Blog post Entry 3,561

On Easter Sunday morning I was a complete disaster.

The first term always gets me good, there’s new routines and timetables, sport begins, there’s Easter to plan for and thankfully in the lead up to the break, we had been busy in the shop. We had had a big first term with Daisy growing up, fast. A boyfriend, endless social activities and the push and pull that comes from all that as we navigated grown up stuff as a parent and still not knowing if anything we are doing, is the right thing. Alexa can you tell me how to make a 16 year old listen to her Mum? We had a lot of background grown up family stuff happening which bought with it a lot of stress, and worry and frustration and did I say worry? Nothing like a new drama to loop into your 3am whale worry! There was the renovation of our home, which as it turns out, is actually an entirely new house which is fabulous of course, but Jesus the bleeding of money. Throw into ALLLLLL that a peri-menopausal whirlwind of hormones and a period every 2 weeks and a general simmering anger at the injustice of it all after EVERYTHING we go through as women and now THIS too?! I also think Rob has had covid again too, just to spice things up. I was tired from all of the above, plus we had had our annual village Easter market for the first time in 3 years which meant a lot of physical activity, manual labour and a shit tonne of baking to fundraise…it was the perfect (SHIT) storm!

As I said, disaster.

When Maggie woke up and I had to do the Easter hunt alone with her, I just could not stop crying. Teenagers were asleep, rightly so after a huge term, Rob recovering in bed, I rallied to try and do the hunt with her, but I just felt so bad for her, doing it alone, trying to muster enthusiasm for a piss weak world Easter Sunday morning that deserved so much more. I cried for her and all the fun mornings that the big girls had together, that she won’t have as they grow and move on. I cried for my tired uterus and hormones which gaslight me into being someone I don’t deserve to feel and be like, after everything! Et tu hormones? Fuck you. I cried just because I’m 45 and I want to be in bed too sleeping in (we all know that wouldn’t happen but still! I’d the like the option to not sleep in, you know?). Lucky for me, there was chocolate around so I could enjoy that. I rallied. Because what else can you do? I stopped crying, because, what good is that? Everyone tip toed around, and we eventually got on with the day. Because that’s just what needs to happen.

It’s been a slow burn of a realisation that things are shifting. I felt it at Christmas during our time at the farm when I was looking at all the girls swimming in the pool, and I knew for certain that these times are coming to an end. Everyone is growing up, we are moving into a new chapter and while I would love to hold onto that past as much as I could, it’s out of my control. I feel like I am preparing myself for a redundancy or a role change, and someone has taken me into a boardroom for a blindside and I’m not ready, I’m not ready, I’m not ready.

When are we ever ready?

I talked a little about it on Instagram a few weeks back and it resonated with so many of you going through the same things. Young children, getting older. Old uteruses, making us feel like shite. Uncomplicated and simple, adoring love from our small kids being clouded by hormones and being grown up and letting go. Holding on as tight as we can and seeing it slip through our hands and what can we do? But watch and hope it all works out.

Someone told me a quote about building boats and having them stay in the harbour. That what good is all the work we do with our kids if we don’t let them sail out into the world? There’s no greater joy I have witnessed than seeing all three girls grow and gain independence and flourish but boy it hurts when they are no longer looking back to see we are there. Maybe they just know? That safe port will always be there when they need it.

It’s been a slow-motion grieving that’s complicated and wonderful and so sad all mixed together. As confusing as my peri-menopausal symptoms feel to my head. It’s that! And that! AND THAT. And sadly, that.

This probably doesn’t make much sense, it’s clunky, and not as polished as it could be, but hey, that’s me right now. I’m 45. I have 3 girls that are growing up. So fast. I’m exhausted and bewildered and blown away by parenthood as it stands at 16, 13 and 8 and partnership as it stands at almost 20 years. I’m grieving a motherhood I had and I am relishing freedom. I am proud and sad and I sure as shit am crying, a lot.

When I started this blog almost 17 years ago, can you even imagine!! I had no clue about what lay ahead for me. The work required. The physical and emotional toll being a Mum would bring. The joy and the sadness. The push and the pull of my kids and my hormones as they leave me. I know I’m not alone in feeling it, and I hope you are being kind to yourself as you navigate it too. We are all in this together.

