Wednesday 21 August 2013

Feeling lost...

feeling lost

I have a terrible sense of direction and I get lost in the big wide world on a regular basis.

 Just the other week I managed to fall asleep on the bus and end up on the wrong side of Manchester with twenty minutes to get to my office, I managed it, just, but not before finding myself starting to hyperventilate a little in the middle of China Town. I realised just how little I know the city that I've called my home for the last nine years. 

When it comes to being lost in the physical sense I usually find my way... eventually.

Recently though I've been feeling a different kind of lost.

Lost in myself.

Lost in my life.

Lost in my family. 

Lost in myself

I went to Britmums this year and I was inspired, not just by the 'celebrity' speakers (although I am a Kirstie 'wannabe' so was delighted to see hear speak and listening to Katie Piper had me in floods of tears, wanting to run up on stage to give her a hug).

I was mostly inspired by my fellow bloggers, those amazing men and women who I chat to on social media and whose lives I follow through their blogs. Some of these women, I feel like I know a little bit, but am in complete awe of them. Some of them have been through so much in their lives, things that would tear me apart, but they seem to still have their paths in life, a purpose, when I feel that I have wandered from mine, that's if I ever had a true path?

Do we all have a purpose or is it something that you forge through experience?

My recent trip to London made me realise that I have lost some of my identity, my sense of self. On the Friday night I sat in a room full of amazing writers who were chatting away having fun, drinking, eating and catching up with old buddies or forging new friendships, while I sat in the corner feeling unworthy and to be frank, unwanted.

What was I doing here? Really? These women write words that move me to tears or make me spit my coffee out with laughter where as I write about nappies and the latest offers, I run competitions and I write reviews. I sat there feeling so sick with self doubt that I couldn't eat. I want to write like that, I know I CAN write like that but those posts sit unfinished in my drafts as life gets in the way. Can I even call myself a blogger?

Lost In My Life

Looking in from the outside my life isn't that bad. I have a job that pays relatively well for the industry I'm in and level i'm at, I have a gorgeous husband and we live in a nice area and have two happy and healthy children. However, when you look closer the cracks start to show... my job makes me unhappy on a daily basis, tears of so many kinds fall from my eyes as I travel the emotional road trip of my working week. It's not what I want to do any more and yet I feel trapped. I am the main wage earner, the 'breadwinner' of our family and we only just cover our bills and childcare as it is, the only way out for me would be to get something better paid but after months of trying I don't know how much more rejection I can cope with. As it is, working full time is taking it's toll, the housework seems to mount up in front of my eyes, rather that wanting to get home to spend time with my family I find myself dreading getting home to the mountains of washing, last nights dishes and piles of paperwork to sort. I am so tired in the evening that the long lists of new recipes I was to experiment with turn to a quick pasta dish that we've had twice that week already...

Lost in my family

I love my family, my children are amazing and I would do anything for them. But I feel like I am loosing their childhood. As we both have to work full time to cover our living costs, our children are in childcare during the week. If I'm lucky I see them for an hour on a weekday, the last hour before bed, when they are tired and grumpy. Rather that cherishing that hour as I should I often find myself so tired I start snapping unnecessarily at them, scolding them for minor issues that result from them being overtired too.

I always maintain that being a working parent is setting a good example to my children, demonstrating a strong work ethic and an ideal to look up to. Showing them that everything they value in life is down to hard work and nothing is handed to us on a plate.

 It makes me angry when I hear people talking negatively about working parents, blaming so many things on a parent CHOOSING to put a baby in nursery at a young age. But for me it wasn't a choice, I had to go back to work before my children's first birthday or how would we survive financially? How would we afford to pay the rent?

Even though childcare takes up such a big portion of our wages most of the time I believe we are doing the right thing. What is the alternative? Giving up? Living off the state? Showing my children that they don't need to try hard in school if they don't want to, as the the government will take care of them.

But then I have my doubts, I believe we would probably be financially better off without me working, and I would get to experience my children growing up, I would get to spend the summer holidays taking them places and teaching them things rather than getting just two days a week with then and learning about their other's in a five minute hand over from a relative or nursery staff.

So why am I writing this down? Why am I sharing such personal things with the world?

Well quite frankly because I want your support.

I want to find myself and I want to be happy with my lot in life which I know is so much better than many others' but I just don't know where to start...


