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I can’t turn back time and become a younger mum. But if I can do a few small things that will make me look younger, then that’s what I want to do.
“Is that your nanna?”
Other kids at school used to ask me this all the time when they saw my mother. She was 40 when I was born, and by then she already had grey hair and some well-earned wrinkles, courtesy of my five older brothers and sisters.
Is that being vain? Yeah, maybe. I’m sure I’m vainer than my mother, a wonderful, selfless woman who spent most of her waking hours doing housework and didn’t have a lot of time to think about her appearance. But the truth is, I just don’t feel like I’m in my mid-forties and I don’t want to look like I am, either.
When my daughter was a baby, six years ago, I was rolling around on the floor with her. Now we’re sliding down slippery dips together and swimming in pools and bouncing on bouncy castles. This is the kind of mum I want to be. I want to be a friend as well as a parent. I want us to do things together. I want us to go camping and shopping, to art galleries and concerts, walking and talking the whole time. I want her to feel she can tell me anything, and to know that I’ll always be there for her if things get tough in her teenage years.