When you find out who cares . . .

The last 6-8 weeks have probably been some of the hardest that we, as a family, have had to work through thanks to our respective illnesses and issues. On the whole, we’re normally a pretty healthy little bundle really, we get the odd colds but nothing to worry too much about.

This has been a hard year for Hubby, he’s a hard worker at the best of times (I know because I worked with him for long enough) and yes he walks about with a piece of paper in his hand (I always wound him up about that one) and stops to chat with his colleagues (like most do!!) but he’s usually a man on a mission and he rarely takes a lunch hour or leaves work when he should. As I have said previously he has to date this year only taken 7 days holiday from work. So far we have had to cancel 2 family holidays this year because of work commitments (and that didn’t settle well with me!). His phone is never switched off and even on the 7 days holiday we have taken, our days have still been marred by calls from work.

Against my better judgement, he never takes time off work when he is sick and boy has he paid for it with his health in recent weeks. I have no doubt that there have been the usual jibes and criticisms about ‘how ill’ he really was because people just can’t help themselves can they but take it from me (and Hubby will testify to this) I don’t do home nursing very well. Hubby and I love each other very much but when either of us is ill we just let each other get on with it, we don’t really ‘care’ for each other. I had known for weeks that Hubby wasn’t in great shape, I knew because I was the one who caught whooping cough in the first place and passed it to him. I know how rough I felt and I could see that he was worse than me, the only difference I felt was that he could take medication whereas I couldn’t. I would tell him most mornings “you should be staying at home today” but he wouldn’t listen, he would just tell me “it’s ok I’ll stick the aircon full blast so that no one else catches my bug” but in the process, he managed to make himself worse by getting severe community-acquired pneumonia. Not a cold, not ‘man-flu’ but full-blown pneumonia with a full right lung AND whooping cough to boot! Nobody could have been more shocked than I was when he called from the hospital to say that we needed to pack him an overnight bag, the hospital wanted to admit him and you could have picked me up off the floor with a spatula when the Consultant at the hospital told me they would need to keep him in for 3-4 days minimum. The most frightening time for me was when he had his allergic reaction to the drip they had him on, I have never seen anyone react like that and I never want to again.

But that’s not what this post is about, that’s just the background to it really. In recent weeks/months I have spent a lot of time analysing relationships and friendships, I have looked at who really matters and although I had my suspicions before our most recent health issues, that time when Hubby was in hospital really showed me who really cares and who really matters. They always say that it’s in times of need you know who your friends are and it’s true. When Hubby was admitted to the hospital I found myself feeling really low, naturally, I was worried about Hubby, I had seen the man I love deteriorate from a very strong and able-bodied man to someone I didn’t recognise in hospital, someone who could barely keep their eyes open and showed very little interest in anything. I was still feeling very poorly myself with whooping cough, my thyroid levels had dropped meaning that I was even more tired than usual at 6 months pregnant and I had two little toddlers to look after. My Mum stepped in as I knew she would and helped me out no end with the tiddlers and my in-laws were a great support too with offers of help with the tiddlers and visits to Hubby but I received countless texts, messages and calls from friends all around offering words of comfort and support, offers of help. My neighbours stepped in to help with the school run, I received flowers and hugs from all over. I received constant support from people whom I didn’t expect at all and appreciated very much. BUT for all the messages and support that I DID receive, I also noticed a big gaping hole where I felt others should have been and those are the ‘friends’ which I felt showed their true colours. One friend, in particular, has (excuse the language) crapped on us from a great height this year and that can never be forgiven and I have ‘friends’ who have still not even congratulated me on our impending arrival in January. I have always done my utmost to be the best friend that I can be to those around me, I support wherever I can and am able. I will admit that I am not the best at communication, time just slips me by but I try my hardest.

In my first year as Mummy to Beanie Boy, I struggled. I found it hard work going from one to two and have no doubt that going forward I may struggle with Jelly Bean too. But during that first year I received criticism from ‘friends’ that I ‘hadn’t bothered with them’ yet on the times that I had seen them, they had talked only of themselves and not once asked “and how are you?” something I ALWAYS ask a new mother because I know that the mothers always get forgotten. Even when I told some of them how low I was feeling, they just shrugged and changed the subject.

