Posts Tagged ‘children’

I always wanted children but didn’t meet my husband until I was 34 and we decided to ‘try’ to get pregnant when I was 37. I came off the pill and expected it to take some time. Four weeks later I felt like crap. So very tired and sore boobs and bingo – a blue line – on BOTH home tests. This was two weeks before our wedding.

I was still living in England at the time and midwives deal with most pregnancies and births there so off I trot to meet Rosie the midwife. She takes my details, tells me that I have to have the pregnancy ‘confirmed’ by the doctor – hmmm two tests, sore boobs and unbelievable tiredness not enough? She handed me a card, told me off for not taking folic acid supplements and that’s where it started. It had the words elderly primigravida written on it in capital letters or in other words old first time mum.

Throughout the pregnancy my advanced age was constantly mentioned. I wanted a home birth but it was – oh no, not for a first birth and ‘at your age’. Always been a bit of a hippie me – as was confirmed when I took the hippie test on this blog. I didn’t want pre natal testing but the midwife was horrified because of the risks ‘at your age’ (I still refused anything other than scans – and that was because I wanted to see my baby).

Thing is, I didn’t feel old. I’m fit and healthy and always felt younger than I am and I just believed that my baby would be healthy and everything would be fine – so way to go guys – try your best to try and make me feel old.

To all you older mums out there did you have a similar experience? If you’re not a mum have you experienced anything that made you feel older than you felt before? Do you think attitudes have changed since 1997 when I got pregnant – there’s an awful lot of older mums these days?

Advertisements

In the book Good-Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting the author Renee Syler takes a look at how being a good-enough mum has become the new perfect for those of us who juggle raising children, working, keeping house and having some semblance of a personal life. I most definitely see myself as this kind of mum. I’m okay with pajama days, cereal at lunchtime sometimes, not sewing costumes and not baking. I give my girls lots of love and attention but I just am not a ‘super’ mum.

However, there are those days, where no matter what pep talk I give myself, I feel that I am not a good-enough mother. Today is one of those. My eldest went boating on a lake with a friend and her family and came home with horrible sun burn and felt quite ill last night. She had the shivers and felt dizzy as well as being terribly sore. And to top it all I was on a girls night out and got home to find her feeling so sick.

There the guilt starts. I should not have let her go knowing how easily my kids burn. I didn’t tell her often enough about how often to reapply sunscreen. Did she wear her rashie and use the sun screen? She did – but just didn’t reapply in the 4 hours they were in and out of the water and we live at high altitude so the sun is strong here.

No one ever warns you about how difficult this part of being a parent is. You have to let them go as they grow up but you still are responsible for keeping them safe from harm. I know it’s not really MY fault that she got burnt. I have nagged often enough about sun safety but the guilt remains. Luckily I still have a tub of sudacrem which, for those of you that don’t know it, is sold as a nappy rash cream but is the most wonderful antiseptic healing cream and she’s currently slathered in the stuff. Don’t know if I’ll let her go boating on a lake again though….. and I’m learning that the guilt will always be there.

What do you find difficult to deal with at times as your kids grow older and you have to let them go?

Having spent my early twenties wasting time waiting for a go nowhere boyfriend to marry me we broke up (well actually he went off with someone else and got married) and I was heartbroken.

So, I decided to break out of the mundane and have an adventure to ‘find myself’. I’d always done a lot of babysitting so I decided this was a good way to see some of the world and work. I bought The Lady magazine and applied for an AuPair/Nanny job in the most remote place and unpopulated place I could find, Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada

I had a fantastic time! I looked after 3 kids, Alice, 9; Thomas, 6 and Douglas, 5 and had great host parents Sue and Dick (Richard).

Fort Qu’Appelle is a small town of around 2,000 people called. However, strictly speaking I lived in B-Say-Tah which was outside Fort Qu’Appelle on Echo Lake and had a population of around 200. Fort Qu’Apelle is in a valley in the Prairies and even has a ski area which is where Tom, who was one of the boys I dated there gave me a ski lesson of sorts before my disastrous trip to Banff .

I think I was probably a bit of a nightmare in many ways as I was a bit of a party girl spending most off my ‘off’ time in Trappers Saloon. But the family seemed to love me anyway as I worked as hard as I played and I loved those kids as if they were my own. We’ve kept in touch ever since and I plan on taking my family to visit them at some point now we live in Utah. One of my ‘kids’ has even recently had a baby so I now feel like I’m a Grandma!

I learnt such a lot in that year. I learnt that I love to travel, I love children, I love living in the open spaces of the mid west and I love the independence of striking out and going somewhere I’d never been before. Being an Au Pair was one of the most fun times in my life (and I’ve had a lot of fun) and I did it for 5 years so there’s a lot more to talk about on the subject and it’s the reason I became a childcare coordinator for an AuPair program when I later moved back to the US with my own family.

I wonder sometimes where I’d be if that boyfriend hadn’t gone off and married someone else. I may never have left Derbyshire and I wouldn’t be the person I am today. From that I’ve learnt that life is what happens when you’re making other plans, as John Lennon once said, and that even when your life seems bleak good usually comes out of it.

Have there been any pivotal moments in your life where you have gone in a completely different direction to that which you planned?