Back in February I wrote about how I was ready for my children to leave the nest ... you can read about it here.
My boys are still at home here with us, and even though I still stand by that post, I'm not disappointed, because if the truth be known I do enjoy their company and I would miss them, a lot.
What I really don't want to do is look after them. Menopause is bearing down on me like a freight train which I just can't stop. With it comes the stock standard hot flushes, dry skin, foggy brain and moodiness. I totally accept the first three things, but I don't accept the moodiness.
I don't believe I am moody, and for those who are close to me (meaning those who actually live with me), you may not like hearing that what you perceive as moodiness is here to stay. Rather than me being moody, I believe I have fundamentally changed as a person. Not because I decided I want to be different, but because hormonally I am now different.
I no longer produce hormones that play a part in making babies. The maternal instincts I once had have been replaced with something new ... I call them the "circus" hormones. Thanks to Kelly Higgins-Devine, one of my work colleagues, I have taken on a new mantra this year. "Not my circus ... not my monkeys." I am no longer buying into things that I am not responsible for, and in some instances, things I don't care about.
I know this isn't sitting too well with my children and I'm sure they think I don't love them or support them anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love them more and more as the years go by. The bottom line is I just don't want to look after them anymore.
A couple of times in recent weeks I could have stepped in and tried to "fix" some things for my boys. I didn't. They were a bit surprised. I was a bit surprised. Not because I didn't help, but because I actually didn't feel bad. It wasn't my circus, and they weren't my monkeys.
Possibly you are reading this and thinking that I am selfish and not a very good mother. You are right on one account. I am being selfish and that is because this is my time to be selfish. It is the time for me to worry about me, to nurture me and to do the things that make me happy. After twenty years of everything being about my children and how what I do might impact on them, the last few years have seen a gradual shift to me changing my priorities.
Am I a good mother? There's not a yes or no answer to this question. I've tried my best. At times I know I've been spectacular and at other times not so good, but I think that is fairly standard across the realm of motherhood.
At the heart of it all I do love my children deeply and my support is always there. It's just different. I'm different and I'm comfortable with that.
Turning 50 next month ... I'm not comfortable with that. Not. One. Little. Bit. But that's a whole other blog post. Unfortunately that is my circus and 50 is my monkey!