A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Leaving home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leaving home. Show all posts

Friday, 24 April 2015

After they've gone...

Leaving, home, empty nestAfter the girls left home and went to university I imagined that life would reinvent itself and I'd soon find a new niche after nineteen years of mayhem. I soon discovered that you'll always be mum and that this new phase of parenting involves sorting out issues from a distance. Just this week Olivia has asked me to proof-read several essays, while Sophia requested that I stay in for the entire day and wait for an urgent delivery - Grrr! It's as though they have staff - only we live so far away from one another.

As to when my daughters will make an appearance at home for the summer - I have no idea. All I know is that we're heading down south to move Olivia into new accommodation at the beginning of July. Who knows if and when we'll be called upon in the meantime?

Here's what happens when they've left...

1. You sell their extensive collection of Harry Potter Lego on eBay and immediately feel terrible for packing up their childhood and letting it go.

2. They arrive home again for the holidays with mounds of washing and the chaos starts all over again. It's a shock to the system as you appear to have forgotten how to share a home with your offspring.

3. You send occasional goodie bags and treats because life at uni (although brilliant) isn't as luxurious as it is at home.

4. They are in your thoughts every day even if you don't hear from them. They lead busy lives and it's good that they're learning to fend for themselves. You still miss them (a lot).

5.  Now that they're older they behave like grown-ups (most of the time). For some reason you find this mildly amusing. This doesn't amuse them in the slightest however, and it's best to keep this thought to yourself.

6. They arrive home and leave again without packing something that's essential. Think memory sticks, passports, house keys, underwear, coursework and books!

7. You're terrified by the prospect of your offspring returning home for good at the end of their course. I'm guessing this is normal? Perhaps someone could enlighten me?

8. The cat is perpetually confused. She just gets used to having her 'sisters' home and making the most of their company, only for them to leave again. You cannot explain these things to a cat.

9. You spend a lot of time thinking, 'What next?' and 'What was that all about then?' as you try to make sense of the mayhem that was family life.

10. By the time they head back to uni, you've sussed what it means to be mum all over again, but feel as though you could do with a holiday as you're completely exhausted.

Whatever you have planned for the summer here's hoping you're a lot more organised than me. Here's to making the most of everything whatever happens x

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Letting Go and Moving On...

Beloved daughter Olivia moved into her new uni accommodation back in July and was a complete poppet for making her own way home (how she describes uni - sob!) last weekend, after spending the month with us. It was tough to see her leave with her suitcase and holdall and to know that apart from weekly Skype sessions, it's unlikely we'll get to see her again before Christmas. The previous night she'd snuggled up next to me on the sofa, I made the most of hugging her and hoped that the memory would last a very long time.

Our other daughter, Sophia meanwhile, moved out of halls in June, brought all of her belongings back home and hence needed to move back to uni on Monday.

Sophia might be only 125 miles from home but the journey can be a difficult one. We are at the mercy of the motorway network and this can be a complete nightmare. We set off at 7am on Monday morning resigned to the fact that the day would be a long one and armed only with Ibuprofen and the promise of lunch at Carluccios.

We hadn't reached the end of the road before realising that there was a bag left behind in the hall. After retrieving this, we head off once more. As predicted the traffic was hellish and we arrived feeling knackered and unprepared for the day of chaos that lay ahead.

Her new house is fairly lovely for student accommodation and by the time we've unloaded and made her room habitable, it was looking rather gorgeous. We realised that we'd left all of the coat hangers behind and needed to buy an extension cable, but apart from that, it looked pretty good. We had no idea what else has been left behind? All of this will unfurl eventually and I'll get to send lots of stuff on in the post. Sophia is excited to be home and is looking forward to living in a house, rather than halls.

After shopping to replace some of the missing items, we headed off for lunch. Carluccios was a little bit of heaven after a busy morning and provided a final opportunity to spoil our daughter before she starts to fend for herself in the kitchen.

After lunch, we stopped off at the supermarket where Sophia flung lots of cheap student staples expensive stuff into the trolley with great enthusiasm as she knew that mum was going to pick up the tab!

Her cupboards and fridge were bulging by the time we'd unpacked all of the shopping and soon it was time for Mr A and myself to head home. I steal every opportunity to extract hugs from my daughter and whisper words of encouragement for the year ahead. I drive home feeling very sad indeed.

If the journey to uni on Monday morning was slow, the way home it was even worse. The M6 was closed and we had to take a detour that delayed us by more than 2 hours. We arrive home eventually to be greeted by a stroppy cat who has been home alone for more than 14 hours and we are too tired for anything but sleep.

This summer has been a hectic one with both daughters in our 3-bed detached. There were days when I couldn't hear myself think and I craved only peace and quiet and solitude. But now that they're gone, the house is too empty and I wish that I'd gone with the flow and made more of the mayhem. I find myself talking to the cat and contemplating finding a full-time job to fill the gap.

