I Won’t Be Your Mama Forever, Little One


Kids, there’s going to come a day when I won’t be your mama anymore. I mean, I’ll still be your mum biologically-speaking, but you won’t need me as much as you do now.

Now and then…

Right now, I am your world. I know that. And it is such a wonderful privilege for me.

I can cuddle most of your problems away, and we work through the bigger stuff together. When your heart is breaking, you seek me out. As your eyes begin to sting with tears, you reach for me instinctively. When we cross the road, you squeeze my hand – only your mama will do.

But one day, you will move on.

I know it’s hard to imagine now, but it is inevitable. It is the natural progression.

You’ll have your own place, you’ll cook your own meals, and you’ll organise your own social life. You’ll probably confide in your friends instead of me too.

Not Your Mama Forever - children climbing on tree

Your mama needs me-time

That’s why I need my me-time – because when you’ve up and gone, I still need to know how to be me.

I know you’ve only ever known me as “mummy”, but 7 years ago, I was Lucy. I had my own likes and dislikes, my own favourite restaurants, and my own hobbies.

These days, it’s all about you.

As a mummy, especially a stay at home mummy, my identity is so wrapped up in yours. Sometimes I wonder if Lucy is even still there under this mum costume.

But one day I won’t be your mama anymore, not full time anyway. At that time, I’ll need to know who I am and what I’m about, independently of you. I’ll need to be able to make decisions about what’s best for me and I’ll need my own social groups.

I won’t carry the “mummy” label in quite the same way then – I will just be Lucy. And we could have 30, 40, 50 years in that new chapter, so Lucy and I need to be on good terms!

I know you find it frustrating when I’m scrolling on Facebook, or I insist on listening to my own music instead of Disney Princesses. (And part of me does feel guilty about it.) But, as a mama, I need those things.

Those brief, snatched moments of me-time let me be me, instead of “mummy”.

Not Your Mama Forever - mum watching children at park

I’ll always be your mama

Now don’t get me wrong – I will always be here for you. I will be waiting in the wings, ready to help out whenever you need me. However old you get and however distant we seem to be, I will always be your mama. I will always smile when I hear from you and make every effort to see you as much as your busy schedule allows.

This is not me pushing you away.

But my job is to train you up in independence. Every milestone you reach is a step away from my arms and into the strong, confident woman I know you will be one day. That fills me with pride and fear in equal measure!

But the point I’ve missed until today, is that I also need to be retraining myself into the strong, confident woman I used to be too.

Royal Berkshire Hotel Yellow Mug - Not Your Mama Forever

I need to be me

Somehow I need to retain enough of my former self to be able to function without you when you are gone.

  • I need to be the woman who can stride into a room alone and find somewhere to sit

(it feels strange going anywhere without you tangled around my legs)

  • I need to be the woman who calls her friends and arranges to go out for lunch

(instead of sitting at home because you’re asleep upstairs)

  • I need to be the woman who can hold a conversation about
    • politics

(not the playground type)

    • music

(not the Justin Fletcher type)

    • and art

(not the handprint type)

That half an hour when I retreat into the bathroom for a soak in the tub? That’s when the fragments of Lucy begin to resurface – when I get a chance to be with my own thoughts. Of course most of the time I’ll be thinking about what to buy at the supermarket or what to make you for breakfast. But it’s a time when I can switch off my eagle eyes and indulge in a little rest.

It’s not that I’m distancing myself from you. I am 100% all-in on this parenting gig! It’s just the knowledge that these years are fleeting and one day I will need to be a woman in my own right again…

 

Are you taking care of yourself properly (not just your mama self)? Are you good at holding onto your identity or do you find yourself merged with your child’s? Do you have any advice for mothers needing to find themselves again?

