Where did I go?

I’ve had something on my mind recently, niggling at my brain as only negative thoughts can and I’ve been inspired to blog about it, after reading some really honest posts from Mummy from the Heart and Mummy Bear at She was not at all domestic. I am hoping that by writing it down I will either feel better about it or be so ashamed at such ridiculous nonsense that I will snap out of it and cheer the hell up.

Recently, I’ve worried that I’m not liked, specifically by the rest of my ante-natal group. The weird thing is that nothing has really happened to make me feel this way, no-one has said or done anything to upset me. I was missed off a group e-mail and the subsequent replies a couple of weeks ago, so didn’t receive a weeks worth of communication, but am sure this was a simple mistake and not personal. This hasn’t stopped me taking it personally though and has opened up a downward spiral of self-doubt.

Today, for the first time since we became friends, I felt nervous before our usual weekly get together and didn’t really enjoy it. I spent too much time thinking about what I was about to say or whether I was intruding. Whilst I usually come back feeling like I’ve had a relaxing morning for me, even though Mini Mck enjoys it too, today I felt flat and sad.

What is so frustrating is that this is all coming from within and I don’t understand where this lack of self-confidence has come from, as it’s really not me. As I said, I have given it lots of thought and have come to a few conclusions, none of which seem to have helped shake these feelings.

I am sure that time to think is one of the problems. Whilst looking after my son is one of the hardest and most tiring jobs I have ever done and I am always busy, I am not busy using my brain. Feeding, walking with the pushchair, driving around, doing housework; all these things give me far to much time to think, to over-analyse every e-mail or conversation and I have come to the conclusion that this is not healthy or helping. So, if I know that why do I allow my mind to wander into dangerous territory. I need to fill it with something else and more specifically, someone else’s voice other than my own. I feel a trip around iTunes coming on to look for some interesting and challenging podcasts.

These feelings have also coincided with most of the Mums in the group returning to or talking about returning to work, something I have chosen not to do. The important word there being chosen, I don’t want to go back to work, I want to just be a Mum for a while, not forever, just for a while. So, being as no-one has questioned or belittled my choice, why do I suddenly feel that people won’t be interested in what I think or say? Why do I feel inadequate and irrelevant? Of course there is more talk of how busy they are at work or how it is hard to fit everything in now that they have less time at home. These are conversations that I can’t join in with but there is still plenty of other topics and I’m not the only one who is making this choice.

After reading Mummy Bear’s post and the subsequent comments it occurs to me that I may not be the only one in the group that is feeling this way but for different reasons. Perhaps those that have returned to work are feeling stuck between two worlds, not belonging to either and I am picking up on their own lack of confidence.

Whatever it is, one thing this post has made clear in my mind is that I would hate for this great group of women to drift apart, as they have been great fun and an invaluable support, which I would not want to lose and am sure they feel the same.

Maybe I should take the initiative and suggest a night out, just for the girls. Perhaps with no babies and not attempting to fit a week’s worth of home stuff into one or two days and of course the obligatory glass of wine, we will all feel more like ourselves again.

I realise these thoughts I’m having are self-indulgent and self-pitying and I am lucky to have great friends, a healthy and happy son and a lovely and supportive partner who is happy for me to make being a Mummy my only job. So,I need to snap out of it. My plan is organise something to re-connect with the group and engage my mind with more challenging and outward looking influences, to give myself less time to waste on negative and destructive thoughts.

Any other suggestions? Giving myself a slap and telling myself to buck my ideas up goes without saying so any other suggestions would be most welcome.


7 thoughts on “Where did I go?

  1. Hiya, (you have pulled me out of hiding already!). Well done for this honest post. Believe me all new Mums feel like this and you are right, too much time and not enough brain strain open us up to all sorts of crazy thoughts. I know I am far too guilty of excessive thinking and obsessing. Not sure I have any specific advice, a night out sounds good and a chance of scenary always helps. I think the fact that you are aware of your tendancy to overthink will help you combat this anyway. Catch you soon, Mich x

  2. I think we all go through this at some stage. It's all part of adjusting to all the massive changes in your life. Maybe try suggesting a night out and see what reaction you get? Worth a try? Good luck anyway – I'm sure it will all work itself out.

  3. I have thoughts just like these on a regular basis. Self-doubt is horrible isn't it? It can take the smallest thing to set me off.I think your idea of a girls' night out is a fantastic one. It'll definitely help you reconnect with everyone and you'll just be able to relax and have fun with them.

  4. Agree with all the above. it's definately a phase. When you stop working (even just for maternity leave as I did) you have so much time to think and your confidence can suffer. but you are still the same person as you always were, you just have wonderful little person in your life now. Definately do the night out thing, I find that always helps my group of mummy friends re-connect if we've been out of touch for a while. Hope you're feeling better now, as you posted a few days ago x

  5. thanks for encouragement YM and ITAML. Have been a bit manic this weekend and haven't been checking in regularly. Feeling much better and you're right It's a Mummys Life about having a brilliant little person in my life now. I had confessed to one of the girls in the group that I'd started a blog and she looked it up without my knowledge so read the post and sent me a lovely encouraging e-mail which helped.

  6. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!I reckon must of us go through this when we first give up our former lives and lose our independence and self-confidence. I sure as hell did. I left behind a great career when we had our daughter 12 yrs ago and I only recently returned to college and retrained as a journalist. I decided not to get a staff job because I still wanted the freedom to be here for my kids but being a freelancer has plenty of pitfalls – I spend far too much time on my own obsessing about everything! Despite all this, I don't regret a thing and you've got some wonderful years ahead of you bringing up your baby…Good luck and enjoy x

  7. it's a phase- a confusing, draining , what the f* am I doing phase?? I used to get to the end of the day and be utterly exhausted and yet some days I hadn't even spoken a whole sentence or had a thought beyond where's that damn nipple cream??and then…. I got a blog!!!! and now I have found my sanity. I can write in whole sentences, I have coherent thoughts and I have found people who do the same! I never connected with my antenatal group very well. They emailed ALOT and met up all the time but I felt weird going along- I also find that many babies in one place more stressful than fun!!It is hard to stay 'me' when your life has changed soooo much! I mean come on, you can't even go to the loo on your own now! It's hard but you will find a new way of being you. For me, it's talking absolute nonsense on the interweb- who'd have thought it!!? Welcome to blogging- I hope it's as successful a therapy for you as it has been for me! Anna @Evie George x

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