The Overbearing Mother

Overbearing mothers come in may guises; the mother, the mother in-law or the grand mother. But the overbearing mother I want to rant about today is someone who has known me for most of my life.

The overbearing mother is a control freak like no other, a hypocrite and at times a complete bitch. The over bearing mother will ruin your life even if you don’t realise it, she is hypocritical, judgemental and contradictory, she will impose unfair and ridiculous rules on you in regards to some of your friends and not others, in your adult life she will form a ‘clique’ with you and you will be her best friend, she will be in your life everyday, calling you constantly and will be there to ‘help’ you at your every beck and call. She will involve herself in your life so much that you will not be able to cope without her – which is what her subconscious secretly relishes.

Don’t mistake her for the passive aggressive, strict or over protective mother – these are all very similar traits, but what stands her apart from these mother types is her ability to smother, control and manipulate her offspring in such a way, that the daughter (or son) will confuse this for love, they allow this behaviour and believe that other mothers who don’t act in this way are not proper mothers. Eventually there will be a time when the daughter (or son) best friends, husband, wife will get fed up with the constant love interference and they will declare ‘enough is enough’. I class this kind of mothering as mild ‘brainwashing’ and I have witnessed, been subjected to and had it affect my early life for far too long, but this mum was not my own, but my best friends’.

I guess the reason why I am ranting about this now, is because my younger sibling has felt the brunt of this themselves quite recently, when her first girlie vacay was ruined by her best friends mother. Not only did her mother decide to book a holiday in the exact same resort but somehow managed to get the friend to spend half of the holiday with them instead of the girls. My kid sis made a comment to her friend about this and she was met with silence. Not a murmur. No apology. Nothing.

I recognise this laid-backness oh so well and I do fear that my sister will miss out on so many things – as I did – because the best friend won’t be allowed to do it or can’t make it or has to help her mum today, and so on. I only hope that she makes more friends so she has other options, which is a sad thing to say but unfortunately, the loveliest of people have the most annoying parents.

The time when it really hit home for me, that my best friend was/is under some weird dependency spell with her mother was a few years ago, when the mum in question was out-of-state for a few months, suddenly the phone couldn’t stop ringing with invites to go here, to go there, to do all the normal things that bezzie’s do together. Great! Finally! I thought – then it dawned on me – all these best mate outings and girl dates that were happening, the invites to ‘help’ her out because she couldn’t cope, were only occurring because of the absence of the overbearing mum.

This is where I feel the line has been crossed by the parent, it is one thing to have a good relationship with them, but to take the place of friends ALL the time I feel is unhealthy..and dare I say it a bit weird. I’m really close with my mum, but it would absolutely drive me crazy if I spent every spare time with her.

As I had predicted, as soon as her mum had returned, the invites stopped, the calls stopped, the asking for help stopped, which is a shame. This has caused a big wedge in our adult friendship – but my best friend is completely oblivious to her mothers ways. There were many times she would ‘lecture’ me as a teen, feeling like she had the right to, because she had known me for so long. Now as an adult thinking about this, I think this is very rude, as a teen it really got to me, but what got to me more was that never once did my best friend ever stick up for me or ever say apologise for her mother. Especially as I was a very good kid and the things she was lecturing me over were not even worth it.

In conversation with other friends this has been noted and commented on in front of the best friend, which wasn’t received well at all, my best friend sees her mum’s hold of her as love and she can’t understand other mothers who aren’t the same. That’s when I knew things would never change, she would never see it, even when her marriage broke down because of it, she still never blamed her mother when it was her fault. The scary part, is that my best friend is now morphing into her mother, she adopts the same opinions, thoughts, answers, routines, stresses and I can only see it getting worse.

I just wish that I had realised this all sooner, how her mothers knock on effects would have effected me and our friendship. Not because I would have ended being friends with her, but I would have made more memories with other friends I had growing up. On the rare occasions I can be slotted in for a visit, I dread it, because she (the overbearing one) might be there, my husband can’t stand her, either can many others I know, so why is it that my bestie doesn’t see it, believe it, acknowledge it? I feel so uncomfortable in her rudeness towards me that I want to run and hide, she isn’t friendly towards me considering the longevity of her knowing me, instead she bombards me with intrusive questions that my own family don’t ask, and as per usual – the dutiful friend that I am –  I reply politely whilst squirming in my seat. (I won’t mention the time she refused to give me a 10 minute lift home and I had to book a taxi when my back froze and went into spasms as a teen and I couldn’t move and was crying..nice lady)

The moral of this story? Don’t lay waiting hoping your friend or their mother will change, don’t be afraid of being shouted at by your friend for doing something she couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to do, don’t let her use the ‘best friend’ guilt-trip card on you and don’t let people sway your opinions – even if they adults!