  1. I think you have a fab blog and I'm in awe that you manage all this and working and still doing things with your family. You need to be kinder and less critical of yourself and sto editing yourself so much go write those posts you want to and we will all support you.

    I hope your heart leads you to the right choice about work.. Big hugs

  2. Oh honey. I can relate to so many of the things you say, and the things you are feeling. So many. It's bloody tough out there, and I am pretty sure many of us are lost, in one way or another. I wish I had more useful words to offer, but I just want to say - we love you. And we are here xx

  3. Oh hun. I know this feeling! And when you feel like this, you forget to realize the people that are inspired by you! The people that are in awe of you the same way that you are of others. I admire you and your blog and am amazed at your dedication to bringing worthy information, offers, tips and stories to your readers whilst juggling the busy life you live. I hope in time that you can feel happy in what you do and what you achieve every day, because you really deserve to xxx And as for support ... you have it in bucket loads ;) It's just often too subtle to see xxx

    1. Completely agree with Liz.
      I'm totally in awe of you. I don't work and feeling I'm struggling with all that needs doing in the house and my blog suffers yet I've no excuse.

      I honestly have no idea how you do it at all.
      We are all here 100% for you.
      Sending positive thoughts that a dream job is just around the corner.

  4. xxxx massive hugs! If I have a tenner for each time I doubted what I was doing and how I could be "better" I'd be a very rich lady indeed. I don't have the words of wisdom to make you feel better but I hope you're comforted by that fact that you are so so not alone. xxx

  5. Oh Jen. I know we've spoken about this but I don't think I realised how low you were feeling. I'm here for you whenever you need me. Just shout! For the record I think you're an excellent blogger and a wonderful wife and mummy your family clearly adore you. You're also a good friend and I hate to think of you being so unhappy. I hope things change for the better soon. Big hugs xxx

  6. You have an amazing blog I would love to have a blog like yours, you are an amazing mum and lady and being a working parent is hard x

  7. Oh Jen (hugs). I had no idea you were so down about it all. So sorry to hear this. I sadly have no words of wisdom - I'm pretty sure I'm getting it all wrong too - but I'm here if you need me and want an ear to bend. x

  8. Aww hon, that's such a hard thing to read, and it must have been so hard to write. We all have times (and plenty of them) when we wonder if we're doing it right, and the answer is that there is no 'wrong'. What's right is what's right for us, and if it's not then you need to look at change.
    What you achieve is an amazing feat and you should never feel that anyone has a right to judge you, but if it really isn't working then you do need to change something before it changes you.
    Approach it from a different angle, would you be able to go part time at work? If you can't change job at the same level then would a job nearer home for less money actually work out with the same take home pay without travel costs and time? Your blog is very well known and popular, could you spend more time writing and subsidise your income with a few sponsored posts every now and again?
    There's nothing wrong with your blog, and there's certainly nothing wrong with your writing. You talk about women who move you to tears, well, you've certainly achieved that today x
    Anything I can do to help, I'm here.

  9. I understand your feelings. It is difficult and we do have to juggle each aspect of our life.
    I gave up my teaching job, as it was becoming unmanageable. I would get to work for 6, leave at 5.30 to pick up daughter from nursery, then work after she had gone to bed. She would then go to her grandparents every 2 out of 4 weekends, so that I could do my school work (no teacher works 9 til 3.30).
    I don't claim off the state, but instead have cut back on luxuries for myself. My little one doesn't go without. We use savings to help us. I feel annoyed that just because some people stay at home, it is assumed they're claiming benefits and that my child will grow up without a strong work ethic. It is only relatively recently that women have worked and raised a family. Other generations have grown up with their mums at home and have gone on to work hard in adulthood.
    My little one is now much happier to have her mummy playing with her, rather than working all the time. There maybe times when I am made to feel like a second rate person because I don't work, but she is happy.
    I hope you find the right solution for you and your family. Your children will love you whatever you do, and it sounds like you do your very best for them.