Look what we made!
Watch them go.
Listen to the world as they say “here they come!”
We did it.
We are doing it.
We’ll never stop doing it.
Come, sit next to me and cry too.


  1. Denyse Whelan says

    Life transitions are SHITE! But hey, our parents did it with us, apparently! My. dad now tells me that my mum “cried all the way home” to Sydney after leaving me at Barraba for my first post as a teacher. I ever looked back…we didn’t!

    As 73 yo wife, mum, GMa etc I have now been through so many of these dear Beth that you think I’d get used to them. Nope, am still blindsided.

    Lucky though that we have spaces here via blogging and SM to know “we are not alone”.

    Much love to you as always,

    D xx

  2. it’s just hard and nothing can prepare us, empty nest, menopause, relationship evolution and tiredness, oh man the tiredness. every now and then for 2 seconds i think i’ve got it, then bam a new change, one i never saw coming, i’d just like a moment occasionally to process it all before moving to the next opportunity for me to let go, grow, get out of my f#$%ing comfort zone. i just want to have a full on tantrum and shout to everyone that i like my comfort zone, it’s in the name, comfortable, let me stay here long enough to get bored with it, please

    • I was thinking the other day about when we go through our first hormonal change and transition we can be such moody arsehole teenagers that can hide in their rooms and not talk to anyone (having seen my own big two do this recently) I wish we could do this through menopause and yet we have to be polite! Work hard! Make big decisions! And be treated poorly. It’s cruel. I’d quite like a tantrum too I think!

  3. Absolutely crying with you but also being a few years ahead – it’s ok to feel all the feelings. I eventually got a doctor to listen to me six months ago ( opposed to just being offered anti depressants) and am now on HRT. It’s not a miracle cure but it’s definitely helping some of the symptoms- like the awful gastritis and the deep pits of sadness and rage. I even cry a bit less. I am trying to not keep looking at all the looming changes but instead just be in the room where my feet are. And there is the odd day it works!! Please take care

    • Always love that expression – thanks for the reminder! I am off to see a women’s heath specialist in a few weeks – I hear so much from women anecdotally how much HRT works so as soon as I am locked and loaded I will be shouting from the rooftops I’m sure! Thanks Esther x

  4. Angela Carty says

    Now I’M crying 😢 right with you – amen to EVERYTHING you wrote x

  5. Dear Beth , I hear you , I feel you! Our 3 ‘kids’ are all adults now and I am also Nanny to 2 beautiful grandchildren. I tried to take One day at a time for the teenage years. Keeping them safe guided some of our decision making. We held on pretty tight with first daughter and a little looser for daughter number 2, then our son faced different challenges ! It’s really hard at times. Tried to keep all the lines of communication open. Some of the important conversations happened in the car when it was just 2 of us. Thinking of you xx

  6. Our eldest finished school last year and is taking a working gap year before she heads to uni. I’ve known since they were born that our kids will need to leave once they finish school- we live rural and there aren’t many opportunities around here for them without further education – but my goodness it feels like the hardest worst breakup. When they were little it felt like we had them forever but now we are soaking up lasts. She is a fabulous kid and we just can’t imagine life without her here every day. We can see she is ready and it’s so hard to accept she’s on her way, but I also cannot wait to see her soar. Sending love to you at this complicated time.

    • Thanks Jo – Daisy is already talking about leaving and I don’t blame her as I know she has to go but to think it will be in 18 months time is madness!!! Holding on tight here too, good luck x

  7. Caroline says

    Beautifully written Beth. Take care of you!

  8. Sarah Ward says

    Oh all the feels. Written beautifully as usual, thanks for sharing xx

  9. That is not clunky, that’s poetic. It’s cruelly reassuring, knowing it’s not just me. Thank you for sharing and helping so many women feel seen. I get overwhelmed by the grief of it all at times, revoltingly compounded by the constant betrayal of my own hormones. But then I keep going back to one little reassuring snippet of truth….. “There is more”

    • Thanks Kylie, we are never alone. And one thing I know to be try is that our words and sharing can sometimes be in the exact shape of someone’s wounds. If it helps one other person feel ME TOO! And I’M NOT CRAZY then I will keep being here. Thanks for being here x

  10. So true Beth. In the same boat myself right now with 2 daughters ( 16 and 12) and my son who’s 8. Pushed and pulled and feelings everywhere and trying to hold on by my fingernails.
    Sending love and solidarity to your sweet family.