I can only hope that no other growing of age events are spoiled by my sisters best friends mum, like mine were.

Thanks for reading 🙂

XO

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye and Good Riddance Part 2 | Knowing When It Is The End Of a Friendship

You’ve probably read some of my other posts that talk about how I’m losing many of my friends somehow, not because I don’t keep in touch – because I do. They just don’t keep in touch with me. I have reflected a lot about this, trying to think did I do something to piss them off? Or do I just put it down to growing up and growing apart?

I have some of my closest friends, who we all agree we have grown apart, but we still see each other, we just see each other less, so I don’t think this one is this.

In the past few months I have come to the realisation that one friend in particular, that I had since I was 12 will become a distant memory pretty soon and I just have to accept that. The funny thing is after years of emailing, texting, calling and not getting replies or getting replies about 3 weeks later, she actually randomly sent me a text. I say random as it was well over 1 year since I had stopped making attempts to contact.

In the 2 years she was really bad at keeping in touch she had given birth to twins (this was why she got in touch to tell me so) and I took this as a white flag to rekindle our friendship again. I will admit, I was a bit irked that I had no idea she was even pregnant, considering I used to be the one whom she told all her secrets too – I mean I know a lot, but what can I do, that is just life and it was her choice, but I always got the feeling maybe she felt bad about that, this is why I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

For 2 months we exchanged frequent emails and texts, trying to arrange a meet-up, she had relocated further north of the city and I was willing to pay the money to commute out of the London borders. The following months it went quiet again, probably on my part due to my job interviews, job searching and beginning this blog, so I decided once and for all to put a date in my diary to make the effort to visit.

I texted her and I didn’t get a reply until about 1 week later, she said that she was busy on all her days off from work for the next month and didn’t know when she would be free and that was that. I replied saying that I completely understood and that I would leave the ball in her court to let me know.

I never heard from her again and if I’m honest I haven’t tried to get in touch with her, I just got a clear sign that she just didn’t want to meet, something had changed. Was it me? Was it her?

Another mutual friend of ours suggested she may have been hormonal from the birth (she hadn’t seen her for years either btw) or just forgot who her real friends are and had probably changed. But even she said – why bother getting back in touch with you if she isn’t bothering to keep it up? Part of me thinks she was expecting more fuss, she was always one to want fuss around her and to be the centre of attention, she was obsessed about being popular.

Whatever the sudden cold shoulder, the timing was pretty off, I racked my brain thinking, have I written something on Twitter she didn’t like, was it because I didn’t send a gift (I was saving to buy her a gift so I could bring it with me on my planned visit), was she pissed off I left it too long to arrange a visit? Or maybe she just decided she doesn’t like me anymore? (I know that sounds so playground) I understand she has her hands completely full with the babies.

I’ve finally decided to just give up on her, the deciding factor came on the month of her birthday, Usually I had always, always sent her a card or a message even when we weren’t speaking and I wouldn’t get a reply or I’d get one 5 weeks later – so I decided I either send a card and keep trying to get in touch, getting hurt in the process, me doing all the work, her never visiting me (this is how the latter years pretty much were) or I don’t send anything and just cut-off from now.

Sounds harsh but I have a life too ya know and I just dont need this shit to be honest, so that is what I did. I’m not kidding myself anymore, it’s pretty obvious that we aren’t friends anymore – I will turn into someone she used to know and that is OK with me.

XO

Wedding Themes | Guest Outfit: Is It Worth All The Effort?

Carrying on with the wedding topic, I want to talk about wedding themes and guests’ outfits.

I have been to 2 weddings so far that have had a theme and the bride and groom have encouraged the guests to choose their outfits to go with the theme for the day.

As a guest I’ve found this really stressful on one hand, but easy on the other. Stressful because it narrows the search to a particular style, and easy because you have a guideline to follow so it makes choosing an outfit that much quicker – you hope.

In general I put a lot of thought into things and I do the same with clothes in regards to respecting people’s wishes. Many guests will wear what they want regardless whether it matches the theme or not – as I encountered on the 2 wedding days, and that’s fine, they still looked stunning but it made me feel like I had wasted all my energy into choosing something I probably wouldn’t have chosen if there was no theme.

Similar to a fancy dress party when you are the only one in costume and everyone else is in regular clothes (which btw one year that happened to 6 of my friends and I) nobody bats an eye-lid and the party still goes on.

So, it really makes me question is it worth abiding by a wedding theme request, when only a handful of the guests adhere to it and the bride & groom aren’t too fussed about it anyways – as it has appeared to be the case?

There’s me worrying that if I don’t follow the theme suggestion I’m going to upset people. It has made me question any future wedding outfits I may choose theme or not, because quite frankly it’s made me feel like a prat and annoyed at the same time.