 

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Me-Time Is Important - I Won't Be Your Mama Forever. Our children are growing up and one day they will fly the nest. Self care for mums is so important because we need to know who we are when our kids are no longer around

20 Comments

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  1. 4
    Noleen Miller

    Well written and so true. I think the older our kids, we need to let go little by little – so teach them independence but to give them that assurance that we will still be there should they need us. Most importantly we need to let go for ourselves, to have our own identity.#Blogcrush

  2. 5
    The Dad Effect

    Thanks, this is great, so relatable. I’ve seen some seemingly solid marriages struggle after emptying the nest because Mum and Dad had only been Mum and Dad for almost 20 years and had long ago forgotten who they each were and what they were about. This was a great read. #BlogCrush

  3. 6
    Berni

    Lucy I love this post. Whats really amazing as your kids grow (and I know because mine is 20 now) is that the transition happens slowly. They gradually require space of their own and you gradually gain back time to yourself. Just as you start lamenting it, they will have a mummy moment, a moment of self doubt, the need for a lift, a comforting arm, a cry on your shoulder, some motherly advice… It makes the transition easier. xxx This weekend, i went to stay at my sons student house with him and his girlfriend… HIS house, he’d cleaned it and everything in preperation for my arrival… but i still was asked to help him fill in some forms and I paid for dinner out. The transition into adult hood and atching them make successes of it is so rewarding too x
    #blogcrush

  4. 7
    Anne

    I went wrong somewhere! This is just how it’s supposed to be and keep doing what you are doing. My older children are still very dependent on me in so many ways. One of them is autistic so he can’t help it, but the other…well she expects me to do so much for her still despite being in her late 20s. As for fleeing the nest? I had to get a bigger house to accommodate all seven of us. Keep striving for that individual inside and teaching your kids independence. I do with my little ones now…lesson learnt!
    #blogcrush

  5. 8
    Marylin

    SUCH a great post – it’s so important to remember you’re a person too… and on top of that, showing our children that we prioritise self care and independence will encourage the same for them. <3 #BlogCrush x

  6. 10
    Kate

    Oh this is all spot on! I waver continually between the sadness that this time will pass too soon and pining for a bit more time to reclaim myself. Ace post xx #blogcrush

  7. 12
    Tracey Bowden

    It’s so easy to lose yourself to being a parent, isn’t it! I do get a lot of time to be me but my daughter is nearly 12 now. But those early years it is so hard to separate you from them #blogcrush

  8. 13
    kirsty

    It’s that ever present conflict between never wanting them to grow up and being desperate to be you again! If I ever get sad about the thought of them all leaving I remember I still need my mum and I am 40! My poor mummy!! #blogcrush

  9. 14
    Alice | Letters to my Daughter

    This is so spot on and totally where I’m at at the moment – I’ve booked that trip to Spain and I’m going on my own for 5 days next week. I felt horrendously guilty about it when I woke up the next morning, but I’ve come to terms with it now and know that I’m not abandoning my daughter, I’m just taking extra special care of myself for a few days so I can be a better mum when I get home. #BlogCrush

  10. 15
    Nicole - Tales from Mamaville

    This is so true Lucy, and so important too. We sort of loose our individuality (and often self-worth) in the years we parent, and forget how to be our original selves again. In that sense, blogging gives us an identity, a hobby/career and something we can continue once the kids have flown the nest. Great post!
    #Blogcrush

  11. 16
    Kate

    I know I did not take care of myself. I am not the best mum in the world but I put them first a little to my detriment at times. It was 10 years before I took a break away from them for example. Keep holding on to you because at the end of the day that is all we have as we enter this world and leave it alone. Having said that, mums are always mums even after they pass on. #BlogCrush

  12. 17
    Helena

    It’s so important that we retain a little of ourselves during parenting so we know who we are when they fly the nest and are fully independent. Having said that there’s nothing wrong in part of us being poured into them. My eldest loves paint and I imagine this is because of me. Sharing in an interest is lovely. #BlogCrush

  13. 18
    Lisa Pomerantz

    Wow. You nailed this one and I must share it with my Mrs., who needs to gain this portion of her “Mrs.-ness” back and the kinder get older, more independent, and follow that natural journey. Mind you, they are 10 (on Saturday) and 7, so there is a whole lotta momming to do for us both, but this hits the spot. TY! #blogcrush xoxo

  14. 19
    Malin - Sensational Learning with Penguin

    Very true, and well-written! For me, it’s slightly different as I’m unlikely to experience the same level of independence from my child. None the less, I still need to be me, too, as well as his mummy. If not, I think we’d come to a point where I had nothing much of interest to offer him. And that would be so sad. x
    #BlogCrush

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