Today is my mum’s birthday. Despite passing away 8 years ago just 4 months after my son was born, I still remember her as a beautiful person who touched the lives of many people. My mum was a very humble person, of simple needs and unwavering commitment to her family.
Today we will talk of the importance of family. Of parents and grandparents, who ultimately, are the people who know us better than any other. When you face the collapse of your marriage or long term relationship there is always a division of family. Blood is thicker than water, and if you can’t rely on your family then whom can you rely on, especially at such a traumatic time.
I was raised in a working class family where the family motto is ‘no honour without work’. Hard work has been the measure of success for achievement, and that there is no simple way, only the opportunity to turn sweat into reward. This was reinforced by my grandparents, whom I spent allot of time with whilst growing up. I would spend most of Saturdays with my mum’s father as my dad worked, and it is really only now in hindsight I can say that it was both dad and my grand father that embedded my work ethos and other positive qualities. My mother would give me empathy, selflessness and a no fuss approach to which I am eternally grateful.
I know that some of you will want nothing to do with your ex-in-laws, especially if they have sided with your ex. However, as I keep on saying, it is all about the kids. Find a way to manage your issues with the kid’s complete family. There are ways around having direct contact yet enabling one on one time with them and your kids. One of the things that upsets me about mum going so young is that even after working her heart out all her life to raise me and keep my dad in line, she will not get to see her only grand children grow. My kids often talk about my mum and ask me questions about her and what I was like as a kid.
Grandparents can offer a different experience for your children that you cannot. They are often removed from the hustle and bustle of modern living, they have the benefit of a lifetime of experience, and lastly, they have the ability to see you in them! Variety is the spice of life, and having your parents (or your ex’s) play an active part in your kid’s lives is to me, very important.
This morning I took my kids out for a sunrise breakfast in Kiama, they had never seen a sunrise and what better day than their nana’s birthday. My daughter was very close to my mum, luckily we have some great photos of them together that my daughter can treasure for the rest of her life. We saw the day break, had some breakfast, we said our piece, we cried, but then we laughed, we finished on a positive. The kids played in the sand and got their toes wet in the water. They scribbled ‘Happy Brithday Nana’ in the sand and we left.
We had shared the beginning of a new day, and with it a new everything. This is our charge, our option to remain complacent in our lives, or to make choices that make our future what we want. We get one shot at raising these kids, and one shot at making our lives all they can be; every now and again make yourself vulnerable to them and to yourself! It will help build a bond with your children that can never be broken, for you, it will let you just for a moment crawl away from your fears and face them without prejudice.
Happy birthday mum xxx