Wednesday, May 2

Decisions decisions

I have always been rubbish at making decisions. Always. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been terminally hopeless at making any sort of choices and generally happy to tag along with what someone else decides. The only exceptions are things I passionately believe in and very personal things. Most small things, I'll certainly put my tuppence in, but will often get swept up with other things. Partly, I'm quite laid back, and partly I'm hopeless at articulating what I want. I find it doesn't help that I also have a stubborn set of ideals and morals which I often at odds with the real world, and the confusion batters me into submission or delaying everything.

The best decision I have ever made is Wriggles. I had never even vaguely considered being a single parent, and when she was first born and my mind was in a state of complete shock, all I could think of was that she needed and deserved the love, time and materialism of a traditional, secure and loving family. Until the shock subsided and my own mind crept back out into the sunlight, it didn't cross my mind that I could give her the love of two parents and try to make ends meet with everything else. For a while, I was desperately sad but adamant in that I could not and would not be able to provide. I knew people with far less than I had had babies and raised happy, healthy children but for whatever reason, I simply could not see myself in that role. I was determined that someone else would be best for her. I would go home late at night after spending the days by her incubator and read up on success stories of adoption and foster care, and cry at the thought I might not see my girl grow up with my own eyes. Not see her learn to giggle and be an angel in her first Nativity play, or make her birthday cakes and spend hours washing her socks. By this point I had come to terms with my surprise preemie and cautiously began to fall in love, but I was at odds with what I thought I believed in. I could not make a decision and every single day, almost hourly, veered between thinking through the options. Eventually it got to a point where I could not contemplate signing legal papers denying my motherhood; the thought of saying goodbye for good made me feel physically sick and hysterical and I could not even think of the notion without ending up in floods of tears. I remember vividly being told that there was a foster placement if I wanted it, and the fingers of icy dread gripping my heart and freezing my life on the spot. Oh god, what have I done... I had still been spending all my days with tiny Wriggles, doing her cares and holding her close, learning to love her and fight for her with a passion that took me by surprise. I only felt alive when she was with me, the rest of the time I was just existing. Suddenly, the very real contemplation of this being for nothing and loosing what had become most dear to me was too much. I knew in an instant that I would do whatever it took but that I had to leap into the void of complete unknown and pledge my life to this tiny, sick being and battle with every fibre of my being to make this, my little family, work. And so that is what I did. There were no more questions about woulds and coulds and anyone or anything that got in my way or threatened my daughter or me would have errr, me to deal with. Honest: I can be (a little bit) scary when I want to be.

I wish I could say that this experience has changed my indecisiveness for good. Alas it hasn't! I do find things easier now, but will still run back and forth thinking a thousand what-ifs. I can't even begin to say yes or no without looking at every angle, twice, and every outcome. Even if it is as simple as 'tea of coffee'!

Tomorrow I have to meet my boss and hear about the staffing restructure at my work. All I know so far is that we all need to step up and take on more responsibility. I suspect this means as well as more work, more hours, more flexibility and generally less faffing about with paperclips. I am torn-I want to be the provider so my daughter grows up proud, but having had the last few weeks off I feel more alive and calmer. My pace of life has slowed down and though it is tough and drained being locked indoors against a rain lashed outside while the toddler shrieks at getting stuck standing times and needs rescuing approximately 8364543931 times in an afternoon, I would take that hands down over filing invoices. Several mothers I know are now ending maternity leave and returning to work and for some reason, the thought of leaving a job feels selfish. I don't even know for certain what the new job description will hold, how financially stable or otherwise I would be not working so need to do some thinking and listening. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself and to prioritise what is most important. Value baked beans for tea everynight in exchange for endless afternoons on the swings? Or being able to go for lunches out and having to brush my hair three mornings a week?

WHY can I not make a bloody decision!


  1. In your defence this is a really big decision, I think everyone struggles with this one don't they, let alone someone with your start to motherhood. I was talking to a friend only yesterday about how she knew she wanted to go back to work and was really set on it, loves her job etc, but still had wobbly moments occasionally before the time came to end mat leave. You're so brave and I totally admire you - leaving a job doesn't sound selfish at all. xx

  2. It's a huge decision. Everyone always says 'only you know what is right' and 'you will know when the time comes', but that's not always the way is it? Take it from someone who is also extremely indecisive. Christ, if you and I ever met for lunch I doubt we'd ever eat as we'd never decide where to go :)

    So no words of wisdom here I'm afraid - I'll just wish you the very best of luck in whatever you (eventually) decide x