Am I being unreasonable?

WWIII broke out in my house this weekend, I had enough of struggling on my own with two more than capable kids in the house.

14 and 12 , not little ones any more but you would think they were still toddlers who were incapable of lifting a finger to help, I never even get offered a glass of water, no matter how low or ill I get.
“She hasn’t done the washing up”, “she hasn’t hoovered”," she hasn’t done her room", “she hasn’t made her bed”, “why should I?” It goes on and on…

And yes I know it’s a factor of real life than continues with or with out cancer. But unfortunately it all blew up in our faces this weekend and I had a total flip out at them both!

I am sure I said some things I shouldt have said and I know they did, coz I got a couple of F**k OFF and dies…

My 14 year old seems to be in total denial of my cancer and is ignoring me , investing all her time and energy in a totally dysfunctional family down the road, helping this other woman with her kids, house work and mental health problems, but won’t even make a cup of tea for me. Telling the world and anyone who will listen how worried she is about me etc and doing nothing here but abuse her little sister and ignore me!

The younger one who is 12, just seems to want constant praise for washing up maybe once a week and is always shouting at me and demanding my attention for one small thing or another. Every thing in her life is a drama and I am worn out by them…

I totally understand they are struggling with this whole situation and I am constantly trying to understand how they must be feeling and trying to come to terms with this whole bloody cancer crap, but what about ME? I feel selfish for even feeling resentful towards them, it feels like they just don’t care at all about how I feel or how they make me feel.

Maybe I expect to much from them, but is a cup of tea and pushing the hoover around to much with out asking? Or a kind word and cuddle, I miss cuddles so much.

oh anatell, i know exactly where you are coming from! my 17 year old daughter is a complete s**t and told me to ‘get over myself’! ive tried explaining as calmly as i could how i feel and how this is making me feel to no avail, she then told her sister (21 and has her own home) who then rang me and told me to stop ramming it down their throats!!! sorry cant give you any answers expect unfortunately you are not alone
sue x x

They are unbelievable, the self centred ego centric selfishness of our kids and in many cases the people who are closest to us. I have no idea how to deal with it. I may just try shutting down from them and turning the tables.

I am so sorry your girls are not supporting you either, yet I am sure they would expect it from us and then some.

I think its partly because with breast cancer it can be a gradual decline and not an overnight schock, and we are not in immediate danger of death. But I wonder how bad things have to get for some of our kids.

I have a friend who’s husband and eldest daughter have accused her of runining their lives… Funny and sad how different people react to such situations

Thank you for your reply


Hi Anna,

Unfortunately I’ve found that people who are selfish don’t suddenly change because you are ill. Not singling yours out by the way. I think teenagers are often selfish because they are still learning life skills. Is there a grandparent on the scene who could intervene and give them a good talking to. Sometimes they listen more to grandparents.

Jan xx

I am on my own with them, so mum is a big part of their life, like another mum, so unfortunately most of the things she says slides off them like water off a ducks back!

I will just have to take it in my stride and deal with it day by day, I just needed to unload and talk it through with others who are not emotionally involved with me…

Thank you for your input x

I think it will be ok but will just take time, and hopefully they wont end up feeling bad when they are older that they didnt do more…


Hi Anna
No you are not being unreasonable at all. I too have 2 teenage children (18 and 16 and so should know better)who are totally selfish. Just when I want some peace and quiet at bedtime they start to behave at their worst, fighting, shouting, hoovering their bedrooms,making a mess in the kitchen etc etc. My husband, bless him, shouts at them to make them stop and thye shout and it all escalates into one loud showdown- which thye always seem to win. Dreadful. My sister has told them they will be staying with her for a week after my op next Mon and they will be allowed to visit me at home as if I’m in hospital. Do you have someone you could farm them out to for a short time? And yes, they should be making you a cup of tea!!
Thinking of you amidst the mayhem.
Annys x


I really don’t know what to say as mine arn’t yet that age but i wanted to send you some cyber hugs. My 3 year old was a total **** today so in a way i know how you feel.

