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