Bittersweet 45

I have been trying to keep myself busy these last few weeks.  Trying to avoid the feeling that has been building in my chest, the rising emptiness that has permeated my whole being.  I dare not stop, I dare not let this feeling invade for the tears will start to fall and I fear that they may never stop.

Perspective, yes that is what I have needed.  It is hard to admit that I am still grieving, that I am scared and that I am so frightened at the moment.  That living my life can be so bloody hard.  That sometimes the fear paralyses me, that I want to curl up in a little ball and not to go on.

Why I hear you ask? 

You have a lovely family?  Well that is part of it, I do have a lovely family, but a big part of it is missing, leaving a raw and gaping wound, that sometimes no amount of dressings or virtual bandages can keep hidden.  My mum isn’t here and I can not tell you the amount of times over these last two weeks I have almost picked up the phone and told her about our firsts, about the boys riding without their stabilizers, about Maxi’s first lost tooth and Mini’s first major haircut and short hair.  She should be here sharing Mini’s firth birthday tomorrow, about our excitement about Glee Live and Legoland.  I have been trying hard to find a word that encompasses the way I feel and it is bittersweet.  I am happy and sad at the same time.  There is so much joy in my life, but at the moment there is a cloud casting a shaddow over it.

I need my mum.  I really do.  I am off to hospital next Friday for an operation and I want my mum to look after the boys, to ensure that they are safe and secure whilst I concentrate on getting well.  I want her to cuddle me and reassure me that everything will be OK like she has for the last 30 odd years.  My mum was a wonderful Grandma and she would have made the boys feel secure and safe whilst I wasn’t there.  She would have gone to Mini’s fashion show on Friday whilst I was in hospital so MadDad could stay with me.  It is part of being a mother that makes me insist that MadDad does to the fashion show whilst I am in hospital and then come and see me after.  Mini needs him more than I do.  I need him to make sure my boys are OK.

All of a sudden I am aware of my mortality again and this is so hard to deal with.  I am aware that in all likelihood everything will turn out OK, but I am also aware that the last time I had an operation I nearly died.  I nearly left my children without a mother and that was before I know the pain of being without a mother.  It is one of the reasons I have put off having this operations, but I can not do that any longer, as the pain is becoming unbearable.  It is so  hard to put yourself in this position.  My heart is willed with “what ifs” and my head counteracts them with statistics and reality.  I am literally being torn in two, but then tell me many mothers that aren’t.

Add on top of that the fact that I feel such a fraud sometimes, what I am going through is nothing compared to the pain, heartache and suffering other people go though.  I am not writing this looking for sympathy, in doing this, each word on the screen is one less word in my head, in my heart.  One less feeling that I need to keep locked inside. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve in real life.  I hide it deep down, I do not freely tell people my feelings, no they are private and something I only share with true friends and people that I know well.  I have a front that I project, a hard shell that I do not allow to often crack.  You have to be close to me to see that veneer slipping to realise what is underneath.

So I am looking forward to a weekend with my family, with Mini turning five tomorrow.  A trip to London to see Glee Live, to rise the London Eye, to stay at the fantastic Malmaison in Reading and them visit Legoland on Monday.  I am grateful for Lego Duplo in sponsoring me to go to CyberMummy, but please lets put some perspective on things it is one day in my life and yes I am looking forward to meeting some old friends and hopefully making some new ones, but I am not going to let it be the most important part of the weekend, no that is going to be spending quality time with my family.

Oh and I will be wearing……………………………………………………… clothes for anyone who was wondering!