All the extra money that could have been saved (especially when on a budget) when really, all that matters is that you have attended the ceremony anyways, right?

Have I learned anything from this? Yep, I’m going to listen to my gut and choose an outfit that matches the theme or not, as long as I’m comfortable to enjoy the celebrations. Because it seems like I’m one of a few that seem to give a shit and then it makes me feel like shit.

XO

Coffee Date Disaster

Coffee dates with friends are something I relish nowadays. With everyone so busy with their own lives it seems everyone has time for a cup of tea or coffee so I always grab this opportunity to meet up with any of my friends (before they all disappear!)

It’s a great way to catch up, have a spot of lunch, pop into a shop or two and you can do that in just a few hours – with still time left in the day to do your regular little chores.

So, why is it that I have just returned from a coffee date with one of my oldest friends and I just feel like shit. There was conversation, yummy drinks, the weather – beautiful, we got along perfectly as always, so why do I feel worse than when I left the house?

I feel drained, sad and hurt. I admit that many topics were of the moaning variety but isn’t that the norm when girls get together? One moans to other, leaning on the other one’s shoulder? Is it that I’m not managing well with this type of chat any more because I have enough to deal with myself and to hear someone else’s all the time is just too much? Maybe, I think it is, I’m such a good listener I don’t realise I’m soaking up all the angst when it is not even mine.

But what can I possibly do? Say no to invites and then lose what friends I have left, altogether – we can’t all be the same and I fully accept that, but as of this moment the only thing that is stopping me from crying is writing this post. Unfortunately, there are some personality types where you can’t bring these types of things up, you will just get cut off or not spoken to again. Some people are just like that, they don’t argue back or give an answer they just vanish and you never hear from them again.

I don’t want to risk this, so I let this consume me which isn’t good either.

Well all I can say is thank you for listening while I have a good old fashioned vent myself! (how ironic) I hope you have a lovely evening and I’m determined not to let this ruin the rest of mine!

XO

Wedding Guest Etiquette | Do You Mingle With The Guests You Don’t Know?

Quite recently we attended the wedding of my close friends’ younger sister – you may as well say the younger sister is like my sister pretty much, seen as I’ve known the family since she was tiny.

It was an absolutely stunning day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The bride decided to invite more friends than family, so there were many groups of people who had never met and some who had met maybe once or twice. I always find in these small-talk situations you can tell a lot about people; their general manners towards others, their social skills and rapport-building qualities.

I have been to occasions like this several times where I have literally known nobody and have had to make efforts to ‘fit’ in somehow, albeit sometimes in an exaggerated way, you just stick out like a sore thumb otherwise and ya know what? The day would get really dull and boring if you just sit in the corner staying ‘schtum’.

I probably would never on a normal day have chatted to the guests I conversed with – but that’s the thing it isn’t a normal day and I think it’s so rude not to be friendly, especially when the bride is pretty much like my own little sister! This is why I just couldn’t understand my close friends (the brides sister) and her family’s coldness towards anybody who wasn’t part of their ‘circle’.

I watched it quite obviously the whole time, they made zero effort with anybody. Only speaking to their own family and guests they knew. But this wasn’t because they are shy – they certainly aren’t that! It was like they were some sort of clique and even my husband and I – whom they’ve known for years got a frosty reception. In fact, the brides sister – my close friend even stated to me “I don’t mingle unless I know people – I just can’t be bothered”. I think that just says it all really.

I think the reason it shocked me is because I’m the opposite, or I’ve learnt to be, because I’ve been the person nobody wants to mingle with and also have been the person to mingle.

Does this kind of scenario happen at all weddings? In my experience, I’ve only noticed this happening at weddings where there has been a higher ratio of friends versus family members and weddings where there has been quite visible snobbery and class differences.

You could argue that the cliquey family in question probably were a bit overwhelmed maybe? No, not really, the truth is they are like that in everyday life but I just thought they would make more of an effort on their sisters’, nieces’, cousins’ special day.

I just find it so sad that adults can act in this selfish way, and I wonder has this happened on your wedding day? Have you been to a wedding and witnessed this too? Or maybe you’ve heard of something like this happen to someone?

Whatever the similarity or difference I’m interested to hear your stories.

Do you mingle with wedding guests you don’t know? I do. But do you?

XO

 

 

 

 

Charity & Volunteering | Does It Really Benefit Your CV?

I had an interview last month with a national charity that is based locally for a position I’m experienced in and had done before.

I had previously worked for a non-profit plus for the past year I’ve been helping a relative with their fundraiser; social media management, collection tin organisation, liaising with donors, community outreach etc, so I figured why the hell not apply?

To my surprise I didn’t get the job. Maybe I was too hopeful but when I added it all up, it actually didn’t make sense to me and especially as it was only for a contract position!