  10. A lovely heartfelt post from a blogger I certainly look up to and aspire too! You are fab Jen and even though we've not yet met I know you are a friend. Hugs Hun. It's not unusual to feel like you do xx

  11. Having taught lots of children whose parents choose not to work (through laziness rather than wanting to spend time with their children) and seeing the effect it has on their attitude to school etc I can say that yes choosing to work is setting your kids a fantastic example. BUT, having recently given up full time work (mainly for financial reasons) I can say it was absolutely the best thing I've ever done. Part time work is a win for our family. We are not really any better off, in fact possibly slightly worse off but I get to spend time with my kids - I get to take Ben to school, go to assemblies but I also get to do the job I love.
    You will find your way x

  12. What you say resonates strongly with me Jen and I'm so impressed with you putting this 'out there'. I think as dedicated mums who care and love with all we have we are naturally built full of self doubt about every step we take, and although this constant doubting helps us follow the right path through life - it can also be soul destroying. If your life was entirely reversed I think you would still find yourself full of doubts and worries. Saying that, I think some things really need to be kicked into touch here; you're not sure if you'd be better off staying home? Get a spreadsheet and work it out! You'll feel better knowing one way or the other. Can you carve a new career for yourself? Writer? Proofreader? Social media editor? You are an amazing and capable woman Jen - don't ferret around for jobs you'll do because the pay is better - get what you deserve - a great job that pays, doing something that makes you happy!! I love you so much Jen, I just want to give you a big hug and tell you all will be well for you, I just know it!

  13. What a brave post to write!!! I have been lucky enough to talk with you and get to know you, all be it through the power of internet but I think I know you well enough to say that you are a fab mum and an amazing blogger. You yourself give great advice to others and I hope I can offer some sort of support to you. I think the trouble with life in general is that there is no "right" answer for everything and we all feel a little lost sometimes, it is how we deal with these situations that shows what kind of person we are. You are one strong, smart lady who has bought up an amazing family, you should be proud of all you have achieved so far!!! I hope you find your way back to happiness because you deserve it. xx

  14. aww just finished reading it all, read half earlier then my children needed feeding & felt I wanted to read it without the constant 'mummmm' in my ear.
    I am so sorry you are feeling lost with things in life, I hope you can find a happy balance soon I really do.
    Everyone's circumstances are different, each family made up of different aspects, personalities, some have one parent families, some have two working parents, but most children know one thing that their parents love them.
    I have been following you for quite some time now & you really are a caring & considerate person, sharing magical offers and being there for others.
    You are a very valued member of the cyber world, please don't doubt it x

  15. I have been `internet friends' with you for the past two and a half years, it was you that encouraged and inspired me to start my blog in the first place, and to swap to cloth nappies!! Finally we were able to meet face to face at Brit Mums and as I suspected you are the nicest, kindest lady I have ever met and certainly an amazing blogger and it is clear that both of your children adore you, no real words of wisdom about work, you are talking to the lady that has just started a new business three weeks before giving birth, so probably not the most sane to give advice, but I would definitely suggest looking into something that you feel passionate about (Cloth) and maybe see about setting up your own business, it is scary at first but most definitely worth it, other than that just a HUGE great big, massive hug and I can't wait to meet up with you very soon xxx

  16. Well done for writing this, and for asking for support. It's so hard, trying to suss out what you want in your life, with the added responsibility of children. I love your writing, btw xx

  17. I completely understand these feelings. There is so much to do but life just seems to get in the way far too much. It make take time but you CAN get there - and you will. I feel exactly the same way and sometimes it is overwhelming. I just keep thinking to myself 'How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time' - it helps to keep things in perspective. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo and good luck with everything x

  18. Ah hon, everyone feels like this more than we realise because we don't talk about it, we just put your head down and get on with it right? Well, I think it's great that you have asked for a bit of emotional support :0) As far as self doubt goes, maybe that's popping up because you have lost a little of your self. I think you are judging yourself too harshly, I mean kindness, compassion, and generosity for example are wonderful personality traits to have so it's not just skills that people are measured by or valued for. Recently I tried my hand at social media marketing for a company and I sucked at it because I had to be creative to a deadline. Maybe if you do posts where you really write what you want but make them shorter and more frequent so it won't seem as daunting and you will fit it in. You could treat your blog as your friend and carve out maybe 30 mins of 'me' time once a week to pick up those drafts where you left off. Look at all of those accreditation's on your side bar, remember how you felt when you got them and then tell me your not a good writer :0)Could you afford to reduce your hours at work or get a part time job to concentrate on making more money from blogging or to start up a small work from home company? Lots of companies let people work remotely from home nowadays. Hope some part of this helps x


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