Sunday, 2 May 2010

Changes

I've just read a post by one of my blogging friends North West London Girl in the Country about moving from the city, a life she knew, to a new lifestyle in the country. As she herself admitted her blog portrays an idyllic life, with beautiful children and a handsome husband. She's making great headways in joining the community life, but changing your life is never easy.

Yesterday we had the first viewing of our house in the country, an event which (hopefully) heralds the beginning, or even the end, of a change of life for me.

The signs that my life was going to change from the whirlwind that has been the daily routine of school runs, work, and family dinners (and everything in between) for the past twenty years or so, came when the first child left home for university four years ago. I cried my eyes out on the drive home from dropping Son off, a routine that was repeated every term for the first years. (By Year Three I'd got used to having to say goodbye to my baby).

I knew at the time that this mourning for the first child's departure was for me a premonition that everything would change, that the future would be different, that the children had now grown up, and that soon they'd not need me any more. During Son's university years, Daughter saved me. The amount of times I blessed their three and a half year age difference, which by no means was planned. It meant that I still had a girl at school, and had time to adjust to a childless house. I don't think I could have coped with having two children leave me one after another any sooner.

This all sounds so dramatic, I know. And I'm aware that all mothers go through this and that many factors could make the situation much worse. Also, I've been far from a perfect or traditional mother. I worked full-time most of the years the children were growing up. Still, it doesn't make these changes in one's life easier to deal with.

And now the final piece of the jigsaw is slotting into place with the sale of this house (Again I must cross my fingers here, in this market one mustn't assume anything). Don't get me wrong,  I am now absolutely dying to get out of here. I will not be sad if I don't ever set eyes on another cow in my life. (And I say this at the time when the fields in these parts are full of sweet young calves suckling on their mothers.) Yet, when driving home from London yesterday, I spotted a marquee in a garden just outside a pretty, Thomas Hardyesque town, and suddenly realised that I'd always planned to have Daughter's wedding in the grounds of our house.  Or even Son's. They would be horrified that I've been planning such a thing, but, I am a mother after all.

I told myself not to be so silly. It's all about being able to let go. A cliché I know, but so very true.

So Dear North West London Girl, even if we don't know the details of your troubles, be assured moving away from the country is as tricky as moving to the country. Especially when you've no idea where you're going yet. I know, I know, I do go on about this....

9 comments:

Kittie Howard said...

What a sharing post! Thank you! I don't think your emotions were dramatic, not at all. Just life. And I so understood when you said you were ready to Go. Once the decision's been made to get on with it, I'm impatient to do just that.

Wildernesschic said...

Helena I totally get you .. I love to be in the hub of the family I am increasingly aware that my babies are eventually going to leave, I know though more than them, its my husband that will not move anywhere more urban than here, in fact if he had his way we would be surrounded with hundreds of acres of land, so that we had no one close by... I have become accustomed to this and do enjoy it, as long as I have my London city fixes xx

Chic Mama said...

I am dreading that so much...already. Time goes by so quickly.
When we first moved to the country I found it all very traumatic and now pine for the City.
Good luck with the sale. Hope you are well. XX

Looking Fab in your forties said...

My eldest daughter left home just after Xmas 2008 and 10 months later, beginning of Oct 09, middle daughter left for Uni. It was, and still is, really hard for me I am so glad I still have two at home and with little man only being 9, hopefully I have got ages yet before I am left alone.

Helena Halme said...

Kittie, I'm just a sharing kind of gal, or then completely egoistical...

Wilderness and Chic Mama, don't fear it, enjoy the children while they're with you (not that I did!) Actually, when they do come and stay now, it's like having some really good friends over. So it's really lovely.

Looking Fab, I think you might have got it right. Damn, should have staggered my children even more. ;))

Helena xx

Alienne said...

I know exactly what you mean too. As my two have grown older I have become increasingly less important to them - other than as a source of comfort/reassurance, assistance with homework, money and lifts! They are now 16 and 18 and I find myself on my own increasingly at weekends (I am a widow). It can be quite demoralising. However, I do have a life of my own and am now planning long weekends and holidays with friends and my sisters as I am not required all the time.

Jeanne said...

Helena, you got me on this one. My oldest two are in University and I have a 16 and 10 year old at home. My husband keeps suggesting boarding school for my youngest when the 16 year old finally goes off to University and I feel a lump in my throat every time he says it. All this moving from country to country has some lovely benefits but having to leave your children spread around the globe is the hardest part.

I can appreciate your need to move on. When it is time, it is time and you just know it!

Jeanne:)

JennyMac said...

I hope the transition goes easily..I know when I left home ( I was the last) that it was very hard for my Mom. BUT, like you said above, now when we get together its like good friends spending time together. I cherish it.

Susan Champlin said...

I can soooo relate to this post, with my only daughter off at college and having sold my home of 10 years—though moving from one city to another; no cows in my future! All best to you in the sale of your home—and in your new life, which will be as rich and rewarding (in different ways) as your old life with children at home. xo