Monday, 24 October 2011

{Do I have my groove back?}

I'm linking up with Kate again this week for her Grooving Mums blog hop (a day early, but hopefully that's ok!).

A few people have suggested, especially in the light of the fact that I felt ready to post a photograph of my new pants (more importantly I was wearing them at the time!), that I have my groove back. Yes, to the outside world and to passers by on the street - I probably do look like I've got my groove on. I've lost the baby weight and do feel confident to wear skinny jeans for once. But to the people that know me and what I was like b.c. (before children) then it's a different story and I still think I have a bit to go. I'm not saying I want to be the old me again, I have new priorities now and life has changed but I want to be happier within myself and to get some of my confidence back that I used to have in abundance. 5 months ago, just before I started this blog I was a different person to what I am now - I was unhappy, miserable, tired & fed up. I've been working hard at getting my groove back and do believe it's there somewhere waiting to get out.

I think there's been a number of factors that all contributed to me loosing my groove & my confidence. My son was 7 weeks premature and the early spontaneous labour was a total shock to the system. He was in the neonatal unit for a few weeks and then just as we got him home he was re-admitted to the children's hospital for an operation on his tummy. He was a difficult baby, and I truly believed that there was something not quite right with his digestive system. The consultant at the hospital was very dismissive and said it was colic (my son was 8 months old by this point, surely he would have grown out of colic by 8 months??). Not many people acknowledged the fact that he was a difficult baby either and that didn't help matters. At his 1 year assessment the Health Visitor suggested it could be behavioural and hinted that he might be on the autistic spectrum. We were referred to a specialist centre and were put on the waiting list for an assessment. Finally, someone was taking me seriously. However, at around 13 and a half months old, my son decided he would start to crawl and became more active... all of a sudden (I mean literally overnight!) his behaviour changed. Some people have said it was probably frustration. I still believe that there was some underlying tummy issue and that by becoming more mobile and able to sit up totally unaided (at a year old we still had to put cushions behind him as he couldn't sit very well) that his discomfort and pain that he was in went away. By the time the specialist team came to assess him, he was a changed boy and they couldn't believe that the boy they were assessing was the same that was written about in the referral letter.

So if you take into account my premature son, the difficulties we had with him as well as the other issues I've briefly mentioned in other posts (my mother died when I was a teenager and I also suffer from a chronic bowel condition, Crohn's) then I think somewhere in all of that I've lost myself. Hubby and I decided to have a 2nd child soon after our first, mainly I think because we wanted to get the baby stage out of the way as soon as we could. I desperately didn't want my son to be an only child, but if I'm honest his first year sort of put me off having another. However, no two babies are the same and we've had such an easy ride with our daughter so far. She's now 6 months old and has been a breeze. She hasn't had any of the complications that we faced with our son - she was born at 37 weeks opposed to 33, and hasn't had any issues with regard feeding or health (yet anyway, touch wood!).

Yes, I'm getting my groove back, but I'm not all there yet. Outwardly I think I probably look like I have it sussed (and a friend has commented to this effect) - I'm tall, blonde (dyed!), slim (thanks to Maria), have two beautiful, generally well behaved children and have a great husband. However, I don't think you can judge someone by their appearance and assume that they are grooving if they are thin and wearing a smile on their face (I hope that doesn't come across as being rude?). For a while my smile was fake... I wasn't happy and inside I felt miserable and a bit of a failure.

Anyway, this week I've spoken to a stranger as per Kate's challenge.

1. Talk to someone you have never spoken to before. This might be at the nursery or school gates, on the street or somewhere else entirely. Smile and see what happens and then report back next week.
I was in a local gift shop, with my daughter in a forward facing baby carrier, when a man asked me how old she was (people stop to talk much more when she's in baby carrier rather than pram). We got talking, turns out he has a son who is 10 months old and showed me a photograph of him on his phone. Initially I felt a bit awkward, but I chatted away and showed him a picture of my son too. All the usual - he's so big for a 2 year old, what a lovely smile etc etc. - and then I went to pay for my stuff. By the time I got home my shoulders were aching from carrying her!!

Challenge #2 was to visit my local library.

2. Visit your local library and look around at posters and leaflets. See if something on offer excites you and points you in a new direction. If not, borrow a book that you would not normally read and try a whole new genre.
Got to admit that I've failed on this one - not been to the library as planned... but I will try again this week.

Other things I've done this week:

I've kept up with the running.  I did 5 miles on Thursday in 55 minutes! I was very pleased with my time. I also did running club on Sunday morning and did 10k (6.3 miles) in 1hr 14 min.