Gina xxx

Hi Anna,
Ahh the little darlings , can so relate to how you are feeling right now, whatever happened to the sweet little souls we brought into the world grrr, even though mine are grown up now , they are still selfish and so self absorbed. Ive also had the "stop ramming it down our throats "comment and if i am low sometimes and try to explain how i feel , i also get the " i wondered how long it would take to bring that up " as if im playing the cancer card for sympathy.
Kids of today are so wrapped up in themselves that they dont think about anyone else, its too much trouble to make a cuppa, or do a bit of cleaning up, they dont have time to do that do they?.
Your not alone,and your def not being unreasonable, all i can say is thank god for this website, though if my family had their way i wouldnt be on here anymore and should be over it by now.
Hang in there , we all understand what its like.
All the best to everyone
Linda x

Hi Anna

Oh thank goodness for that - I thought it was just my family that were pains in the b*m! My sons are 17 & 18 and have told me to “get over it”/“life doesn’t revolve around you” etc etc…I keep thinking if I had daughters it would be different but sounds like I’m wrong. Hubby tries but finds it very hard to keep being helpful/patient etc…but there again have just started Tamoxifen so am moody/p****d off/having night sweats & nausea so am not much fun (gosh anyone would think I had a life-threatening disease!) Maybe I’ll improve when I start Radio-theaphy - ha! Don’t bet on it boys…


Hi you’re not being unreasonable. I have 2 teens and 1 20 year old at uni. The youngest aged 13 is totally selfish and wont help. I punish him! he lives on his x-box so I remove his controls until he’s done whatever I’ve asked him too.
I did point out to my kids that apart from cancer they should be helping around the house anyway they’re not babies and that it couldnt be all take on there part and all give on mine ,it has to work both ways. I also pay my son a few pounds here and there for chores which helps. he knows that he wont get any pocket money any other way.

Have you tried with holding pocket money, treats or even refusing to cook and wash for them until they afford you some respect?

I do hope you get some results very soon although these things always take a while and you do realise you will be the worlds worst mum if you carry out any of the above measures.

As for your kids swearing at you. I will not allow this in my house. if my son looses it with me and tells me to f off he looses the controls of his x-box for a week.

Anna - I’m sure you have tried all available “punishments” to try to get you kids to respect you so grit your teeth and count to 1,000,000 and 10! Tomorrow will be better…I’m sure they all love us deep down - they just hide it well.

Hope you feel a little brighter soon.

Take care.

PS Knitnut -I don’t allow swearing in my house either but s**t happens!


Hi all, I sympathise with you all as I have 2 girls of 18 and 22. The 18 year old is a nightmare in general. She works part time and doesn’t contribute to the household in any way. Her bedroom is a slum and if I ask her to clean it I am told it is her bedroom and she can have it as untidy as she likes!!

I had a bad time during my second chemo and she was brilliant for about 4 days, then as soon as I was mobile she reverted back to type.

My 22 year old has 2 kids of her own and she brings them over and stays for about 3 weeks!!! Bless her she has helped with meals etc but much as I love the children, they stress me out after a while, they are 18 months and 3. II am accused of being a bitch when I ask her to go home!!

I have been cleaning like mad during the times I feel relatively well, but I have to admit I get tired really easily and it takes me a while. Of course then the girls think I am ok and don’t need any help.

I hope we get someone on here who tells us that their children are fantastic and really help them, but I won’t hold my breath.

No doubt we were all as selfish as them at their age, but it really hurts when you think they couldn’t care less.

Hope everything is going well for anyone having treatment of any sort.

Take care, love and hugs. Debbie. xx

I don’t have kids, but I do see the problems others have with theirs. One friend’s son is an only child and they spoiled him rotten from day one as they are fairly wealthy. He has had the best of everything and treats them with contempt because he thinks they will just pick up the tab. He’s been kicked out of college, can’t hold down a job or a work placement as he walks out after 2 weeks saying he doesn’t like it. Last year he became a dad at 18, but had split up with the GF before the baby was born and now his parents are giving financial support to the grandchild. Recently their son lost his licence for being a boy racer, it’s like he takes no responsibility for himself whatsoever. He’s also smoking cannabis in his bedroom.

Another friend is a policeman. A couple of months back he got a phone call when he was off duty to say his 14 year old daughter was being taken to hospital as she had been found drunk 2 towns away. He says irrespective of him being a policeman she is hell bent on getting herself into these situations and he doesn’t know what to do with her.

Last but not least my SiL is having problems with her eldest, a boy of 15. He doesn’t get on with his dad and has started being disruptive at school. My Oh went down to London to see them before Christmas and said his nephew communicates with about 8 different grunts. He’s not academic and doesn’t know what he wants to do if he leaves, so we’ve been asked by my SiL if we’ll have him up here for a couple of weeks work experience with us.

I was their age back in the 70s and we were all a bit rebellious on account of things like punk etc., but I think today’s teenagers can be worse; also there weren’t really drugs back then (I think I knew of one person who had tried marijuana and it seemed he was really scary). I’m going to be assisting to teach cookery to teenage boys as a volunteer, some of whom have been in care or homeless, so I’m sure I’ll find it challenging as the course progresses.

Debbie you can let your breath go…Ok I’m going to buck the trend ,I’m not saying my 2 girls are perfect as they have their moments but we were all whooooooing last night as we read some of the posts and they were pleased to tell me how luckyI am ! And I am !

