Wanted: a better mood

I write this post whilst struggling to get to sleep. I thought hard about writing this  but I guess a blog is here to talk about what’s going on and how you’re feeling.

Well, at the moment I feel like crap. I feel like I’m just existing, and not living life at all. I’m wandering from one day to the next and just trying to make it through another day.

The hardest part is trying hard to not let Amelia see how I feel because all she wants to do is hang out with me and play, and be happy. It’s not her fault because I’ve felt like this much longer than she’s been around. I knew before she arrived that it’d be harder when she was here because I’d have to fill our time with something other than work.

I’ve lived in my current hometown now for 6 years. I moved to be with my husband, and as such had no-one other than him to move here for. I’ve spent the last six years training and working hard, and using that as the excuse when I realise that, though I have plenty of acquaintances, I haven’t really made any best friends. I could really do with one of those nearby right now.

Perhaps I don’t have the right personality for it but I always suspected it would be really tough being a new mum and trying to find people in similar situations. Rightly or wrongly I didn’t go to any antenatal groups. My reasoning to everyone at the time was that I didn’t need to pay for a course to tell me stuff I could read elsewhere. The truth – I kind of knew that everyone in the group would get on well and that somehow, eventually, I would end up on the sidelines. I didn’t want to feel like that so I didn’t put myself out there at all.

We tried baby groups and I’d have casual chats with other mums but it never went further than that, though I could see friendships evolving around me. I’ve watched friends have their babies, move house and make loads of friends to meet up with. But somehow I’ve just not managed it. I guess it’s something to do with me and my personality.

But I think what I’m finding really tough now is that I feel this pressure to conjure up some friends to make Amelia’s life more fun, and to allow her to grow up making friends easily, and having other children to play with. I love Amelia dearly but at the moment our conversations are still fairly one-sided!  And our lack of people to hang out with in the day, has led to me going out with her less and less. Put it this way – today we didn’t even get dressed. I don’t really know where to take her when it’s just there two of us because it just adds to this feeling of loneliness watching other mums out together, enjoying good company. 

I feel like I need to simply pull myself together but I have no idea where to start. All advice is greatly received (especially since I’d really like to be able to sleep whilst Amelia is sleeping peacefully). And sorry for the really crappy depressing post. I promise to make the next one more cheery.

11 thoughts on “Wanted: a better mood

  1. Sorry you are struggling right now, but I promise you aren’t alone. Every parent, heck every person, experiences this at some point in their lives. It sucks, it’s tough, but you’ll get through it. The women you see easily making friendships? Maybe they suck at cooking or gardening or are just a crappy person in general. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, ups and down, good days and bad- just know it doesn’t last forever.

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  2. You’re definitely not alone. Bring a mummy is tough at the best of times. And you’re clearly doing a fantastic job. Look how gorgeous Amelia is!
    It does get lonely at times though. I think just getting some fresh air helps. Getting dressed. Feeling a sense of purpose for the day and going for a walk. Is there a park nearby you can walk to?
    Your blogs have really helped me as a first time mum. Advice on what to buy etc. Keep strong and remember we’re all here for you xx

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  3. I hope you were able to get some sleep and feel a little better this morning! It’s a shame we don’t live closer! I can definitely relate to this, we’ve been to many baby groups where I’ve struggled to get past the initial, superficial conversations. It’s definitely something that comes easily to others and can make you feel even more awkward when you watch others making friends with ease. I’m not sure what the answer is, but be kind to yourself, Amelia is a lovely little girl and you are a great Mummy! Rx

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    1. Thanks Rachel – I think motherhood is such a transition and comes with this added feeling that we must meet other mums and we must have a big circle of mum friends. I guess it’s just trying to find a couple of really good friends to share and offload with – I need to work on finding that!
      I really hope you’re doing well and I’m sure you’re being a fab mummy too! X

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  4. Sometimes in situations like these it’s a good idea to visualise how you would like things to be in an ideal world and then take small steps to work towards that vision. It’s difficult to tell from the blog whether you actually want to make friends and are finding it difficult to do so, or perhaps you quite like going it alone with your little one, but feel obliged to be doing something different ‘like everyone else’? If you’re happy just doing stuff with your daughter then try to accept that and focus on making it fun for you both. If not then you probably need to persist with trying to make friends. It isn’t always easy, it does take effort and it can take a while to find people that you would genuinely call friends rather than acquaintances. I had plenty of days where I just wanted to stay in my PJs all day with Alexa, but I forced myself to do at least a couple of things each week. If your vision of the future includes you in amongst a group of people that you and your little one socialise with regularly then the first step is to pick a group, any group that your daughter might enjoy and commit to going every week. Don’t just dabble with groups, pick one and stick to it. By default, you will see the same people, start just with a smile, it signals you’re open to at least starting a conversation. The casual chats you’ve been having only turn into friendship with time. If you chat to someone and get a good vibe from them then arrange another play date. Make it about the kids, not you. It’s a bit like dating….you need to at least chat to the person a few times before deciding whether it will last! My ‘mum’ friends are generally completely different to my high school pals that I’ve known for years, but it took a bit of effort to build a relationship with them. You know it’s progressed to friendship when you’re keen to go out for a glass of vino without the kids!
    Or are you just killing time on maternity leave before you can go back to work and get back to the working ‘you’ again? If that’s how you feel then that maybe holding you back X X

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    1. I think you’re right about it being a bit like dating (and I’m certainly out of practice there!)
      I think it’s about having a few mum friends locally to have a relationship with, but still having my other friends for the non mummy parts of life! X

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  5. Sorry to read that you’re finding it tough. I too struggled with making ‘friends’ at baby groups often feeling isolated and on the side lines playing with my daughter while the other mums sat chatting drinking tea together! I often ended up thinking ‘sod this I can do this at home in my PJs’ and stopped going to the group.
    But like you I wanted the friendship not only for me but for my daughter so I did not give up. Instead I tried practically every group and class in my area. Paid ones like Jo Jingles and Water Babies worked better for me where the pressure was off ‘chatting’ and making friends and the focus on you’re child meant conversations with other mums stemmed from the activity and came more naturally. And from just a few words in the first few weeks to coffee after class while the kids played a few weeks later to separate playdates away from the group weeks after that. So I guess what I’m saying is take the pressure off and when you are able to relax and just see you’re daughter have fun and get enjoyment out of a class then you’ll be more open emotionally to making new friends.
    Also recently I’ve just signed up to ‘Mush’ that connects you with other mums in you’re area. You can choose who to connect with by reading profiles and message back and forth. That way you can build up abit of a repoure with someone before deciding to arrange a meet up. Even just to the local park or soft play.
    Anyways I hope any of what I said helps to ease you’re suffering. You are still a person in you’re own right not just a mother, with interests and opinions and something to offer to friendships.

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  6. Hi Jude, You have described exactly how I feel! So it’s really good to hear that you’ve had some success. Thanks for the advice re Mush – I’ve signed up. I’m also going to revisit looking at what groups are going on on my days off to see what we can try.

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