My parents divorced when I was five years old. I vividly remember my mum and dad sitting down on the coffee table while my sister and I sat on the couch opposite while they told us they were separating.
I was young and didn’t quite understand what it really meant, but I could comprehend that it was shit. My sister who is four years older than me started to cry so I followed her lead. I begged my parents to hold hands because I thought if they did that then everything would be okay.
When your parents split, especially when it isn’t an amicable one (are they ever?) it sucks. Seeing your parents sad and no longer a team when you’re so young makes you feel strange, and it changes your world. Your invincible mum and dad all of a sudden become human.
That was over 30 years ago and now I honestly wonder how they were ever married. They are so different and although both awesome, I would never put them together in a million years.
My sister and I grew up with my mum as a single parent. She worked her ass off to give my sister and I a safe environment with everything we could ever need. She worked long hours but I don’t have any memories of her not being around. Now that I am a mum of two, I have even more respect for what she went through and sacrificed for us as kids. My grandparents were a huge part of our lives and only lived around the corner but the lions share rested on my mum’s little shoulders and it wasn’t easy for her.
She never complained and she parented us in a way that made my sister and I have huge respect for her. We knew when we had pushed her too far and there was no worse feeling than when we had disappointed her.
My mum and I are very close, sometimes I almost think too close. I’m a 36 year old woman with a family of my own now, but I rely on my mum for so much. Mum is who I call when my boys are sick, she is the name I write on my next of kin form, she is who I speak to when I am bored, lonely or need to vent.
I know my reliance on mum goes back to my childhood. My mum was always there, she was solid and reliable and she’s always been my solid number one. I know when my mum is unwell, even before she tells me. I know in an instant if she is sad, mad, or happy. When her world is not okay, mine isn’t either.
I went and saw a healer a little while ago for health reasons (pesty headaches) who came highly recommended but what she picked up on the most was how attached to my mum I was. I didn’t even mention my mum, so my ears pricked right up. I’m open to healers etc, but I also take their advice with a grain of salt and am a tad skeptical, but what she said made sense to me. The healer said that there is a bond so strong that it would make sense if I had a siamese twin, obviously I don’t, and the problem with having such a strong connection with my mum is that I subconsciously take on everything that’s going on in her world.
It made so much sense to me. When mum and dad split, I almost took on a subconscious protector role of my mum, and to this day I still do. I’m not quite sure how I undo that siamese connection though, the bloody healer didn’t help that part. Ha.
I’m not sure if I would be as close to my mum if my parents had not split when I was so young. Even though there was shit to shovel through as a kid having parents living in different homes, I honestly would not change it for the world. I know that sounds like an odd thing to say, being grateful that your parents split up, but truth is I am. Good has to come out of a shit situation, and I think that I got this incredible relationship with my mum because she has always been my main squeeze.
What’s your relationship with your mum like?
Sylvia Jeffreys and I chatted about our love of our mums On The Couch. Sylvia grew up with a single mum and their bond is pretty incredible. Check it out below.
Like Monty, Sarah Harris was raised by a kick-arse single mum and she talked about her childhood and so much more during her On The Couch chat. Listen to the audio below, then come hang with us in podcast land by subbing here.