Love Those That Love You.

So during a phone call today with a family member, they shared some news that is potentially really awful for them involving life changing decisions contrary to what they actually want to do. They’re pretty much unable to do anything other than what they are to change the outcome and are understandably devastated.

Now, after this phone call, I sat and brainstormed for an hour about how to ‘fix it’, googled who might be able to actually help them, could we throw money at the problem (probably not but we’re by no means rich either!)? Basically WHAT THE F*CK CAN I DO TO ‘FIX THIS’.

About four hours later it dawned on me that she didn’t even ask me for help, nor was it any of my business to offer advice when she hadn’t actually asked for any. Probably because she didn’t need my help since she had it covered and also because I can’t help. I’d spent four whole hours getting worked up and frustrated and upset for her and because I couldn’t fix it I became more frustrated and so it went on. I also wondered how many times this had happened before and I’d just given a solution to a question they hadn’t even asked and didn’t want or need me to answer. AKA, mind your own frigging business. Taking this as something to keep an eye on since I could have been a bit of an a**hole it would seem and no-one likes a knowitall Nancy, especially one who actually DOES NOT KNOW IT ALL!! But anyway I digress …

I believe I have an inherent need to ‘fix’ things possibly when they don’t need fixing even if I know I can’t fix them. I’ve been working hard for the past year to be better at letting situations go that I cannot influence or change and, instead of trying to change the situation or person, to change my reaction and therefore MY outcome. When someone said this to me, they had to repeat it several times over several weeks for me to really comprehend what it meant for me. It has turned out to be a complete revelation.

Change nothing you get the same outcome. You can’t change them or the situation but you can change your reaction, so change it. Change your reaction, change the outcome.

It’s actually an equation and a bloody amazing one (never thought I’d say that!).

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∞TANGENT ALERT∞

Similarly my sister had a bit of an upsetting week and I instinctively tried to ‘fix’ it but then pulled back and just listened and gave advice if she asked for it. I changed my reaction and, I hope, my sister benefitted in that she got the ear she needed and advice to draw on if she decided it was right for her and I didn’t have the pressure I usually heap on myself to sort her situation for her. She didn’t need me to fix anything anyway but she didn’t feel babied or condescended and the ‘new way’ meant I didn’t feel stressed about a situation that wasn’t mine. WINNER!

Once I’d fought off my need to ‘fix’ her issues (four frigging hours later!) I realised she is one of two types of people I seem to have in my life, possibly simplified but bear with me. She was like the majority of people I have in my life; loving, giving, supportive and absolutely equally inputting into our relationship. She didn’t want anything tangible from me; no money, no solutions, no advice. She just wanted my time and support. An ear to listen and just some sympathy for what is a shitty situation. I’m hoping for anyone reading this that the majority of people in your life fall into this category since this is the healthy way to have close relationships and mine have got me through a tough couple of years.

Then there’s THE OTHERS. The people who masquerade as the above type of people or genuinely believe that they are. This is not the case. These people communicate their problems or day to day lives, not to share or to empathise or to just share with you their day so you’re connected.

It is to offload onto you.

To make their problems your problems.

To make their situations to fix, your situations to fix.

Your solution don’t work? It’s your fault to fix.

And so it goes on.

THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Or this SHOULD NOT be the case. My personality as a wannabe ‘fixer’ meant that I took this on happily time after time after time until it came to a point where my personal life meant I could not take on anyone else’s crap. Financially, mentally, physically (I was pregnant) I was struggling but still taking on crap after shit after turd after dump after [insert other word for poo here]. You can imagine the shock after 15 years of doing the same merry-go-round that i suddenly put the brakes on with no rhyme or reason. The transition was a tough one for either side of the relationship and still ongoing. I’m still learning about myself at 31, something I thought I would be well done with by now Oh the arrogance of youth! But I’m doing better, I’m happier, I’m better protected and have better boundaries for my happiness.

In the past year I’ve really been trying to surround myself with more positive people, actions, hobbies, anything really! The positivity I’ve seen online since rejoining Instagram as Mum of Two Without A Clue (@mumoftwowithoutaclue) has shown that it doesn’t have to be an effort and other bloggers prove that it will become less of an effort and more of an automatic feeling the further I progress. The lessons I’ve learned about myself and others and how my reaction is the important thing, not their reaction, not the fallout, not the upset as, if I change my reaction, the entire situation changes.