45 thoughts on “Bittersweet

  • Liz

    ((HUGS)) I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose your mother, let alone then have to deal with illness and scary operations, no wonder you feel as you do. I know it doesn’t help but I’m sending you all of our love xx

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Liz » Thank you LIz, it means a lot. Can not wait to see you again on Sat

  • Belgravia Wife - sort of

    Oh my word, I just came across your blog via Twitter. Nothing to add other than very best of luck with the operation and if you happen to come across Potty Mummy at CyberMummy say hello – she’s lovely and the reason I came to blog. Lovely post xx

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Belgravia Wife – sort of » When I seePOtty I will say Hello from you and thank you very much for your kind words, I am off to twitter to find you now

  • Caroline (Lunkamouse)

    This is a heartfelt post and I respect your openness and honesty in it. I cannot imagine the turmoil you must be in now and the feeling of loss at not having your mum around.
    Thank you for sharing yourself in this post, sending you a huge ((HUG)) and please know I will be praying that your Op goes well and for a speedy recovery for you xxx

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Caroline (Lunkamouse) » Thank you for your lovely comment. I don’t know any other way to write really.

  • Milla

    Liz has said it all. What you’ve been through is HUGE, no wonder you’re a mass of wobbles. Don’t beat yourself up over it! Losing a parent is a biggie (am dreading it, just dreading it, but husband’s both died within four weeks of each other so I have a little understanding). Try to do each day at a time and don’t expect too much or even so much of yourself. You;re only human! Have a lovely weekend! Will also be in London, but not for CM. (frankly your other bits, the theatre and what have you, sound much more fun!!) Anyway, when we did the London Eye, smallest and maddest (then about 4??) kept leaning into the door of the capsule. Still gives me conniptions remembering it all this time on!
    Adorable haircuts!! Enjoy them. They grow up so fast, sad sadly!

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Milla » They grow up far too fast. I am having wobbles you are right. Thank you very much for your kind words

  • Rachael

    When I see you I will give you the cuddle I’m thinking of right now. Of course you’re still grieving, and yes, every milestone really is bittersweet, isn’t it. xxx

  • Kate

    Oh Jen. What you’ve been through is enough to make anyone nervous, and having met you a few times in the last month, you’re doing brilliantly.

    It must be so hard and I can’t imagine how you’re feeling, but your boys know how much they are loved, and you make them feel more than safe.

    Wish I could give you a cuddle.


    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Kate » All I want is for my boys to be happy and feel safe and seccure, if so then my job is a good’en

  • Susan Mann

    Huge big hugs, it does put everything into perspective. It is so hard to lose a parent, you know how much I miss my dad. I’m not as close to my mum. I wish I was, but too much water under the bridge and the bond just isn’t there. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s ok to feel sad and miss them. But you are right it’s about spending time with your family and Mini’s birthday. How cute does he look, he looks so like his mummmy. Sorry for you loss, I know it’s so hard and I wish I could say something useful or helpful but there isn’t anything I can say, other than I’m here for you x

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Susan Mann » It is hard being a parent, you always have someone who is more imporatant than you. See you Sat

  • Emma @MummyMummyMum

    Big hugs Jen. I’m so sorry for what you are going through. I hope you have a fantastic time with the boys tomorrow, and I am looking forward to meeting you on Saturday.


    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Midlife Singlemum » Thank you. I plan on having fun with my family, putting it in writing really helps. I will take all the prayers I can get

  • henrietta pretty

    Oh hun. I hear you. There is no need to compare yourself to others. Your grief is real, expected, devastating. Your blog is a place for you to explore all of it. And I am listening.


    • Mum in the Madhouse

      henrietta pretty » I knew you would understand, I just don’t want to become that person that bangs on about it all the time

  • Doolallylass

    I literally have tears streaming down my face, I feel so sad for you. Be glad your Mum was so lovely cos they’re not all so attentive and helpful. Be strong through the op cos as well as the boys and MadDad we all need you back tweeting and blogging soon. Take care and oodles of virtual hugs. D xxx

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Doolallylass » My mum was not always this way, we worked hard at having a better relationship when my boys were born. Thank you for the comment and the virtual hugs

  • Katie

    I can’t imagine what it must feel like to lose your mother, it would be the end of my world if I lost mine. This post made tears well up in my eyes, I have been feeling so emotional this last couple of days due to financial difficulties at home and the old returning to work saga, but this post made me realise that we are well and healthy and I should be thankful for that.


