Posts Tagged ‘England’

This post was originally posted as a guest blog post on @newbreedmama’s (her twitter name) blog. The post means quite a lot to me so I decided to repost it here.

We recently went on a family road trip to California and visited The Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco. This took me back to memories of me when I was around 11 which is smack bang in between the ages my two girls are now (12 and 10) – I grew up in England by the way.

At that age I had an Easy Rider poster on our playroom wall and used to borrow my teenage neighbours record player and records for a weekly disco that I ran for my school friends. I used to charge a small entry fee and with that I bought biscuits (cookies) and lemonade to for all my friends. Early signs of entrepreneurship?

I also remember that The Isle of Wight Festival was on and my teen neighbours went. I couldn’t understand why my mum and dad wouldn’t let me go with them! And I remember that my mum would try and recreate all the 60’s fashions for me as she made most of our clothes and she even bought me a pair of boots like the ones in the picture.
These memories made me look at my girls and how hard it is to let them grow up and be themselves. It’s so hard to let go and I had far more freedom at that age than my kids do now. My eldest got really upset the other day over some little thing and sobbed that she wished that she were 18 and that we didn’t tell her what to do all the time (I seem to remember that we had told her off for not doing some small chore). I remember feeling way more grown up than I was allowed to be.

I do also remember those hormonal ups and downs but it’s so difficult to know exactly how to deal with them as a parent of two girls. I do my best and communicate and hug way more than my mum and dad ever did but I still feel I’m not quite getting it right. Add to that equation two very different personalities in my girls and I’m learning that each one is going to need very different things from me as a mum.

We have started to allow them some freedom. My 12 year old went for a sleepover with a 13 year old friend the other day and was exploring our small town and riding around on the free bus in the town and she loved it. I was, of course, worried sick. We also drop them at the movies on their own and leave them at home alone for short amounts of time while we go to yard sales or on a date night.

I’m learning that this time is way more difficult than when they were younger even though we have the freedom to go out without them at times. I’m also learning to understand where my mum and dad were coming from all those years ago.

How do you cope with either the actual or the thought of the process of letting go with your kids? What are you learning from seeing your kids grow up? Does watching them grow up bring back memories of you at that age?

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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?