I’m not particularly good at being sociable; it’s not that I don’t want to be, far from it. It’s just not something that has ever come particularly easily to me. I worry that I might sound silly or boring or that I might accidentally offend someone.
I’m fine talking to and interacting with parents at work or with people who talk to Squidge in the supermarket but I’m just not confident with people I’d like to be friends with.
I don’t know why I find it so difficult but I’ve definitely found it more difficult in the last few years.
I have to force myself to be brave as I know that when I do manage to meet up with people I enjoy myself, even if I feel quite nervous and on edge at the beginning. This was something I was managing to do more often but then I fell pregnant with Squidge and it all fell apart. I didn’t want to leave the house because I felt sick and ill and then later on I found it difficult to walk due to SPD. Equally I didn’t want to see anyone because I was in a very dark place that I thought people would judge me for or try to jolly me out of.
Now that I’m a state where I’m both physically and mentally able to start having a social life I now have a small, squidgey person and all his associated gubbbins that has to come too. This makes things a bit more difficult; in terms of actually making it out of the house on time and finding somewhere baby-friendly that isn’t miles away from either the car park or the train station.
Equally, not everyone wants to go out for coffee with added baby; children aren’t part of their life yet and they want to be able to enjoy themselves without being restricted to places that you can manouver a pram in easily.
However, my plan for this afternoon was to meet up with a large group of work colleagues for the joint baby shower of two girls expecting their first babies. I’d checked that they were happy if Squidge came too, other girls were bringing their children, it was an afternoon all about babies and I was really looking forward to it.
I’d wrapped the gifts I was taking, I’d packed Squidge’s nappy bag and I was just finishing getting ready before I put Squidge into a clean outfit.
Squidge’s plan for the afternoon was to sit and play quietly on our bed while I got ready and then when I picked him up to have the most enormous upset tummy all over himself, me, our bed and the floor.
So my plans quickly changed to include dunking Squidge in the bath and putting him to bed with a dose of Calpol. The afternoon now finds me sat in the office/spare room/me space blogging while Squidge sleeps and I eat a chocolate robin filled with smarties that Santa left in my stocking.
I wouldn’t dream of taking Squidge out when he wasn’t well, if for no other reason than I don’t fancy potentially having to scrape explodey poo out of his car seat. He’s unwell and he needs his mummy to look after him and not drag him off to a party, regardless of how much I was looking forward to going.
I was really looking forward to going.
I didn’t have a baby shower when I was expecting Squidge, I didn’t feel like there was anything to celebrate and I couldn’t cope with an event where the focus was all on the bump. I didn’t have people coming together to be excited about the impending arrival of a new baby.
I did plan to have a little party when Squidge was a couple of months old, to welcome him to the world and introduce him to people but somehow, in amongst the leaky boobs, seemingly constant feeding and expresssing and sleep deprivation it didn’t actually happen.
I saw this baby shower as a chance to experience some of that. I’d enjoyed shopping for the little clothes and toys to give as presents; something I wasn’t able to do for myself. I was excited about their excitement, infected by their happinness and really pleased to be asked to share this special day with them.
Instead I have cleaned poo off our bedroom floor, run three loads of laundry and been covered in sticky medicine.
The realities of motherhood that come after the party and gifts and anticipation.
I seem to have eaten the entire robin.