I was a young mother once…

Feeling nostalgic

Recently I was away from home and on my own for the day.  It was quite a novel experience and one I enjoyed immensely!

I went for a run along the Yarra Trail (in Melbourne) and ended up at the Collingwood Children’s Farm cafe for a sit down and a reviving cup of tea – OK and a muffin 😦

Motherhood

Sitting there looking around me, I was immediately taken back to the time in my not so distant past.  As a young mother, I would often take my three daughters out and about to similar places.  I saw many mothers, and some fathers, having a fun time enjoying the fresh air, the animals, the bonding with others and simply being out of the house for a few hours.

There were also the upset toddlers, the tired mothers, the disgruntled babies and the not-so-fun stuff going on.  That’s just a part of life as a parent though.

I felt nostalgic for this time of my life and envied these young families in some ways.  I am in a  completely different place now, having been retired recently and old enough to be a grandmother. I still remember the feelings I had as a young mother, the feelings of inadequacy, the worry that I wasn’t up to the task, that I wasn’t a capable mother and yet I was responsible for these dependent little humans. The good days and the bad days.  I still wonder how they survived and grew into such amazing, clever creatures.  I think my husband had a lot to do with it!

1990
With my three girls in 1990

Fast forward a few years

Fast forward to 2017 and my eldest daughter has written a post with a letter to her 2006 self as she was setting out on an adventure to live and work in England (all the way from Australia).  It talks of her concerns, her homesickness and her love of family despite us being halfway across the world from her.

When you step on the plane you’ll be thinking of the adventures you’re going to have, the people you’ll meet, the countries you’ll go to and the new life you’ll have. What you won’t be thinking about is what you’ll end up missing out on at home while you’re away and rightly so in your mind you’re only going for a couple of years. Not much will happen in that time. Although it’s glaringly obvious, you forget life will go on even if you’re not there.

A few weeks ago it was Dad’s 60th birthday and you won’t be there for the party. Yes you saw him a month earlier on an amazing family holiday and celebrated with everyone then but you miss out on being there now. You’ll Facetime (FaceTime is amazing just you wait) and talk to everyone and see how much fun they are having together and they will laugh at how rugged up you are when it’s so warm there and then you’ll hang up and smile but that smile will fade into tears. Tears of sadness that you’re not there, guilt that you’re not there and longing as you wish to be there and not in your lounge getting ready to put the washing away.

Home is where the heart is and you’re fortunate enough to have your heart on both sides of the world.

Upon reading her post, through my tears I’ll admit, I thought back to that day at the farm cafe and remembered my nostalgia for a time when life was simpler in many ways and my babies were still so dependent on me.

I continued to watch the goings on for a while, thinking back over the years, and simply enjoyed the moment.

Baby
Happy little Vegemite

My daughter is still living in England and is engaged to a lovely English fellow.  They plan to stay there as they have made a great life together with many friends in a supportive network. I am proud of her and all that she has achieved, it’s not been easy for her at times.

Comparing our lives

A few years ago I wrote a post about each of my daughters (and my mother) comparing our lives at the same age. It was a very interesting exercise and one we all enjoyed.  Here are the updated links – Life at 28 and Life at 25 – I’ll be updating these as the girls age and take on new roles in their lives.  Here’s the link to the one I wrote on Melanie, at 30 and a bit.

She still needs me as her mother and she will always be my baby daughter, no matter how old she gets. I saw this quote recently and I think it says it all : a mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend.

Mother and daughter
Mother daughter love with my eldest

I must add that it was lovely to spend time among young families, as it seems wherever I go lately I’m part of a completely different demographic 🙂

Words of advice

I have no words of wisdom to add except to say that parenting is fun and it’s also hard.  It’s important to do the best job you can at the time and not to run yourself down. I can honestly say it is the most worthwhile job I’ve ever had.  The years fly by far too quickly so enjoy the moments as you make them.  Take the photos, write the stories down, keep your memories alive and tell your children how you feel – they grow up so fast these days.

family
All grown up now!

One day it will be you writing a post about your babies 🙂

My daughter blogs at The Wandering Darlings and I wrote a post about our blogging family.  Thanks to her post The Hard part of Living Abroad which prompted me to write my thoughts down.

Do you get nostalgic for times gone by too, or is it just me??

Enjoy your day!!

