Becoming a grandma is an important milestone. I interviewed Nickie who became a grandmother aged 36. Nickie was one of the first bloggers to be kind to me when I started my blogging journey telling me that content matters so very much. It seems fitting to see her featured on my blog at last with her views on life and parenthood.
What is the striking story you have to share?
I was a teenage mum giving birth to my daughter at the age of 18 and then she became a teenage mum at the age of 17 which, if we count on our fingers, meant that I was becoming a grandma at the age of 36.
What were the joys that this experience brought your way?
My daughter had cancer as a baby so we were never sure if she could have children after receiving intensive chemotherapy for 6 months. In one respect, her having a baby and me becoming a grandma was nothing short of a miracle.
What challenges did this situation bring your way?
Stereotypical opinions! I wished that my daughter would have had the opportunity to forge a career rather than become a young mum. Dealing with the emotions across the family (and extended family) that come with the stigma of teenage pregnancy including wanting to tell our story so that it could be shown that you *can* get through this even though it’s an emotional journey but STILL being met with preconceived opinions.
How do you ensure you get time to yourself and what do you do with that time?
I have had a myriad of hobbies which include blogging and vlogging, crafts and studying for a degree with the Open University but my new love is running. It’s totally changed who I am as a person and how I give back to the community who helped me find this new passion.
Have you ever rediscovered or reinvented yourself? How?
My life is a continuous path of self-discovery. Each step is part of that journey. I woudn’t be who I am now without my past and I won’t be the person I’m going to be without what is happening now.
Describe at least one physical feature you have that you consider to be beautiful
My eyes. I love their shape and the colour.
What makes you stand out?
I’m not afraid to share my opinion, I’m a very loyal friend. I’m a very determined person who isn’t afraid to fail because it creates a learning experience.
Is it important to you to support other mums?
Absolutely. I’ve been through so much in my life as a mum that there’s always some advice I can give. I can also learn from others too if they are prepared to share.
Which mum inspires you?
My own. She died at the age of 55 after suffering for 45 years with Bronchiecstasis (wrongly diagnosed as TB when she was a child). She managed to keep a house, a family, a small part-time job, deal with the divorce of her and my dad (the only man she’d ever been with) and still had time for everyone else. I didn’t appreciate her enough and regret that every single day.
What would you like the next Government to do to improve the lives of mums?
I don’t necessarily think the Government needs to specifically target mums but look at family life as a whole – maternity/paternity leave, childcare costs, working hours (making it easier for the employer as well as the mother/father) and also to fully support non-traditional family units as an equality.