Control: Control (management), an element of management. Control freak, a person who attempts to dictate how everything around them is done
I have to start this post by once again apologising for it not being polished and perfect. It is simply an outpouring of some rubbish that’s in my head which is making me feel a bit crap, and blogging always seems to help! It’s nothing serious and no-one needs to panic that I’m spiralling back down into some nasty dark place, but equally I hope you don’t read this post and think I’m total a drama queen! I’m not. Things just get on top of me sometimes.
So…here I am, sat in bed, feeling somewhat out of sorts. I can’t quite put my finger on how I’m feeling, a bit like I’ve been dumped, have a hangover and am in the middle of a very weird dream all rolled into one. So many things in my life are happening and changing and are out of my control. I don’t do out of control. I make a messy drunk and swear I’d only be happy on a plane if I were the pilot.
Several things have conspired over the last few weeks and even months that have contributed to me feeling as such. Many of them I have been unable to control. A few years ago when anxiety had an evil grip on me I tried to practise the art of ‘if I can’t control it, then I’m not allowed to worry about it. But how do you not worry about your 4 year old who isn’t putting on weight and hacks up a horrific amount of thick yellow grunge on a daily basis? How do you not worry about your 12 year old daughter relishing what little freedom she has and beginning to make more and more decisions in life for herself? How do you not worry about family and friends who are going through a tough time and you can do nothing to support them or fix things and make it all better? How can you not be concerned about your son who starts school in September, and whose best friend has now moved to the other class so he hasn’t the support and friendly face he needed on that first day?
During my real job I am a primary school teacher and well known control freak. I’ve tried to job-share and it hasn’t worked, namely because I couldn’t control the people I worked with. That sounds harsh, I’m not a complete bitch and in fact am praised at work and respected for being supportive, empathetic and approachable. But at work I like order. I like things to be done to the best of everyone’s abilities, I know where I stand. I haven’t worked now for over a year and am not due back until January and sometimes worry if it’s this lack of routine, lack of feeling in control of things that adds to this weird way I am feeling at the moment.
And the reason I’ve not worked for so long…..the birth of my third (and final) child. The child who cannot be controlled in any way shape or form. We all know that becoming a parent means losing control of so many things. Your freedom. When you sleep, eat, shower. You even lose control of whether or not you can drink a cup of tea whilst it’s still warm. (and I wont mention the lack of control over certain bodily functions) This last year control has completely left me, run away and hidden in some far off land not returning anytime soon. Naively I thought that with my third I’d know what to do, get it all right, have it all sorted….but…no! Never have I had to trust my instincts more, listen to my baby more and lose what little control in my life I had left. And although most days this is ok, some days I find it frustrating. I want to be in control. I want to be on top of things. Drink a hot cup of sodding tea, go to sleep when I bloody well want to, be on top of the laundry and have a clean and tidy house. Ah the house!
Our house is a perfectly nice house. I’m not homeless and I live in a lovely area, yet in January after several long discussions with my husband about how he’d lived in this house since he was 6 and needed to move on and be the man of his own home, we decided to put our house on the market. I was also very keen to move as I’ve never really felt like this house is my home. Buying it off my in-laws seemed like a great idea at the time, but it still very much seems like their house. When my mother in law comes to stay, for example she will unconsciously put things back where she used to keep them, and our garage and loft are still full of their stuff. So, we were excited to move, to find our own forever home. However, I was soon to become frustrated at the lack of control over the sale of the house and I became more and more despondent as no viewings happened.
To cut a very long story short, a couple of weeks ago we found our forever home. The owners wanted to downsize and knocked on our door asking if we could do a house swap. Not quite believing it could happen my husband and I were cautious at first, but the other family were the driving force and were soon phoning or coming round daily asking how quickly we could move. Numbers were discussed and a deal was done. We were beside ourselves with excitement at the future this new house help for us and our family. It really was our dream house. Our forever home. One where I imagined grandchildren coming to visit us. And then on Sunday, returning from a weekend away we found a card through our letterbox saying the move was off, with no explanation. Now, I am VERY aware that I sound like a spoilt brat crying over spilt milk, but I was devastated. The life I had imagined for my family gone. My dream shattered. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve cried quite a lot over the last couple of days. So silly really, it was just a sodding house. A house I wanted but didn’t really need. Please don’t think I’m some ungrateful woman who doesn’t appreciate what she has got because I do, I really really do, but I think the loss of the house is just the catalyst for my current emotional state and has piled on top of the other crap I feel I can’t control and has been building up over a while. This year has been one of the toughest I’ve faced for a while and the new house represented a new start. A new beginning for us all where we could shake off all the crap that’s happened. But sadly it’s not going to happen, it simply wasn’t meant to be.
