Parenting has become so much more challenging without Mum around. It's funny. Not ha ha funny. There were times when I found it so stressful having my mum around whilst I was learning to be a mum myself - I felt like I was being watched, judged, assessed. I didn't feel like that all the time of course. There were plenty of times when I could call Mum up and get her honest opinion on how to deal with the issue of the moment. I very clearly remember Mum coming round to help when Wills was tiny. I couldn't settle him, he was just crying and crying and crying. He can't have been more than a few weeks old. I called Mum and she came straight round and held him and rocked him and "wah"-ed back at him. Wills would "wah" then Mum would "wah" till Mum and I fell about laughing at how crazy she sounded! It worked though, he settled down and all was well in the Clubley-Moore household again. There were many times over the 6 years of Grandmother-ing that Mum saved the day.
My latest parenting challenge is finding the right balance of screen time in our house. I wish I could chat with Mum about it. Screen time is a useful distraction from how overwhelming life is feeling right now. The children are absorbed and make very few requests for my time. And yet I know it isn't really the best answer. This too shall pass though. It will get easier without a tiny newborn baby. It will get easier as I come to terms more with Mum not being around. It will get easier.
There is no longer a worry that Mum might disapprove of my parenting choices. I wish I still had that worry. It would mean Mum was back again. It would mean I wouldn't always have to be the adult, that I could safely admit when i don't know the answer or the best course of action because Mum would know, of course!
For now I'll keep muddling through as best as I can.