A blog about simple family life from baking bread to paddling in streams, enjoying quirky holidays, camping in our bell tent and discovering fab places to visit, so please join us over a cup of tea and slice of cake and share our everyday adventures of family life with three boys!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Letting it all go

For the last few months I have been suffering terribly with self doubt and lack of confidence. It's been horrible and it's something I try and hide, only confiding in a few trusted friends. It's resulted in me getting really anxious and panicky. I've never wanted to blog about it, because it's ugly and I only want to fill this blog space with beautiful things.

I find it hard to let go of anything, to admit I'm not coping to me is a sign of failure. You see I love my job and I'm quite good at it, I love being a mum and think I'm quite good at that job too, but somewhere between trying to be good at everything I am putting myself under such pressure and losing. I feel like Wurzel Gummidge with different heads for all the different 'Emma's' I need to be!

In admitting my feelings to my husband, my friends, I have had to let go. Let go of perfection. Let go of my stubborn pride. Let go of trying to be the best mum. Let go of caring so much of what other people think of me. It's hard and this is just the first step.

This post is part of the Let it Go Project: a collection of stories leading up to a beautiful releasing ritual, hosted by Sas Petherick on the 30th of January. All the details for this free event are here. And you can take part! Be inspired by other posts in this project, and share what you are ready to let of of on the Let it Go Project Community Page!

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23 comments:

  1. Gosh, I think you're pretty darn good at it all, and I've often looked at your blog and wished I could be more like you! But remember no-one is perfect. I'm certainly not and it's exhausting trying to be isn't it? I've learnt too that the worst thing is to compare yourself to a image of someone else, or someone you think you should be. Instead I think we should all give ourselves a pat on the back for just trying to keep it all together - you're just great as you are and if you need any re-assurance just ask those closest to you. Antonia x

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  2. Very brave to write about this yet I have found that if we are honest with others and let them see our vulnerable side we often discover that we are not the only ones feeling as we do. I know I was not a perfect mother nor even a very good one and that really hurts and yet maybe I was good enough. This striving for perfection is a very human trait especially these days and yet I don't think anyone ever achieves it but all we do is make ourselves unhappy trying. I will be interested to hear how the Let it Go Project turns out.

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    1. Very true and wise words, thank you x

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  3. Oh Emma, bless you! I feel like that ALL THE TIME. I think I blogged about it last September, when we found out that Charlie is dyslexic. I realised I was doing too much and all of it was just a bit shit. Taking time to step back and not try to compare myself to others really helped me. Big hugs and if you fancy a coffee / lunch or an afternoon with the cameras just email. xx

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    1. A coffee and gossip would be good medicine indeed, let's do that x

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  4. Well done Emma. That's a brave and hardest step. Sounds like you put a lot of pressure on yourself, I think lots of us juggling women of a certain age do! My mum invented a great phrase that's helped me and my sister when everything's just felt too much and overwhelming. "Good enough is the new perfect" really helps when I'm lost and buried and full of doubt. You'd never expect a friend or relative to be perfect, try not to expect it of yourself all the time. Easily said I know. Sounds like you've found a really good way to make a change. Take care of yourself xxx

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    1. Thank you Steph, love your mum's wise words x

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  5. Sorry you're feeling low Emma but I can only say, as everyone else has that from where I stand, it looks like you're doing a pretty good job by normal people's standards. We all want to be wonderful all the time but none of us are. I think as a working mum you have to take the little victories where you get them and it is SO easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others and feeling like you come up short. Self-doubt is a nightmare, I suffer from it massively and have turned down more than one photography job because I just didn't think I ought to have been offered it. Madness, but very common I think. Just remember what's important and that is your family, friends and your well being and go forward with a smile on your face and an acceptance that we're all a bit shit at stuff, being brave is admitting it! X

