It’s been a really long time since I sat down at this blank page spilling my guts out or as anyone who knows me well would say having my usual verbal diarrhea. Opening up about what our family has been through has always came with its positives and negatives. I felt a weight lifting off my shoulders every time my fingers bared down heavily on these keys and I got to scream “BABIES GET CANCER”, relieving so much frustration without having to actually double over in the middle of the street somewhere having a mental breakdown (even if I often felt like it).
I am light years away from that place now but being on a journey like what I’ve been on I still have those little feelings ticking inside me and the worst of those is FEAR. I think I feared cancer less when we sat with our toddler hooked up to chemotherapy. How ridiculous? But I prayed that with every little drip of that infusion any cancerous cells that remained was being killed.
Fast forward to the present and now I have an ever burdening fear because we are only ever visitors in that safe place, going for a quick scan to verify that no evidence of reoccurring disease can be seen. With no “safety net of chemotherapy” keeping our baby in remission. We now live in a world of trust, we trust that Nate is strong and we believe that our boy has got this and our family too (we even have a new addition Arthur!).
I stopped writing my blog when Nate was about 3 treatments away from finishing and he was doing AMAZING! When he should have been weak he showed us he was strong. So when it came to writing I just couldn’t, I had to stop because I felt like if we quietly tried to scrabble a new normal and another new era together for our family then cancer would leave us alone for good.
It wouldn’t see us secretly high fiving each other and willing that every day we could walk further and further away. The quieter I was the safer it felt. And alongside that the less of a fraud I would feel as then no one would know how scared I actually was, how I didn’t know what living away from hospital appointments was like and how actually broke cancer had made our “perfect” little family become.
We had it all, we had everything we ever dreamed of but life as we knew it and our sanity had gone. I felt trapped in a little box too scared to step out in case we got found again.
We gained the most amazing support right from this little space of the internet I called my own and also in the little squares that held our life on Instagram (mrssarahthomp). It was incredible. The love and admiration that strangers who would soon become friends showed that mankind and this earth was actually a really beautiful place. I wrote about so much in my blog and I bared my heart and soul, how my heart was broke and how my emotions went from small and scared to strong and brave.
Initially for me it was just what I needed but part of me felt like I was fooling myself, some days I would feel brave and the next day I would be sitting in our kitchen trying to gather every ounce of strength I had to open a draw and lift out a saucepan. Once I done that task it was to start peeling the potatoes, every step being so painful and so difficult. Was I depressed? Had I just run out of energy? Could I not look after my family? My confidence in myself was disintegrating but yet the most encouraging words would STILL always come my way. “SUPER MUM” “I don’t know how you do this”, “strong”..the list goes on and through time when I should have been swelling with pride for myself as a mother I started to swell with worry.
“BUT DON’T YOU KNOW IM SCARED. IM SO SCARED I CANT FIND ENERGY. I CAN’T CLEAN! I CAN’T COOK! I CAN’T I CAN’T…..I CAN’T…”
So why would you say such beautiful words?. I felt like the biggest fraudster around and sometimes I still do. How could I be “Super Mum” when all I can do is play, all I can do is hold my babies, and the only thing that could makes me smile is my children.
Then it hit me, the bare basics that I had been holding my aspirations of being Super Mum to this whole time where completely ridiculous. A clean house didn’t make me Super Mum, “healthy” meals weren’t what we needed, an organised life and an empty laundry basket weren’t the things that defined me as a good person.
When I thought they couldn’t see a mother who was falling at her knees in pain, they DID see me. And instead of judging me negatively like I judged myself what if all they could actually see was a mother who loved her babies so much she might break. My failures didn’t matter because at the heart of everything was LOVE.
How could I not see it for so long? People weren’t judging what I thought where my failures, instead they seen my huge accomplishments in the eyes of the little squad I was raising.
What a realisation? That people weren’t seeing me as a fraud because their expectations of me was to love, not to be the “perfect” mum but to just be a mum. Surely that makes all of us super mum (or super dad)!
So, if tonight you look around and your laundry basket is full to the brim, you are making pasta for the 5th night in a row, your living room looks like a tornado has hit it and you feel like me, a complete parenting fraud just remember that if your little people are happy and loved then you actually are Super Mum. We are the lucky ones to have our little people and they measure our success so simply and to them WE ARE ALL SUPERMUM.