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Welcome to my world

How do you start your first ever blog post?! With a hello? That seems odd to me, because no one is reading it yet. But then I guess I should say hello to the people who will hopefully take the time to read… So, hello! And if you found that weird, so did I, I won’t be starting any future blogs with a hello, I promise.

I figured now would be a good time to tell you a little bit about me, so here goes with a ’10 things you might like to know about me’ list.

  1. I talk about my son and my life as a parent a lot. Largely because I love my boy so much, but also because I don’t often have much else to talk about!! Life is one big routine for me, although I am a stickler for the ‘New Year, New Me’, so my plan is to shake things up a bit next year.
  2. I am an ex-redcoat. Yes, I spent 8 months running around in character costumes and prancing about on stage in Bognor Regis, it was certainly a memorable time. I’m sure I will divulge further in a future post.
  3. I develop strange emotional attachments to certain television shows… Strictly Come Dancing being the main culprit. I’m not proud of this, but the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
  4. I am the BIGGEST worrier. I worry about everything. I worry about worrying so much! And Google never helps me the way I think it will, it just convinces me I am facing certain death.
  5. I have never written professionally, or for the public. I have however, spent years writing as a way of dealing with anything that bothers me. Since having my boy, that has fallen by the wayside, hence ‘The Normal Mum’ is born.
  6. Every Sunday night I plan to start a new fitness regime the following day. 90% of the time, I do not start said routine. 10% of the time I do it on Monday and then take the rest of the week off.
  7. I LOVE being outdoors!! Outdoor holidays, activities, garden days – I love it all!! Camping, glamping, walks, picnics, beach days, I could go on all day.
  8. I am a woman of few possessions. If anyone ever broke into my home, they would be sadly disappointed. They would have a huge selection of Thomas the Tank and Paw Patrol items to choose from, however the only item of any real value is the hoover. I would be so upset if that was taken from me, it is my favourite chore. I like to keep things simple in my life.
  9. Considering I have such a background with children, namely the under 5s, I am atrocious at anything arts and craftsy. I’m being serious, everything I have ever attempted to make is hideous. That doesn’t stop me getting involved and helping my son try to acquire better skills than I have though.
  10. It’s not always clear, but I actually really enjoy fashion. I just don’t often have the time or money to stay “on trend”. Unless we are talking pyjamas, oh my, nightwear is my THING. The bigger and fleecier the better!

Now you know a little bit about me, hopefully you will come back again and read more about what goes on in this wacky world of mine. You can also follow me on Twitter at @The_Normal_Mum.

It’s been a while

I always thought I would be a really good blogger, turns out I am probably one of the worst! Between work, starting a business, being Mum, seeing family, trying to keep friends, it has somehow been 4 MONTHS since I wrote a post – oh the shame.

I don’t actually own a computer at home, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

I have made a conscious effort so far this year not to let my anxiety get the better of me. I have joined a gym and made friends with lots of lovely old ladies – I’m not brave enough to go in the evenings when all the people my age are there, old ladies are much less judgemental. I started planning weekly activity schedules so me and my boy get out and actually DO things, we don’t just amble on over to the park and sit on the swings for a few minutes before heading home and being bored. I have found someone who wants to invest in my business idea and I am finally feeling a little more relaxed in myself.

The one thing I have not yet managed is the dreaded dating thing. I can’t even bring myself to speak to someone let alone go on a date! Let me give you an example… the instructors at my gym are mostly male and mostly my kind of age. After a knee injury I was given some exercises to do by my physiotherapist. I have been a member of the gym for 4 months and STILL have not had the nerve to ask one of the instructors if there is a decline board in the gym to do my exercises on! What a lame dame! I don’t know what I even think is going to happen if I dare to ask, gosh they might say yes and find one for me – how terrifying!

I guess being able to laugh at the fact I’m a bit of a loser these days is good, at least I’m not in denial! One day I’ll realise no one could possibly judge me as harshly as I judge myself and I’ll go all out ballsy and ask someone what their name is! (That’s a pretty big leap actually, I feel anxious already – I take it back!)

Still, eventually something’s gotta give. I’ll keep you updated on my gym progress – not my physical appearance, but whether I ever find out about the darn decline board – from there, my journey into the dating game should be a right ole bubble for anyone who chooses to get swept up in the “romance” of dating for a single parent who suffers from anxiety. Film/documentary title right there. Producers, I’m ready for you! (I’m not really, please don’t scare me by getting in touch).

Where did Louise go?!

Since having my wonderful little boy, my social and personal life have really taken a back seat, which I’m sure is the same for a lot of mothers and fathers.

My little boy’s Dad and I ended our relationship a few months after he was born, although we still have a very good friendship and parenting relationship now. I have been very independent over the last 3 years, buying a house, raising a child and going back to work,  but the reality is that this independence has really taken its toll on my emotional wellbeing. I find myself living quite an isolated life, I try to stay in touch with friends as much as I can but it’s not always easy.

I used to be a real go-getter, always out and about, meeting new people and ALWAYS smiling. Nowadays I get so anxious about the thought of going to a bar or pub, I find myself yearning for the safety of my house and being with my boy. I don’t enjoy social situations and avoid going to any event that involves being in a crowded place. I enjoy dressing up and looking really nice, however I don’t like people looking at me (sounds so daft, but true). I get extremely self-conscious and regularly cut my night short, making excuses about babysitters and what not.

I am now spending a lot of time at home, thinking about what I can do to try and get a little bit of my old self back. I don’t want to be the Mum who loses her friendship group because anxiety gets the better of her. I don’t want to cancel plans and make excuses anymore. I want to feel able enough to one day be in a relationship again and go out with friends and actually enjoy myself.

I definitely know I could change my lifestyle a little to try and boost my mood and confidence. My diet could do with some work and the evenings I spend at home, I could be exercising and catching up on sleep. I find it hard to stop being ‘Mum’ and to just be me. Even when little one has gone to bed, I am doing housework and making lunchboxes and generally being a parent. Once my chores are done, I just want to sit in the quiet and unwind, but I know this isn’t helping me.

I want to use this blog to talk about my journey, the ups and the downs of my life. I live a very, very happy life and spend a lot of time with my family. My little boy is my entire world and I’m certainly not in a bad place – I could just do with working on me a bit. With 2016 drawing to a close, I would love to think that 2017 will open some doors for me, perhaps a relationship, or just more confidence in myself and an identity aside from ‘Mum’.

Has anyone else found themselves in a similar situation? What did you do to get out of it? Please feel free to comment, I want my blog to be somewhere all parents can benefit from! We are all striving to do our best, so let’s help each other out, hey?