In July last year my youngest child reached the grand old age of 18. A very significant age for her but also for me – I have no children who are actually ‘children’. It brought out in me a massive feeling of achievement but also confusion and a sense of loss of the identity I have held for so long as ‘Mum’.
Of course they still need me and will do for a long time to come. They all live at home as they are in full-time education or gap-years, but what they need is different. I have been ‘Mum’ for a long time and trying to break the habits of 23 years isn’t easy. It needs to be done though, for their sake as well as mine, and I am pretty sure they have successfully reached the stage I’ve been preparing them for all their lives – to have a go at it on their own. If it works then I have done a good job and they always know I am here if things go wrong.
I want to be brave again
I want to be brave again. I need to do something to allow risk and uncertainty to go back to being exciting. As a Mum I have been protector, security and safety officer. I stand for cosy, sensible and reliable, so I need to push myself, and in doing so realign my ‘mumsie’ thoughts and feelings to ensure I too get to move on when they do.
But, if I am honest, aside the emotional realisation that my mum journey is drawing to an end, I just desperately need a COMPLETE break from the frickin’ dishwasher, the housework, the bed changing, loo cleaning, towel picking-up, fridge-filling, question answering days I have been living for so long. It is making me slightly crazy, as I know they are all capable of doing it themselves, and I yearn for a chaos that isn’t mine to sort. I need this house to function without me for a while.
Welcome to the Mongol Rally: the greatest motoring adventure on the planet
So, I have decided to take on a big challenge and have chosen the Mongol Rally 2019.
‘The Mongol Rally thunders 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia each summer. There’s no backup, no support and no set route; just you, your fellow adventurists and a tiny 1000cc car!’
I’m doing it with my lovely sister-in-law who lost her partner to bloody cancer a few years ago . Like me she wants a challenge that takes her away from everyday life for a while. One that excites, but also slightly scares, one that will show us places we have never seen with a bit of uncertainty about exactly what might happen along the way.
My son did the rally two summers ago and although he did it slightly differently, it made us want to give it a go. He is actually keen to join us and has some car knowledge which could be helpful, but that all depends on his circumstances job wise. And all this whilst raising money for charity.
I don’t know if this is a good idea…?
If you are in a similar position to me and you find yourself needing a change to re find your old self let me know how you are dealing with it. I don’t know yet if this adventure is a good idea or if I will enjoy it, but what I do know is simply the thought of planning it excites me. Even if it turns out to be a disaster it could be the change I need to remember the pre-mum me, so I can enjoy the next chapter of my life.
What is the Mongol Rally?
The rules are simple…you make your way to the finish line in Siberia, via Mongolia, but…
1. You can only take a farcically small vehicle of 1 litre or less.
2. You’re completely on your own.
3. You’ve got to raise £1000 for charity.
So it is with great excitement and slight terror that I can announce we have now registered our entry and have an official team name:
U – ‘Lunn’ – bataar (Ulanbataar is the capital of Mongolia)
I will keep you up-to-date!