Surround yourself with people who love, support and listen to you, not those who talk for you, over you or at you.

Stick together because we’ve got this.

Power

Indecent Exposure, McDonalds and Judgemental Judy.

Tuesday was not my day.  Tuesday me, Grace and Lottie visited a friend with two girls of similar ages who had recently moved about an hour and a half away. We’d had a lovely day (it’s amazing what entering someone else’s madhouse can do for your own sanity) and on the way home we stopped at Maccy D’s for a cheeky tea. The usual chaos ensued of quick trip to the disabled toilet for all three of us followed by frantic ordering without losing or dropping either of my children during the teatime rush. 

∞TANGENT ALERT∞ So I should say that I tend to go off on tangents. In the interests of not losing you completely, my tangents will come with a health warning so you can skip straight past if you so wish. Always here to help! 

Sooooooo back to the tangent; A really lovely woman stood in front of me in the queue turned to me, a complete stranger, and said “Don’t you think it’s disgusting that children can’t even manage ten minutes to eat their dinner without needing to be on an iPad? They’ll end up as the dregs of society if they’re not controlled properly.” WOW just WOW. Decided she maybe wasn’t missing from my friendship circle so just stared at her until she was uncomfortable enough to turn back around. 

Finally sorted and settled Grace at one of Maccys’ iPads just to really give Judgemental Judy the middle finger and it bought me the ill-fated 10 minutes of peace to feed Lottie. I got Lottie settled in her highchair and chomping down on her dinner with the sort gusto that only 8 months olds can have for undistinguishable pureed vegetables. Grace decided she needed some help with sorting her drink so I stood up and walked to Grace whilst catching and simultaneously unbuttoning my shirt dress on the back of Lottie’s highchair. 

 

Yes, I flashed my tummy control tights with a bit of mum tum escaping over the top to the entirety of a busy McDonalds at rush hour. I managed to draw extra attention to my foof as I had my tights on inside out so the white patch sewn into the crotch just lit me up like a spotlight. Marvellous. 

 

Grace provided the cherry on the cake by saying “Mummy put your knickers away it’s rude!” displaying the lack of volume control typical of a 4-year-old. This then managed to grab the attention of the last few people who had been spared the sight of my midriff looking akin to a pile of tyres in a bin liner. Our cue to leave before a boob pops out. 

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The Journey Begins

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As the title would suggest I’m a Mum Of Two Without A Clue to Grace, who is 4, and Lottie who is currently 8 months. Me and my husband have been together nearly 9 years and even we’re still working each other out as partners and as adults so God help us as parents! I swear sometimes my girls are half kid half energy drink but all of what I do is for them … even a glass of wine on a Friday!

I’m one of many mums trying to work it out as we go along trying to keep our kids, firstly, alive and secondly, happy. I have absolutely found that this can be sometimes be so all consuming that I forget about myself and my husband but there’s always been time to fix that so I consider myself blessed.

I regularly f*ck things up either by accident or by my own doing and this blog will act as an outlet for my f*ck ups, big and small, as well as a way for me to make sense of it. I also hope it’s a way for other mums to see and understand that being a ‘Pajama Mama’ or a polished mama or anywhere in between is ok and the reality of parenting is far from the projected image put out there.

Now I’m coming to terms with that (slowly) I feel like I’m making progress towards … something. God knows what but progress towards something. Do you ever feel like that? Like you’re doing all these things, activities, jobs, phone calls, in order to achieve something that you haven’t really managed to define yet? I suppose I want to say that IT IS OK TO FEEL LIKE THIS. And then to take my own advice.

So to that end maybe I’m working towards telling everyone and everything to F*CK IT and I’ll do it my way in my own time.

On potentially the only insightful note you’ll find on this site … welcome to the blog and to a window into my madhouse. Please share your experiences of your own madhouses so I don’t feel quite so alone in my mayhem! 

Thanks for joining me!

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It’s always wine o’clock somewhere in the universe!