Mine are 13 and 11 and old beyond their years but they have always tided up after themselves and kept their own rooms tidy and for the past few years they do chores round the house for pocket money.If they want something extra they have got to “earn” the money for it.13 yr old will be starting work at local hotel this Easter,because she wants to and realises that she can buy more of the stuff she wants. They have friends who get everything handed to them on a plate but my two know we can’t afford that and the reality of life is your parents won’t always be around to help you out and you have to be responsible for yourself . I lost my Mum when I was 14 so have brought my 2 up to be able to cope with what life throws at them,I think that must have some bearing on how we are as a family. We were totally upfront with them about my suspicious lump and the implications so when I did get diagnosis it wasn’t such a huge shock as we had discussed what ifs. My hubs is a rock and I am full of pride for my daughters. I know I have had it easier in that was “lucky” to only have WLE,SNB and rads , but we do talk about the future and how much the diagnosis does your head in and at the mo they seem to be taking it all in their stride,weird to think that this is a defining thing that will shape them for the future.
We can only be how we are, who knows they might wake up tomorow and become the teenagers from hell !

Sandra x

I must be lucky too, I have two teenage sons aged 14 and 16, clean their own rooms and their own toilet, they also have chores in the house to do to earn their pocket money, eldest has a paper round.

They have been amazing since my diagnosis, we always make an effort to have quality family time, even if its just watching a dvd together. keep waiting on them changing into the teenagers from hell but so far so good!!!

my friends son is a horror, he is only 12 and already in trouble at school, but like others he is totally spoiled and always gets what he wants, she is not doing him any favours


Carol xx

Hi Sandra and Carol, it’s very refreshing to hear that your children are a credit to you.

I like to think that I brought my children up well, but unfortunately they aren’t as helpful as they could be especially the youngest.

They didn’t have things handed to them on a plate when they were younger as we had very little money when they were children.

I think that regardles of how you try and shape their lives if they are going to be rebellious and selfish it will happen anyway. My 18 year old is very immature for her age and is having several problems of her own at the moment. Hopefully she will come out the other side a more rounded individual.

I know she loves me and she has a very compassionate side and a heart of gold in there somewhere. She recently had her head shaved for charity which is a big thing for an 18 year old girl.

I just wish that she would help me more and contribute to the household, but hey, I suppose we can’t have everything. Lol.

Debbie. xx

Hi everyone

I’ve read this thread with great interest and realised that my husband is a rebellious 15 year old trapped in a 66 year old body.

Chins up

Love to all battling with this awful disease and difficult family members.

Jan xxx

Jan - have you tried taking away his beer & remote control? :slight_smile:

Anatell, I’m so sorry you’re having this problem. If it’s any comfort, teenagers are programmed to be utterly selfish, and it is entirely normal. I certainly was a vile creature until I went away to uni.

I wonder if they understand the seriousness of the condition - maybe you’ve been trying to shield them to the extent they think it’s no big deal? I know my 14 year old did his own research, and has been quite considerate since - also finding me weeping a few times seemed to have a positive effect on his behaviour. The one away at uni is less involved, but that is natural. Maybe it would be worth explaining that the stress they are causing is affecting your prognosis?

Wow I am overwhelmed by the response to my thread. I knew things were difficult for some other women I know going through cancer, but I didn’t realise quite how wide spread the problem was.

I have always tried to bring my girls up to be nice to everyone, which is why I feel that this hurts so much more. Especially when they bend over backwards to help someone else but not me.

I worked with troubled teenagers for many years and I am aware of their issues etc… I have spoken to professionals about how teenagers ignore issues rather than face them as a self preservation tactic…It’s easier to ignore it than face it and feel the pain.

All I can say is thank heaven this site exisits so I have somewhere to turn to and say what about me, I am the one with the disease, I lost a breast, my hair, eyelashes eyebrows, having to go through the chemo and the indignitaires that go along with it all…

And it is good that no one makes you feel bad here for shouting “WHAT ABOUT ME?”


I love my kids and am fighting to stay alive to be with them, but there have been times when I have wanted to just vanish and leave them to it, but I can’t and won’t do it to them…

There must be a service out there we can get help for them, maybe schools should become more involved with peer councelling… My 12 year old thinks she should join “young carers”, I laughed when she said it, almost choked on my drink… I said what do you do? All she was interested in was the activities and opportunities available to the kids, what SHE could get out of it…

Good luck and best wishes to you all and thank you for your contributions to my rant…

I think social and community responsibilities should be encouraged at school in PHSE, I do not spoil my kids, if they want things they have to pay for them, or earn them, they know how to cook and clean…