Live, Yours Truly

Sorry. NOT Sorry.

March 3, 2016

Every single day at the moment is a struggle. Things are not going well and I am desperately trying to stay on top of everything despite our home life being really, really hard work.

That’s one way to start a post.

And it is the way I feel like I should share everything at the moment. Why do I insist on adding some kind of disclaimer at the beginning or end of something?

I am sick of apologising.

Not if I actually do something wrong, I am actually quite good at owning it and saying sorry.

I am sick of apologising for my choices in life. I am sick of feeling like I have to apologise for the way my life turned out. I know I am lucky but why does that stop my feeling being valid? I am sick of feeling like I cannot be honest with people because I might sound ungrateful or insensitive. We all have our shit, why do I feel like I am not entitled to be honest about everything.

I want to say – I am still not coping.

I say – Well I am so lucky that I didn’t need to go back to work and I know how lucky I am but I still don’t manage to keep it all together. Ha ha.

I want to say – Being a mum is the hardest thing ever in the world and some days I just don’t think I can do it.

I  say – I know how lucky I am that I got pregnant easily and had two healthy happy children but I am finding it really hard at the moment.

I want to say – I really need some support and cheering up, being a parent is slowly wearing me down and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I say – Being a mum is a rollercoaster but this is the life I chose and so I shouldn’t complain.

I want to say – Oh my god being back at college learning something is amazing. I feel like I have found my place in the world and it feels great. I finally feel engaged and excited and creative and it is amazing and I am ROCKING it.

I say – Yes I am really loving college it is fun. It is so nice to do something for me. I am so lucky I have the opportunity.

*head desk*

I think what I am asking is this. If I come here and shout from the rooftops that things are good will you understand that doesn’t mean all the time? If I come here and write about how parenthood is a complete mindfuck and I wonder if I will ever be the same, and you wish you could have children and can’t, will you still understand me? If I come on and write about how bad my week has been will you still want to employ me?

Is this all in my head? This need to apologise to everyone out there? Are you out there thinking the things I think you are thinking?

Or are you all just living your lives wondering what other people are thinking about you and not thinking much about them at all.

Because as I write this I realise that is exactly the case. I read your tweets, look at your Instagram, read your blog posts. I hit like because I get it, I leave a comment to say you are not alone. I am by no means perfect but neither do I judge every single person I know, in real life and on the internet all the time. Jeez, I barely have time to string a coherent thought together most of the time.

I read something somewhere recently (must have been online as that’s where I read everything), and it suggested that instead of apologising all the time we should instead thank people. So instead of me saying to Mr C – “I am sorry that I am bat shit crazy most of the time” I should say “Thank you for being there and understanding my oddness”. And instead of saying “Sorry I am late” say “Thank you so much for waiting for me”. And so on. This has really stuck with me and although I forget daily I am really trying to do this more. I think it is brilliant. It is about being grateful instead of sorry and I love that.

And so, I am going to try to write here, free from the worries about what everyone is thinking and feeling and I am just going to be myself and share my shit. And if you feel I am being self-centred or tactless I think it might be time for you to read something else. And if you worry too much about me because of my posts, don’t read, just ask me how I am. And if I work for you then I promise to tell you if I cannot manage.

Sorry that this post is a long and jumbled brain dump. Thank you for reading to the end. You are all amazing.

Me. Tired, cold and pale but hanging on in there.

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23 Comments

  • Reply Magpie Cat March 3, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    *thunderous applause* Good for you. FWIW, I want to say all your “want to say” things too, barring the college bit and the fact I’ve only got one kid. Own yourself, do what you do, and bloody well vent when you need to. Does us all good, I promise.