Deb xx

November 2018: I’ve updated this post a little and am linking it to Denyse’s #Lifethisweek with the prompt of: I remember

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66 Replies to “I was a young mother once…”

  1. Love this story Deb. It can be extremely difficult when the kids move away. On the one hand you miss them so terribly and they miss the family. On the other hand we are so proud of them for being confident enough to take on the world. Love reading your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely tribute to your daughters ❤

    Being a mother is a mixed bag of wonderful with hard, bitter bits. We tend to be really hard on ourselves and all the mistakes we think we've made. Those moments when we feel absolute joy in our grown children, and we think our hearts just might explode with pride, then every worry and regret just melts away ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nicely put Joanne, thank you for your lovely comment. I have to remember that I did the best job I could and the results Doral for themselves. I do miss those early years but I don’t know whether I could go through it all again!! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes – oh so true.. I wish I’d written down more of those ‘moments in life’ when our children were young.. you think you’ll remember them all and then you realise they’ve ‘disappeared’ into the ethos of our minds… As a ‘nanna’ I absolutely ‘savour’ those moments knowing how quickly this time will pass.. This is a lovely post and genuinely bought a tear to my eye x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your post made me stop in my tracks, along with your daughter’s post. The joys and tears and reality of having family on both sides of the world, far away in miles, close by in our hearts. Many thanks to both of you for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this is so beautiful! ❤️ I think FaceTime is amazing. When I lived away from my family being able to FaceTime home and “join in” made the homesickness that bit easier to deal with. I’ve not been blessed with my own family (yet hopefully) but I hope I’ll try to enjoy it all the good the bad and the ugly because time moves by so quickly! Blink and you miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww that’s so lovely! I moved just 100 miles away from home when I was 19 and even at the age of 36 my mum still hasn’t quite adjusted to me moving away… I can’t imagine how she would have reacted if I said I was moving to Australia!

    I love the relationship that you two have and the wonderful posts you write about each other!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Suzie! That’s a lovely comment. We’re lucky that we do enjoy a good relationship and I feel very lucky. But it’s not always been easy! Producing and bringing up my daughters is the best thing I’ve done in my life. 😊

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  7. Nooo…..I don’t want to write a Throwback Thursday about my sons. Your gonna think I’m a jerk but I just wrote a post called 6 reasons why the baby years can suck it. I wrote it b/c the baby years area hard, despite their cuteness. This post is so sweet and it looks like you and your husband have done an amazing job, raising 3 beautiful girls to women!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, I smiled at reading it!! I love your honesty and yes at times the baby years do suck but I’d still go back to revisit them if I could. It’s good being this side of bringing up children as I know so much more now. I’m looking forward to using all this aged wisdom when I finally become a grandmother 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! A grandmother that can sugar up the grandchildren then give them back to the parents for the inevitable sugar rush then crash. I have experience with that…often! And you are right…I’d go back and “visit” the baby years but the first time my son’s little wee-wee begins to to pee while changing a diaper, I’d be the first to hop back in my time machine and say, “peace out kids! C-ya in a decade!”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great having her as a blogger Carol. We chat all things blogging when we get together or on FaceTime calls and my husband just rolls his eyes!! I’m glad you get praise from your family, it’s good to have their support. I’m so glad you enjoyed my post 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I wish one of mine would blog..lucky you Debs…If I did I am sure mine would roll his eyes as well but they do give me photos and ideas for posts so I can’t complain really x

        Liked by 1 person

  8. What a lovely post. I have difficulties remembering when my daughter was younger – sometimes it feels as though it was another life and another person. I’ve just finished Richard Glover’s The Land Before Avocado & while I giggled at a lot of it – reading heaps out loud – my daughter can’t believe that life was ever like that. The world I was describing was foreign to her…I think that’s probably a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Min, time certainly does fly doesn’t it? Now that I’m a grandmother it’s so nice to have my memories of my daughters at that age to look back on. I enjoy talking blogging with my daughter, it’s great fun to have a common interest.

      Like

  9. This is just lovely and tells the true story of being mum from your view for sure. I wish I could say I enjoyed it. I longed to be a mum. Reality was different. I liked parts of it but I spent a lot of my life as a young mum and then an older mum with a husband who was not well (and had to retire from work at 30) and work full-time. I found the responsibility took its toll on me. HOWEVER, I was in a much better space when I was grandma for the first time aged 47 and have found this time in my life far more enjoyable than the mothering part. I have written about this in my memoir which I spit out one post at a time around once a month.
    Thank you for joining in #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is “Best Cake I Have Eaten”. P.S. I think mine will have several entries!! Denyse

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your honest response to my post Denyse. I understand everyone has a different view and it’s always good to hear from others how they managed through this sometimes turbulent time. I have read some of your memoir posts and always enjoy seeing your world. I agree it wasn’t always an easy time being a young mother and sometimes the misty rosy glasses pop on but I did enjoy the early days, the teenage years with three headstrong daughters not so much. I tend to gloss over those years for some reason. I am really enjoying this new time as a grandmother, like you, and can see just how hard it was in those first few years, with my new grandmother eyes wide open. It’s always good to join in #lifethisweek, I’m not eating much cake these days but I do have one or two I can share.

      Like

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