Why did I wait so long?

I’ve lost my mum when I need her most. She’s still alive, but her life is over. She lies in a bed, trapped in her body, confused by her thoughts. I still have her, but I’ve lost her guidance, her support, her love, her ability to walk into my house and see the pile of ironing, the person who would have helped me bring up my three young children. My beautiful new daughter is seven weeks old and I found out this week that she has inherited my chromosome disorder that was responsible for all my miscarriages. And what devastates me more than anything now that I’ve lost my best supporter, is that I might not be around when she needs me most. Even if she waits till she’s 30 (which is early by modern standards) I will be 70. If she waits until she is 40 like me, I will be 80. Will I be around when she needs me most? When she needs me to help her through possible grief and upsets as her fertility issues arise? When she needs me to hold her hand through her first pregnancy and help her with the housework? When she needs me to tell her her baby is the most beautiful child in the world and she is the best mum? To babysit, to councel, to listen, to share her joy, and share the burden. Why did I wait so long?

I thought I had to live my life before I had children…. that they somehow represented the end of something. I never realised of course, that they are the beginning. Why did I waste so much time? Why didn’t I give my mum many more years to enjoy her grandchildren?

My generation thought we were having it all by pushing motherhood later and later…… but I’m beginning to fear that we made a huge mistake. Now I think our generation will be left with nothing – no support systems, no guidance and no energy to help our children when they need us most.

Why did I wait so long? And another huge thank you to my blog-brethren – your support is so lovely at this time……. xx

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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5 Responses to Why did I wait so long?

  1. cath c says:

    oh, i know you are going through really tough stuff right now, and fully appreciate that.

    please don't let the decision to wait to have children overwhelm you, too, esp in what it will mean for them later. you have enough on your plate to worry about in the here and now. all of your daughters will appreciate all the time they have with you, of that i am certain, no matter how long it turns out to be.

    i had mine at 29, 32 and 42. i could not have mothered them so well if i had started any earlier than i did. you have not been selfish in waiting. you have been hugely responsible in waiting for the maturity to parent better. for this, your girls will always appreciate your presence as a good and involved mother.

    please, when you sit with your mother as she is now, hold her hand, breathe. be quiet with her and she will feel the love you so obviously have for her. you know in your heart what she would say, if she were physically able.

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  2. cath c says:

    i want to add, i have a few friends who are adult children of older parents, and while some say they wished their parents had the energy to do the things younger parents might do when they were kids, what they appreciate most about them is how present, wise and patient they were and are as parents.

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  3. Oh my love. Cath is right – sit with your mum as she is now. This is all so dreadfully sad but don't be so hard on yourself. Your mum has taught you so much and all that love, support and wisdom – you'll be passing on to your children even now. And your seven week old daughter will be feeling that love too. Love all of them today, don't worry about tomorrow or yesterday. Hugs to you all xxx

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  4. So sorry to hear about your mother, mine has Alzheimer's, diagnosed when my 4th child was about 2. My mother was 40 when i was born in 1975 & i can't say it was because of this or that i met my husband when i was a teenager or i was content with 2 degrees & all the travel i had fit into my life already by aged 23, that we were happily married & pregnant at that age too. But now i'm 35 with one starting high school & a fantastic life carved out with a large family, i am thrilled that i had 4 children in my 20s. Very sad my mother can't absorb it all. Love Posie

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  5. Sandy Calico says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your mum and the fertility chromosome. I had my children at 37 and 38 and I worry about the future and whether I will be around when they need me. Rosie is right, we need to do what we can today x

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