Ms Independent

I am independent to a fault. I don’t know why, it probably links back to some deep rooted abandonment issues, but it is really important to me that I am not reliant on others. That’s not to say I don’t accept help, of course I do, any one who doesn’t ask for help when they need it is an idiot, but I only want help when I need it, not just to make life that little bit easier. Why? I think it’s because I want to be proud of what I have achieved and if someone else hands it to me then I feel I haven’t achieved anything.

Me on the sofa cuddling my son

Take running for instance. I love that the more effort I put into running the further and faster I can go. It’s not about travelling a distance, it’s about managing to get my body fit enough to travel that fitness. Someone could pick me up in a car and drive me that same route. When I get back home I wouldn’t be exhausted, my legs wont ache the next day, I wont be sweaty and smelly, but I also wont be proud of myself. I wont feel that I have achieved something.

I realised today that I have been feeling proud of myself recently because for the first time in a long time I have felt like I was achieving something. Running aside (which I have been pretty rubbish with the last few months) I have spent the last few years going from one day to the next without making much of a difference to the world. I’m never going to win any awards for motherhood, blogging or social media, and that’s ok because ultimately I do all those things because I love them. I plod along pretty averagely having good days and bad days. As a mother I can suck, yesterday for instance I think I made all my children cry at one point or another. Ok I was feeling rubbish with a migraine and I don’t think I am an awful person for losing my temper, just normal, but I’m not a great mum. As a blogger and “influencer” I write and take photographs which are ok. I am more successful than many people out there, but there are plenty more who are better, people who can compose images like a dream, who people relate to and look out for their new posts, who have huge numbers of followers. I am very grateful to my loyal following, but it will never be in the millions, there is nothing about me to make me stand out sufficiently. I’m ok with that. I will continue to grow and I don’t feel the need to artificially inflate my following, but I will be so proud of myself when I reach 10k followers (I say currently at less that half that).

Once I had a job I was proud of, a job I was good at and one which paid me well. I was made redundant and a series of other jobs and circumstances lead me to where I am now. I am happy, I am safe, I am loved, but I don’t feel proud of myself. When I gave up my last job 4 years ago it was after I had worked through my issues of not having my own income. I am now dependent on others, or another: my partner. For most of our recent history G has paid out bills and provided me with money. This took me a long time to accept and I am still fearful of how I can support myself and my children if one day we split up. The last few months have been different though.

With G out of work I have had more time to blog. I have been bringing in a reasonable income for the part time hours I theoretically work (chatting on social media doesn’t count does it?). I have earnt enough that for the first time in a long time I have been able to support my family. Yes we have had to tighten our belts and spend less, but I have felt proud of myself again for being able to support them through my hard work. 

In the next few weeks our roles will change again. My blogging will go back to being a “hobby” I have to find time to fit in when my children are asleep and around the house work. The money I make will be a pittance compared to a regular income. I will no longer be what I consider a success. I was proud that my efforts alone would see us through this period. We are lucky that we can get help from family if we need it, it’s a great comfort blanket and one I know others aren’t so lucky to have, but I had forgotten how much I enjoyed feeling like I am achieving something and with our roles switched back I don’t know how to find that again.

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