I had one ‘friend’ defriend me on Facebook because I hadn’t bothered with them in that year and I have friends who have never even met my little Beanie Boy even though they live nearby. The thing is, I totally understand that people have their own lives to get on with and I know how quickly time can pass but I am also not stupid, I look on Facebook/Twitter etc I ‘see’ people out doing things and meeting other people when they say they are ‘too busy to go out’. I have tried to make arrangements to see people only to have them cancel at the last minute. So why not just say ‘I’m not interested in being your friend anymore?’ why lie about it? I used to let it bother me but in recent weeks I have decided to let it all go because I have seen that my life is so much richer than I thought it was because it has been proved to me by those that stood by me. The friends that I have are true friends and ones that I will cherish. To the rest of you, have a happy life!


  • Maria @ Feisty Tapas

    November 21 at 10:39 pm

    Oooh I could have written the second part of that post myself (but you know that, we’ve talked about it before and your advice has been fantastic!). Is your husband recovering well now?

    1. mummymatters

      November 22 at 1:39 pm

      Sadly Maria we just have to rise above it don’t we but that doesn’t mean it hurts along the way. That’s why I’m thankful for my blog because it has opened up a whole new world of friends (including you) and whilst we don’t always see each other often, we know that those friends are there should we need them (unlike some others we could mention!!). Hubby is getting there slowly thank you, back to work but tired and still suffering with severe rib pains xx

  • Candace

    November 21 at 11:41 pm

    Just discovered your blog via netmums and all i can say is well said. I personally have had a really *#@” year and its shown me who cares and who doesn’t. Really is eye opening.

    I have a similar post sat in my drafts that i wrote sometime ago and never published. Writing it was therapeutic enough.

    Hope all is on the mend in your house x

    1. mummymatters

      November 22 at 1:37 pm

      Hi, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I ummed and ahhhed for a while before pressing publish on this post, like you say it’s therapeutic to write but it was one of those posts which I knew I just had to publish. I always pass these kind of posts by Hubby first to see what he thinks and he supported me on it. I have received some great responses too.

      Our household is getting there slowly thank you. Hope you have a better year in 2013 xx

  • su tyler

    November 22 at 8:20 am

    I know exactly what you mean when you talk about how you don’t ‘care’ for each other. My OH has been off work ill since March and he drives me nuts…although I love him to bits!
    I feel the same about friends. Before my redundancy 2 and half years ago many ‘friends’ said they’d keep in touch, most didn’t and the remaining ones have become ‘accquaintances’ on Facebook.
    The ones I value – apart from family – which is a given..are our best friends who’ve been there through thick and thin.
    Like you say – to the others – have a happy life.

    Hope Hubby gets well soon and that your impending birth goes well. x

    1. mummymatters

      November 22 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I find it so easy to care for the children when they are poorly but when it’s Hubby or I it’s not so easy, always seems a bit daft babying an adult!


  • MyMillsBaby

    November 22 at 10:21 am

    Awww this touched a nerve. I completely understand about people defriending you. I recently came back to my hometown after living away for 10 years. I was so excited and had all these ideas about rekindling old friendships. We’d been friends on Facebook for years and I thought they’d be happy to see me. As soon as Dexter arrived – I posted LOADS about it. I was a first time mum and seriously excited. I had no idea lots of them had defriended me until I went to visit their ‘walls’ and write them a personal message. Why would they do it? It upset me for months – they were my closest friends at school! I still have no idea why and have now decided I don’t care.

    How is hubby now? Is he out of hospital – must have been utterly frightening.

    And of course, how are YOU honey?? xxx

    1. mummymatters

      November 22 at 1:33 pm

      Dare I say that these were friends who didn’t have children of their own? Sometimes people just don’t ‘get it’ when you become a Mum and have all this love and cute funny tales to tell. It’s such a shame but maybe the same will happen to them on day and then they will look back with regret. It’s always hurtful when friends let you down though.

      Hubby is back to work now, albeit very tired when he gets home. He has to go back to Docs because not sure if he hasn’t cracked his ribs from all the coughing 🙁

      Me? I’m fine thank you for asking, whooping cough is affecting me less and less just wondering if I could buy an extra couple of days in the week to get all my jobs done!! xx

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