So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog

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On being a mother

No one ever told me that you would still see your children as your babies even though they are grown and leading their own lives and you yourself are in your sixties. I grieve for the years spent in Austria, where although they appeared to be happy and settled, they weren’t. One went through a divorce, just at Covid time and we couldn’t get over.  The other, found their love, but to the extent, they have moved on and that relationship between mother and child, which naturally must transfer to the partner has never been the same since. She now in a busy professional life and there is a barrier. I sense there is some deep problem there too, but she’ll never confide in me now.

I always imagined big, family Sunday dinners but they will never happen now as the only time we all seem to be together is at Christmas and they all can’t wait to rush back to their own lives.

My fear of crowding them is a result of my childhood, where I was brought up by my mother and grandmother, who fought the whole time, my mother ending up an alcoholic. I’m so scared of being intrusive, and in course, they have backed off, into their own lives. I always hoped that one day, when they were in their thirties, they would be mature enough to talk adult to adult, but it’s not happening. I so envy those close families.

My son, I did have some time with when we got here,and I tried so hard to tell him I was sorry for failing him during the divorce time, and of course he didn’t reply, but at least I said what was needed. My daughter had a blow up with her dad at Christmas, but it meant the next day she and I did chat a bit and for a few hours, my daughter ceased to be grumpy,fed up with us and non communicative, or maybe that was the alcohol!

My son has a new woman, who is from Europe and lives with her mother. I met them at Christmas and they seem lovely. But my alarm bells are ringing, how is there a future there? I want to say, beware set up boundaries. I know he is so hurt and is sailing into a new port, and its not history repeating itself. Then today I find they are all on holiday somewhere hot, all three of them. I’m jealous that he has a new mother figure. I’m hurt that he would never be on holiday like that with us, and I know my husband will never understand how I’m feeling right now, its a mother thing.

I hurt.




The pain of parting


I’d long looked forward to the arrival of Stef for Christmas, even though I knew I’d be boring her with all my health concerns – I’m the biggest hypochondriac ever since the menopause. I was quite stressed before Christmas, with so much to do, houses to get ready (and I really need to stop working with a sense of panic that we don’t have enough time to do the job) and the inexorable dog walking. Dave has got bronchitis again and can barely get out of the house without wheezing. I nver thought I would be on my own so much with the dog, so God gets the earache from me as I walk!

Any way, she arrived, and I was so happy with her there, loads to chat about and catch up with. Some of the days, I felt she could leave today and I wouldn’t be upset, I’m so calm with her here. In the past, when the kids have left, I’ve been reduced to a sodden heap in a couple of days, with stomach gripping grief. This time, I didn’t even think I was going to be struck. But as she bossed us away as the dog was whining and she had to queue, we left abruptly. As I walked the dog around the car park, it hit me like a punch in the stomach, I was silently crying, hoping none would see.  We did the usual parting  thing of texting each other while she waited in the airport and then when she was home.

But the next morning I was again a sodden heap as I walked the dog. It wasn’t self-pity. it was separation pain. I cried in the loo and in secret. But this time I prayed. Took the power of the risen Lord within me and rebuked it. Asked him to help me. And as I stopped thinking about myself, and began praising, the pain began to lift, In 48 hours I was through.

I know this may be something in my personality and I know I felt this even when we were in England, but I so deep down want to go back. Not forever, just more visits, so there is a balance. We’ve been here nearly nine years now and my homesickness is not going away. Last year was such a hard year, despite the dog coming into our lives. Dave seems to have found a niche with the Burg and will go back next year. There are so many things to keep us here,its in many ways a fantastic life, I’ve a few really good friends even if they are mostly english!  It’s the pain of missing the kids that slays me. Dave said he was so pleased I hadn’t had the miseries when Stef left – if only he knew!

So I havent really moved on from my last post. I began to think, maybe God means the situation is ok, I’m wrong so I should go, not alter my attitude!!! There’s the possibility of a part time year round job as a carer of old people, but with the Christmas break, I’ve not heard anything. Do I want to go on taking the dole so we are free to do a UK trip after the season? I somehow don’t see me teaching another English course.

So I’ve made a new year resolution to contact the kids more. Maybe in letting them go, I’ve let go too far. and its all too late. If I can find a balance it may be ok. The trouble is a lot of time, here doesn’t feel home, the UK is. Maybe I’m looking back too much.  God díd bring a lot of change in our lives last year, but nothing that resolved anything long term.

Anyone out there in blogging land has kids in another country, how do you cope???