This week in my Midlife Matters series I would love to introduce you to Leanne Le Cras from Cresting the Hill. Leanne and I met through blogging and have probably been sisters in another life I think!
We both started our blogs roughly around the same time, we both blog about midlife and it’s crazy, wonderful adventure, we are both Aussies although we live on the opposite side of Australia from each other and most importantly we are ABBA fans!
I love Leanne’s writing and am a fan (can you guess? LOL:)! She is warm hearted and shares her experience of midlife in a special way with all of her readers. A devoted wife and mother and now a proud Nan, Leanne writes about how at midlife she is coming into her own as a person and individual in her own right.
You can read more about Leanne at the end of the post and also find her website and social media links.
Leanne writes about Motherhood and also her new role as a Nan……
My children have always mocked me for being a Mother Wolf. They tell anyone who will listen that I raised them and then kicked them out of the den to fend for themselves in the big, wide world (no mention of their wolf father though!) As much as it pains me to admit it, I think the Mother Wolf label isn’t far off the mark.
As parents we did our utmost to raise children who could fend for themselves and not rely on us all the time. We lived on a two acre rural block about 20 minutes outside Bunbury in the southwest of Western Australia.
It was close enough to commute, but far enough to keep our children out of harm’s way as they grew up.
We never had to worry about where they were or who they were seeing because they needed us to transport them any further than their neighbourhood friends’ houses.
They rode bikes, built cubbies, lit fires (not approved of by their mother!), played sport, went to youth group, had lots of friends and cousins to hang out with, and generally had a pretty good childhood.
I was looking back through some photo albums the other day and there are so many happy snaps of our kids out in the fresh air having a good time – not stuck inside on computers or glued to the TV. I’m very grateful the internet was a thing of the future and they could grow up without its influence.
Both our son and daughter left home in their late teens to live in the city and attend university. Some parents find this transition heart wrenching, but as country dwellers we knew the time would come when our kids would want to move to the big smoke and university was the starting point.
By the time they left home, they both knew how to cook and clean, they had driver’s licences and their own cars (paid for by themselves from their part-time jobs). They had both worked for a year or so after high school so they had some savings and qualified for government assistance while they lived away from home. We were so proud to see them eager to leave and not clinging to our apron strings (or us clinging to them).
Fast forward a few years and university was finished. Our son went on to do his PhD while he worked part-time at the uni he had studied at. Our daughter went straight into a teaching position at a private college near her home.
While they were at uni they had both share-housed with other students and fended for themselves admirably – they never felt the need to sponge off their parents (which was fortunate because there wasn’t a lot of spare money floating around), and they came home to visit occasionally in their uni breaks.
Towards the end of their studies life took another turn and they both met their future spouses. Long term courtships are not a strong point in our family – it seems like we meet “the one” and before we know it we’re married.
My husband and I married within a year of meeting each other, our son met his wife in July and married her in the following September, and our daughter met her husband in February and they married in December that year.
We became in-laws twice within 18 months and couldn’t be happier for our children especially as we watched them save for and then buy their first homes – taking on mortgages and being all ‘grown up’.
This year (four and a half years after their wedding) our son and daughter-in-law presented us with our first grandbaby, a little girl named Sophia May. She was the icing on the cake for her parents and for us too.
To see your children become parents and to be allowed to be part of that widening circle of family is such a lovely experience. I’ve spent a lot of time with babies over the last decade or so – volunteering with Red Cross Family Support and also with the babies of young couples in our church, but NOTHING beats having a grandbaby – a little person who is yours but not yours – who you can hold and then give back.To see your children become parents to be part of that widening circle of family is such a lovely experience.Click To Tweet
I can’t wait to watch her grow up and to meet her future siblings – and cousins when it’s our daughter’s turn.
I’m doing my very best to not interfere in my children’s lives – you have to respect their boundaries to stop treading on each other’s toes. You have to respect their decisions and let them make their own mistakes.
They do things differently to how we might choose to do it, but it’s only different – not wrong. They have steady jobs, lovely homes, they remember Mothers Day and come home for Christmas.
I might wish we could see them more often, but they value their space and so do we. Distance means you can’t drop in for a 5 minute chat, but it also gives us the opportunity for longer visits when they happen and appreciating those times more because they are less frequent.
I saw the term “Detachment Parenting” a while ago – it’s the opposite to helicopter ‘Attachment Parenting” and I think it describes my mother wolf style.
When I complain that our son hasn’t phoned lately, or our daughter hasn’t visited for a while, my husband reminds me that our aim in life was to ensure our children grew up into self-sufficient, independent adults and we succeeded admirably…..but I’d still like to live closer sometimes – especially with that new delicious grandbaby on the scene. Looks like our visits to the city will be increasing this year!
Leanne started Cresting the Hill at the end of 2014 to find her voice again and has enjoyed connecting with other women who are celebrating midlife. She previously defined her life by saying she was a wife, or a mother or by her profession. These days she defines herself as a woman in her own right, and on her midlife journey has discovered who she is and that she actually likes the person she has become. Leanne loves to share tips on how to find the sunshine in life plus stories from her life and family. Leanne would love to connect with you and share her journey ‘cresting the hill’.