A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Letting go. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Letting go. Show all posts

Friday, 25 March 2016

Home for Easter

Empty nest, parenting, EasterDaughter Olivia is on her way home as I write this post. Sophia is already here after we collected her from uni last weekend. Last Sunday was a very long day and this meant that we have been tired for most of the week. Not that we shared that with our daughter obviously. To our kids, we'll always be mum & dad and therefore capable of anything.

I anticipate chaos during the week ahead as we adapt to living together as a family of four all over again. Sophia will work on final pieces for her degree show in May; Olivia, on her dissertation. There will be mess and mayhem, laughter and tantrums as I try (and fail) to keep everything afloat.

I read a fabulous post from Suzanne over at Chickenruby earlier in the week. What Happens After Your Kids Leave Home? summed up rather beautifully what it's like to live without your children once they're all grown. It resonated well with thoughts about my own daughters.

It's taken a while to settle down, but since my daughters left home and went to university we've got used to sharing our home with a cat who thinks she's in charge. I juggle 2 part-time jobs. Keep the house going. Find time to read. Enjoy long soaks in the bath. Go out for leisurely breakfasts with my husband. Attend local music nights. Spend time with friends. And secretly enjoy my own company more than I ever thought possible.

Having to factor in the needs of four all over again comes as a shock. I sometimes wonder if I'm becoming selfish in my old age - but it's rather lovely to be able to do all those things I haven't had time for since becoming a mum. I love my daughters more than anything, but accept that they need to live their lives and enjoy their own space. When they left for university in 2013 I couldn't imagine life without them, but now, I love that my daughters are capable of being independent - it kind of validates your role as a parent doesn't it?

For now, I'm mum all over again. Cakes are baked, the freezer filled, cupboards stocked and Easter Eggs hidden. I anticipate the car never being on the drive, the house unravelling and not being able to find what ever I'm looking for. The laundry basket will overflow, plans change at the last minute and I'll be up to date with the latest chart music.

When they leave, I will miss their company and the laughter that fills the house when they are here. 

As both daughters finish university in June, I have to get used to sharing the house all over again. Sophia's off to the US for 3 months and plans on completing a TEFL course and heading off again after that. Olivia's home for the summer at least. Who knows what will happen next? She returns to uni early for work experience at a newspaper and is busy applying for jobs.

Whatever happens I'm exceptionally proud of my girls and all that they have achieved. But just like Mummy Pig in The Three Little Pigs, I know that it's time for my daughters to make their way in the world and believe that this is the ultimate goal any parent could possibly hope for.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Letting Go of our Adult Children

It's not easy to let go of our children, no matter how old they are. But if you love your offspring aren't you supposed to set them free, in the hope that some day they'll come back to you with a deeper level of understanding and respect?

If you fail to support their decisions, will they ever turn into responsible adults who can cope with the chaos of real life?

When daughter, Sophia, announced that she wanted to apply for Camp America this summer, I had no problem with that. What worried me were her plans to stay in the US for three weeks at the end of camp and travel alone. Especially as she's five foot nothing and could easily pass for fifteen years of age.

My father was furious with me for supporting Sophia's decision, but as she's almost 21 years of age what are you supposed to do exactly? I remembered the time when he barred me from visiting New York at the age of eighteen, to work as an au pair for six months. I have never forgotten this, and suspect my decision to support my daughter was partly an act of rebellion almost thirty years too late.

You hope only that you've equipped your children with the skills to survive in the real world. As a family we've travelled a lot and our daughters are used to getting lost, lugging cases and getting out of scrapes. I was cautiously optimistic that Sophia would cope well with the highs and the lows of her trip.

And so, she travelled with my blessing. I hoped that we'd stay in touch, but a non-existent mobile signal put pay to that and instead, I received only intermittent emails for three long months. I went to bed each night and fell asleep hoping that she was safe.

During this summer my daughter has...

Been bitten by a poisonous spider.

Got completely and utterly lost in Downtown LA.

Lost her glasses in the Pacific Ocean. 

And that's just what she's shared so far...

She's also...

Worked incredibly hard.

Been on an amazing adventure.

Learnt to trust her own instincts.

Grown-up a lot.

And made lots of new friends.

Can a mum wish for any more than that?

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton
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