Mothering Without My Own.

Remembering always my beautiful mum Marian 1960 -1999.

I had been putting this off for a long time; writing about how becoming a valiantlymum has made me mourn the loss of my own mum more, in the last four years, than I did the previous thirteen. To be honest, I just didn’t know where to start.

Recently, on dropping my little man at school, we were informed of the sudden passing of the mother of a little girl in the preschool. As a mark of respect there would be no class the next day. I mumbled, ( I actually don’t know what I said) grabbed the note and scuttled off. More than likely it appeared that I didn’t care, or had something I deemed more important on my mind. The truth was the opposite. I couldn’t face the reality of the situation.

I had to run. I had to get to my car before the tears came.

And they came.

I cried for the loss of a life of a young mum I didn’t even know. I cried for her family and friends. I cried for her husband who would have to be strong for his children and as all parents do, put them before everything, even his own grief. I cried for him thinking that after the loss of their son just a few years ago, life would be so unjust to take his wife too, and I cried for her children.

I cried for their loss, not just now but for the loss of the relationship they would’ve shared with their mum and the loss they would feel at every momentous and eonderful milestone and moment throughout their lives to come.

And that was when I realised I also was crying a little bit for myself.

The loss of my mum aged seventeen was a tough lemon to suck on but I got through it and got over it … or do I thought. My Debs, my twenty first birthday, going to college and my first job, all milestones that would have been quite different had my mum been part of them. Until my wedding I sailed along coping valiantly.

The floodgates opened, quite literally that day and I haven’t been able to shut them since. The suppressed grief has caught up with me and I guess I had ten years plus of crying to catch up on.

Life after James, my firstborn, was basically as it always had been, just with a little less sleep and with a new sidekick in tow. It wasn’t until the birth of my beautiful daughter and having two children under two that I realised just how much I was missing out on not having my mum around and how mothering without your own mum was so hard.

Losing my mum to the big C before I had got over my teenage angst, was difficult. I often wonder what kind of adult relationship would we have had, would we have gone shopping together, to events, trips away or even just sat at the kitchen table with a cuppa putting the world to tight? Maybe we would still be clashing, bickering and disagreeing.

Either way I would like to think I would have got to know her – nit just as Mammy – but as Marian. I now know since becoming a mum that there is so much more to a woman than her role as a mother.

I must admit, my first experience of giving birth I had a bit of a nervous wobble while gone up and waiting for my c- section. I cried, I felt insecure and nervous and silently, I cried for my mammy. The last time I had been gowned up I had been a child having my adenoids out and grommets put in and I felt no fear because I had her by my side.

I have two great sisters one that is even nicknamed “auntie mummy” by my kids, and without them I often joke I’d be in a strait jacket. Aforementioned auntie mummy often talks about her ride or due bitches, those friends that have your back no matter what. As I get older I see my friends and their mums and I realise for most young mums their own mum is the queen ride or die bitch.

Your mum is the lady who has been there, gotten the tee shirt and advises accordingly. The lady who knows when your near breaking point and provides some you time by taking the tots. The lady who reassures you that you are not alone in tough times and the lady who reassures you, most importantly, that the hard times – they too shall pass. Sometimes the only person who can reassure you like this is your mother and that’s when mothering without your mum can hurt deeply.

Of course, it saddens me to think of how much she would have loved the gruesome twosome. She lived children and would’ve been a super granny. Would she have wanted to be called granny? Nan? Nana? What kind of relationship did she have with Nanan (her own mother)?

How did she cope when she had us? Did she take it all in her stride or find motherhood challenging at times despite looking like she was a pro juggler?

On the humorous side of things James has recently told me I’m a bad lady and a mean mammy, and it just rolls off me without hitting a nerve. If I learned anything from that teenage relationship between my mum and I, it was that things said in anger are mostly hot air and there’s little or no truth to it. So I’m ready for the drama and the I hate you when the day comes!

Until then I’m striving each day to be the great mum mine was in the years we had together and pray a little prayer that my little Luce will be easier on me than I was on my poor mother.

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