Insert metaphor here

Hello,

Been a short while has it not? Life has just gotten in the way. I have been mentally writing this post for months, but as I am currently on holiday, I figured now was the best time. It is hard to switch off though right? I know I am going back to carnage and I want to savour every last drop of these seven days, but I find my mind can wonder…

Anyway, this post is definitely not about work. I suspect I owe you an update on the friend and her three weeks of utter joy.

I don’t really know where to start there. The week it all ended, the first few days were torture. She told at times she felt like she could feel her heart breaking. Then other times, she would go back to saying how lucky she was that she got that time with him. Madness to me. They are back to being best friends. I mean literally couldn’t find two people closer. They can look at each other for less than two seconds and know what they are both feeling and thinking. I know she sometimes will try to persuade him that they should just give it a go and be together, and he tolerates it because deep down it’s what he wants, but he can’t give it to her. I sometimes look at it and wonder if they aren’t both just torturing each other. Being so in love but not being able to just be together.

The point is that she lived – for three weeks she lived. And I think I said this in my last post, but just in case, it definitely showed me something. And this sort of takes us into this post. Just remember to bear with me, I do so love a tangent and going off on one.

So a few months before my friend went through her three weeks, I was driving back from my mum’s. Out of nowhere, I had an attack of – OMG what the f*** am I doing with my life? I’d come out of a relationship of nearly 11 years and had gone into another relationship which was slowly dwindling. I don’t own my own home, I am definitely not earning the millions Jake wishes I was, I couldn’t take us on the one trip he had asked for… I mean just the list of things was endless. And I topped it off with this final thought – OMG I am nearly 30 and look at everyone else around you Emma, they are miles ahead and you are failing.

I know, everyone, literally everyone in the world at some point in their life will have this exact thought. Maybe not near to 30, but the point is, we all look around us at some point, pop our heads over the fences and look at the colour of everyone else’s grass and think – oh s****, I am failing.

I am surrounded by people who own their own homes, some are on to their second homes. Friends are getting promoted, getting engaged, getting married, having kids, going on their 100th holiday of the year, their kids are excelling at everything and there was me. In my f****** VW Polo on finance that was in hindsight, a mistake. Driving back to an empty house, because Jake was at his dads, and I hated my then partner, and I was nearly 30 and omg… You got your violin playing? I know, it is so pathetic! Like I said though, I am 99% sure you have had this moment, and if you haven’t yet, you will.

What was really weird, is that as quickly as I had this barrage of negative thoughts, it went. I talked myself out of it. I was seeing a very good therapist at the time, and I thought through it all.

I was nearly 30, a lot of people don’t make it that far. Yes, my ultra long relationship with the father of my child had ended, but we were all happier. We are still friends, and most of all, both still working together to raise Jake. He’s found someone who makes him really happy and is great with Jake. Huge bonus for single parents around the world, to find someone who gets it and accepts this extra part of your life.

No, I didn’t own my own house, but I reminded myself that I still have these dreams of disappearing into Europe and getting a house in Copenhagen or back to Italy and my old family home. So sod it, I have no savings. I mean literally nothing. Jake asked me the other day how many ££ I had saved as he wanted us to look into buying a boat… He said you literally have nothing mum?! Yep Jake, nada. But. Every month, without fail, I pay my rent on time, I pay my bills, I buy food and I put petrol in the car. I have some left over so that we can do things. Occasionally this stretches out to cocktails. The main thing is, we are managing.

Yes, a lot of my friends are getting new boyfriends/girlfriends, getting engaged, getting married or having babies. I also know a lot of friends who are holding on to relationships because they too have been bitten by the fear of being nearly 30 or have just hit 30, and are worried that they won’t find anyone else. I am surrounded by friends who are loving their single lives and are able to go out and serially date, just like I am doing, and going on the odd trip, and loving life.

I am not getting paid millions, but in all honesty, I have no idea what I would do with that much money anyway. Plus, my job is amazing! I get to travel, I work with very cool people, and my work allow me to swan out the office whenever I need to go and be a mother. There was a time when I had the balance of work and home life really badly wrong, now home time is home time. Work waits. Don’t get me wrong, speak to my friend Ursa and she will tell you that at least once a week I have a meltdown and she has to slap me. But otherwise hey, work is good.

