Last weekend I became a new mum.
But I didn’t have a baby!
My youngest daughter, and last child still living at home, left to head overseas for 7 months to perform on cruise ships.
I am so proud and so excited for her, but it hit me hard. Harder than I was expecting.
Yep, my nest is now empty, but it was for half the week anyway. It wasn’t like she was home every night and she was always busy, so I’m used to her not being physically here.
But she was always coming home at some point. Or calling to ask something, or calling to check on me and find our where I was (yes the tables do turn!).
What has hit me is that I am a new mum.
I am not the same mum I was this time last week.
I am now a mum who has raised her kids and they have left home.
Now I feel like someone who is a mother, but not a day to day mum.
I am fully aware that raising strong, independent and courageous women was always the end goal, but that doesn’t mean I am ready.
I feel more unsure of myself right now than I did the day I brought by first baby home from hospital.
I remember placing the capsule in the nursery, looking at Scott and saying “What now?” This is exactly how I felt on Sunday.
I held it together at the airport but when I got home to my quieter, cleaner and emptier house, I looked at the same man, 22 years later and whispered through my tears,
“What happens now?”
I feel empty. And yet my life is full.
I feel unsure of my identity. And yet, I have a life where I am Lisa, not Mum.
I feel this ache in my soul for every minute I didn’t appreciate or the minutes I thought I would have more of.
I keep wondering if I did enough. Have I sent them off with enough life skills, memories and advice?
It’s not a logical process, it’s a gut wrenching physical one. I have loved being a mum and I have been bloody good at it.
I have put a lot of thought into who and how I would be when the time came for my nest to empty out, but it didn’t prepare me for the actual event.
I won’t come home and see 16 cups, 10 plates and 9 forks on the sink (not in the dishwasher) and many bodies on the lounges.
I won’t hear arguments and singing from the bathroom, which has taken on a golden glow from the fake tan and bronzing powder.
I will no longer be called on to fetch more toilet paper, settle a dispute over clothing ownership or help with life’s big issues, like wedges or stilettos.
My washing basket will no longer be overflowing, my house will stay cleaner and I will not have to fight for the remote as much.
We will also be able to holiday on the Amalfi Coast in Italy each year with the money we are saving on sanitary products.
It’s actually sounding OK……
I did calm down (much to Scott’s relief) after an hour and a half of really ugly crying. Like U.G.L.Y.! I tried to eat an omelette to distract myself and nearly vomited. You get the picture.
Poor Scott, he probably wanted to have a quiet moment, maybe a tear and reflect on how his life would now be different (in reality, he probably just wanted to get back to his football reporting), but he was really supportive.
He walked at a steady pace around me, not making eye contact, like you would walk around a wild animal when you’re not sure if it’s going to strike. He empty bins, cleaned things and did really random chores.
When my crying had calmed to that hiccup breathing, with moderate sniffing, he approached cautiously.
“Why don’t you do some writing, do something for your blog?” Bless, he was trying to offer a distraction, trying to be positive. Did it work? You be the judge……
“I can’t write my fucking blog because I don’t have a fucking computer. That’s right everyone else has one but Paige just left, Morgan doesn’t live here anymore and you use yours all the time. So, yeah, thanks for that!”
Insert more crying here.
The following sentence proves what an amazing man my husband is and how much he has learnt by living with 3 women for many years,
“Let’s go and buy you a computer”.
The poor bastard would’ve bought a new car, moved house and I think I could’ve milked it for a new puppy.
He was desperate. There was a crazy lady in the kitchen and he wasn’t convinced she was leaving any time soon.
Soooooooo, I’m writing this on my new computer. I may have been distraught but I am not stupid!
Life is getting back into routine. I love FaceTime and I can see that my baby is doing well.
I also have my oldest daughter living about 20 mins away, so I will now put a lot of pressure on her to see me more. I will bribe her with brunch and shopping. I will cry if needed.
I say thank you to the beautiful people in my life who saw through my bullshit façade and knew I would be a wreck. Your support, messages and advice have been invaluable.
To the man who helped fill my nest (sounds weird but I’m going with it) and now gets to share it with me while it’s empty, I thank you. You are my rock and I know the group message we have added you into is confusing and foreign, but you persevere. We will even let you use the thumbs up emoji.
I’m getting used to having more free time. In fact, I’ve got to go now.
I have Pilates, then I’m getting a mani-pedi,
I had to fit it in today because the life drawing class I’ve signed up for was overlapping with the interpretive dance group I’ve joined. I’m just trying to figure out when I can fit in “Drumming and chanting for sexual growth”.
Oh and of course the house is now empty so Scott and I are nude all the time!