    • Reply Kelly March 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Seriously, one kid is more than enough I am sure. xxx

  • Reply Archie The Wonder Dog March 3, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    I think you’re right to try to stop apologising for everything you think may be your fault or for telling the truth about how your life is. Just because you have two healthy children and didn’t have to go back to your job doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to have a less than perfect life or to find things tough. I applaud you for standing up and saying what’s on your mind and how things are at the moment, and I hope it will give other people the courage to also stop saying that everything when it isn’t. I tend to not tell people just how exhausted I am because I tend to think they must be sick of hearing it (I’m certainly sick of feeling it), but maybe I’m not doing myself any favours by saying ‘I’m fine. Tired, but fine’ or ‘Tired but plodding on’ in response to ‘how are you?’ as some people will take me at my word. I think a lot of parents feel the way you do, and for all of us life is harder some days/weeks/months than others and support from others is what gets us through. If it were a friend then you’d want to hear the honest answers, I believe, so why should the rules be different when it’s you/me/us answering the ‘how are things?’ question? I hope that this (or at least most of this!) makes sense and that I haven’t got hold of the wrong end of the stick about your post. I don’t think you’re at all self-centred or tactless and although I think about you and wonder how bedtime/school run, etc. is going, it’s out of concern rather than a overwhelming anxiety that you’re okay – you know I’m here if you need me, even though ‘here’ is hundreds of miles away, don’t you? Take care and bravo for standing up. Good luck with the saying thank you rather than sorry, I’m going to give it a go!! (I suspect it’s harder than it sounds, is that because we’re conditioned to say sorry for the slightest thing and used to constantly apologising for who we are or because it really is hard?!)

    • Reply Kelly March 11, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Yes, I think you are right. I worry that if I always tell the truth when people ask how I am then they will stopm asking. I do wonder if people actually care about the answer of if it is just a way of saying hello. I am going to aim to be more honest with people and see what happens. And if no one talks to me at the school gates anymore then I can just talk to the people in my phone 😉

  • Reply Shevvy March 3, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    We get conditioned so young to be sorry and not complain. At the weekend I was having lunch with my cousin. At one point coming back from the loo she rubbed past my bag – and apologised to the bag! We laughed but then later when paying after a long wait where we were getting really irritated it only took the chap saying in passing sorry, and I found myself saying that’s ok. We discussed outside how it wasn’t ok but it hadn’t seemed possible to say so after that sorry. We have a strange cultural relationship with that bloody word sorry.
    It stops us expressing what is real.

    • Reply Kelly March 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Oh god I am forever saying sorry to inanimate objects (probably because I am a clumsy so and so who walks into everything). I listen to how many times I say sorry in a day and it is ridiculous. I even apologise for things that I have no control over. Well it is time to stop!

  • Reply Claire Bagnall March 3, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    ❤️

    • Reply Kelly March 11, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      xxx

  • Reply Midlife Singlemum March 4, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    First an apology from me because I never bothered to update my blog list when you switched servers so this is my first time on your ‘new’ blog. Instantly I remembered why I enjoyed reading you and I’m sorry I didn’t make the changes earlier.

    Then I had to laugh as your blog title says, ‘write like no one is reading.’ Ironic eh? But I do get it and I agree with you. I have been scared to write honestly sometimes because as I write I have a picture in my head of the friends who weren’t lucky enough to have a child, are stuck in a renters’ market, have a child with problems, etc… I think it’s because I once blogged about not finding the right way to arrange the furniture in my apartment and the rooms being an awkward shape. One of the comments was a bitter criticism from a renter telling to be grateful and basically shut the f up – anonymous but I think I know who it was. Since then I’ve been scared off being too honest.

    Otoh, I notice that I never get upset when others with seemingly idyllic lives with several children, a loving husband who provides ample funds for them to not work, holiday a lot, etc… write complaining about e.g. being bored as a sahm. This makes me think that it’s not us who are insensitive, it’s that some people will always begrudge others and they lack a deeper understanding of how everyone has their burdens to carry. And I mean everyone.

    • Reply Kelly March 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Yes you could be right, it is like there are a few bag eggs that spoil the lot. The internet is a big place and I just wish that people would just move on instead of feeling like they have a right to be horrible. I would never leave an anonymous comment, if you don’t have the balls to stand up and say what you want to say withoutb hiding then you are even more of a dick. Move on!

  • Reply trash March 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Indeed. During the hard graft years at the coal face of SAHParenting I read something about the fact that ‘someone somewhere’ may have it worse doesn’t actually invalidate your experiences and emotions. Despite whatever privileges exist in your life you are (one is) still allowed to be cross/sad/fed up/pissed off/hurt in response to life. All the klaxons went off.

