Saturday, 24 November 2012

Reaching out and letting go

This might be something you don't know about me, or maybe you do. Although I wouldn't exactly describe myself as shy, I do find it difficult to make friends.  I just never feel comfortable approaching new people.  I will happily talk to or be friends with someone who approaches me first. I just can't seem to gather the courage to approach others myself. It is silly really.
Although I do have a small circle of close friends, none of them have children. I do know other people with kids, but their kids are all so much older than Holly. Obviously they have different interests to pursue and different commitments to us. Which I can totally understand.

So you can probably imagine that after the birth of Holly I felt a little isolated, as I had no friends who could relate to me. Not depressingly so, but after a few months I did start to feel alone, isolated.  I started taking Holly to soft play, and other child friendly places in the hope that we could make some friends. That didn't work at all. No one spoke to me. I tried to engage other mums in conversation but after a brief chat they went on their way.  Never to be seen again. It seems yummy mummies can be fickle. Did I not fit the requirements of their perfect mummy club? Whatever the reason, lets just say it didn't exactly make me feel very confident.  What had I said or done (or not done) that made me unsuitable for their friendship?  After the many repeated knocks to my already fragile confidence I went back to the safety of my isolation.  I didn't want to feel like the outsider anymore.  So I removed myself from the situation.

Eventually though I realised that I couldn't carry on that way. Not so much for my sake, but for Holly's sake.  So I steeled myself.  Despite my lack of confidence I clenched my teeth, and I let go of my insecurities.  I put myself out there, I reached out and finally found someone who was just like me.

We found each other, we found confidence, some fun and ultimately freedom.  Almost a year after having Holly, I can honestly say for the first time I am starting to feel like me again.  Like I have an identity, like I have a life beyond my baby.  Don't get me wrong, Holly is my life.  The air that I breathe. I honestly cannot imagine life now without my amazing girl.  I still can't even contemplate leaving her overnight though (she'll be a year old in 3 weeks).  I just know that, at some point I have to relax, to let go.  By letting go of my fears and embracing opportunities, I hope I can teach Holly the confidence that for so long I have been lacking.

So if you feel like I did, take that chance. Put yourself out there. Yes you might feel rejection, or even judgement.  It is just a necessary evil.  Yet I found a true, genuine friend, so you can too. I would rather have that genuine friendship than a whole clique of yummy mummies combined.  Besides, if someone dismisses you so easily, what does that say about them? Is that really the type of person you want to be part of your life? I know I wouldn't.

So please remember mummies, if you see a lone mummy or daddy who looks like they might need a friend, give them a sporting chance.  You might have been in the same position yourself once upon a time...


Jennifer Jain said...

I'm so glad that you found someone to identify with! It is difficult to make new friends, I'm also very shy. My problem is that I'm fine making small talk with others but I feel too shy to take it further - to swap mobile numbers and meet at each other's houses or at the playground. I never know whether the other Mum wants to be more than just a passing acquaintance at baby group!

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Sonya Cisco said...

I followed your lead and went to a baby out on Thursday! X

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