    • Thanks Missy…this dynamic is A LOT. And one I could never have planned for 8 years ago. Its exhausting and isolating and I feel sad for Maggie some days but we will get through it, and they will all be ok. I just know they all will be. Us too I hope! x

  11. Suellen Law says

    Yes so hard to let go but when they fly from the nest confidently you know you have done a good job. Seems yesterday my baby was walking across the playground with a backpack on that was nearly touching the ground to start her first day at school. My heart broke as I watched her go, Now 31 enjoying life to the full as a creative, I feel we did a good job and yes Beth they know they can return to the “harbour” anytime. Wonderful to watch them flourish but hard to let them fly. You’re doing a brilliant job !

  12. Beth, I’m reading this this morning tucked in bed and sipping my tea.
    I can related, my children are now adults 35, 33 & 24. Yes a gap even bigger than your 3.
    They have all grown into independent, gorgeous humans and live their own full lives.
    I still get phone calls sometimes daily either for advice or just to chat and tell me stuff, always ending with I love you.
    I’ve been through menopause all the emotions that come with that and also just the feels of being a mum, what a huge job and absolute privilege.
    You’ll get there one day, know that you are doing a fabulous job at being ‘everything’ and that it will get easier and they will have an epiphany one day and realise how wonderful their Mum is.
    I love the words at the end of your post, think I’ll write them out and stick them on the wall.
    Keep doing what you’re doing, even though it’s tough at times, making the memories you’re making because they will become your family stories in the future.
    It’s all worth while

  13. That transition from manager to consultant in your child’s life is HARD! But here’s the thing, you will get to a stage, around 19-20 where you are ready to let them fly because living with young adult kids can be REALLY hard! My eldest moved back home last year & while I’m super happy to be able to help him out I don’t love living with my 23 year old child. Because despite being a legit grown adult, to me, he’s still my kid. Parenting adult kids who live in your house is VERY different to parenting adult kids who live outside your home.
    I was shocked when my 19 year old decided to move out, I thought he’d be home for a few more years yet but it’s actually great. He comes home for dinner, still calls to chat & will still look after my littles (who also aren’t that little any more) when I ask. It’s an actual joy to see him living his best life.

    Now about the peri hormones & crying. I went on anti depressants last year for that exact reason. I could not get a handle on my moods or emotions, it’s was horrible! It’s been almost 12 months now & I am so much better. I still get moody but I’m not super low like I was, I’m not crying about everything & feeling sad. And an added bonus is, they stopped all the hot flushes!!! If it’s something you think you’d like to try to chat to your GP A about it. Peri fucking sucks.

  14. Feeling all these emotions here also.
    A year of change it has been for us here too.
    To know I’m not the only one who is crying , trying to work it all out.
    I see you, I hear you and we need to stick together.
    Please never stop with the blog posting even if it’s blog 8765! I’ll still be here behind my computer reading a weeping with you.

    We got this ! but boy it can be tough ! XXX

  15. I heard it once said that we as parents are the edge of the pool. The kids go off to swim in the water of life knowing that the edge is always there for them to come back to when they need the safety and reassurance of a breath or a break. I keep telling myself this while I’m feeling invisible and not needed anymore with 20yr old and now a 17yr old who is suddenly out of school and doing full time apprenticeship. I thought i had another 18mths before I had to process the end of the schooling era, but here I am 10 days in to the ‘no school ever again’ period that I was always so excited about, but now I’m a bit shook and on unsteady ground needing to find my new purpose. And chuck in Peri and who knows what’s going on and what’s real. Keep breathing and keep sharing. We are all in it together.

  16. Waaaahhhhhhh 😭
    All the feels.
    I’m not quite there… but I know this is coming in a blink of an eye (my lot are 12, 8, 7 and 1!).
    My tired old body may have reached its capacity… yet I think life is just going to keep notching it up.
    Thankfully there’s this woman on the internet… she is wise, and smart, and kind. She’ll see me right with her pearls of wisdom.

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