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My mother didn't tell me she had breast cancer

Rachael Jess didn't find out her mother had been refusing treatment until shortly before her death


"Her final act of stubbornness came a week later. I found her collapsed on her kitchen floor, where she'd been all night, dehydrated and unable to move. I went to my phone to call an ambulance. She shouted in a whisper not to call them. She then screamed in her whisper not to call them. She  told me in a stern whisper that as my mother she demands I do not call them.

I called them anyway."


Thursday's blog of the day: When kids remind you you won't last forever

Attachment Feminism struggles with the existential questions that accompany being a parent


"I was lying in my son's bed – ornamental, since he spends every night in my bed to stop me sleeping - and I was thinking about how one day I'll die. 

When I look at my children, they remind me of how I'll never be able to totally make things okay. I won't be able to convince them not to develop eating disorders, abuse drugs, endanger their lives in any manner of ways that seem cool. There's the realisation that I won't be able to stop them from making the same mistakes I have.

What's to come stares me so hard in the face."


Wednesday's blog of the day: I don't want my daughter's clothes to tell her she's 'cute'

The slogans on girls' clothing reflect the pervasive sexism in society, says The Speed Bump 


"The worst culprit for sending my blood pressure soaring is 'Be cute. Be beautiful. Be lovely'. How about be strong? Be intelligent? Be kind? Why are we still using clothing to send the not-so-subtle message to young girls that their attractiveness is the most important feature – and why are we telling one-year-olds to be beautiful? 

I think it's about time designers and retailers were forced to take responsibility."


Tuesday's blog of the day: How much do I tell my child about my illness?

Stumbling in Flats decides not to put her her son through a childhood dominated by multiple sclerosis


"I've tried my best to shield him – getting home from work at 2.30, falling asleep and setting my alarm for 3.20 so I can be awake when he comes home from school, no matter how tired I am.

MS deals you two cards. You can take the downward spiral, then pick up off the floor and get on with life. And here we are now - we are getting through it.

There's been hard times - I won't forget the teenager crying in the bathroom, worried who would look after him if I had a relapse. What should you tell the children? Enough, but not too much."

Monday's blog of the day: An apology to my autistic students

Someone's Mum's autistic son helped her re-evaluate her classroom presumptions 


"I am sorry for my lack of understanding, for not fully realising.

I knew it was wrong to put behaviour down to poor parenting, poor control. But I did not know what it meant to be so overwhelmed by the chaotic world that you cease to be able to function in it. I am grateful that I now understand. 

We are all different, not less - the thousands of sons and daughters that have filled my classrooms, girls and boys, black and white, autistic and neurotypical. I promise I will try to understand. I will try to be better, I will try to treat you all, every pupil, as different, not less."


Last updated: 12-Feb-2016 at 1:17 PM