Every day I am pretty sure I do at least one thing wrong. Most days I do more. I used to think I was alone, until I talked to other parents who were honest. Here is a place for more parents to feel less alone, and more "good enough".

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Feeling lost.........................

So I had a really great week at MAD week at Shipley Salvation Army. It was great to spend time with everybody, feeling part of things, and the children really came out of their shells and seemed to love it too. Adam really mucked in with the community aspect - he did gardening, litter picking, bag packing and car washing, and happily volunteered so I'm really proud of him x. Jessica spent most of the week in creche with me but did go car washing with her brother and other adults WITHOUT ME one morning, a massive breakthrough. She also was extremely excited because "John Froud came, we washed John Froud's van!!", bless her little cotton socks, he has a new fan since holiday club this year (another break through in that she went to holiday club for a week and happily so, with Dad doing the drop-offs/pick-ups who she is usually more clingy with). Jessica also went in Rachel's car without me, and was dropped off at Christine's house without me there for a little while. She felt confident enough to dress up as a fairy princess for the fancy dress, an absolutely amazing breakthrough considering earlier on in the week she admitted to not wanting to wear dresses or girly things out of the house because everybody makes a fuss and says "oh wow, Jessica is in a dress/looks likes a girl" etc etc. So all in all, a very good week. Toby was happy all week too and went to various people for cuddles with his usual grin xx. He also got himself into a little routine for meals from being in creche, which I completely didn't account for and then realised at 1pm today that he was probably grumpy because he had been having a biscuit at 10.30 and lunch by 12.30 all week, and here I was not feeding him anything since breakfast and only just thinking about lunch. Oops.

And after all that, I am left feeling rather flat. I don't really know why. Partly, I have no phone. I feel amazingly lost with no phone, I can't just text somebody and receive a positive *hug* back, or give somebody a ring and have a chat to make me/them feel better. I can't go on facebook to interact with friends unless I physically sit at the computer, which is rather tying when you have a 7.5 month old, a messy house, and an overwhelmed brain. I have one really big group of friends in particular who my main mode of contact with is facebook, and they are the most supportive and helpful and funny group of ladies (and one man!) you could hope to have, so I particularly miss them when I am not in the land of working technology. And then I start thinking, do I only have friends in my phone, do I not have any physical real friends, and then I feel lost. Which is rather daft, as after having a break from writing this whilst I had a chat with my mum (used the landline that we pretend we don't have because I don't know the number for it.......), James has managed to get my phone working and I have a gazillion text messages to wade through so obviously I am loved ;)

I am just really really rubbish at making new connections. I worry I am imposing, that people are already in established groups of friends and are just putting up with me butting in. I worry that people think I am too young or too old to be in their "group". I find that people don't invite me out or to go places because they think I can't - they make assumptions that I can't find a babysitter or they don't invite us as a family because they assume the children can't make it because they are at their Dads. That particular one I really dislike because we have an agreement that we don't want the children to miss out on things just because of us not being together so will always rearrange if it is for the children's benefit, so I really really dislike it when people decide for us! I feel I can't invite myself along to things unless I'm asked, and then feel stupid because people probably think I don't want to come because I don't ask and I probably look really standoffish and that is why I don't get invited in the first place! I have three friends who I still have the same level of friendship with that I have had  throughout having no children right up to the present. I love those three friends. None of them are constantly here or always who I call for help, but the fact they have never changed how they view me, have always still invited me along and arranged to meet up, not been offended when I can't come and stopped invited me to anything ever again (this sadly happens often, you can't get a babysitter once and suddenly people take that to mean you never will be able to get one), but equally have adapted enough to enable us to still be there for each other, that I love them for. There are others who are still around too, who I still am friends with and who things are great with, but those three really stand out to me. There are also others who have sadly fallen along the wayside. But hey, it's their loss, my kids are ace and I'm a richer person for having them, and I hope one day they can experience something similiar in their life that makes their priorities change  - not necessarily children depending on their personal choice, but definitely something they can be that passionate about.

So why am I lost? I have three children who are awesome, a great house (albeit a complete tip right now, which does have a vast impact on my mood so I need to tidy it), and I do have lots of friends who I can call, and a supportive family also. I guess it is my own feelings that inhibit me? My own feelings of not being part of things, that maybe people somehow think I'm not who they are really looking for in a friend, that maybe I'm not good enough? These can make me seem unapproachable, standoffish, like I'm not looking for friendship, when really I very much love company and would love to spend more time with people. I'm a strange creature, I need quiet and some semblance of order and routine, and alone time, but I also need the company of others on a regular basis, and to feel included and very much part of things. I think Adam takes after me in so many ways and that's why I feel so deeply for him when he's upset as I can really connect with how he feels, and dislike knowing my child can be feeling so anguished.

Parenting is not an easy job. This week I have been around people who see my children in a positive light, who constantly say good things about them and the way I've brought them up, and I can't say enough how much better that makes me feel. Everybody needs that kind of support. I think, as parents, we are pretty rubbish at looking at ourselves in a positive light, remaining forever scared that we are messing our kids up. Or maybe that's just me. I need to give myself a big shake in a black bag as my mother would say, count my blessings and just try and be more sociable and outgoing. I am feeling flat, I really am not sure why, maybe it is the house being a mess, or the children not being here, or uncertainty about employment/money coming in, or feeling a bit like I don't belong to any friendship groups in particular.......................I don't know. I do know that only I can pick myself up and get back up on a positive road again, so that'll be my task for the week I guess xx. For sure, I want my children to be happy in their own skins, so it's important they see me being happy in mine x.

This song is how I feel right now - my head is too full and I just feel a bit overwhelmed and lost.