Monday, 9 January 2012

Guest Post...Inside The Wendy House - My Sliding Doors



Wendy from 'Inside The Wendy House' is someone who I've been friends with for just over a year (since I started blogging) - we just seemed to click and have spent many an evening in stitches chatting on Twitter. Maybe our joint love of toilet humour joined us together? 


Despite being a relatively 'newbie blogger' herself, when I plunged head first into this cyber world, she was so helpful and knowledgeable. I've met her a number of times now in real life and she's fabulous. Her love for her family overflows with a passion.


Plus she's one very cool mummy!


Here, in her guest post 'My Sliding Doors', she explains how, even though we are both SAHM's, our lives are so different...

Heather, the very lovely lady behind SAHM Loving It is off holidaying (lucky thing!) and has turned over her blog to a bunch of guest bloggers, of which I am honoured to be one.  

I first met Heather and her lovely little girl MC earlier this year, when we organised a day out at Cheshire Ice Cream Farm.  MC is almost the same age as Freddy, my little boy, and they played beautifully together. Me and Heather are similarly aged (OK I'm way older but I'll gloss over that!), both happily married, stay at home mums.  But our lives are very different.   MC is Heather's first born and Freddy is my fifth child.  

I  started out on my path to being a mum when I was just 19.  In my 24 years of motherhood I have had five children now aged 2, 9, 15, 20 and 24.  I have given birth in my teens, twenties, thirties and forties.  This has given me a large family with a big age range and I've never been without a little one.   When my family gets together there is an incredible dynamic.  The older children are fantastic role models to the younger ones and provide a lot of help and support.  I really enjoy my family life but sometimes wonder how different my life could have been if I'd followed Heather's way of doing things.  What if I hadn't become a teen mum?  What if I'd made a life for myself before becoming  a parent?

Being a mother has defined who I am for 24 years.  During this time I have had jobs but never a career.  I was all set to go to university with a string of A grades to my name.  However I didn't take the opportunity and fate saw me become a single mum instead.  I'll never know who that 'me' who graduated with a degree in Sociology and Psychology grew up to be.  I had aspirations to teach or counsel children with emotional difficulties.  Perhaps in an alternate reality, I've made a difference, helped people, made the world a better place?  I'll never know.

There is a whole world out there that I've never explored.  I've never had the wanderlust to backpack across Australia or drive Route 66 in a convertible, but I wonder if this is because I've always had to worry about the fact that I had children to consider.  Holidays became focused on the needs of the kids.  Their comfort, safety and enjoyment, teamed with the convenience and ease I needed to cope with holidaying with little ones, soon put a stop to any dreams I'd harboured about visiting the Mayan temples or exploring the jungles of Borneo.  Centre Parcs and Disneyland Paris became resorts of choice, pushing any urges to travel firmly to the darkest recesses of my mind.

My marriage has never existed without the responsibility of parenting.  My relationship with my husband has never had the carefree element of spontaneity, financial freedom or the joy of selfishly immersing ourselves into each other.  I already had two children when we got together and we had our third child a year before we got married.  There has always been the children to consider, even if we managed to find some time to be alone, the kids have always been at the forefront of our minds, monopolizing the conversation and influencing our decisions.  I wonder how our relationship may have been different had we had some together time, just the two of us.  Would we have become different people if we had spent the first years of our marriage getting to know one another as individuals rather than being parents?  Would I see my husband differently, have different expectations of his role in my life?

Having a child so young and with no partner did not put me in a good position financially.  However, I have always been frugal and shrewd with money and with hard work managed to ease my family's way up the ladder.  I started with nothing but we are now very comfortable in our own detached home.  I wonder if my frugality and ability to stretch my finances would have been as important to me had I never had to worry about money? If I'd had a good salary and found my way onto the property ladder in the 80s and made a few shrewd moves, could I now be in a huge house somewhere with a fancy postcode?  Would I be into designer labels instead of wearing high street and supermarket brands?  Would my values be different?  

