All of my family live in the UK, the majority of them live in the same county. My husband and I don’t, we migrated to Cyprus eighteen months ago and we have no immediate plans to return. I shouldn’t feel guilty. For years my parents have suggested, even actively encouraged me to leave the UK, if ever the opportunity presented itself. However, I don’t believe my mother ever thought it would actually happen.
At the time of our departure, in May last year, I was already married and I had lived away from home for more than four years. However, I still lived in the same city and my two younger siblings (sister and brother) ‘M’ and ‘T’, still lived at home with our parents. Unfortunately, my desertion of the home shores precipitated a sudden exodus from the familial nest. My sister, ‘M’, has moved in with her partner and my brother, ‘T’, spends all of his time at his girlfriend’s house.
My mother is suffering the fate afforded to most ‘Ladies of a Certain Age’, the loss of her ‘babies’ to the leading of their own lives. Her opinion and interference is no longer as easy to impart and she is less able to enforce her advice and beliefs. Unfortunately, she is now projecting Guilt, from afar.
I do miss my mother. I don’t deny it, sometimes the best thing when you are feeling down, is a hug from your mum. I don’t miss the constant bickering (we never did get on very well) or the feeling that I’m not living up to her idea of my potential. I hate that she makes me feel guilty that I cannot come around for dinner or a cup of tea, and that I need to justify a choice, which makes both my husband and I very happy.
I can respect her feelings of abandonment, within a period of twelve months her first-born has cut the apron string and set it alight, the second has sneaked in, snipped one off and run away, and the third is carefully unpicking the stiches for a less painful amputation (I don’t think it’s working).
I have a rebuttal to my mother’s complaints and lectures, if our wonderful parents hadn’t raised us as well as they did, we wouldn’t be in a position to fly free and survive without them. We don’t need their approval of every decision before we make it. We have the courage to attempt something, which makes us happy and the fortitude to get back up again, if we fall on our faces.
I believe I will need a reminder of this piece, if or when I ever become a mother myself, maybe in twenty years’ time I will have a better understanding of the woman I call ‘Mum’.