Thursday, 18 October 2012

When You Can't Be There To Give A Mummy Hug...

As a parent, we want to be there when our children need us.  When Freddy falls over and hurts his knee, it's me who will dry his tears and give his sore leg a gentle rub.  If Kizzy falls out with a school friend I offer the advice that she wants to hear and let her know that regardless of what someone at school may think, I know that she is an amazing human being.  Teenagers' problems bring their own brand of parenting skills that are  needed to weather the storm, and Ella always knows that I am right here, fighting her corner and ready with a cuddle whenever she needs one.  I just want to see my babies happy, and I'll do whatever is in my power to try and make them smile again.

When your children grow up and become adults the dynamic of the relationship changes.  They leave home and start on their own paths through life.  I am no longer the first person there when my grown-up children have a problem. I may be at the end of the phone but I'm not physically there for them at that moment when they need me the most. 

Today, my 20 year old Megan had a crash on a dual carriageway in Central Manchester during rush hour on her way to work.  My poor shaken daughter was thankfully not hurt in the collision that left her car immobile in the middle of the road and smashed the front of the Volkswagen that she collided with.  I thank our lucky stars that she is safe.  We can get the car fixed.  We can pay for the damage on the other car.  As long as Megan is OK that is all that matters.

Ian went to her rescue and managed to get her car back to her house after doing a few repairs roadside, although there is a lot more work needed to get her car roadworthy again.  Meanwhile I sat at home wishing I was there to give her a cuddle and celebrate the fact that despite everything she was still in one piece.  I want to hug away the thoughts of what might have been and help her and me get through the ordeal together.  But with Freddy at nursery and the girls at school, I can't just drop everything to fly to the sides of my older children.  We have to schedule a visit which means that I am not always there when I am needed.  I can listen to my child crying down the telephone and not be able to wrap my arms around them.  It is not easy.

My son is just nine short weeks away from becoming a dad.  It pains me to think that I won't be at his side when his baby comes into the world.  I'll be at home waiting for the phone call which will be followed by a two hour drive to get to my son and my new grandchild.  I know what an emotional, stressful and tiring time is can be following the birth of a baby, but it won't be me there if Joe needs a shoulder to cry on or some advice at 3am.  

I think it is the 'letting go' part of parenting that is proving the hardest to deal with.  Mostly I am fine and I am so proud of Megan and Joe and their achievements, their ambitions and their ability to make lives of their own.  I enjoy them being independent and love being able to visit my grown-up children and feel a  part of their new lives.  No longer in control, no longer making decisions on their behalf, but there because we love each other and want to spend time together.  It is when I know they need their mum that it hurts me to not be there. 

Today on Facebook, a very wise and lovely friend said something in response to a conversation I was having regarding having grown-up children who need us when we can't be with them.  She has been through the same thing and understood exactly how I was feeling.  She said:

It is horrible, but at least they know we'd like nothing more than to give them that mummy hug xx

As long as my kids agree with that statement, I know I've done my job.



  1. Sarah at PhotoFairytales18 October 2012 at 17:14

    A lovely poignant piece - when my daughter was tiny (and I was still a rooky mum) I remember sitting on a bench watching her eat an ice cream and wearing most of it on her face/in her hair. After a panic when I realised I had no tissues with me, an elderly lady sharing our bench lent over and pulled a packet from her handbag. "I'm always prepared", she said with a wry smile, "once a mum, always a mum - my son is 58 now and doesn't need his nose blowing any more, but I still make sure I've got a packet with me!" And I bet that son of hers knows she does too!

  2. That made me cry! As a daughter that has moved miles and miles away from her parents, I long for that Mummy cuddle sometimes and I know my mum really struggles when things go wrong for me. However we have an understanding that to be in each other's thoughts is just as good! I am glad that your daughter is safe and well.

    I regret moving so far away but I am pleased that I did as I have a lovely OH and a wonderful daughter. Without moving to Preston, this wouldn't of happened.

    Lots of hugs x

  3. I think you have done a fab job and I dread the teenager time when I will not be the first point of contact for my boys. My mum was 100's of miles away, but always there for me.

  4. Gosh poor Megan but so glad to hear Ian could come to the rescue. Heres to hoping our children will still want Mummy cuddles when they are 40 as i'm sure we will still be happy to dish them out for ever xx

  5. I know, without a question of doubt, that your family always know they can rely on their amazing parents - it is hard when you so want to give a loved one a much needed cuddle especially if something horrible happens as in Megans case. I just thank God that she wasn't badly hurt but she knows she can rely on you and Ian at any time. xxxx



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