Tuesday 31 January 2012

What do my Children mean to me?

Last year at CyberMummy I sat in a room with a couple of hundred other parenting bloggers and we blubbed. We sat there while tears rolled down our cheeks as we listened to my friend Nickie read her earlier published blog post about her daughters fight with cancer. Today I am writing a post to support CLIC Sargent, a charity very close to Nickie's heart and I am writing this to help raise awareness of CLIC Sargent and a lovely campaign that they are launching.

If you are a blogger, you have probably seen the name CLIC Sargent and Yummy Mummy floating around on blogs, twitter and facebook just recently and if you are anything like me you have wondered what it is all about.  I must be honest and say that I nearly choked the first time I saw Nickie tweeting about #dosomethingyummy - that hashtag is so not her! Yes she is yummy but is that a phrase Nickie would associate with herself? I highly doubt it. However, she could well comment and prove me wrong though!

So what is the CLIC Sargent Yummy Mummy campaign all about?

Yummy Mummy Week (10th - 18th March 2012) is a fun-packed fund raising campaign during which mums do something yummy for children and young people with cancer, whilst spending quality time with their own children, family and friends. Money raised throughout the week will be used by CLIC Sargent to provide clinical, practical and emotional support for children and young people with cancer and their families.

To find out more about Yummy Mummy Week 2012 go to http://www.yummymummy.org.uk/ or call 08451 206 658 to register for your fund raising pack. Have a quick think, what could you do?  Patsy Palmer and Annabel Karmel hosted a glamorous tea party and you could do similar?  Or a bake sale at school or how about a dinner party for some friends and they make a contribution per couple. What a wonderful excuse to spend time with friends and to do something really worthwhile, not to say yummy!

Anyway the super Nickie has provided us with some writing prompts this week and I have chosen what do your children mean to you?

You know what? I am a bit ashamed to say that I have never really considered what my children mean to me. Of course they mean a lot, I adore my little people but fortunately I have never had to really spend time apart from them. I would say that I am a pretty independent parent and I encourage my children to be the same. I suppose some of that comes from the confidence gained by having very good family around me, who I can trust implicitly to look after my kids.

Just after JJ’s first birthday, dh and I went off to the Dominican Republic for a week and I know that over the years when I have mentioned this to other parents, more women than not have been shocked and asked how I could leave him. The crux of it was that dh and I were at a pivotal point in our marriage and we needed that time alone. My belief is that the best environment for a child to grow up in is a loving two parent family. Do not read anything into that, I am not judging single parent families, I understand that things happen. Just for me, as a Christian woman, I know that I can only be the best parent I can be when dh and I are in harmony and that means nurturing our relationship as much as my mothering ones.

Anyway this was supposed to be about the children rather than dh and I. Years back when I was at Uni we used to play a game quite often, a game of impossible choices. One of the group would pose the question and the others had to answer honestly and this would open a discussion. I cannot recall many of these discussions but one I remember very vividly. My friend M asked the group if your child and your lover/ husband were both hanging off a cliff which would you save? Quite a dilemma hey?

My friend J was adamant that she would save her child as that would be a mother’s instinct whereas my friend M said she would save her partner as you could always have more children together. The one thing I cannot remember about that conversation was my response but I have an inkling it was in favour of the child. So what would I say now at age 38 and a mother of 3? I don’t know, I think it is only one of those decisions you could make when absolutely forced too, I am pretty sure my heart would be telling me to save my baby for they contain a bit of dh and he would always be with me that way.

I may just have to ask M this question again now she has children of her own and see if her answer has changed. As a mother now I really do question that many people who are mothers could say ‘oh it is OK, we can have another baby’. Every child is unique and special in their own ways and they can never be replaced.

Of course I am totally blessed that I have never had a difficult choice concerning my children. Earlier today I read a post at Not even a bag of sugar and my heart wept for what Kylie had to go through leaving her very premature baby in hospital when she went home day after day but now I just see joy when I know what a wonderful bond she has with her little survivor.

Back to the question in hand, what do my children mean to me? They mean the world. They are my mini Christians that I am bringing up to know Jesus, they are the better parts of dh and I combined together in 3 gorgeous packages, they are my cuddle monsters when I have had a tough day, they are my teachers of patience and tolerance, they are my shining light on a dark day and they are my future.