The biggest thing that kicked me out of this spiral was something my therapist said. She said she was excited for me hitting my 30s. Emma you have almost lived your life backwards, she said. I was settled in my 20s. I had the baby, the amazing relationship and a budding career. And now? I have the entire world. I am nearly 30 and no, I don’t have someone waiting for me when I get home from work every night who can share a glass of wine with me. I do have Jake though. I have friends that get it and support me and come to visit whenever possible. I have an amazing family.

I know what you are all thinking. Isn’t this a really obvious post? I am not sure it is though. Recently, the amount of people who have pointed out that I am nearly 30, that I am not married, that I have a child, that my job means I am not capable of being the ‘little woman’, that I shouldn’t be chasing dates, that I should be saving my money to buy a house… I mean opinions are thrown at me a lot. Apparently, I am very intimidating for men because I have my s*** together… Do I?! And intimidating? Why? I don’t know.

Anyway, I kicked myself out of the negativity, I got home, I eventually got rid of the bad partner and embraced freedom. I embraced turning 30. I will be honest, it’s August and I don’t turn 30 until December… but I am definitely not dreading it as much as I was…

Then my friend went through her three weeks of bliss, and I thought you know, if it takes me another 20 years to find that, I will wait. If I don’t buy my house until I am 60 right before Jake shoves me into a nursing home, that’s okay too. And my best childhood memories of holidays are the ones my mum would do in the garden for us, because she had no money either. You make life what it is.

I sound very preachy don’t I. I definitely in no way have my s*** together. I am muddling through and I love it. I told you I would go off on a bit of tangent.

The last few months, even before the post about my friend, I have been thinking about this post. The entire world expects you to be at a certain point in life at 30. There is so much pressure on having your own home, of your kids being perfect and of being supported through it all by the perfect partner.

Christ, I tell you now, I would rather be single than be miserable. I would rather be single than settle for a life with someone who doesn’t make me happy. I would rather spend hours with Jake playing football than spend time with someone who can’t hold a conversation.

I love that I don’t own my own home, though at one point I wished I did. But I fixed that by getting an allotment, because all I actually miss is a garden.

Jake is slightly over sensitive, but he is amazing. He is so funny, so clever and able to hold his own in a room full of people.

F*** society. F*** the people who are throwing pressure on you to be at a certain point in life. Grab life by the balls.

And here endeth the lesson. I promise no more preachy posts… for at least another few months.

Enjoy your summer kids and do all the things I would do.

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An update

Hello,

So, Jake has not really been mentioned in a while and considering the blog is meant to be about him… well I have failed somewhat. The problem is I am having a slight crisis at the moment because he’s going to be four in January. Aside from the fact that I feel the time has gone too quickly, I also don’t think that I am old enough to have a child who is nearly four. I mean come on, did someone just press fast forward? I already have to deal with the fact that I am going to be 25 this year… AND the most awful thing? I’ve found two grey hairs on my head… This is me obviously settling into my mid 20s and early 30s… shoot me now!

Anyway, Jake started pre-school this week… can you believe it? I know it isn’t quite school but still, it’s such a huge step. He has become this talking, walking, singing, dancing, person with his own thoughts and opinions on the world. I admit some of them are slightly out there, but he’s doing all these things and I keep thinking to myself, I need to capture it, I need to stop and treasure it. Problem is, life gets in the way and the days go by, and then he’s doing lots more things that I haven’t been able to keep up with. It certainly adds to the feeling of failing as a parent. Because really you shouldn’t make excuses should you, I mean it’s your child… I feel horrendous.

Aside from all this, he’s also now fully potty trained and can be pretty moody at times too 🙂 sometimes it’s like talking to a three year old version of my 13 year old self. Does that make sense? He is so stubborn (can’t think where he gets it from) He knows exactly what he wants, and everyone else is a bit stupid… I’m just currently trying to persuade him not to watch Oliver and Company for the millionth time in a row. Oh also, when do kids begin to understand time scale? We made the mistake of telling him that we are going on holiday at the end of October and every day he asks about when we are going to the plane and the beach… Wouldn’t change him for the world obviously, but the time thing is so annoying. Also the ‘why’ stage. My goodness if I could go one day with no ‘why mum’ it would be heaven. Because no explanation is ever satisfactory. In fact, I dare you to take him on and get to the bottom of the endless why’s until you tell him something that he is satisfied with.

