I felt inspired by my dear Friend Debbie, in her recent blog post she wrote about Sundays before children. How different they are, you take that time for granted, especially that you can lie in, sit and read papers all day, or go out for coffee.
I’m in a changing season right now, not just because we have entered winter (which I love), because I’m starting a new chapter as a mum and a woman.
My son moved out into student halls in September. I was equally excited for him and also sad. I did cry quite a few times while making the trips with his things. In fact to be totally honest I started crying last January wondering how I would manage without him.
This may seem dramatic or even manipulative. However I'd like to give you a little context. My son was caring for me, something I don't like to always acknowledge, but due to my health and periods of fluctuating symptoms I needed him to help clean, walk the dog, buy food and cook. He did the majority of the cooking, he is a trained chef and when I did cook he often took the spoon off me or suggested things. I suggested he do the majority of the cooking. I couldn’t and can’t always do everything I used to. I’ve learnt to accept this now.
I knew deep down I would manage, he kept telling me I would. I was worried how I would manage being alone, emotionally because of my health and especially when I can't go out. How would I feel being isolated with just the dog for company?
I’ve always been independent and relying on others doesn’t come easily to me. Without any contact or daily connection with a human, would my health decline further? Did I have the emotional resilience to go through another dark winter?
I Reflected on this, while his help was invaluable, and his sweet, stubborn nature brought light in the house. I also knew it didn't always change my mental health, my outlook or mood. I was immensely grateful and yes it helped but I still experienced these periods of fluctuation, when he was here. When I was around others, this didn’t change necessarily. I had to ride the waves or the storm, therefore I would continue to do so when he wasn't living with me.
It was fear, of the unknown, but also the knowing I could fall back into a place of isolation and disconnect.
Equally he was worried about living in halls, what his flat mates would be like, if they'd get on, managing his finances and student loan and university work. He also wanted to be independent.
So how are we now?
He loves living in his student accomodation, I knew he would. He gets on really well with his flat mates, they are like a little family. My son turned 18 a month before covid and lockdowns, he hasn't really being able to experience going out freely until now really. He's enjoyed himself and had many nights out, which is equally a part of student life.
I've also found I have a certain amount of freedom, or if you can with having a dog. I enjoy the quiet something I never thought I would because I like to be around people, (in general). I do, at times feel lonely but Elle, my dog follows me around and keeps me company. I also realise if I want to have connection I can speak to a friend or family or my son. I can arrange to see people.
While we are both experiencing changing seasons and it’s new, it transpires my anxiety was fear, fear of the unknown.