Monthly Archives: August 2020

Half of my life!!

It’s my eldest son’s birthday this week.

He is going to turn twenty. He keeps saying how this makes him feel crazy old . Errrmmm makes HIM feel old , try being me !!!

A realisation has been creeping in with the birthday talk , I have been a mum for half of my life .I know !I know! you don’t have to have a masters in maths to work out that if you have a baby at twenty when he turns twenty, well that’s half of your life . It just feels a big deal to me !

I’d never planned on having children , they weren’t in my life plan. Some women know from being very young they’d like to be a mum , they’d like to have a family . I’d kind of assumed I’d have bigger fish to fry than child rearing ! Plans however change . I’ve always been a huge advocate of changing your mind and by the time I was 24 I had 3 babies and motherhood was most certainly the biggest feature in my life plans . So I spent my early twenties dealing with colic and potty training and weaning rather than partying and holidaying and all the other things that are sold to us as fun when we are young. I was having my own fun with these three brand new little people . Even though my homelife , as I’ve spoken of often, was far from an ideal environment the times when it was just me and them playing and reading and drawing . They were nice times . Exhausting times and I’m writing this with the hindsight of a good decade of decent sleep. Unfortunately ptsd has taken many of my memories of that time from me , but there are still a few nice little memories of their early years . Life at home was a dark , grim time but these three were the little pockets of good that made life bearable.

Being a mum has definitely changed who I am and probably who I would have been .

From being a young girl I have always had a strong belief that I could change the world (I blame my parents !!) I was a bit of an eco warrior from a young age , imagine a less effective council estate version of Greta Thunberg!! I could bore everyone to death about the rainforest and the hole in the ozone layer! I wanted everyone to listen and I believed changing the world was there waiting for me to do it !

Inevitably this zeal was kind of ground down in me by life and school and people who use the term ‘be realistic’ . It wasn’t totally extinguished though, just laying there a little dormant . Motherhood was the spark that brought it all back to life. Ok I can’t solve world poverty , can’t stop global warming , can’t create world peace. Maybe I can’t make the world a better place but I could improve our little world . I could change our little bit of the world , and that’s what parenting is I guess.

Once I became a single parent , I also had small girl by then too , focus changed . I became the parent wanting my children to absolutely believe that they could change the world. By the time the elder 3 were teenagers I worried about being the sole parental influence. Was I just pumping these kids with all my views on politics and feminism and the way of the world without them having access to alternate opinions. I needn’t have worried , you soon learn you’re not quite as influential as you think you are !

20 years of parenting though , half of my life . The thought just blows my mind a bit . I had no parents by the time I had my own children and was left relying on books and making up as I went along . Thankfully the kids have awesome grandparents on the other side who helped a lot and knew what they were doing !

There have been times in those twenty years when I’ve failed at parenting , pretty spectacularly. Times my mental health has meant the kids have had to put up with a below par mum.

There have been times too when I have had to be the bravest person I could ever be , find strength I had no clue existed . Leaving a long , abusive relationship was the hardest thing I’ve ever done , but was the best decision I have ever made.

Here we are now , them and I . An almost 20 year old , an 18 , 17 and 12 year old .

The harshest truth of parenting coming more and more into focus as they are older and can I say just amazing human beings. It’s that the end game of parenting , the aim . Well it’s to raise adults that can happily live their lives and thrive and blossom and no longer need you to do all of those things !! To raise happy functional adults that no longer need you as they once did .

The biggest kick in the teeth yet the hugest honour there is really ?

Parenting eh ? I’m forever grateful my mind was changed for me about having children. The hardest , best and most educational way to spend half my life , excited to see what the coming years bring us .