Alright, think that is enough of a catch up. I think I have managed to add instagram to the blog, so you can see all the videos and photos of his ever changing persona.

Have a great weekend.

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That shit cray

Hello,

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I am going to mention this again because this week it has gotten under my skin.

As you know, Mike and I work full-time; this is because we need the money, because we went to university, because we were not brought up to think that if we couldn’t be bothered, then someone else would provide for us. It’s tough; we have no money. I got payed last week and due to bills, I already have no money in my account. We have the nursery bill to pay on Friday which is almost double our rent… We didn’t choose it because of how much it cost, but when Jake’s last nursery close, it was the only one that could take him full-time. Don’t get me wrong, they are a fantastic nursery; they look after him so well and they have helped in his development in a way I could never have done alone- but they are expensive. So we have interviewed nannies to try to bring the cost down; but if it doesn’t then we are screwed. Mike had a job interview on Monday… but sadly he didn’t get it. That’s what is so terrible, he works so hard and he deserves the best, but we cannot keep going the way we are.

So you can imagine how pissed off I get when i know of people who are just popping out children so they don’t have to go out and work. I don’t get how this can be considered okay. Who on earth thinks that it’s okay for others to pay up just so they don’t have to face the difficulty of juggling children and work? Don’t misunderstand; if you cannot work, then fine, get a little help until you are back on your feet. Problem is, thanks to the government… This idea that we are entitled to sit back because someone else will help is becoming common. I don’t want the help; but i don’t want to have to stop working just because it’s making us worse off. This is true by the way- if I gave up work until Jake started going to primary school, we would get lots of help. Problem is, I don’t think that is the right way to live or to bring up a child.

I remember just after the London riots, a social worked explained the behavior of the children. She said ‘well because their parents are on benefits and never work, they expect everything else is free. They think that they are owed this because of the way they have been made to look at money.’ I mean what complete and utter crap! When you were little, apart from pocket-money and birthdays, since when have you thought that money was a right? When have you ever thought that you didn’t have to work? Some people do come from privileged backgrounds, and thus, have a slightly different upbringing, and I know that some can think along the same lines- that they will always be provided for. But that is only true of a few people i personally know of. It is not okay to think that money should just be given to you, that either your parents or someone else will just buy you stuff. I mean if that is how you think, then there is something wrong with you. I mean seriously wrong with you. We don’t do things in life for other people, our lives are for us. I didn’t go to university or have Jake just to please others. It’s what I wanted, so I live with the consequences, but yes it is a struggle. it is made worse when I am constantly surrounded by free loaders. If you feel like you should just be able to sit back and wait for your weekly income from everyone else, then stop having children. Take a good look in the mirror and sort your life out. Also, stop telling me that I should give up work- I love working. I love being a mum, but I couldn’t look at Mike in the face if he was off out to work every day whilst I just sat back.

I couldn’t do that to either of them. Mike works so very hard, he has taken on Jake and myself, he contributes- I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without him. So to just say, right that’s it I won’t work anymore, you do it all… well he wouldn’t stick around long. Who would? I am not saying all this because I want the extra help, I just want you to understand that this is not okay. If things don’t improve, I’m going to need to look at getting another job because I am so sick of just about getting through the month. What sometimes worries me is how some friends don’t get it either. But everyone is different. The world is different, and I suppose you could say that we are lucky that sometimes we can get the help if we need it.

