Recently Dominique and I had the absolute pleasure to grab a coffee with Carol Smillie, self professed 'Mum, telly girl and creator of award winning Pretty Clever Pants'.
Two hours later and we had chatted our way from the struggles (and rewards!) of starting a business, to periods, pelvic floors, careers, friendships and the challenges of juggling family life and work. Carol is an inspiration, as an entrepreneur, a woman and mother so we asked if she would kindly write a guest blog for us on any topic close to her heart. True to her word, just a day later the following blog post landed in our inbox...
I am many things to many people. TV presenter, entrepreneur, warrior for leaky ladies, wife, daughter, sister, but most importantly, mother.
As I write this, I have only recently come to the conclusion that I am virtually redundant in this job. That’s a good thing right?
It’s our job as mothers to teach, protect, provide, guide and demonstrate to our children, life on ‘the outside’ until such time as they are ready to fly the nest.
Within, what seems like a blink of an eye, that time has scarily arrived.
Nobody warned me, nobody tapped me on the shoulder to call time, to tell me that my work here is done.
I’m perfectly comfortable that I have chosen to turn my back on TV, that I am older with lines, wrinkles and a muffin top, or even that I have little patience for those who drain the life out of me but bring nothing to the table, but this is happening like a moving train, and I am still on the platform.
I’ve been blissfully married to an incredible man for 26 years, and although we have always worked as a team, a united front, there’s a quiet acceptance between us, that we’ve reached ‘middle age’ and wish we hadn’t been too disparaging about it in our youth.
With no parents of our own on either side, there is no benchmark to apologise to, for our indifference, a generation ago.
Our eldest daughter is 22, she’s worked like a dog through university to get her degree, and as a linguist, I always knew she’d want to travel the world, and so now she’s embarking on a year long trip across South America, Australia, New Zealand and Bali. I helped her pack her life for the next year, into an impossibly small bag, took photos of all her important documents, pretty sure she’d lose at least one of them, and stood at the train station to wave her off, trying my damnedest to hold it together, (failing miserably) and not really knowing when I’d see her again. (why the hell did I watch those documentaries about South America’s gun toting gangs???)
I have two other children you understand, who are totally cool about this, but for me, this is the beginning of a new chapter, where life will never quite be the same again. By the time it comes to them, I’ll be practiced, I’ll be ON IT.
I have always rolled my eyes at mothers who say, “enjoy every moment, it goes so quickly” but now I really get it. I swear that 5 mins ago, she was running into nursery school, not waving me off to travel the world.
It’s the simple things that sum it up. Her battered old slippers in the hall, as if she’d just stepped out of them. Nobody teaches you this shit in the Mum & Dad’s handbook.