I find it very difficult making friends. Although friends will agree I’m no shrinking violet, when I initially meet people I hard it very difficult to think of small talk and stutter like mad because I become nervous.
Growing up I was never very good at keeping friends very long. Without making this article sound too self deprecating I would say I was a pretty annoying at times; loud; brash; mean sometimes, yet I could be kind and sensitive as well. A lot of people say never have regrets but I do, lots, mostly about how I have treated people in the past.
For example an old school friend who will remain nameless was a very good friend for years, the kindest person you’ll ever meet. I got bored of the routine we created and abandoned her for new friends because it was new, exciting and different. The friendship was never the same and I don’t know what effect it had on her but looking back I know how horrible that was, to do that to a good friend, a best friend. How can I not regret hurting that person? So yes I have regrets by the bucket load and I have learnt from them.
I don’t really have a group of friends, I have several best friends who all unfortunately live quite far from me. It means trips to see them or conversations we have however short are precious to me. I have colleagues who are friends who have been the most incredible support to me and college/ university friends who I rarely see but care about however not people I see weekly.
So where am I going with this? Basically the husband and I for years have been hermits. Parents will soon know that becoming reclusive is not a good idea, you have to make friends, you have socialise, you have to put yourself out there. Admittedly this is been difficult and I am still finding it difficult.
Someone I know recently confessed that they’re finding it difficult to make friends with other mum’s at their child’s nursery. It’s not easy especially if you’re a full time Mum and have a house full to look after. I want them to know I understand, I’m here for you and know I’ll always be your friend. But I get it, you want friends who are going through the same thing as you and for that I understand your desire and hope it works out for you.
I guess the point of this article is how much I think I’ve grown as a person since becoming a parent but also how much more I have to learn about myself. And that it’s quite tough for new mums because it can be very isolating.
I definitely have learned lots about myself since becoming a parent. For instance I always thought I was quite a forgiving person and now I realise I’m not and it’s something I need to overcome. Once upon a time again not mentioning names I lost a friend because we stopped talking because I couldn’t forgive a situation that happened. I felt wronged but actually there was no wrong person in the situation it was just one of those things which I can reflect upon now. The friendship ended and have regrets over the way I handled it and it came at a large cost, why was I not able to forgive and forget?
Someone I know well recently said the most horrible thing to me but it was said in the heat of the moment. However, I cling onto it because it hurt me so incredibly much I find it difficult to forgive. I know I must forgive them despite never receiving an apology that I know I’ll never get.
But enough with making me sound like a terrible human being, I’d like to argue in my favour that I can be kind and funny (more without realising sort of way) and trustworthy. I’m becoming more strong willed in my old age and determined.
A year ago I was suffering with depression and anxiety which I know was down to my desire to start a family and my grieving over the deterioration of my father. I had several panic attacks as a result which if you have ever suffered one I feel for you because it’s like someone is preventing you from breathing, very scary and horrific emotionally. Through therapy and self reflection I’ve become more assertive, something I was lacking (despite working as a teacher). Learning to be more out spoken but in a way that isnt detrimental to other feelings but still getting what I need from situations. It’s not been a easy journey but I feel remarkable for taking that road and bettering myself.
The image below is bittersweet. I’m at the beach with my beautiful nieces who I adore. It should have been a fantastic day but remember feeling so sad and hopeless. Whenever I look at the image it reminds me how far I come and how important it is to keep going.
It’s definitely a skill I’ll be teaching my children to be able to stand up for what you believe in without crippling anxiety and that it’s ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.
I guess the long winded point I’m getting at is I’m learning still, everyone is, learning to better myself not only for me but to be a better role model for my children. It’s understandable to feel a lonely at times being a parent but it’s important to try and put yourself out there for your own happiness and self esteem. Remember you need to be happy if your children are going to be happy.
Remember that learning is a part of life and mistakes happen to learn from. And look, I’m still learning to be tidy as this image today shows.
Love B x