On Thursday afternoon I met my friend Becky as I was feeling a bit meh... we went for a cuppa at a local shopping centre and I thoroughly enjoyed my tea & massive cinnamon bun - yummy! Not part of the healthy eating plan, but I do still eat cakes and as long as I'm good the majority of the time I should be able to maintain the weight loss.

Daughter wearing her teapot dress for having afternoon tea with the girls!

On Friday night I went out for dinner with a few of my other mum friends. I wore a grey tunic as a dress with some 100 denier tights. Skirt is a lot shorter than what I'd normally have worn. I think I'd got into the habit of dressing like a 50 year old (hope no one takes offence...) rather than a nearly 30 year old. It's nice to have some stylish items in my wardrobe that are a bit more current.

On Saturday morning I went to a Gymboree party with my son. Three of my mum friends were also there so there were plenty people I knew to help me out with son & daughter as hubby was working. It was a fancy dress party for Halloween and so my son was a pirate and daughter was supposed to be a parrot but I've not got her costume ready yet so she was shoved into a tutu!

The hat & eye patch only stayed on for all of 30 seconds!

Daughter is teething, hence the one bright red cheek!

I'm posting early this week as my dad is arriving with his wife this evening and we'll be busy with them this week. They live in the Middle East and so we rarely get to see them. 

I will catch up with all you other #groovingmums and see how you've got on this week when I get a free moment.... 


  1. I think you talk so much sense here. I had a difficult third child without a lot of the issues you faced and it just knocked me just as maybe I was emerging from post-natal depression after my second child. It was comments an old college peer made about me to an old schoolfriend (they did not know each other) that made me start to remember who I used to be and to want some of that back. Like you say, we can never be exactly the same post children and there are huge pluses in having a family like telling them you love them and vice versa every day to mention just one. Sounds like a good week of activities and yay for shorter skirts but mostly, I liked your wake-up call about not judging on appearances. Us #groovingmums have much to learn from each other. I feel I know you a little better after this post

  2. Hello. What a great post. You are completely right, outward appearance is only one part of the big picture. It sounds like the last couple of years have had their fair share of challenges. I can see how you may have felt like you needed to find a new groove.
    It sounds like you had a good week. I always find coffee(and cake!) with a friend is a mood enhancer, and a night out with the girls too. Sometimes it's just good to break the monotony of it all!
    Have a lovely week with your family.

  3. Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes, the past few years have been challenging! I'm finding the blogging quite therapeutic though and I am definitely on the way to getting my groove back. I'm having a night away on my own sans family this weekend - off to a lovely hotel with a friend for some pampering which I'm very much looking forward to. I had planned a treat a month for Sept, Oct & Nov for sticking to the healthy eating & exercise. Sept was the cupcake course, Oct is my night away & pampering and Nov is the personal shopper experience... I look forward to reading your posts this week and hearing how you've got on.

  4. I know this is going to sound a bit strange, but thank goodness you wrote this post!

    I have been struggling over the past couple of weeks, and would think of how well you're doing (as I thought at the time) and feel a bit daunted.

    Not that I'm saying 'oh great, you've been going through a hard time' at ALL!

    Outward appearances are so deceptive. I have always been told 'you always have a smile on your face.' Every time, I would question it, because I wasn't aware I was, nor necessarily feel like smiling.

    Two guys I dated mentioned 'You're always happy' which heralded the end of things! Mr mammasaver was the first guy I dated NOT to say this.

    I think it's amazing what you've come through, with all the worry about your little boy. I'm so glad to hear he's doing so well now.

    Hope you have a great week with your Dad!


  5. I know what you mean... I had mentioned to a friend who reads my blog that people were assuming I was sussed & had my groove back and she suggested that I be a bit more open about the problems I'd been facing rather that just focusing on the good stuff. Sorry to hear you've been struggling... I hope things start to improve for you. I'll check out all the #groovingmums posts when I get a chance and make comments. My dad is out at the moment & daughter is sleeping. Should be doing housework (kitchen a tip!) but catching up on twitter & blog instead!!

  6. This is so true! I've seen quite few friends lose weight, only to find that their lives haven't spectacularly changed as they thought. They are still them, with the same issues, just not as much weight. This is why I feel I need to get my head sorted before I attempt any huge weight loss. I've got to be clear of what I want to happen and I've got to be happy with myself now, because I'm still going to be the same person at the end of any weight loss. Thank you for being honest! You still look great though! x


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