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How have your children fared?

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Fellow mums and dads I have a question for you. How did you help your children deal with the impact an SAH has on family life?

My two are under 10 but old enough for us to have told them the truth the whole journey so far. Not in a scary , full gory detail way, but honestly and not giving false reassurance. They have a strong family network.

I have seen them show anger that it happened, frustration that we can't do what we used to, sadness and shed lots of tears and I have felt all of these are good and natural responses and just tried to support and cuddle and love as best I can. I have noticed recently though more fearfulness sits in them., they look at me with doubt. If I have a bad day they immediately think that might mean hospital, or an ambulance. If I talk to them about it the say its all ok but their eyes say different. The last few nights both have woken and climbed into bed with me. Thats a lot of bodies in bed which exhausts me but I don't want to not comfort them when they obviously need it. Is time the best healer on this one?

I think they are dealing with the enormity of the situation and change pretty well but it would be good to know how others have fared and what has helped.

Daff x

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Hi Daff,

My children ( sons) are 25 adn 28 both live away from home. One is 100 miles the other 450 miles. Both are single. I know it is not the same but some insight just as well. Both are scared to death about my health. They have seen a major change in the mom that could move a mountain to a person that needs to lay down and take a nap before doing anything. I was the one that could multi task, handled everything and now I seem fragile. I am /was a tough as nails.

I must say that the 12 years while my oldest was in school from 1st grade to he graduated high school though they witnessed a sick and dying grandparent one by one those 12 years. No one told me it and I never imagined we would be raising kids and taking care of our parents at the same time. I must say it made them better people with more sympahty, understanding and kindness. They grew up knowing how unfair life was and can handle lifes unfairness & are bettter for it.

Both have said how proud they were as to how I took care of grandparents ( and I always had an older person I befriended and cared for) and how I handled the "drama" of my new life. I would add 4 1/2 years ago my husband had kidney cancer and that was a major scare as well.

I think when kids go through something like this it is also a teaching time for them to help others as it is for us to do the same. Maybe not so much now but later on.


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Hi Daff,

I think that what you have said certainly is the same experience for most of us with children. I'm afraid to say that it's only with time and quite a lot of it, that the fear in our children starts to fade away, as it does for us too.

I think that when they see you become more confident in yourself and your body in that "nothing scary is going to happen again etc" that it also helps them to feel reassured that their Mum is going to be okay.

You will get to a point where a semblance of normality does return and I think that often it just comes with routine day to day stuff and going through the motions to a degree.


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My Daughter and hubby were so loving to me when I eventually came back to the Land of the Living ..

I was "Win ya must have been ill " !!

Now I am getting better they are less worried and I get told off more lol roles have reversed I am always getting told off Cheek !

BTG helped my daughter a lot she came on here and asked questions and got answers ..

But she is older than your children, time is a great healer, I remember my daughter patting my shoulder and saying "Welcome

back Mum" we both cried and laughed.

They will be okay, but I have always said it is the families of SAHers who feel so bad seeing people they love go through this.

All will be well Daff


WinB143 xx

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Hi Daff,

My boys were 17 & 7 when I had my SAH. My (at the time) 7 year old was alone with me when it struck. I have to be honest and say a lot of what has happened since is stuff I know because his Dad tells me about it. My son was badly traumatised after seeing me in HDU the day of the op, I don't remember this, I just remember feeling upset the following day because his Dad came to see me without him. I didn't know he had been violently sick & didn't sleep after they left.

He used to panic at my slightest tiredness, wobble on my feet or if I had a headache (I vaguely remember this & having to reassure him that it would be ok). Time really is a great healer. He still gets worried if he comes home & shouts 'hi mum' & I don't answer because I am asleep or in the back garden & haven't heard him. He still gets tearful if we talk about what happened (which we don't much now as it was 4 years ago). A few months ago he got very upset when we spent a week away with his brother, who mentioned that his naughty teenage antics at the time probably didn't help & my little son cried and thought it was all his fault as he was quite a difficult wee boy at that time. Hearing this was heartbreaking for me - I never knew that either of them felt in anyway to blame.

My younger son was given a book by the Social Work department called 'The big bag of worries' aimed specifically at children who are worried & scared by family events. He also joined a Young Carers group where they do activities with other children who have a sibling, parent etc who is unwell in any way. This has been a huge help & maybe an avenue to explore?

The shock & horror does fade for them & they return to their usual cheeky selves but I don't think the worry ever leaves them totally. Also they learn to accept that you can't do all the things you used to with them and over time they start to realise and understand that too. It's not nice to be less fit to do things with them but as your children get older, it is easier for them to learn to do something quiet at the times you are sore or need to rest.

They WILL get there and they WILL be ok in time with the changes to life as they knew it & if you can access help via social work or carers groups to help with this, please think about it.

Michelle xx

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Hi Daff,

I certainly think time is probably the best healer here. It is hard sometimes to appreciate how such events can affect a child and sometimes even harder to know how best to deal with it. Children can be pretty good at trying to hide their fears and worries so that they do not cause us further worry. Young children can’t always easily express how they feel so dealing with it is probably best done in your own way with plenty of reassurance.

