Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Birthday party

Birthday Party Season for my kids has started and its made me think about my reaction to social situations.

As a kid, social situations seemed easier as I had my mum as a buffer. These days however there are times when I feel like I have to work at being social – especially when the kids are socially adept like their Dad, even my 19 month old daughter seems to have little issue. When Jason was little it sometimes took a while for him to warm up to new people, at Kindy he would mainly play with the same 3 kids. Alex seems to fit in anywhere and has a diverse range of friends.

Looking back to when I was a teenager I was socially awkward and felt out of place; being friendly was never an issue yet making close friends seemed to be. I felt like I was the square peg trying to fit in a round hole, I felt like I was one the edge of my “friends” group and never really a part of the group. Of course it could have been all in my imagination because of low self-esteem, like I was never good enough to fit anywhere.

social awkwardness

Being a mum means that I’m in social settings where I feel out of my comfort zone and there are times when I want to flee from that surrounding – especially when I’m in one of my negative moods. Sometimes it feels within me that I’m meant to act a certain way – yet don’t know what that way is.


I’ve always wanted my kids to thrive when it comes to life and that includes socially as well, so from babyhood would take them along to playgroups, music groups etc; even if I didn’t really want to be a part of it myself. It felt like a sacrifice which I’m finding is part of being a parent.

The boys especially seem to make friends easily and Jason will often ask to have a playdate at one friends’ place or another. If I myself feel comfortable around the other kid’s mum I don’t have any problem especially if I don’t need to be there. Yet if I’m unsure about the other kid’s mum I’m a bit hesitant to allow a playdate to occur.

I know I make mistakes socially, say things I shouldn’t or do things I shouldn’t. I will often beat myself up emotionally over what I deem or what I think the other parent things is faux pas in the social setting. Even if I feel like I have a god relationship with another person there will be times when I doubt whether the friendship is real or superficial. I know a lot of this comes from my struggle with self-esteem and often will try to bring myself back to a more positive frame of mind; however it doesn’t always work and the negative thoughts seem to cement themselves.

Most of the time I don’t allow this to bother me, there have been times though that I’ve allowed those thoughts to bother me, I just hope that none of my children ever have this issue.

Reflecting on Words of Condolence

Reflecting on Words of Condolence

images (1)

I have unfortunately lost a few loved ones in my life and one thing I found interesting is the words of consolation that people use. I found that when people were trying to console me after my daughter Zoë was stillborn most likely have been well-meaning but some things weren’t exactly helpful for Rob and I; these things were said maybe out of not knowing exactly what to say which is understandable.

Some of the phrases used were:

  • “She’s with Jesus” – Honestly that didn’t help at the time it was said as I just wanted her with me and it felt unfair that Jesus got to be with my firstborn child when I couldn’t. I believe it now, but in that time of raw and numbing grief all it seemed to do was increase my anger at God.


  • “You will have another child” – While for Rob and I this was true the people that said it didn’t really know that for sure. What if we had been like some couples who couldn’t have more children, this particular phrase could have been really hurtful. Another reason this wasn’t exactly helpful was the fact that another child could not/would not replace the baby we had lost.


  • “She wasn’t meant to be” – This was said when after she died and when informed some people about what the diagnosis was (one of the reasons we told few people when we knew). This phrase probably upset me the most; if “she wasn’t meant to be” then why did I get pregnant with her in the first place, “if she wasn’t meant to be” then why did I carry her to term when I wasn’t expected to and I ended up needing to be induced.


I’m sure that for the most part when these phrases were used they were said with the best of intentions; however even if something is said with the best of intentions it doesn’t always mean it will be helpful. For example when I’m in my darkest of moods I can get upset with someone simply saying “I’m Sorry”. Grief can make a person illogical and take offense at the smallest of things.stages of grief

There are times when the phrase “I can only imagine how you must feel” is used. Truthfully when it comes to losing a child no-one can truly imagine and I wouldn’t want anyone to know what it feels like to lose a child. Even when you’ve lost a child you can’t truly imagine what another person is going through, even if it’s a similar situation their reactions could be different to what your reactions were and everyone acts differently.

I can remember times I’ve said that losing Zoë was like losing a part of myself, yet I have never lost a limb or the use of one in reality don’t know what it’s actually like. I guess I use that phrase to try and get across the awfulness of losing a child – so it’s more a metaphor than a fact.

