Sometimes it’s hard to feel like a good enough mother – especially as you’re kids are growing up. Small children, small problems. Big children, big problems. I want them to be younger again, back in the day, when family life was more simple.
As a single parent I often wonder whether I’m doing things right and there is certainly more criticism than I would expect if I was still married and the strange thing is that it occurred to me the other day that I haven’t really felt safe since I was married because once your world falls apart, you begin to question everything around you and look about around every corner for other things that can (and inevitably do) go wrong. Suddenly feeling scared and exposed was both good and bad, it’s like being a child again, like learning to walk and talk again in a brave new world. Mostly, it’s OK because you have to learn new skills and start developing a harder outer shell but sometimes – and this is often when one simple little thing goes wrong, like your boiler or your chair or your TV, it all feels FAR too much to cope with and what with working as well and travelling more I just feel like my life is madly out of control.
I look around at all my friends and know that this is the same for most of us – flying by the seat of our pants in the face of adversity and struggling along. Aiming for what I wonder?
Sometimes I am aiming for the stars, other times all that I can hope for is that my children are happy and secure and that in itself is not an easy task.
I had the most amazing weekend with my daughter in Florence – an incredibly bonding experience and one that is entirely beneficial for her studies, but, it meant that I left my youngest son at home and when I got back guess what had happened?
HIS VOICE HAS BROKEN!!
Just like that, in the three days that I’ve been away he’s turned into a gruff teenager and I can’t believe I was away to miss the moment that changed and it’s a massive reminder that they are all growing up WAY too fast and I haven’t made enough plans for what happens next. My daughter is going to be leaving home very soon and the thought of that is killing me. It was only days ago that he was leaving me messages like this:-
I want my little chicklets back, safe in the knowledge that they are more or less where I’ve left them. On the play mat, in the cot, in the pushchair, in my sight. I’m not sure I can cope with ejecting another of my children out into the big wide world on their own, with the understanding of hindsight that it is far too late to do anything differently. My daughter had a lesson in how to iron a shirt and sew on a button at school yesterday – haven’t I already taught her how to do that? I can’t quite remember – we don’t do a great deal of ironing in our house. What about cooking and cleaning? All a bit late. What about socialising? I’ve taught her well I hope. We had a night out in Florence which involved many leary men trying to chat her up. I loomed large and then wished that I could do the same every night she goes out for the whole rest of her life, but I can’t – and she seemed to be quite capable of holding her own, but still….I guess they have to learn to stand on their own two feet BUT I CAN’T COPE WITH THAT AT THE MOMENT.
What it also means is that I will have to learn again how to stand on MY own two feet and I’m not sure I’m ready for the adjustment. Divorce makes you gather your children in and focus on them (in amongst the mad moments I’ve had along the way at the beginning) and I made the decision a long time ago to not get into a relationship that would involve moving a man in because it would affect their security (that is not to say I have made the right decisions along the way), but now what happens? What happens when they all leave home? I swing wildly from not wanting to have to look after anyone ever again to wishing hugely that I had somebody to look after me – all my friends who are single do the same. One minute they are strong independent women who don’t want a man, the next they are lonely and want to be with somebody – anybody and that is dangerous too. What is the answer to growing old? We all want a soulmate to share the journey with but the soulmate doesn’t necessarily have to be your significant other – or does it?
Being comfortable in your own skin is where I feel happiness lies, but after a weekend with two beautiful teenagers I feel I am in need of new skin before I am comfortable in it – liposuction, botox, fillers, face lift, therapy, diets, hairdressers and all the other stuff that goes with self doubt and body anxiety.
MIDLIFE CRISIS 362 AHEAD.
What is happiness and where do you find it? Should you just live day by day or have a plan. Is it too late for a plan? I refer to this lovely quote and would appreciate any thoughts on the above.
Do we have the courage to start all over again?