I love my job- it gives me time out of the house and most importantly, I am working towards a wonderful career. Why on earth would I give that up? And you know me, I am desperate to have more children, I don’t want Jake to be an only child. Mike and I had to be realistic though- I can’t struggle like this again, we can’t struggle like this again. So perhaps that has to be our sacrifice… maybe we will adopt instead. There are so many children out there in need of a family. We shall see. at least I have Jake and Mike, some people will never have this. I am lucky in that Mike gets all this and we are going through this together. We have been living together for nearly six months now, and we still like each other 🙂

Maybe I am ranting for no reason. Maybe I am being a real bitch and a total hypocrite. All I know is, it is not okay to be having five or six children just to avoid the big wide world. People still say to me ‘oh university and Jake must have been very tough’. No- sometimes is got stressful, but it is nothing compared to working full-time. The feeling of utter guilt for wanting to do my own thing, to work hard for my own achievement. Oh god and the juggling, the endless juggling in case Jake needs collecting early, or late, or if he’s ill. It’s all so stressful and so bloody hard. And it might not all work out.

Right, I feel like that is enough of a rant I suppose. If I have annoyed you with what I have said… good. Bringing your kids up to think that someone else will give them everything it stupid.

Don’t forget to watch the rugby.

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La vita e bella…

Buona sera,

It has been a very long and eventful week. I am not really sure where to start, but it has definitely been long. I had this entire amazing idea of how I would write this post and now, I am not sure how to proceed. I have been in Italy for six days and thus have begun to process thoughts and phrases in Italia, the overwhelming need to swear in Italian has become pretty strong too, which I put down to the fact that my dad use to make such a huge deal about swearing… of course these days he is the worst one of us all. It is weird though because the amount of things that have happened make me think that a longer period of time has elapsed but it hasn’t. It has merely been seven days, seven long, wonderful, happy, sad, scary, thrilling emotional days which have changed us all for the better. I shall begin…

Last Sunday, we were at my mothers having just enjoyed a rather wonderful meal when both mine and Mike’s phones began to ring uncontrollably. Sadly, it wasn’t good news, and so we left for home feeling much less festive than when we had arrived, and it cast a dampened mood over the following week as we were due to fly out to Italy on the Wednesday. The plans changed and so it became that Mike could no longer come on holiday with us, which for me was terrible because I had been counting on him more than he was aware to get me through the trip. I hadn’t seen my Italian family for well over four years and though I was extremely excited, they hadn’t yet met Jake and as far as I was aware, they were only being fed information through my dad. Relations between the two of us have not been brilliant for a while, so I knew that he was focusing a lot on the things I had done, and decisions I had made that he did not agree with, just as I had done for him. Plus, Italy is still very Catholic… an unmarried single mother is never the best thing to bring home is it 🙂 I arrived feeling exhausted from being nervous about flying with Jake on my own (he was great of course, butter wouldn’t melt the bugger) and arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house to a rather wonderful message from Mike… his family had bought him a new flight and he would arrive Friday morning… nothing apart from the birth of my son has ever made me feel quite so amazing.

Of course you know me, all that happiness is covering an overwhelming feeling of guilt and gratefulness to his family that will take a while to re-pay. The other amazing thing that happened this holiday was seeing all my relatives and old friends fall madly in love with my boys. My uncle was especially wonderful to watch. You have to understand that this comes as a shock to me, the fact that they were so accepting of both Mike and Jake, because I focused a lot on what other people have said in the past. This week has done a lot to both Mike and I, family has never been more important, and suddenly all the things that have been said and done in the past don’t matter anymore. I know it’s a bit ‘OMG everyone says that’ sort of thing, but life is short, shorter than anybody realises. So I decided to stop being angry, to stop allowing my brain to even wonder about things of the past, because it is done. It has happened, and changing it wouldn’t make a difference, I believe the outcomes would have been the same.

