What happened to me?

Before having children, I would have described myself as a bubbly, confident, outgoing girl who had no problem interacting with strangers.  I was never fazed by going away with work to training centres where I knew no-one, I saw it as fun, a challenge.  I would strike up conversations with people when out and about, stood in the queue at the Post Office, in a bar, at the swimming pool or on holiday.  I distinctly remember a friend of mine saying “you’re good at talking crap” which some people might not take as a compliment, but I knew what she meant.  I would happily talk to anyone about anything.

But something has changed and I’m hoping this is just a temporary glitch.  When faced with new situations or surroundings now I become nervous.  I worry that people will think I’m dull and boring, or that I’m interrupting them.  Even with friends who I’ve known for years I get anxious that I won’t have enough ‘interesting’ stuff to talk about.  If I know that I’m going to be spending a lengthy amount of time with someone my mind goes into overdrive, trying to think of all the things that I could talk about so that there are no awkward silences.

Last week, I visited Hubby at work (my old workplace) so I know the majority of the people there, I worked with them for nearly 6 years but when I went in there I felt like a stranger.  If I didn’t have the children with me I would have been lost as they are my source of focus and the one thing guaranteed to be a talking point.  I felt that I was in the way wherever I went and vowed that I wouldn’t be going back any time soon.

I have attended a few different blogging events in the last few months, something which I would normally thrive on – the rush of meeting new people, getting stuck into a new situation but instead I’ve felt almost like I’ve been trapped behind a piece of glass watching everyone else but not quite being able to join in.  Perhaps the worst was a beauty event where all the other bloggers were young twenty-something fashionistas and then me, two weeks post birth thirty-something – not exactly a recipe for confidence building!! I’m going to Cybermummy this year courtesy of B.Sensible and I’m really looking forward to it but I really hope that I’ve pulled my socks up by then! This just isn’t like me at all.

Perhaps its because I’m a stay at home Mum?  I’ve been trying to think about what has changed, I didn’t feel like this when it was just me and Little Bean at home, but then again I also used to spend lots of time doing activities and courses at the Surestart Children’s Centre.  Since Beanie Boy has come along, I’ve taken myself out of the game somewhat.  Its been harder to find activities that I can do with both children – I would have loved to do Baby Massage and Baby Yoga like I did when Little Bean was a baby but I can’t take Little Bean with me and there are no childcare provisions for siblings this year due to cutbacks by the Government.  As of tomorrow I have got Little Bean booked into nursery two mornings a week which will afford me a little bit of time but I’m not sure that any of the classes are on at a time to suit. 

I’m also hoping that as the weather picks up, things will improve and I can get out and about a bit more with the children.  There’s nothing like a good long walk to blow away the cobwebs!!

So calling all stay-at-home Mums, do you ever feel like this?  How do you kick yourself up the bum?

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7 Comments

  1. Jordan
    February 1, 2011 / 4:41 pm

    I am a SAHM too, and yes, i feel exactly the same. My son is 4yrs old now, and has started pre-school & i thought that this would help me, but it hasn’t, not at all – despite wanting to try really hard, i just can’t do the whole ‘yummy mummies in the playground’ chat – i feel like im not ‘worthy’ – probably because i’ve never done it before.
    I am pregnant with my second child, and due in 3weeks. My health visitor came to visit yesterday & she gave me some leaflets on local groups that are about & i am absolutely 100% determined to go to them (i didn’t with my son) & start being a ‘group’ person – just so i can make some friends.
    In essence, what im trying to say is you are most definitely not alone, and if anyone has the answer – will you let me know, please?!
    Im sorry – i rambled more than i intended too then!
    Sorry – i rambled more than i intended to then!

    • mummymatters
      February 1, 2011 / 8:47 pm

      In my mind I knew I wasn’t alone, I’ve received many comments on Twitter too. When your baby arrives you should definitely sign up for groups, like I said in my post I did baby yoga, baby massage and Jelly Beans music class – through that I made friends with 5 other women who had babies at the same time as me and for the first year of being a mummy. Unfortunately we have all drifted now and are at different stages, I was the first to have a second, the others are starting to follow suit now but some have moved away etc etc. Even going to the first couple of classes was tough though, I had to ‘pretend’ that I was a confident person even though inside I was shrinking into a corner.

      Good luck with baby no. 2 – if you’re ever feeling lonely you know where I am! x

  2. Heather
    February 1, 2011 / 9:16 pm

    I know exactly where you are coming from! exactly. I spend so much of my time alone with just my kids that on top of everything else i also feel out of practise talking to people and worry about what to say.

    That book I talked about really helped me – it just made me figure some stuff out, lose some baggage and work out what i wanted and how to get there. It’s so hard to believe people when they are telling you the good things about yourself, you need to be able to tell them to yourself before the confidence starts to build again – at least this was the way with me. Hope you figure it out! H xx

    • mummymatters
      February 1, 2011 / 9:49 pm

      Thank you, I’m sure I will, I don’t give in easily!! I will definitely look out that book xx

  3. Tim (aka Dotterel)
    February 1, 2011 / 11:12 pm

    Interesting post, that. And pertinent, too – as well as equally applicable to stay-at-home dads! In fact, worrying about being boring is something I’m talking about in just a few short minutes on the Tony Livesey show, so we’re not alone in this feeling.

    • mummymatters
      February 1, 2011 / 11:36 pm

      Really, what a coincidence. Would love to hear what you have to say about it but just off to do the dreamfeed with little man. I hate feeling this way 🙁

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