In between the years. Or: becoming a grumpy old woman


‘Between the years’ is a German expression for the days in between Christmas and the New Year. It nicely describes the feeling of where I am at the moment. We are not completely over and done with Christmas, but neither are we in the midst of it. The same counts for the New Year. Time to sit back and reflect.

The birth of our baby daughter was the most outstanding event in 2009, if not in the whole past decade. I cannot really say it was the greatest event, as the birth itself has been so bloody awful. But finally having her and holding her for the first time has absolutely blown me away and marked the beginning of an era of great change.

People told me that having a child would change my perspective on life and my feelings towards certain circumstances dramatically; but I only now seem to truly understand what they meant.

They said you’d finally feel grown-up when you have a child. I think I have aged about 20 years in the last eight months. And I am turning into one of those grumpy old women. Whereas I would have leapt over a bit of rubbish on the pavement a few months ago, I now find myself muttering and tut-tutting in dismay as I push the pram through the litter.

I mean, really! Where have all the manners gone?

Hooded teenagers in tracksuit bottoms and fake Ugg boots are the worst. Rubbish-throwing, dog-poo-leaving, in their mobile phones blearing little idiots. They seem to be everywhere, innit!

But the big question isn’t where they have come from, but why do I suddenly care?

I had always considered myself a big city girl, wondering about why people would want to live in the country, next to cows, sheep and nothing but fields. Now, sheep seem to be of great social value, compared to the company Vicky Pollard and her friends could keep me.

Becoming a mum did not change who I am, but how I feel and how sensitive I am about what happens around me. 2009 has been all about those ‘internal’ changes and left me feeling a bit out of place. 2010 will be the year of looking for the place that can accommodate the new me.

Grumpy old town, here I come.


  1. lol! I am becoming a grumpy old women too. I always look at younger girls dressed in skimpy clothes and i think to myself how cold they are going to be without a coat on!!!! My nan used to say that to me when i went out in minimal clothing!!

    I agree with you though, i think i have aged about 3years for each child i have and i’m always tutting at rude people and those young scally wags!!

    I hope you have a lovely new year xxxxx

  2. Welcome to the club!
    (But, don’t despair if you don’t feel like you’ve found the ‘right place’ in 2010. I’m still searching for mine…. sometimes I’m sure I’ve found it, then something alters my perspective, and I’m off searching for the next perfect ‘place’. I guess life is a constant journey, and all that! 🙂

  3. I think I have always been a grumpy old woman, the thing is I now look like one as well as behaving like one!!

  4. Ha, I love this. I would like to join the grumpy club please – if you need any proof just ask Sainsburys for their CCTV footage of me completely losing the plot with their self service checkouts yesterday (“unexpected item in bagging area!” “OH JUST SOD OFF!”)

  5. I completely agree, grumpy here too. It’s definitely a post-children thing. I think it’s because you have to focus most of your time and energy on looking after your children and everything else just becomes an annoyance. I think you also feel so protective about them that you want the world to be a better place than it is which is why so much in modern life seems depressing. Analysis over. Maybe it’s just getting older? !

  6. I’m with you. Having a daughter has made me a lot more aware of my inate feminist feelings and far grumpier for it.

  7. I’ve always been grumpy, the lack of sleep resultant of having children just intensifies it. Where do they get the cash to pay for their fake Ugg boots?

  8. I’ve always been a bit on the grumpy side, but now I complain about slightly different things. Yes, dog poo. Never bothered me before, now it’s a health hazard for my little explorer. Glass on the pavement. Before, I complaint about it on cycle paths and roads – as it would burst my tyres, now I see the potential of severe cuts and freak out.

    The real danger is to suddenly make u-turns on one’s stand on certain principles. We have been found discussing the benefit of alternatives to the state system. Then I realised what I was doing and was rather horrified at myself.

  9. Sheep seem to be of great social value??
    I agree with all the bad mannered things you say, they are awful, but sheep….marry a farmer and you’ll find out that’s so wrong!, that’s different….

  10. Nodding head completely in agreement with you here! Me too!! It’s the parent gene – you are so aware of what you want for your little one that everything you don’t want for them is magnified! I hope you and your lovely family have a wonderful New Year and maybe we’ll get to meet up again in 2010? Lots of love xxx

  11. Oh don’t worry, I turned into a grumpy old woman about two years ago. I have no idea how it happened but one day I just seemed to start tutting at everything and everyone and it hasn’t stopped since!!

