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Lorraine Weir

Coping With Being a Mum Without a Mum

by Lorraine Weir

This time last year my husband and I were celebrating getting the keys to our first family home with our baby due to arrive just a couple of months later. It was such an exciting time.

Two years ago, on this exact date, my mum was to have her very last birthday. I hesitate as I write this because, until recently, her death still seemed surreal. But on March 6th it all became very real. I was sitting feeding my daughter just before her bedtime while scrolling through Facebook to see all the loving images and posts of people thanking their amazing mums and wishing them a happy Mother’s Day.

 

After putting my girl in her cot, I went downstairs to my husband in floods of tears. He looked baffled as I explained why I was upset. It just hit me. It only just hit me 18 months after her life ended that my mum was no longer here.
It hurt even more when it dawned on me I was now a mum but without my mum.
My mum and I didn’t have the best relationship but I was now without someone to ask what I did when I was a month old, three months old, when I started to crawl, when I started to walk, when I started to talk and so on. I was without that woman who brought me into this world, who fed me, nurtured me and helped me become a decent citizen. I was without that woman to call on now when I just needed someone to tell me everything would be alright and, with my baby at 3 months old, I desperately needed this at this stage. Looking back now I realise even when my mum was alive and healthy she probably wouldn’t have dished out this advice but I was now mourning the mum I wanted her to be all my life.

 

This moment of clarity however not only made me realise what I didn’t have but made me appreciate what I do which is some fantastic women in my life. I have an amazing sister who has two gorgeous children I love dearly. She is always on the end of the phone, or most likely a WhatsApp conversation, with me begging some question or another about how to get my girl to sleep or how much I should be feeding her. Thankfully she is also the person who will tell me everything will be ok and that it’s hard but reassuring me that I will get through it.
I also have a great mother in law and sisters in law who are so smitten with my girl and truly make me feel part of the family.
But most importantly I have my little girl who, at 10 months, means everything to me.
In no way did I have a terrible upbringing but there was always a void when it came to affection from my mum and now, as a mum, I am determined to make sure my daughter doesn’t feel like that. I want her to know that she is loved and, even when I am stressed and tired and needing a break, I will always be there for her.

 

Being a mum without a mum is hard but I am so lucky in many other ways. I am certainly not perfect and when it’s 3 in the morning and we’ve been trying for 2 hours to get my daughter back to sleep, I get very frustrated and emotional. But I know I am blessed to have the opportunity to try to be the mum I always wanted.

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