I hope that year 2 at uni is even more fabulous than the first. I hope that my daughters continue to mature into incredible young women and cherish every minute of the freedom that is theirs for the taking. There will probably never be another time in their lives when they are as free as they are now. They are happily settled at uni, lucky enough to be studying subjects they are passionate about and to share a house with exceptionally good friends.

It's a pleasure to see my daughters make their way in the world. At times it's also hard to acknowledge that I need to let go, but my daughters are growing up and it's what I must do....

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

10 Great Gifts for Freshers...

Lucky enough to know a teen heading off to university in the next couple of weeks? Pondering over what to get them as a going away present? Look no further, here are ten great suggestions...

1. Fancy dress costumes - any excuse for dressing up and Freshers are there with bells on. My daughter was lucky enough to receive a set of these as a going away present last year and they went down a storm.

Emergency Outfits - Spinning Hat

2. Travel mug - the perfect gift for the student who loves a lie-in. When Olivia announced that she'd never managed to get up in time to have a hot drink before any lecture, this is what she found in her stocking last Christmas...

Travel Mug - Thermos

3. A waterproof bag -  perfect for carrying books, folders and everything else besides. It's amazing how many students turn up without one and as they walk almost everywhere, everything gets wet!

Tote bag - Converse
Messenger bag - Superdry

4. Throw - perfect for when they're feeling homesick and need a bit of TLC.

Starlight Sherpa Throw

    5. Bag of treats - they're a long way from home and chances are they won't be splashing a lot of cash on anything luxurious in the food department. Think chocolate, cookies and popcorn...

    Gift Bag - Whisk Hampers

    6. Converse - universally popular, casual and comfy. Perfect for all that walking!

    Converse All Star Low Maroon Canvas

    7. Gift vouchers for their favourite store...

    TK Maxx gift voucher
    or, coffee shop...

    Caffe Nero gift voucher

    8. A photo album filled with memories from home...

    Geometric Triangle Photo Album - Paperchase

    9. Lights to cheer up drab dorm rooms...

    Tetris Light - Paladone
    Yellow Sunflower Fairy Lights - Sleepyheads

    10. And last, but by no means least, the perfect gift for the fresher who can't get out of bed in the morning (or afternoon)...

    Lexon Cube Sensor Alarm Clock

    Until next time...

    Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton 
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    Friday, 13 September 2013

    Friday the 13th

    OK, so it might be Friday the 13th - but my daughters also happen to be celebrating their 19th birthday.

    On Tuesday the 13th September 1994, Olivia and Sophia came into the world at 09:46 and 09:47 am respectively. Olivia weighing in at exactly 2 Kg and Sophia at 2.3 Kg, or 4lb, 5oz and 5lb, 1oz in old money.

    Having foolishly thought that I'd become worldly wise after giving birth, I soon realised that I was completely clueless. Nothing's changed and I've been perpetually mystified by motherhood ever since. Eventually I concluded that all mums make it up as they go along to the best of their ability.

    1994 was a long, hot summer and also the year that Four Weddings and a Funeral was released. Wet Wet Wet had been at number one in the charts for weeks on end, but on the day the girls were born this track had just taken over the number one spot.

    To this day, I can't hear it without thinking about becoming a mum and wondering if I'd ever get to go out partying on a Saturday night ever again?!

    My daughters will always be my babies - do all mums always think this I wonder? I find that I'm amazed at how they've grown up to be so different - surely, this has to be nature, not nurture.

    Sophia is passionate about rowing, loves art and has a real sense of adventure. Olivia on the other hand, loves books, socialising and has a wicked sense of humour.

    They both adore one another's company and so I was surprised that they chose universities eight hours apart. Together, they share a passion for music, travel and jokes that only twins would ever understand.

    Like most families, we've had our ups and downs over the years and now, my babies are all grown up and off to uni in just over a week. How did that happen? It doesn't seem like five minutes since I was reading bedtime stories and trying not to cry after treading on stray pieces of Lego.

    This year we're having a leaving party and presents will be mostly essential purchases for starting at university. Although we did manage to catch The Lion King earlier this week at the theatre. Sadly, the days when Sophia would have asked for a balloon, an animal and a hug for her birthday are long gone.

    By the time they both come home for Christmas, I'm guessing my daughters will have changed a lot. I hope that I'll still be able to extract the occasional hug and curl up on the sofa watching films.

    Thank heavens for Skype, as this is the only way I'm going to get to see them. It seems strange to think that it wasn't even invented when the girls were babies.

    So, at nineteen my daughters are leaving home - albeit temporarily. I am going to miss them more than they could possibly ever realise and hope that they have the time of their lives...

    Copyright ©2013 Izzie Anderton
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