    Parenting is hard. SAHParenting is conflicting. You want to receive the biggest tick for successful parenting (read: societally conditioned norm of good parenting model) because “you gave up your career for this” whether it is by yourself or someone else. You want your children to look back on these years and feel a warm glow of rosy nostalgia. At the same time the repetitiveness of dealing with small, barely rational beings is hard. You have to be the grown up in all situations bc the bloody children refuse to, damn them. There is a social expectation you will do all the things that make your life and home look like every single Pinterest board and sometimes that pressure (even unconsiously) may come from the other parent and that just isn’t real life. Add to the whole mix the fact that both our patriarchal society AND Feminism under and devalue care of children and it is no wonder women who choose to care for their own children feel a lack of support for the job they do. You are not alone.

    • Reply Kelly March 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Oh thank you for that. Your first paragraph basically summed up what I was trying to say. I am allowed to feel what I feel. Yay.

      And yes, being the grown up in all situations is exhausting. And the children ARE barely rational beings. Basically I just read your whole comment and said “yes” repeatedly. Thank you!

  • Reply Elizabeth Rebecca March 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Good for you and lots of love. No need to but sorry (or not sorry!)

    Lizzie Dripping

    • Reply Kelly March 9, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you

  • Reply Anna International March 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Wow. Thank you for writing this, apart from the fact I don’t have children, the general sentiment chimes so well with how I feel right now. Overwhelmed, but like I should be appreciating every moment. Making a positive life choice that I couldn’t be happier with (quitting my law career) to focus on having a home life (and working as a freelance editor), but having to justify to every person I meet why I would quit my PhD and law job for something so much less of ‘an achievement’. Moving up to Yorkshire away from most of my family and friends, because I can afford the life I want here, but having to explain that to everyone and point out all the benefits, why should I need to? I know when I have children I will no doubt have days where I think these exact same thoughts as you, and I am glad to know already that I am not alone. It’s funny, I have so much excitement on my horizons right now (house renovations, wedding in the summer) but actually there is just so much to do and I am feeling seriously anxious about everything. I look forward to the day I can be this honest on my own blog. I am not quite ready yet. but I will be. Sending you a massive hug, and I shall be attempting the thanking instead of apologising from now on – what a great spin on life! x

    • Reply Kelly March 9, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Oh isn’t that annoying. Poor you having to justify yourself. I think you should get one stock answer, print it on a t-shirt and just point at it when someone says something. That is what I wanted to do when pregnant. God people are so intrusive when it comes to big life events – everyone feels they have a right to an opinion and really no one does except you.

      I really hope that you can get some space to deal with the anxieties and enjoy the processes a little. Organising my wedding was the most stressful thing I have ever done (nothing else in this life has ever kept me awake at night, except children of course). And moving too, so much to think about.

      If anyone starts questionning your motives I think you should just switch the subject to something really positive that you are happy about and hopefully they will get the message that it is all good.

  • Reply Rach W March 7, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Totally get it. 100%. It’s a bit like you were in my head. I think thanking, instead of mindlessly apologising, is a great way to look at things – will def be giving that a go. And thankyou for writing it.

    • Reply Kelly March 9, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      It is my pleasure. I am glad I am not alone in feeling this way.

  • Reply Jax March 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Really good post, and I like turning sorry around to thank you, although at the same time I worry a tiny bit that actually, sometimes we don’t need to be apologetic *or* grateful, we can just be?

    And now I’m going to run away before the urge to apologise for writing something that feels a bit critical overcomes me…

    • Reply Kelly March 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      YES. Even better. Let’s just be.

      And no need to run away. I didn’t even vaguely see it as critical until you said so.

      Oh!

  • Reply Lou March 20, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    ☕️

  • Reply Neame April 4, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Thank you…really…thank you. I know my inclination is, always, to apologize – as though I have no rights – as though my existence is an affront. Thank you for sharing the notion that being grateful instead of guilty is so much better – better for me and better for “them”. Brilliant!

    • Reply Kelly April 13, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Thanks for the comment, I am so glad that this resonated with you. I keep forgetting and find myself apologising but I am definitely not saying sorry for things that are not my fault anymore. It feels good.

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