One more thing that used to get to me after any of my losses was when people would say “they were there for me” It got to a point where I would shrug it off as something people feel they have to say – even subconsciously – the reason being was if I did need someone, I must have asked the wrong people as the ones I asked never seemed to have the time for me or wouldn’t get back to me when they could. This experience unfortunately made we weary about calling on people when I needed someone.

There’s something I also noticed about going through the loss of a loved one is that it’s not just in the first week or so you need support but also in the following weeks after the numbness of grief has passed and reality hits – that’s my experience anyway as there were times when I felt left alone in my grief and didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

These are only my reflections on looking back over my past experiences so doesn’t necessarily mean I feel alone now.

Have a great day


Do What We Do, Not What We Say

Do What We Do, Not What We Say

I guess the beginning of this post is a bit of a rant, I wrote the draft to this when I was a bit emotional and recently found it in a journal I was using earlier this year.



Why is it that some males seem to have difficulty processing anger, I’m sure its not the case for every males but I have read al lot about how the percentage is higher amongst males when it comes to anger management issues; some dad’s have a expectation of their young sons to be able to manage their tantrums better by telling them to “harden up” or “take a concrete pill” this doesn’t make much sense to me  as children are young and haven’t had time to learn to manage their emotions and it is up to the adults to teach them and I believe the best way to do that is to show them; and the best way to show them is by adults managing their emotions in a less destructive manner.

Children are more likely to pay attention to a person’s actions than their words; it’s a case of parents “practicing what they preach” Parents are human so are not likely to get it right all the time but when we do slip up then that is the time when we need to apologise to the child/ren for our behavior and try our best not to repeat it. As no-one is perfect us as parents shouldn’t expect our children to manage their emotions any better than we would. To have those expectations is living with double standards; just like it took time to learn to walk learning to manage emotions takes time and won’t happen overnight.

Parental Example


As a teenager I know I was anything but tidy but now as a mum I expect my children to try and keep their room clean. I give their room a decent clean every few months to show them what it should look like when it’s tidy. I tell them that if they put away their toys after they’ve finished playing it wouldn’t be as big a job as they think.

There are days when I feel like I tell my kids over a hundred times to clean their room and put away their toys when they’ve finished playing. I frustrating as the repetitiveness of it all, I can only trust that eventually it will sink in and that putting away their toys will become a habit. Habits aren’t formed overnight and breaking habits can take longer.

My boys are Four and Six years old, so it’s been a short while that I’ve expected them to put their toys away after they’ve finished playing. With my Four year old I don’t expect him to be able to make his bed well but I do expect him to at least try. I do have more expectations of my Six year old because I know what he is capable of – he’s pretty good at making his bed but often needs to be reminded.

At kindy they were/are expected to help tidy up and I have those same expectations at home. My Four year old helped his Dad put together our new chairs – but I wonder if it was more a tactic to delay his bedtime than a genuine wanting to help.Positive Parenting

As I was writing this I found it interesting how it flowed from a rant to talking about expectations of our children but the key point is that as parents we need to show our children how to behave through our own behavior.

Childhood Vs. Mumlife

Childhood Vs. Mumlife

It’s amazing how differently I look at things as a parent compared to when I was a child here. I thought I might do a quick blog on a few of the things I think are different when looking at childhood compared to mumlife

Daylight Savings

As a child I loved Daylight Savings, I got to stay outside later and play – though it didn’t feel late. I loved playing hide ‘n’ seek and “Go Home, Stay Home” with the neighbourhood kids.

Now as a parent with young children Daylight Savings is a time to dread. My kids take longer to go to sleep as it is still light when it comes to bedtime and it sometimes means that on the weekend my kids get up at unearthly hours. The good thing about daylight savings as a parent is I can get washing out earlier and this gives me more time to relax – when I do relax.

 Daylight savings

Family Holidays

My family went away on holiday quite often when I was a child and they were always fun; I got to see new things and meet different people.

As a mum however it just seems to be more work and not as relaxing when we do go away. Even if we went away without our kids they would always be on my mind – my “mum hat” very rarely comes off, its almost like its super-glued on.



As a child I always wanted toys, books or sweets for Christmas and/or my Birthday. If I got clothes I would be a bit disappointed unless it had a favourite cartoon character on it.

