW

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