I’m missing the Mummy gene

OK, before I start, here’s a disclaimer … I adore my children and they know it (I asked). And this post is a wee bit late but I’ve been a bit leery about writing it because there are such strong ideas about Mummies.

But, I’m going to take a deep breath and just say it: I’m one of those mothers who DIDN’T cry or feel like crying when my kids started school.

I read and enjoyed the posts last month on MamaMia from Kim Wilkins and Sarah Macdonald about their babies starting big school and I follow celebrity mums Jessica Rowe (@msjrowe) and Mia Freedman (@MiaFreedman) on Twitter who both cried when their eldest and youngest (respectively) started school.

But me? Nope. I mentally kicked up my heels and went home to a blissfully quiet house.

I think I’m missing the Mummy gene.

My babies are 24 and 21 and you might be thinking I don’t remember that far back (god, 20 years!) but I do because I was one of the few mothers who didn’t cry at the school gate.

I’ve raised smart, funny, responsible adults and adore spending time with them but here are a few things that support my non-mummy gene idea:

  • When my eldest was in Year 4 (aged 9), she walked herself and her 5-year-old brother to school BY HERSELF.
  • They were in bed at 7.00 most nights (and sometimes earlier if we’d had a busy day or I’d had enough).
  • Lots of times the kids had noodles or spaghetti on toast for dinner and hubby and I had a nicely cooked meal after they went to bed.
  • When they got to high school, they had to make their own breakfast and lunch.

But I must have done something right.

One day my daughter and I went to a laughter workshop and when we were all asked what laughter meant to us, our beautiful girl said the thing she most remembers and loves about our family was that we always laughed.

That’s when I cried.

Musings of a young Nan

I congratulated a work colleague the other day on his newborn and we fell into a discussion about babies. He told me his other child was two.

OK, you’re thinking, so what?

He’s 52 and this is his first family.

I’m not judging him and it’s marvellous that he’s so happy with his new family but I compared his experiences with mine. My kids are 24 and 21 and I became a Nan at 43.

A couple of days later, another colleague told me about a friend of hers who is pregnant with her first child. She’s 48.

When this child is 21, I could well be a great-grandmother … scary thought.

My family have been young breeders: Mum had me at 21, I had my daughter at 23, and she had our precious granddaughter when she was 20 so with this kind of pattern, it’s feasible that I could be a great-grandmother in my early 60s.

It’s lovely to have grandchildren at a young age. We can act silly without feeling silly; we don’t creak too badly in the knees when we get down on the floor to play; we still remember all the nursery rhymes and stories we told our own kids; and, (I’m going to whisper this) we both get a little flash of pride when people tell us we ‘look way too young to have grandchildren!’

But there’s also a slight niggle with being young grandparents. And I’ll probably be bagged for saying that.

Neither of my grandmothers worked outside the home and lovely hubby’s grandparents were retired. We both still work, and work hard. I’ve also spent the last five odd years doing a PhD at Uni. Actually, the gestation and birth of my PhD coincided with our daughter’s gestations and births.

So, we’re busy and I’m sure my daughter gets irritated with me at times because I don’t have as much time to help out as she’d like. Or as much as I’d like.

But watching these precious bundles grow and learn is awesome and cuddling them, reading to them, chatting with them and seeing their eyes light up when they see us is pretty good, too.

It’s pure love. From us and from them.