Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Parenting...How I Do It

I can have a tough exterior. 
I've been known to be a hard-ass, no holds barred kind of person. 
I don't take crap from anyone. 
In grade school I was that girl who punched the boys if they called me or my friends a name. 
I've always been loud and boisterous. 
But I'm also really quiet. 
I never liked raising my hand in school to answer a question the teacher posed. 
I didn't know how to subtract or multiply or divide when everyone else did. 
I was too afraid to ask for help. 
I've always lived a bipolar life. 
I often wonder if I do harbour some sort of mental illness. 

When Chad and I decided to have children I thought, I think as every woman does, will I be a good mom?
Will I have the compassion and heart to give to another human being?
One who I must have patience for? 
Who I must provide constant emotional care for?

Then Zoe was diagnosed with cancer. 
My life's mission became to make sure she got better. 
The hard-ass in me came out. 
In full force. 
I didn't feel sorry for myself. 
I spoke for her and let her cry and held her hand as she slept. 
I asked too many questions and researched all treatments and read about the horrific side effects. 
I had to put that shy part of my personality aside. 
The scared side. 
I had to be stronger than the strongest I thought I could be. 
On a scale of 1-10, I needed to be a 15. 

I think sometimes my kids believe I'm too tough. 
I make homework and piano practice a priority. 
Time with the family comes before anything. 
I don't condone disrespect at all. 
With me and Chad or with each other. 
They know to call their friends' parents Mr. and Mrs. 
I make sure they don't get left behind in their school work. 
They know how to subtract. 
How to write their letters. 

My point of this post is this...
My hard-ass personality and the life I lived up until September 7, 2010 enabled me to be the mother that my daughter needed to pull her through her disease. 
I often try to tell myself that I need to calm down about something. 
That I don't need to be so tough all of the time. 
But, as Popeye said, I am what I am. 
And I am the mom of a childhood cancer survivor. 
And she and I are tough together. 
Because I taught her to stand tall. 
And now we can stand together. 

This is part one in a series I'm doing simply titled "parenting...how I do it."


  1. You must me doing something right. I like your girls!

  2. It is interesting to think about our "non-negotiables" in parenting....I grew up with another family who we spent a lot of time with. It was easy to see the difference in our two parents. Kids really do realize and discuss this stuff. (Guess what? Both families had kids who turned out just fine! My guess is that it isn't necessarily the non-negotiables it is the fact there are boundaries and love in the first place!)

    1. Do you parent with any non-negotiables Laura?

  3. I'm finding the non-negotiables harder as they get older. And yet it's probably the most important time to have them.

    1. It's hard to keep it all in perspective and to know we are doing it "for your own good!"