I know I need to learn to let go more, to analyse less and be more relaxed. I’m learning with my youngest that he isn’t a baby who does anything by the book and he is teaching me to lose control a little bit at a time….he’s very good for me! I’m also a firm believer in fate and that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t ever know or understand that reason. Many of the things that I am feeling so out of control about can be resolved or won’t seem nearly as important in six months time, and I will learn to embrace those that can’t be resolved; for life is one big adventure and it would be dull if we were always in control of what was going to happen next…I guess…
Mummy GlitzerJuly 16, 2013 at 8:48 am (10 years ago)
You don’t sound like a spoilt brat; you had dreams like all of us do and that was shattered. It is sad, it does hurt but you are also a realist; you know what you do have and you are grateful for it.
It is hard when lots goes on and upsets us at once, really hard. You are a strong woman and I know you will OK; it’s perfectly acceptable to feel sorry for yourself once in a while. xxReply
emilytealadyJuly 16, 2013 at 11:02 am (10 years ago)
This is not silly at all. I am looking for a house and it is very stressful and disheartening at times. I feel as if we’ll never find one! You feel let down and that is perfectly acceptable – I’d be the same! Please try and not let this cloud everything, as you say fate has something in store for you, your beautiful forever home is somewhere waiting for you. XxxReply
Dean BJuly 16, 2013 at 11:20 am (10 years ago)
I don’t think this is silly at all either. All your feelings are valid, especially since you are a mother of three! And anything related to house-hunting is always stressful. Sending positive thoughts your way. All the best, Dean.Reply
redpefferJuly 16, 2013 at 11:26 am (10 years ago)
You’re not being silly at all. Everything you describe is perfectly reasonable to have concerns about. Life has a habit of dumping the not so good stuff at your door all in one go I have found. But it’s cyclical and hopefully a better time is waiting for you soon. We all have to find our own way of coping with the not so good times, and it sounds to me like you’re doing just fine, sending hugs xxReply
Flossy30July 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm (10 years ago)
Awww I feel for you hun. Sometimes really shit things happen all at the same time. We all feel like you do too then. Things will sort themselves out. They always do. Until then try not to worry about feeling how you do. And here’s a big hug xxReply
Mummy TriesJuly 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm (10 years ago)
Oh hon I feel for you, it’s no wonder the house has tipped you over the edge. Towards the end of last year I was really down – my then 3yo’s behaviour and night wakings were driving myself & hubby to distraction, but going back to work after mat leave (for 2nd) was the change I needed. It made me realise how desperately I needed a bit of separation from the girls. We all love our kids, but being with them 24/7 can feel very suffocating. The thing about parenting is we can’t control everything, and it sounds like now would be a good time for you to start practising your mantra again. The loss of the house is almost definitely because a better one is just around the corner. Hang in there, I’m sure you’re doing a fab job (even if you’re having difficulty seeing it right now) xxReply
thesecretfatherJuly 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm (10 years ago)
Fascinating post and sorry you are feeling out of sorts at the moment. House hunting is REALLY stressful on its own, let alone with three kids. I totally understand why you would feel disappointed after the house swap fell through. I would feel the same. Our dream home fell through too, but frankly in hindsight I’am pleased it did because we ended up with a superb deal on the house we are currently in. And it’s a perfect home. Better than our ‘dream’ home! Things sometimes do work out for the best.
And lastly I hope you rediscover some form of control in your life. Or alternatively learn to feel increasingly comfortable being out of control!Reply
Helen Braid (@EllieAllAtSea)July 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm (10 years ago)
Oh love you do not sound like a spoilt brat. That is a huge disappointment and I’m not surprised it has completely knocked the wind out of your sails. I would feel exactly the same. As soon as a house move looks to be happening it is only natural to start imagining your new life and future there. For that to be snatched away with not so much as an explanation is horrid – and unfair. I know I will sound like everyone else but I hope this turns out to be nothing but a stepping stone – a blip on the journey to finding the perfect, perfect house. I realise that doesn’t help just now. Love to you xxReply
dragonsflypoppyJuly 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm (10 years ago)
Oh lovely you are not being a drama queen at all. It sounds like you have had a huge let down with the house…I’d feel just the same. I like being in control too, and my anxiety gets cranked up a gear when I don’t feel in control. Doing the hosuework is my way of imposing control on my life – I may not have any sense of where I’m going, but at least the cutlery drawer is organised!Reply
Whilst I’m crap at this myself, I do believe you are right in needing to accept how things are, try not to over-worrry about the things you can’t control. And remember we are all here for you xx