During the summer holidays I’ve noticed so many mums out with their own mums, helping them look after their children, and enjoying spending time with their grandchildren. It’s really lovely to watch and I look at them in envy, wishing that I had that support. Wishing that I had a mum that wanted to be around me and James, that wanted to join in with our adventures and watch James growing up in the same way that I do.
The summer holidays can be quite a lonely time when you haven’t got your usual routine in place, especially with friends going away and seeing their own families. It can be quite exhausting thinking of ways to keep a toddler entertained when you don’t have playgroup, or your usual groups to rely on. When friends are away or busy there can be days when it is just you and your toddler and you are in desperate need of some adult conversation. Most people would then just pick up the phone to their mum, someone who in theory should always have time for you, but not all of us have that option.
I have friends who are so lucky to have their mums around, to rely on them whenever they need a bit of help. I also have friends who haven’t got their mums around, not just those whose mums are no longer with us, but those whose mums may live in a different country and can’t just appear at the drop of a hat when needed. I know that not everyone gets on with their mum, and not all mums are the same. There will be those that wish they saw less of their mum, or wish that she would stop interfering. I know not all mums are helpful and even though some people may have a mum, they may not get the support that they would have hoped for from them.
We are fortunate enough to have my dad and step-mum to call upon when we have to be somewhere and need help with James. James adores them both and loves going on day trips with them or playing at their house, which is lovely to see. My husband’s mum has also sadly passed away and his dad unfortunately doesn’t live near us, or James would be trying to steal his golf balls far more frequently than he already does. My point however is that mums are instinctively good at knowing when you need that extra help and being able to guide you in the right direction.
When you haven’t got your mum around life is that little bit harder. What some people may take for granted you really long for. You don’t get to ask for advice on how to deal with those annoying toddler tantrums. You don’t get to ask for help with childcare whenever you need it. You don’t have that person caring for you, looking after your needs and checking you are ok. I don’t have my mum to call when James is ill and I want her advice on what to do, or reassurance that he will be fine. I don’t have her to call when I am ill and need some help with looking after James, but I do have a wonderful husband that takes time off work to help. Most of all you don’t have your mum telling you that you’re doing a great job and that she is really proud of you. Sometimes we all need that pick me up from the one person that it means the most from.
I don’t know any different. The only way I know to bring up James is without my mum around and to a certain extent that means that my husband and I have made things up with James as we go along. We may come across as clueless at times and I am sure some people look at us and think we are doing it all wrong, but we power through to the best of our abilities because we don’t have the guidance from either of our mums.
My husband works extremely hard and often away from home to ensure that I am able to be a stay at home mum to look after James. Despite not having a mum I am still incredibly grateful for what I do have, most of all a caring and supportive husband that does everything he can to make sure James and I are happy. We will always look back knowing that we have pretty much single handedly brought James up to the person that he becomes, and that is something that hopefully we will be proud of.