Now as a Mum I like to get more practical things; however clothes, shoes or jewelry are seen as extra special.   I still like to get chocolate but more often than not I end up sharing it with my Hubby and kids – unless I hide it and eat it in secret.



As a child I’d always look forward to Christmas with glee, I didn’t have any responsibilities – except to behave myself so Santa would come and bring me presents. As a child I was unaware of how work much actually went into the “magic” of Christmas.

As a parent Christmas may be more work but seeing the excitement my kids a get at Christmas makes up for it. Christmas is also a time for family to get together especially those that we might only see around Christmas.

christmas as a parent

Due to the fact that this being end of year I have only covered a minuscule amount of the differences that I have looked back on, maybe when things are less busy I’ll do a more thorough blog but for now I hope you’ve enjoyed this little snippet.

Anxiety From the Beginning

Anxiety From the Beginning

Aargh, Insomnia at work again! This time it’s like I’m mulling over a hundred things at once; one of those things is my use of “underlying” in relation to my previous post concerning anxiety. Part of the reason is because I was reading a blog post someone had written about “How they cured their anxiety” and it got me thinking how even when things in my life seem to be going fine, the anxiety is still there niggling away under the surface ready to pounce at a moment of weakness.

One of my early memories of feeling anxious was when I was a kid and it we were running late for a church production rehearsal that I was involved in – a child worried about being late is a bit of an oxymoron; there may have been earlier times of worry. I also have memories when I was a childishly bossy in a true firstborn child manner.

I think the anxiety got stronger as I got older and life kept pounding me with curveballs and would knock me for a six (my hubby is a sports fanaticJ)

Anyway the earliest memory I can recall of having a panic attack was when I was 17, in my last year at High School and had pressure from numerous aspects of my life. Someone in my Home Room threw a paper ball at me – or something, and I just snapped and burst into tears. I ended up in the Sick Bay and while there the Deputy Principal (I think) gave me a glass of water to drink to try and calm me down, the glass had to be put down pretty rapidly  when I almost broke it because my teeth where chattering so much with the intensity of my emotions.

There have been other instances where I have had panic/anxiety attacks and it always seems to be after something small comes along to top things of and send me into a spiral. Most of the time I try to hold it together until I’m away from people, as I sometimes feel embarrassed to feel the way I do in those times and don’t want people’s pity. I don’t know why but I most of the time I feel like I have to be the strong one and the truth is that is tiring; I also don’t like being a burden to anyone and if I do feel like I’m being a burden it seems to make the anxiety/depression worse.

Well, that’s me for now.


One, Two or Many – Not Our Place to Say

One, Two or Many – Not Our Place to Say

I hadn’t planned to post anything for a few weeks as we are moving house and I thought I would be too busy with packing and unpacking to get to the blog, however I hadn’t taken into consideration the effect a nice warm relaxing bath has on my thoughts.

This particular bath got me thinking about how many people have views on the make-up of a family; concerning gender and numbers. One day, before I had even met my husband, I was with friends and we were discussing when we have children how many we would have, I said I would like a boy and a girl and that was all, I know now that that’s what is called a “pigeon pair”.Family-Neigh-Partner-PAGE-HEADER

Some parents may be perfectly happy having just 1 child, a “pigeon pair” or they may be happy with multiple children of the same gender. It really isn’t anyone’s place to make anything of it – especially if they haven’t a close relationship with the parents. Over the years I’ve read many posts online that have mentioned the comments people have received when other people find out that are having another of the same gender when they already have 2 or more of that gender.

After losing Zoë and finding out I was again pregnant – I really wanted another girl and I was quite upset when I found out we were having a boy and was almost in tears at the ultrasound. On the one hand I was happy he was healthy and that there were no concerns, on the other I wanted a girl.

When I was pregnant with Alex, it wasn’t such a big deal about the gender; if baby was a boy then I already had all the clothes and if baby was a girl then that would have been even more special.

About 2 ½ years after Alex was born I was pregnant again and this time it was a bit of a surprise. We knew that this pregnancy would be our last and so was hoping to finally have a baby girl that we could parent. Along came our happy baby girl Rylee and I couldn’t have been happier. Then came the first nappy change and I felt flummoxed – “what do I do, where do I clean”. I was so used to changing my boys’ nappies that it felt alien to change my daughter’s. How could I not know what to do, after all she was the same gender as myself yet I still felt at a loss. If she had been another boy I would have known what to do and just got on with it and not feel like a new mum.

