Not spending enough time with the siblings

While acknowledging that there are only so many hours in a day, parents interviewed for this book felt the most guilt about the effect of the leukemia on the siblings. They wished that they had asked family and friends to stay with the sick child more often, allowing them to use more of their precious time with the siblings. Many expressed pain that they didn't know how severely affected the sibs had been.

I try to find some time in each holiday, weekend, or whenever it is just for Christopher and me. No matter how ill Michael is, someone else can cope with it for an hour or two, and nothing is allowed to interfere with that. We still go out, even if it is only Christopher and me at McDonald's.

Bottom line is that all mothers have to accept that along with the baby is delivered a large package of guilt, and whatever we do for one we will wish we had done for the other.

But I don't think you can put one child on hold for the duration of the other's illness, because the year that Christopher has lost while Michael has been ill won't ever come again. He'll only be 11 once, just as surely as Michael will only be 14 once (or possibly forever), and we owe it to our healthy kids to allow them to be just that.

Confident Kids

Confident Kids

Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.

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