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  6. Emma, I think you will find that none of us are perfect. Too many people strive to be something that really isn't there. Im not sure when I realised this myself but I try to live a life that is in the NOW and treasure what I see, hear, taste and feel. I wouldn't want to be perfect as i will never learn anything and life would be utterly dull. You inspire a great many people through your blog, photos and Im sure your work. Take each day as it comes and laugh a lot! xxxx

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    1. Very wise words indeed, I really need to live in the 'now' more! x

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  7. I think everything you have written could also have been written by me and lots of other women. I came across you when I saw your wonderful pictures on Under the Thatch website and I have followed your blog ever since. I have since had 2 sets of twins and am constantly trying to be the perfect Mum and give all 4 girls the perfect childhood and some days it is just impossible and I am always battling with guilt about something or another. xxx

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    1. Oh my goodness two sets of twins, how wonderful and lovely to meet you, thank you so much for your kind words x

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  8. Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
    “”
    Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata".[1]

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    1. What wonderful perspective - thank you for sharing this x

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  9. Beautifully put. I can totally relate to not meeting my own standards and the temptation to compare myself to other people, other moms especially. I have a pair of 3 year old twins & a school age child, all boys, and our family life is fun and full of energy, but lots of messes are made along the way. I have tendency to get down on myself when our home is a reflection of those messes. Your post today reminds me I'm not alone in coming over these things and that it can be done! Love your blog & your beautiful pictures!

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    1. I think all these lovely comments show that we are never alone, and it's lovely to be reminded of that. Thank you x

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  10. Great blog. :) Really nice design and loads of interesting things.

    Thanks

    Www.thedadnetwork.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. So brave of you to write this! I wish you all the best!!

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  12. Dear Emma: I admire you for your honesty, for dealing with your anxiety to the benefit of others. Now that I know this about you, I must confess feeling a bit guilty for taking such great excitement with the discovery of each new post or pin or photo, knowing what these sometimes have occurred not at the best of times for you. I want to help but several more years than yours have taught me to be cautious to think I really understand what another is feeling or that "my" angst is just like theirs. But, I do believe you have found the key. Being honest with yourself and open with those you love and trust. The more we have meaningful conversations about invisible issues such as yours the likelihood of their diminishment grows. We really do have the power to eliminate some obstacles in our lives . . . in order to be able to be better focused upon what "matters," that which we are called to do, and those chosen initiatives which feed our souls, creative natures, and are essential for healthy gratification and incentive. Does that make sense. For instance, we must nurture our children and love on our spouses. But, we absolutely CAN excuse ourselves from an occasional extraneous meeting or elective. Excuses are not needed. We know best. You have helped me to re-remind myself to find the joy in the small things. Yes, we do have deadlines, there are a limited number of hours in any given day. But, within the constraints we can build in some ease. Sometimes it's healthy to step back from it all whether it be to have a really good heart to heart with our partners, a dear friend, a cohort or to literally take a "time out." Lists work both for and against me. But, they do help us to quantify our self imposed challenges in order to place them into meaningful timeframes, postpone them, eliminate them.
    I adore how you think, admire nature, nurture, inspire, create, share . . . now it is time to turn all of your assets back into your own well-being.
    with love and admiration
    Linda Hartman
    in Virginia, USA

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  13. Have you considered that you are much more easy to like because you are not perfect? Does that sound odd...I mean, we all like to relate don't we, and I for one can not relate to perfect. I find it intimidating and unsettling and, frankly, annoying. Give me a work in progress any day! Sending you happy vibes ( and a little nod in the direction of mindfulness) x

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  14. Emma, I am catching up with blog reading - part of my imperfect life - and if the comments here (aside from the weird spam one professing your blog's beautiful design) you're in good company… and it will pass. You will come to a point where you feel in control again but it will be with a greater depth of understanding about yourself. You're already learning new things about yourself and I think that's what can be taken away when everything feels upside- down and confusing. It will pass. You will learn. It most likely will come again, but you'll be older, wiser and able to smile at how human it all is. In the meantime, don't be too hard on yourself. One day, one hour, one minute at a time if you have to. Good luck.

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