    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Katie » Ihope you have managed to sort out the going to work stuff, what you have to remember is that pain is all relative. I hope you are OK

  • BNM

    I hear you and I can say that I understand.
    I used to ring our home number just to hear her voice on the answermachine (and then Dad had to change it)
    I have scraps of paper with my mum’s handwriting on that I can never throw. I have clothes of hers which no longer hold her smell but may do if you smell really hard.
    Its been several years now since my mum passed and I still miss her. This is normal, this is life and we will get through it. The pain does lessen with time, it gets easier to talk about her without tears forming


  • spudballoo

    Oh I hear you, I do. My mother died 12 years ago, before I met MrSpud…before my boys. I dont’ miss her any less now than I did then, more in many ways. I’m an only child, my father re-married quickly…I have only one relation left on my mother’s side who lives hundreds of miles from me. I feel orphaned.

    I need my mother every bit as much now as I did as a child. Being a motherless mother is very hard, don’t under-estimate it.

    Much looking forward to meeting you my love xx

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      spudballoo » I can not believe I missed you. I too am an orphan and it is such a funny feeling, almost as though I don’t have an anchor

  • Kat

    My friend, I am with you here.

    Losing someone so pivitol in your life leaves ripples which last forever but remember they are the ripples caused by a great love.

    Looking forward to seeing you x

  • Chris

    When I met you yesterday I felt like I had known you for a very long time, that we had met before. I too am slow to let the barriers down but…well, you know. Love to you Jen, I have nothing to make you feel better except to say don’t stop talking and there is a big hug waiting for you on Saturday.

  • Cherished By Me

    You’ve every right to feel that way and it is perfectly normal too. Anyone would be worrying and fretting, I’m getting into a state just trying to organise the children for this weekend, so I can only imagine what you must be feeling about the op next week. Just wanted to say hello and that I’m thinking of you. Looking forward to seeing you at the weekend but so pleased that you are going to have some fab times with your family too! Enjoy. XX

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Cherished By Me » It was lovely to see you again and I am a lot better at the moment

  • Karen Jones

    My dear Jen,

    For those of us who haven’t lost a parent your words show it in all its rawness and pain. I remember saying to you when you mum died at Christmas that harder times wold surely come.

    I can’t possibly imagine your pain, but I can understand it. I will say though my dear friend You are so lucky to have had such a mum to share your life and I know it hasn’t always been easy for you.

    You and Drew are wonderful people and the energy and spirit of your boys is wonderful to see. You have not stifled them but have allowed them to be and thats down to your amazing parenting. You can be sure your mum is proud.

    You have been through so much, Massive hugs coming your way on Saturday. xxxxx

  • kim

    I lost my mum 6 1/2 years ago when my twins were 4 months old. She never got to meet my youngest.

    The pain is less but I continue to miss her enormously each and every day xxxx

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      kim » I am still waiting for the pain to feel less acute. I know it will come, dad has been dead nearly 11 years. I am sorry that your mum never got to meet your youngest

  • northernmum


    we have to wear clothes?

    I thought it was a nudist colony!

    feck must go shopping.

    ON a serious note big hug coming your way at cybermum x

  • Victoria

    Oh you poor love, you’ve had such a hard time recently, it’s not surprising you’re struggling. I hope you guys have a fabulout weekend. Lots of love xxx

  • geekmummy


    We lost my father-in-law 6 years ago. He had just found out he was going to be a Grandad for the first time (my sister-in-law’s firstborn), and he was over the moon about it. He would have made a fantastic grandad. He died before his grandson was born, before either of my kids were born. I am still heartbroken that he will never know Catherine or David.

    I cannot imagine how it feels to lose a mother – I know I will be bereft when it happens to me.

    I’m looking forward to meeting up with you at CyberMummy, and I can give you that big hug in person 🙂

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      geekmummy » It is so hard, when you want your family to see your children. But I see them in my boys everyday

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