Now, nearly 4 years on from my own sah I can look back and say I am extremely proud of how my children are now and how remarkably well they have dealt with it all. Their ages at the time of my sah were 8, 13 &16.

As I look back I can also say it has not been the easiest 4 years as there seems to have been so many other issues which they/we have had to overcome along the way, namely my husband losing his job, my Mum having breast cancer, my youngest son being bullied for almost a year at school, (during which time he broke his nose in a footballing accident, had a pot on his ankle, has been diagnosed with Junior Idiopathic Arthritis), he was also the sole witness to his uncle having a seizure in the middle of a field, my eldest son was in a car crash, we have had burglars twice, and more recently, the sudden deaths of 3 of their friends (ages 14,18 & 21).

During this time, it is my youngest son who is the one who has caused me the most concern with regard to the effect all this has had on him and is currently getting help through the educational psychology services. He is 12 now and although we have had difficult times, I am now amazed how well he is doing - he is so caring, he often makes me a cup of coffee and if I'm upset he brings me tissues - he still gets concerned about me and was overheard last week telling my husband "not to wind me up"!!

Children must be amazingly resilient - time, love and family support certainly go a long way in helping children deal with trauma.


Edited by kempse
getting words in the right order!
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Hey there

My daughter was 9 when my brain popped and she witnessed the whole thing. She was terrified during (obviously) and for a while after - to the point where she wouldn't even touch my head in case it happened again. I went for counselling and this helped me to help her. I told her that it was OK to be worried but that everything is and would be fine. We cried together when we needed to and laughed together. As she saw me coming to terms with things and recovering, so did she. Children are resilient and she's certainly proved to be that. She was taking her Year 6 SATs the year after my brain hem and she came out with top marks She has now passed all of her GCSEs with flying colours.

She also had the benefit of having a fantastic teacher at the time who I explained everything to and she kept an eye on my daughter to make sure that everything stayed as normal as possible for her at school but also to be there if she felt a bit down or scared. Can you talk to your child's/children's teacher too?

Just be there to reassure as much as you can.

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Good advice Sami :-D

My Daughter didn't tell her Tutor/Teacher ...she was 14/15 at the time and about to take GCSE's. I also forgot to to tell the school. I think that I was too far out of it, to think of all angles at this point.

I had to go to a Tutor meeting a few months after my SAH and her Tutor was shocked when she saw me, as I had I my eye patched over and didn't walk very well. She was astounded as to how well Lauren had coped and that Lauren hadn't mentioned it ... however, that should have been down to me and I felt more than guilt about it!

It's definitely advisable to let the school know what has happened. xx

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A big round of applause to all our children, no matter what age, lets face it they will always be our kids

We never asked for it to happen and they have been shocked by it also so Ready

Hip Hip Hooray to our Lovely Kids x 3 (lazy Win) !

Reading all the posts about our children makes me grateful we have them and made my lip go !

Love to All our Children no matter what age xx

WinB143 xx to my pals on BTG and their families xx

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my children are 19 and 13. Well, my daughter has turned 20 since my SAH. She was at work when my symptoms started. My son was home with my husband and me. My husband made him go to his room and close the door. My daughter came home from work and found me having a seizure on the couch and stopped breathing. My husband was outside waiting on the ambulance to get here so she was alone, scared, and confused.

My children have been very good about everything. My son took it the hardest emotionally. Even though he won't admit it, because he says 'I'm a tough man just like dad', but I still see the fear in his eyes sometimes. My daughter freaks out if I do certain things, like watching football (that's when it happened, during the super bowl halftime show). She doesn't even want me listening to Madonna because she thinks I'll have another SAH. I hope with time they will, and I will, come to terms with all of this.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Daff,

My girls were 2 (and a half!) and 4 when i had my SAH. Dropped them off to nursery and school and someone else had topic them up. They didn't see me then for 3 days. It was very hard on them, from what i've been told they were a little naughty while i was away - showing a lot of the behaviours you mentioned. Although little angels when they were finally able to see me. My youngest cried when she first saw me and every time it was time to go - although very intrigued and observant about all the tubes and wires! She's 4 now and has no obvious residual issues, but does bring it up in conversation quite regularly. My eldest was very careful with me - scared she would hurt me i think :-( The school knew what happened as i was there when it happened, so were very good with her. She definitely changed at school - work was became very untidy, no concentration... and when i finally was able to take her to school myself she had terrible separation issues. Had to take her to her class room door everytime which the school were very accommodating with. It took 4 months, and lots of encouragement from her teacher and class mates til she would go in the regular route with the other children.

Nearly 2 years on, she still doesn't like me to go anywhere without her. Although once i'm gone she's fine! It's slow progress, but they have so much to deal with and its not easy for them to express their worry and fears.

I hope your children will become less nervous with time, and that you get the rest you need to get better.

Take care

Juliette xx

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