Ideas to get through your journey in parenting through cancer this holiday season

Ideas to get through your journey in parenting through cancer this holiday season Open up lines of communication with your family If they’re old enough to ask the questions, they’re old enough to hear the answer in an age appropriate way. Of course it’s strange telling your children something that will make them distressed, particularly during the silly season. As a parent you’re wired to protect them. However, by being transparent you’re not harming them. You’re helping their future wellbeing and the future connections within your family. By being open and transparent you are creating stronger lines of connection and allowing space to express emotions. Find what feels good and practice taking time out to nourish yourself When you’re caring for others it’s tricky to go inward and focus on yourself. During the holiday season this is so very important, particularly given the other challenging feelings this season can bring. Go inward and find what feels good for you and what you find nourishing. This doesn’t need to be big stuff. Even a five minute break from being around others with a nice cuppa tea can really do the job…. Values Take some time out to think about what your values are during the holiday season. What’s important to you? What are some non-negotiables that are important for you to still happen this year? What’s ok to fall away? What can you opt out of? Perhaps hosting the big lunch can be delegated this year? Think about how to adjust expectations on yourself given that there is cancer in your world. Cancer changes things including what you have the capacity to do as a parent, daughter, son, brother, sister….. Consider how you might shift some of these expectations but still remain connected to your values. It takes a village Identify what you can delegate and who is around to support you. Remember, others also gain from helping you. Maybe they’re just waiting to be asked? You are the expert You are the expert in the life of your family, you are the one who has the insider knowledge and intuition into the needs of your family during the silly season. Trust your instincts and do what you need to do. Canteen support is available Canteen is here for you. Even during the holiday closures, we are still open the following hours: We are closed on the public holidays (25th, 26th Dec and 1st Jan); and open 12-5pm Sydney time on 27th-31st Dec, and 2nd-3rd Jan. We return to normal operating hours on Monday 4th January. If you need click chat to a counsellor during our opening hours. Sally, National Family Support Coordinator/Senior Counsellor