    On a less grumpy note, wishing you and your lovely family a very Happy New Year!

  12. @Amy: Three years for each child? Well, it suits you well 😉 Scallywags. I had to look that one up. ‘A person who is known to be a treacherous lying son-of-a-bitch, and usually smells bad. ‘ Lol!

    @Katherine: Life is a journey. Another proverb that all of a sudden makes a lot of sense. And now I really sound like my granny.

    @TheMadHouse: HAHAHA! I am sure you don’t.

    @Baking Mad Mama: I know! I know! How on earth are you supposed to use your own bags when the freaggin thing starts shouting at you like a lunatic as soon as you put them down???

    @Emily O: Getting older? Noooo… (Denial is bliss!)

    @Kat: It’s so sad, it’s bloody funny. I guess I have to order that BBC series now.

    @Zooarchaeologist: They get the money from the handbag the nicked from the old lady down the road…

    @Cartside: Same here. I always was a great supporter of integrating social housing into affluent areas. I am not so sure anymore. It’s scary.

    @Victoria: I am working on a complaint against the NHS at the moment. Even more reasons to become grumpy.

    @Frog in the Field: So pigs are the answer? I heard that they make brilliant pets.

    @ThatGirl39: I would love to meet up with you in 2010! Have a Happy New Year you too, xoxo

  13. @Rosie: But your look is still so youthful and fun. Or are you just dying your hair pink to distract from the grey? 😉
    Have a fabulous New Year and don’t forget to tell the neighbours off tonight for being too loud. Tut-tut!

  14. Hey – you can come and join me as I already live in Grumpy Old Town. I was even watching that Grumpy Old Women at Christmas or something like that and finding myself nodding in agreement. But wherever you decide to make your move to, if you do, I do hope that 2010 will be a wonderful, joy-filled New Year for you and your family!

  15. Yes, it’s quite a change, isn’t it? I can relate to the grumpy-factor. And I do feel at times that manners and decorum have completely gone out the window. So, I guess it’s up to me to help bring it back by raising well-behaved (they have their moments) children. Ugh, the responsibility. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  16. Ooh I want to join, being grumpy is the only thing that makes me happy nowadays! Bloody young people!

    By the way I’ve an award for you at my place.

    Happy New Year. xx

  17. I like the idea of the inbetween years, it is a strange and quite reflective time I think. I have never had a baby but I imagine the changes are not totally instant and it makes sense that as little L grows you change. Sadly I don’t think it’s just your mothering instinct making things seem worse- this year the slow creep of decline has carried on here. It makes me so sad that the country my parents brought me into is totally different- okay in some ways better of course but in some ways definitely not- the ammount of money being spent and seemingly not working in education makes me despair.

    Still on the other hand this year has had many wonders and I wish you, big M and little L a very happy, contented 2010- I’m sure you will find a place that seems right for you all xx

  18. I think you’re here to stay, my dear! It’s part of the territory when you have a precious little one to protect 😉

    I’ve tagged you chez moi for a highlights of 09 meme (sorry)

  19. I don’t even have a baby, & I am VERY grumpy! Happy New Year! LLGxx

    ps Saw Clare from Mini Mozart on NYE, do hope you try it out xxxx

  20. It’s awful how much kids age you isn’t it? I’m 26 going on 46! Happy New year and heres to the new you…grumpy and all 🙂 I hope you don’t mind but i’ve tagged you into a meme over at mine…enjoy x x

  21. I’m a grumpy old woman too. Heh. Having children does change one’s perspective on everything. I feel a lot more affected by everything around me – not always in a good way. And good lord, I just read your birth story and it sounded awful, I’m sorry you had a such to deal with such a nasty person during your labour!

    Oh and happy new year too!

  22. Oh well, it happens. Ive been a grumpy old woman for 12 years now–yes, coincides exactly with the birth of my daughter 😉

    I really love the expression, ‘between the years’, as it perfectly expresses that feeling during that week when it doesnt seem one year or the other. Nice.

  23. Pingback: ...and a happy New Year! - Metropolitan Mum

Comments are closed.