I’ve been struggling lately. Self doubt, fears and layers of insecurities so deep and so varied they make my head spin. Being a mother was not something I ever really thought about. Wal and I had discussed it briefly, just to say I would like to stay home w/ the kid for the first couple of years. The KID was a distant thing. A future we were working toward. When the future turned into now we did just as we ‘discussed’ and I quit work and became a stay at home mom. To say that I struggled with this would be an understatement. I’ve worked since I was 16. A part time job at a pharmacy during high school. Shoe stores, donut shops, sewing factory. I’ve waited tables, I’ve answered phones, I’ve worked w/ the elderly and the mentally ill. My life did not lead me down a path where I could concentrate on my studies alone. I have always worked. My entire sense of self had been wrapped up in the type of employee I was. Hard working, assertive, tactless (yes,tactLESS), reliable. I have a degree in Psychology and I worked in my field. I did not make a lot (any) money but it gave me a sense of accomplishment to help people. People who are vulnerable and need someone to help them fight their corner.
I moved to the UK to be with Wal. Good god in the morning I love that man and would move anywhere to be with him. He’s my best friend, my worst critic and my biggest supporter. He tells me like it is and doesn’t hold any punches, even when I ask him if an outfit makes me look fat! So here I am with a child in a foreign country and no friends. The first few months were tough. I think I scared a couple of moms away by my eager neediness. I finally found women I connected with and life was better. Play dates, baby groups, mum chrimbo parties, babysitting circles so Wal and I could go out. I don’t think mothering has come naturally to me. I was alone for too long. Had only myself to think about. I’m bossy- hooo lord jeebus, mary and jojoba am I BOSSY. Poor Squidge has had to deal with my drill sargent ways followed by me careening into feelings of guilt. Guilt for being too tough, for shouting, for not giving her enough attention, not allowing her to scream and be a kid. Did I potty train to early- OMG she’s going to be psychologically damaged because of it. Telling her to stop crying. She’s only a kid they’re supposed to cry. Lighten up woman! I think she’s OK. She appears to interact well with others. Loves nursery. No complaints from them…yet. Then I think, hell Ted Bundy fit in well. Did his mother potty train him too early too?
In the middle of all this I rediscovered my love for photography. I took a photography class in high school. I was the quiet mousy one that didn’t say much anything during the class. Shy ooh, god I was so shy in high school. I would sign up for things then not turn up. they might actually want me to do something. I didn’t take my photography any further- didn’t think I was good enough. Who would want me to take their photograph. Fast-forward a few yrs and I’m taking another photography course this time in college. I loved it, always have. I still didn’t think I could make a living at this but it was a fun thing to do. Fast-forward again and I’m a SAHM w/ the cutest child EVER. I pestered Wal until we get a DSLR so we could take photos of Squidge. I remember how much I loved it. How I’ve always, in my heart of hearts, wanted to be a photographer. But being a photographer is like telling people you want to be a move star, nice dream kid now grow up.
I’m in a position where I can pursue my dream. Yet… I’m almost paralyzed with doubts and insecurities. It’s like I’m 16 again in a classroom filled w/ the artsy kids and I’m the quiet preppy kid that doesn’t belong. I want to run and hide. Say oh never I’m in the wrong class. I should be in room 302 and this is room 303. Instead of being surrounded my the artsy kids I’m surrounded by other SAHM, all of whom think just because they take some cute pictures of their kids they too can be photographers. Who’s to say that isn’t me. Yah I know I take some nice pictures of Squidge, it would be hard not to! Worse than the SAHM’s are the ‘real’ photographers’. Can they tell I’m a fraud. A fake. AN INTERLOPER!!! I need to RUN and HIDE.
Oh I don’t know this post is getting all muddled in my head. I just wish I would tell these horrible doubting voicing in my head to SHUT THE F*%$ UP! Maybe I should take a page from Obama- YES WE I CAN! Is that cheesy? Maybe if I say that loud enough and long enough it will drown out the other voice.