The great Young Mum hoax

I was told, that being a Mum of young kids was the hardest time in a woman’s life.

image Flickr CC- https://www.flickr.com/photos/rickruppenthal/ (cropped)

image Flickr CC- https://www.flickr.com/photos/rickruppenthal/ (cropped)

The crying, the sleeplessness, the mess.ย And that’s just you, let alone the little masters and mistresses you have about your person. Now that I’ve reached the ‘sweet spot’ of middle-age (gulp) I realise it’s all a hoax.

Being a Mum of young kids isn’t a breeze, I’ll grant you that, but I don’t think it’s the hardest phase at all. This is. For one major reason. You are never quite enough. For an invisible person (oh you’re invisible in your mid-late forties, I’ve discovered that) everyone needs you.

This time it’s not just the babies or toddlers under your feet, this time it’s not only them but your husband/partner and your aging and often ailing, parents. It feels as if you’re just not quite enough, truth be told.

I was woken at 4am this morning with my 20 year old son white faced knocking on the front door. It had been a normal enough night. I’d been working in town and got home late. My Englishman and the girls helped prepare a late dinner, after which I did some work (it’s never-ending at the moment) and tried to get an early night… at 1130.

I woke at about 1 am thinking it was unusual that Son wasn’t home from his gaming night at University. ‘Maybe he went to his Father’s in town after all’ I thought quietly. Though that would have been unusual as his father is appearing in court today after a long protracted legal battle after his finance company collapse. I’d suggested maybe his father needed some time on his own. I thought it odd. But went back to sleep.

I was woken by loud banging on the front door at 4am. Son was there, white faced but under-playing it. ‘You didn’t get my message,’ he said. That would be because I’d been trying to get some sleep and had my mobile on do not disturb. ‘I sent you a text from the hospital.’

HOSPITAL?

But he was there standing in front of me. He was OK. He was OK?

He told me how the car he’d been a passenger in had been involved in an RTA and had flipped onto its roof.

‘There was glass everywhere Mum. Ironically it was outside a glass shop.’

That’s my Son still seeing the irony. But everyone is OK. The driver his friend, the other driver and him. Everyone was OK. So why then was I shaking? And then subsequently couldn’t sleep? I lay awake in the early hours panicking – what if the hospital hadn’t checked him out properly. What if he’d been hurt?

I wanted to go and grab him and put him back in his safe little cot and pull up the safety rail. I wanted to pull the string on the clown mobile above his downy head and say the prayer that every Mum whispers – irrespective of belief.

But he’s a man, and will no longer fit in my cot.

Of course the background to all of this is also murky dark. It seems everyone needs me – clients, my ill husband, my ailing Mum… Yet, I’m not in control. I can’t make their problems go away. I can no longer kiss it all better. I can’t sterilise the bottle or keep them away from harm and hurt. I do the best I can to help and heal but in the end I can only stand by and watch.

That bs they told me about being a Mum of young kids being the hardest time? Yeah, bollocks to that. This is harder.


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'The great Young Mum hoax' has 20 comments

  1. May 7, 2014 @ 9:45 am MelC

    Totally agree Vicki. It seems so much harder because there are so many things us Mums just can’t control as they get older. Tom’s off to Uni next year (probably in Wellington) and I’m already starting to feel panicky about him drinking, getting hurt…..not eating right, not taking his vitamins ;0) Just want to wrap him in cottonwool even though I know it’s great he’s growing into an independent man.

    Reply

    • May 7, 2014 @ 10:00 am vegemitevix

      Hilly’s off to Vic next year too and only yesterday I found myself thinking ‘only eight more months or so until she’s off’. Scary. Then there’s the older parents thing too which starts to weigh on our minds. Just feel like the stuffing in the middle eh.

      Reply

      • May 7, 2014 @ 10:48 am MelC

        True. So I might see you in Wellington for the Open Day in August? Wouldn’t that be ironic?? (That we’re in the same city but meet down there lol). My Mum had a major health scare 10 years ago so have had a taster of what older parents could be like. She’s only 65 now though

        Reply

  2. May 7, 2014 @ 10:50 am Wellington Chic

    Glad to hear your son is OK Vicki, scary time for him and his friends and then for you guys after!

    Been thinking along a similar line lately, that it all seemed so much easier when they were younger, but then doubting myself that maybe I just don’t remember it the same?
    Your so right, it’s hard no longer being in control of their little lives and that we can’t make their problems go away.