Something I didn’t expect to happen was to fall even further in love with Mike, I assumed now that we lived together I had reached the limit 😉 I certainly didn’t think it would get any better. The thing is that I forget all the things he does. Terrible I know, and it took my family in Italy to point out the stuff I had forgotten and overlooked, to remind me that I don’t need anything more. Disgusting I know. To say that Mike is amazing doesn’t quite cover it. It isn’t enough to mention that he loves me without make-up, or that he doesn’t care that I do not have Rihanna’s body… (I can’t fully vouch for that one but that’s what he told me last time I asked) Even mentioning how he is with Jake isn’t enough because it doesn’t cover everything. Mike is currently bathing Jake. Nothing big to you, but it is exhausting because Jake loves water. I mean seriously has a weird over the top obsession with water that I cannot understand. Mike knows when I have reached the end and patience is wearing thin, so he sorts Jake out. He thinks of things like Advent calendars which me being a total Scrooge, didn’t even want because they cost so much money and because I have been brought up on the ones with pretty nativity scenes on it… not chocolate. He sorts out the finances and tells me the exact amount I need to be putting into the joint account to cover not just the bills, but all other eventualities, as well as making sure I have enough in my own account to cover personal bills and leave me some spare to play with every month. He remembered to pack Jake’s medicine for that cough he picked up in Italy. He will clean up the house after telling me to do it thousandths of times because he knows that though he nags, I hate cleaning, I mean I really hate it, and it won’t get done if he doesn’t do it. I do eventually help because I feel guilty, but he has to start and push me hard. This isn’t even close to everything. I can’t go on because otherwise I would bore you stupid, but he is amazing and then some. Above all else, he loves Jake as much as I love Jake. Though he isn’t ready to be labeled ‘dad’ yet, he loves him as though he was and he would do anything for him, which counts for so much. Mike has been through a lot this week, I felt awful because I was limited with what I could do. Despite him going through stuff, he showed enough emotion that his family sent him out to me. I got a text from his mum thanking me for making him so happy. I was shocked because, well… You wonder whether you are doing enough don’t you? Do you? I love him so very much that I hope that for the rest of our lives, I will get close to making him feel just as happy. I have the most amazing, loving family that all care for each other, which is amazing enough, and then I get to come home to Mike and Jake… Okay I am done gloating… It wasn’t what I was going for, more an explanation of this week and what it has meant.

The trip to Italy was a success. I didn’t manage to see everyone, but I did spend the time with people who I was desperate to see, such as my cousin who was really ill last year. I met his beautiful daughter who got on very well with Jake, but made him look like the devil child (I assure you that at times, he can be) I spent time with my cousins. I returned to the village I grew up in, and went to see my family who looked after us whilst my parents worked, as well as all their families too. We ate a lot, an absolutely obscene amount and how we weren’t having to be rolled on to the plane I will never know. It snowed too!! It was just the most wonderful time and I admit, though I am looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, I have slight holiday blues. But we have vowed to go back so it’s okay 🙂 Mike has kindly organised us putting money aside every month for a return trip… because he’s good like that.

Anyway, the fact that we haven’t killed each other after living together thus far is pretty amazing in itself. Mind you I have come close.

Enjoy your evening.

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P.S It was my birthday on Saturday… I became 24… I am not okay with it xx

An update

Hello,

Apologies it has been a while, however I have been again very busy. As you may have remembered, I started a new job a few weeks ago. I have officially found my career. I can’t say what I do but I love it. The place itself is wonderful, the opportunities, the things I am learning are amazing, and the people I work with are also incredible! So all well in that part of my life. The great thing is that I am also using skills that I learnt at university, which has helped to reinforce the feeling that university was definitely the right choice for me. I don’t think I would be the person I am today had it not been for university, but you know that story so I won’t go down that particular rant tonight.

I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks too. Next weekend everyone from Bangor is coming down to visit, so I have organised a big  night out. A lot of people from home will also be going, so I decided to make it an early birthday outing as we shall actually be in Italy over my birthday. It will be a great mix of people so I am very excited. Also, Italy. That will be an incredible trip!! Apart from the food and drink side of it 😉 I get to see my family who I haven’t seen in over four years! They also haven’t ever met Jake so that will be exciting. I haven’t had a birthday in Italy since I turned eight, so it is going to be such a great experience. I am also hoping slightly that it might be snowing, though not enough for it to stop us going or coming back 🙂 you know me, picky picky.

Jake is still potty training, it is so miserable. I’m not sure whether he does it to annoy me or not… he has amazing days and then he has absolutely terrible days. You also cannot yell at a child who is potty training because otherwise they might develop a complex about it, and don’t get me wrong I don’t want to yell at him, but it is so frustrating. i do love him though 🙂 so it’s okay.

Anyway, just a quick catch up. Hope you have a lovely evening.

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