Three months ago we (myself and my husband) decided to move back to my home county of Lincolnshire. I was away from Lovely Lincs for 27-years, after hot-footing it to London to start my degree at 18-years old. I barely looked back – I loved it. I couldn’t have lived in Lincolnshire in my twenties and thirties, it definitely wasn’t the place for me to learn, laugh, love and live.
My parents stayed in Lincolnshire and we visited a lot over the years. I always felt right in Lincolnshire, I can’t tell you why, I just did. After London was Bedfordshire and after that Kent. In early 2021, my husband casually said to me one day whilst we were visiting my folks, “I could live here”. My heart stopped. What?!! The sound of him saying that never left my mind and within a few months of him saying “I could live here”, we had sold the house and found somewhere to buy in a lovely area, near to my mum and dad.
Since moving back to The Shire, I have noticed myself taking on a different role in life. This role has been enforced a little bit because we are actually living with my parents until our house sale completes. So what is this new role? Well, let me explain.
It is a role reversal of motherhood.
A couple of weeks ago my Mum went off to her monthly book club. The club were meeting at someone’s house about 40-mins away and so she drove. Before she set off, I checked with her that she had got fuel, her phone in her bag and as she left I said “bye mum, ring me if you need anything”. A normal way to wave someone off, I thought.
That evening, I churned through my normal routine of kids bedtimes, grabbing something to eat, had a shower and finally sat down at 9pm-ish. Whilst I was scrolling through my phone and checking messages,I caught myself thinking about my mum’s evening; did she get there ok, I wonder if she’ll be late back, will she turn on her car lights on the return journey, etc. Then it struck me – these were all of the thoughts my mum had had about me when I was about 17-years old.
She used to tell me that she couldn’t relax, after we had been out with friends, until the door clicked shut. Sometimes that was two in the morning. She said she never slept until we were safe back in the nest. At the time I didn’t understood it fully, now I do.
The book club night was the same, but for me this time. I went to bed, nodded off for a short while and then woke up with a start. Was she home? Did she forget her key? I don’t think I had heard her come in which is why I felt on edge. I fell back to sleep. In the morning, I woke up really early and checked the drive. Her car was there and I breathed a sigh of relief. It is such an odd feeling and I never had that worry when she was going to book club and I was living in Kent.
I put it down to maternal instinct and perhaps the idea that as we get to a certain age, roles reverse if we have our mothers in our lives. It just struck me as interesting that I now am on the lookout for my mum. It wasn’t just the book club night either, it has happened a lot over the seven weeks of being with them.
I wonder if it feels weird for my parents? A touch intrusive maybe. I’ll ask one day, when we have moved out.
Not everyone will or can experience this, and I am not actually sure if that is good or bad, but I am glad that I have experienced it. I feel intrigued into why my mind went into overdrive, why I suddenly kicked into protective mode – perhaps it was partly because I know my parents aren’t getting any younger (no-one is), or maybe it was practice for when my eldest starts hitting the pubs? or, was it because I am older, wiser and more thoughtful these days?
I don’t really know the answer, but if I am honest, it felt quite nice.
Founder of geriatricmum.co.uk
Founder of facebook group We are Geriatric Mums: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wearegeriatricmums
Photo in this post is not of Lucy Baker or Lucy’s Baker’s mother.