    Feeling for you as you are being pulled in every direction and trying to be everything to everyone.

    xx

    Reply

    • June 1, 2014 @ 12:15 pm vegemitevix

      I’m certain that there’s an element of ‘the grass is greener’ in our memories. Staying awake all night with a sick baby wasn’t easy either if I recall. Thank you for your thoughts, it definitely is a challenge trying to be there for everyone.

      Reply

  3. May 7, 2014 @ 11:17 am Madeleine @ NZ Ecochick

    omg what a scary story. I got goosebumps reading. So glad he was ok. Oh dears I thought it was supposed to get easier when my kids grow up. though my oma always said little children little problems, big children big problems. Keeps things a bit in perspective. So good and sad that they have to grow up mxx

    Reply

    • June 1, 2014 @ 12:14 pm vegemitevix

      It certainly does bring perspective, and reminds me of the times they were little and I made the mistake of wishing them older, more grown up, less dependent. Oh boy. I take that back now.

      Reply

  4. May 7, 2014 @ 12:08 pm Bianca Swanepoel

    Glad your son is okay, Vicki. Shoo-ee that’s scary.

    For me, I’ve realised that the hardest mothering stage is whatever stage I’m experiencing at the time (then: screaming babies = challenging, now: teenagers = also challenging), but I hear you – when you throw ailing parents and the mid-life issues that come with the territory, into the mix, it does push things up a notch or two, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚ And I guess we never stop worrying about our kids, no matter how old they are, do we?

    Happy Mother’s Day for Sunday, btw. ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

    Reply

    • June 1, 2014 @ 12:13 pm vegemitevix

      So true Bianca. Isn’t it incredible that it is such a life long journey. I didn’t expect the aging parents aspect though, that’s been a bit of a shock. Hope you had a fab Mother’s Day too. My family took me out to Bucklands for lunch which was very special. xx

      Reply

  5. May 7, 2014 @ 3:56 pm mrsdesperate

    How frightening. I was taken in about the baby hoax too. I always thought that would be the hardest part, but have discovered it just gets harder and scarier. My parents say that you never stop being a parent or worrying about your kids – I guess they are right. Glad you are both ok! x

    Reply

    • June 1, 2014 @ 12:11 pm vegemitevix

      Funny thing, my Mum says that too. She’s now 76 and she still worries. In fact so much so I don’t tell her things to save her the worry.

      Reply

  6. May 7, 2014 @ 5:35 pm Di

    I agree with you. Now that Thomas has his Licence (age 18) and the freedom to come and go. Now that he is legally old enough to go clubbing. Now that I only have a few more months of him before he leaves home. THIS is the hardest time of all. So glad that your boy came through it unscathed. Hang in there, Vix. Thinking of you.

    Reply

    • June 1, 2014 @ 12:11 pm vegemitevix

      We still haven’t embraced the driving thing but for now it’s the other drivers on the road that are scary enough!!

      Reply

  7. May 7, 2014 @ 6:56 pm MidlifeSinglemum

    My grandma used to say: Little children, heavy arms, big children, heavy heart.

    Reply

    • May 8, 2014 @ 11:07 am expatmum

      Wow – that’s a good one. So true.

      Reply

  8. May 8, 2014 @ 11:10 am expatmum

    Parenting when they were little was a piece of cake compared to now. Daughter is off in Europe and every week there’s a bloody drama (lost wallet with everything in it was the last one – no access to money, lost student ID, lost driving license etc.). And of course, they can drive so when they’re out in the car I worry all the time. They do understand that when i ask them to let me know when they’re leaving somewhere it’s not because I’m keeping track of them, it’s so that I know to be worried when it takes them longer than usual to actually walk through the door.
    And yes, I put my phone on silent when I’m in bed otherwise it’d be pinging all night. I should really set it to “except for my kids”.

    Reply

    • June 1, 2014 @ 12:09 pm vegemitevix

      I haven’t put it on silent since. I think that ‘everyone but the kids’ setting is definitely the way to go. Next year our oldest daughter will be away at Uni and I’m worrying already. ;-p

      Reply

  9. August 28, 2014 @ 6:52 pm Iota Manhattan

    Oh gosh, so glad he’s ok. No wonder you were trembling and couldn’t sleep.

    I’ve just posted a flippant post on the difference between having infants and teens. This post of yours brings the whole thing deeper and darker. Yes, it’s not just the smelly socks. It’s the awareness of how young and vulnerable they are in the big, grown up, adult world they’re entering.

    And yes. When you have babies and small children, you’re sort of given a free pass on other big issues. You focus on your kids. But you’re right. As soon as we’re no longer running round with wipes and calpol in our hands, we seem to fill our time and emotional space with everyone else’s troubles. Human Support Department. That’s what a middle aged mum is.

    Reply


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