Our relationship isn’t the same since I tried to follow in her footsteps and moved to Australia

It is hard to sit here and think of my Mum, to think of our relationship and remember what we are like together. It has been over two years since I have seen her or been home to Ireland. In the time I have been living in Australia I have learned that the best way to deal with homesickness is to stop thinking of home as much. I have stopped talking about home so much and have even stopped calling my Mum all the time.

All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was my Mum. Everybody that meets her loves her. She is effortlessly classy and naturally beautiful. Nursing as her profession suited her perfectly. She is always helping someone. Neighbours have her mobile number pinned to their fridge in case of emergency. She often drops off apple pies at someone’s house, lending a hand wherever she can and checking in on the elderly who live alone.

Having never stepped foot in a hospital myself, I chose to go into nursing after school, the first step of following in her shoes. Two semesters in and twelve weeks of hospital placements later, I knew I was way out of my depth. Nursing would never be my calling. I was miserable. I always felt as though I slighted my Mum when I dropped out of nursing. I feel ashamed remembering my insensitive 18-year-old self, who complained and moaned about the work to my Mum who was passionate about her profession. I don’t think our relationship has been quite the same since then and I still feel like she was insulted.

I think of all the things my Mum has done for me, especially on thed days after work when I open the empty fridge, realising the shopping must be done in order to fill it! The cold nights she would surprise me with a hot water bottle toasting my bed, the early morning lifts she gave me while still in her dressing gown, the dinners she would drop up to me when I was babysitting. I feel so grateful for the cooking tips she gave me, especially her recipes for scones and homemade pizza.

I always plan to Skype her and tell her how much I love her, how much I miss her and how much I appreciate everything she has done for me. The time difference and our busy schedules delay Skype calls and when we finally talk late at night, all the things I plan to say are pushed to the back of my mind. I’m tired and irritable and have less patience than in the lovely Mother-Daughter chat I had imagined. Question’s about work, money, visas, rent, when am I coming home, what are my plans – they all fare too much. Although I alway try to keep the conversation pleasant, I find myself attempting to end the call. I don’t say any of the things I want to say. I wonder does she feel the same.

I have always avoided talking too much about my life here knowing it is something she worries about. When she first found out that there was, in her words, “a fella”, there was a very obvious disapproval. She doesn’t agree with me living in Australia. Yet how can you be upset at somebody who misses you that much? I know these questions and the pressure comes from love. I tell myself this after the calls and I vow to call more often, every time.

– Lydia Fox, Australia

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