Now when she is almost 15 months old I feel a lot more confident yet I’m not sure what she’ll be like when she is 2 years old. As a baby she’s pretty easy-going and I’m hoping she’ll stay like that as she gets older. As I feel more confident with my boys I’m grateful for those with multiple daughters as they have more experience in dealing with the different ages and possible scenarios relating to girls.

When it comes to the boys, Rob has got a great relationship with them, but I think its our youngest son that he’s closer to. Alex is the one Rob bonded with instantly and is like him in his attitude to try anything whereas Jason is a lot like Rob when it comes to sense of humour; however he seems to have inherited the empathy that’s a strong part of my personality.

It’s a good thing that we had another boy as Alex is the one Rob understands more and Alex is definitely closer to his Dad than he is to me. It actually looks like Rylee may be a Daddy’s girlJ. So even if we hadn’t of had Rylee, Rob and I still would have had a child each that we understood better than the other.

It doesn’t matter the make-up of a family unit, how many children they have or the gender of the children. What does matter is that the children are loved and are never told or felt that they are disappointments. Some children may take it to heart if they are told or overhear that they were not wanted as they were the wrong gender. Even though at first I was disappointed Jason was Jason and not a girl. He and I have a strong bond and I wouldn’t want him to be anyone but himself. I’m happy I have a girl I get to parent; however I still would not trade my boys for her and vice versa.

me and my family families are all different

Social Media – A World of Strangers

Social Media – A World of Strangers

Social Media plays a big part in today’s society connecting people around the world, making the world seem smaller, on the other hand it seems that certain things can get a bit out of control which leads me to the topic of bullying on Social Media

Bullying on social media seems to be quite prevalent these days. Why is it that some people think that they can say whatever they want to other people on Social Media, without thinking about the impact of what they say.

I know I have written a blog about the topic of bullying on Social Media but I believe that the more we speak out about it, there’s a greater chance that it might stick with people that bullying – even on Social Media is wrong. Just because a person may not physically be in front of us doesn’t give anyone the right to say to another person whatever they want without consideration of that person.

I’m on Snapchat a bit and it seems that lately I’ve been hearing a bit from certain “high profile” social media personalities about what they are being subjected to and I’m actually a bit relieved that my “following” has nowhere near the numbers of those that “follow” them. For if I was subjected to some of the comments that are thrown their way, I’m not sure if I could cope so huge props to them they are keeping up with their social media presence, when it could be easier to just throw in the towel.

Just because you may follow a person on social media and in cases like Snapchat know a bit about their life doesn’t mean you know them. Relationships can be built via social media but if there hasn’t been true give and take, positive connections, then all we are – are strangers. Would you want a stranger to just randomly come up to you on the street and say something to you because they disagree with something you are doing; that’s what is going on it seems when bullying is taking place on Social Media. Its often excused by the idea “I was just giving my opinion” Don’t get me wrong sometimes an opinion can be helpful. However, when it puts someone down then its not so helpful, and didn’t need to be shared.

A person may not think they are bullying but maybe before commenting on a post/snap we think these things:

  • How could it affect the other person
  • Would I want it said to me, if I was in that person’s shoes
  • What is the reason behind the comment, and
  • Would I say it to the person’s face

Within social media, tone of voice is not easily portrayed, and often we need to think before we press “send”. There could be times when the comment is innocent yet someone could interpret it wrong, in that case we should be able to explain/apologise if need be. If someone posts something that’s not specifically aimed at anyone, yet someone takes offense then it might not be the original posters intent and if so, that poster shouldn’t need to apologise, an explanation might do if that’s what the original poster wants to do.

This is not a cookie cutter world and people are different so will act/say/do things differently to others and just because a person may reach out and ask for an opinion we can at least be nice about it and not have the other person feel attacked. If a comment you want to post is not positive or at least neutral then scroll on down without comment. Just because you may disagree with a post doesn’t mean you need to comment.

If you do make nasty comments and the other person responds to it in a way which makes you feel attacked, either ignore it and move on or privately message the person and ask them why they responded that way

Life is hard enough without us tearing down one another. There’s enough negativity and bullying in this world without people adding to it via social media.