Sunday, 3 July 2011

Family. Can't live with them, can't live without them

I am currently burnt to a crisp and taking some time out from the sun so I thought I would write a quick post on here, since I know you're all dying to hear from me ;)

Been a bit of a busy bee with it being Grace's birthday yesterday. She got spoilt, as per usual, even if she did spend half of the day yelling at everyone when she didn't get her own way. Typical woman. I haven't really got all that much to add to that really, we just had a nice day out at the village fete (old school, right?) and then a little gathering at my parent's house afterwards then Grace went to her dads. So, if I may, I'm going to use this next part to rant. You were warned.

I'm sick to death of people thinking I'm some lazy, Jeremy Kyle watching layabout. Seriously. I love my family, they're awesome. But sometimes, I don't think they realise how crap they make me feel. Mainly my parents to be honest. Yesterday, we were talking about something or other and my sister who is 17 and got a job at Sainsbury's around Christmas last year, was saying how the outfit she was wearing totalled to £90 and I said that mine only totalled to £7. Then everyone started saying "Oh well if you had a job, you could spend that sort of money on clothes." Which is wrong because I would never spend £90 on one outfit anyway, but that's besides the point. So I said that even when I was working, I didn't spend all that much on clothes. Then I got "What, you worked? When? How many days did you work there for, two?" Bearing in mind that, as a teenager I wasn't given money by my parents, so I had a Saturday job from the age of 13 up until I was 16 when I could get a "proper" job working as a silver service waitress in a hotel so I could earn my own money as well as being a sixth form student at the same time. I only left my last job when I was almost 20 because I was 36 weeks pregnant and it was the hotel policy. I didn't go back for reasons I won't bother going into.

Currently, I am a single mum to a 3 year old, I am studying journalism and I'm part way through writing a novel alongside looking for a part time job. Is that good enough for my parents? Course it isnt. All I ever get is "What's the point in studying, just stop putting things off and go out and get a job" or "why are you doing/not doing x,y and z with Grace? Because you should/shouldn't be." I don't think I have a tough life, as far as things go, and I don't expect praise with every little thing I do. But I honestly do wonder why I even bother. I'm studying so I can get a career I love and that makes a better life for me and Grace. Sure, it might take a few more years to get to where I want to be but I would rather that than just get a full time job stacking shelves in Morrisons (no disrespect to anyone who does that by any means) for the sake of not "wasting my time."

The thing is, the people telling me all this are the ones who didn't go into higher education, they left school with a handful of GCSE's and went straight into any old job they could find. Which was ok for them. But you can't do that anymore, you need an NVQ just to get a 9-5 office job these days. Most of you will know how passionate I am about writing and I'm willing to wait however long it takes to make it into a career, I don't care how hard I have to work, I will do it. So why aren't my parent's proud of me for wanting more for myself and being determined to get it? Probably the same reason why they constantly shoot down my parenting. Everything I do with Grace is the wrong thing. I decided, even though it killed me and I cried every night for a week before it, that I would allow her to stay out overnight with her dad once a month. A really hard decision but a mature one that needed to be made. But instead of a "You did the right thing" I got a mouthful of crap about how I only wanted her to stay out so I could go clubbing with my friends and that I was selfish (couldn't be more wrong if they tried)  Last month, I cracked down on potty training and I finally started getting somewhere and she was doing really well with it. Until a couple of weeks ago when she refused to use it and now she has gone totally backwards and I'm tearing my hair out about it. What do I get to add to the stress? "She's 3, she should be potty trained by now, you need to make her go on the potty, don't go easy on her, it needs to be done" as if I haven't tried. If you've had children, you know you can't force them to go on it or they're even more likely not to. I'm just fed up with them constantly criticising everything I do. I think I would take a heart attack if one day they said to me "You know what, you're not doing too bad with all that parenting lark and the fact you are trying your best to get a job you love and that will give you both a good life is really good, well done."

Anyway, sorry about that. Went off on one a bit there. I just get really annoyed knowing that they all see me like that, that I'm incapable of anything. I'm trying to ignore them until the time comes when I can turn around and say "You know all those years where you talked me down and made out I was a nobody? Well, look at me now." But it's hard when you get thrown so much negativity and never any positivity.

But enough about that, I'm off back out to enjoy the sun. With a lot more suncream on than I had before. I looked in the mirror and I, quite frankly, look awful. Who knew you could burn your stomach? Not had that before. Anywho, off to the lobster pot I go.

Arrivederci :)


  1. Bugger, I thought I'd left a comment on here, but I'm sorting my own blog out, so think I've ballsed it up. Gist was, "Don't worry about anyone but yourself. You are a talented writer, obviously intelligent, so just roll with it!"

  2. I would say 'stick to your guns.' Speaking as someone who didn't follow their muse and went out and got a 'proper' job, I now have slight pangs of regret every now and then about not sticking with my true passions early on in life. Don't give up. Don't take too much to heart what your parents say. You'll regret it if you don't do all you can for the things you love.

  3. Fuck your parents. No, seriously. Take it from someone who had to do that the hard way. They're flawed, with their own damage, often seeking to live their aspirations vicariously through their children. Forgive, and let go of needing their approval, validation or acceptance - because if you don't, you'll end up looking for it out there in the world, which will leave you vulnerable to predators who are attracted to that, and exploiting it.

    You've got to row your own canoe, run your own race, and take responsibility for yourself as a separate human being - regardless of what they think, say, or do. They were necessary to bring you up, but they aren't necessary for your destiny (as nice as it would be to have them along). You can't change them, control them, or do anything to bargain with them. They're either the way they should be (loving, encouraging, accepting etc), or they're not - and that's their problem to fix when they choose; not for you to wait around and hope, or convince them of.

    It's an issue of boundaries: you're a separate person. Take it from me. After a little while of you out there and putting yourself in charge of yourself, they'll be too busy falling over themselves to respect you that they'll forget they were supposed to be pointing out everything they think you're not doing properly.