Everything I have done as an adult has been done primarily as a parent.  I barely had a chance to get to know myself as an individual, before I became a mother, so I truly do not know who I may have become had my life taken a different path.  Would I have had a great career and earned lots of money, travelled the world and embarked on a romantic love affair with the man who would ultimately father my children?  I simply don't know. And if I'm completely honest, I don't really care!  You see, I have an amazing family who I live for. I have a husband that I adore, who stepped up to the mark when I needed him and has never let me or our children down.  I am never bored with my brood aged between 2 and 24, there is always something going on and their needs are so different it is a non-stop and immensely rewarding job parenting them all.  I find huge comfort knowing that the older kids will always be there to support the younger ones through all the stages of their lives.  I may not have planned this life, but I wouldn't swap it. 

I may not know who I might have become, but I know for a fact that my kids have made me who I am now...and I'm pretty proud to be that woman!







69 comments:

LoveBeingMummyToTwo said...

Lovely Post! The family age gaps are similar to me and my siblings, mum has a 4, 12, 24 and me age 26! I already follow both fantastic blogs! If you ever do a meet up in the Cheshire area i would love to join, I live in Cheshire!!

NewMumOnline said...

What a stunning post - words escape me apart from: WOW!

Inside The Wendy House said...

Thanks Liska :) xxx

Inside The Wendy House said...

It would be lovely to meet you one day :) 

Michelle Twin Mum said...

and so you should be Wendy. Your love for your family really does shine out, you all do much together and I see you get excited when the bigger ones are coming home, it is beautful to watch.  Mich x

jessies_online said...

Great post Wendy, I'm a big 'what if' person......'what if I hadn't been made redundant in 1994...I would've moved into my flat 4 days later, not spent a year having fun temping and then 10 weeks in South Africa visiting my parents and meeting my future husband........' 'what if I hadn't kicked out my no-hoper boyfriend in 1998 after he pegged the washing out all wrong, and got married to him later that year.......' (that one doesn't bear thinking about!!!).....'what if I hadn't had a coffee with a friend last January who told me all about the world of blogging'......

Inside The Wendy House said...

Thank you Mich.  My family is my world :)  xxx

Inside The Wendy House said...

...and what if we'd never gone to West Mids Safari Park???  I love that you finished with someone for bad pegwork!!  hehe x

jessies_online said...

...you never would've had that blue slush puppy!! I can't tolerate bad pegwork..he had to go! haha

Sarahmumof3 said...

great post Wendy :) 

Lou Strachan said...

I honestly do not think of the what if's because I have led many different types of lives and feel fate has played a part in them all and lead me to where I am today so what if is outside of that factor (plus I would probably get depressed!) x

scribblingmum said...

Lovely post and particularly stuck with me what you said about knowing that the older ones will be there to look out for the younger ones, what a nice feeling. 

Mama Syder said...

Great post Wendy, I really relate to your story. Being a teenage Mum myself (a long time ago now, lol) I had a lot of 'what ifs' during my 20's & early 30's. Then when my Mum was passed away I questioned my life even more. After separating from hubby for 12mths my eyes became wide open & I realised exactly what I had was all I ever wanted. We got back together and now I am so happy I took the path I did and I wouldnt change a thing x

LoveBeingMummyToTwo said...

Fantastic x

Blue Sky said...

I think that rearing 5 children is a wonderful achievement that anyone can be proud of.  The grass is rarely greener.  I did all the right things, but all it takes is a few banana skins along the way and the life you imagined is gone forever: you've done great and I enjoyed reading this x

Inside The Wendy House said...

Thank you.  I'm proud of how my life has turned out.  All those what-ifs pale into insignificance when I look at my five children :) xxx

Inside The Wendy House said...

That is lovely.  Sometimes we just don't see that what we have is exactly what we need.  I wouldn't change a thing either! x

Inside The Wendy House said...

I love the relationship that my children have.  It is really reassuring to know that my youngest children have adult siblings should they ever need any help, advice or support in the future. x

Inside The Wendy House said...

Thanks :) xxx

Inside The Wendy House said...

I only dwelled on them for the purpose of my post!!!  Wouldn't change a thing!  Kizzy asked me yesterday if I regretted anything in my life and I had to say no, because had I not done the stupid/ill judged/downright ridiculous things that I did, I wouldn't be where I was now!!  xxx

alysonsblog said...

incredible woman Wendy and in parenting terms becoming a bit of an idol of mine xxx

Inside The Wendy House said...

Aww Alyson, what a lovely comment, especially coming from someone as wonderful as you! xxx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks again Wendy for guest posting xx

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