I had a simple test before the face-to-face interview which consisted of typing a basic letter in 30 minutes, all the info was given what to write about, nothing difficult. The interview was held by 2 managers of the company, it lasted about 1 hour, I was asked about my volunteering and that is when it became rather odd.

I’ve always maintained that the reason why I have volunteered while doing my job search is so that I can help others by using my skills for free, it helps me stay mentally productive and active and I also gain a bit of knowledge on areas I may not have done before, I get to use this stop gap on my CV, I gain more references and it shows I’m willing to work hard – even if not getting paid. I mention that the fundraiser is only for a further 4 months as that is when this particular one ends, I don’t see anything negative at all in what I have done.

“So, if you get this job how will you continue to manage all the social media and charity work?” She asks.

“I will hand in my notice of course but at the same time, if someone were to continue for the short months left, it would be the same way people who go to the gym after work or check their own social media pages like facebook or instagram – which by the way I don’t have, in their free time or on their days off. There is absolutely no way of it interfering with the working day” I reply.

Wow, I mean seriously, if I am looking for a paid job isn’t it common sense that the volunteering will end? Shouldn’t a charity head office know that? Considering this was only for a temporary position – and from what I overheard there was no intention of extending the contracts, it was all really nit-picky I felt. There were a few more focused questions on the charity and volunteering work but the question above was the one that really stuck out, and after that I just knew, I could sense it that I wasn’t going to ever get this job.

I did a ton of research on the company as soon as I found out I would be interviewing with them, so I was speechless when I received an email the day after stating that I had been unsuccessful because I didn’t have enough experience for the position (I have 5 years experience – which they knew I had) and that I didn’t know enough about the company, that in future I should research companies better.

Even though I feel you can never research enough, there is only so much you can learn yourself, I felt this was just absolute bull-shit to be honest. But what surprised me the most was that it was from a charity, I just never would have thought a charity would look at volunteering on a CV as negative. It has really made me consider not applying again to this sector in the future and it actually is quite sad that this is what they focused on rather than the years of experience I had to benefit their organisation, even for a short time.

I am completely over it now, but I am really curious if anyone else has experienced this? Or know anyone that has? Do you guys think I should remove this charity/volunteering gig and leave a massive gap on my CV instead? I don’t think this would ‘sell’ me well at all but my goodness, is that what they wanted to see?

I actually really enjoy being interviewed (yes I’m weird), so let’s hope I get another soon! I won’t give up!

XO

 

 

 

The Best Exercises For Lower Back Pain

I’ve suffered from lower back pain since I was 14, I developed problems from carrying a heavy school bag. The problems would come and go for a number of years, it got so bad I visited an osteopath for 1 year after an episode had me in spasms for 1 month where I couldn’t stand straight. It was horrible.

After numerous GP visits, all they would prescribe me were muscle relaxers, which only put me to sleep and masked the issue rather than fixing it. I found the osteopath sessions too expensive for me to keep up, even though they really did help me and the lovely lady diagnosed me with having a dis-aligned hip that gave me connecting issues with the little bones in one foot (apparently all to do with a weak core).

Along with the at-home exercises I was instructed to do, I was also advised to take up one-2-one Pilates, walking and using an exercise bike. I attempted a Pilates DVD I had as I just couldn’t afford the private one-2-one classes, I ended up injuring myself further and I have been scared to do Pilates since, but I tried something else and after 1 month I did find a method that completely alleviated my pains.

The Plan That Cured Me

A few years ago I decided to purchase a magnetic exercise bike for around £100, I’ve always preferred to work out at home rather than the gym so I felt this was a really good investment as I have always been a fan of circuit training and cardio equipment. After 1 month of using my bike I noticed that when I woke up in the morning I had no stiffness in my lower back and there was no ‘stuck’ feeling I often suffered with. My spasms had also disappeared, so had the ‘clicking’ of my bone in my foot. I completely put this down to the cycling I was doing (as I had also noticed other health changes too: lighter and shorter periods, zero PMS, more energy…).

I wasn’t particularly doing anything difficult or inventive on the bike, I just rode everyday for 1 hour at my own pace, burning between 400-500 calories and that was that, some days I would go for a 1 mile walk too but this wasn’t a regular thing like the cycling. I then began to do interval training on the bike as my fitness levels were improving and I was actually getting a big buzz out of working out. Without realising I had lost weight and toned up too, even though this wasn’t the initial focus – it was an added bonus though!

I followed this regime religiously for about 18 months – 2 years, until I moved homes and my whole routine got totally messed up and I have never been able to get back into it since. It took a while, I’d say a good 3 months, but pretty soon everything that improved had reverted back to their original status – my back twinges (even though not nearly as bad), my hormones, my energy levels and my general wellbeing.

For the past 2 weeks, the intense pain I got 5 years ago has returned so I have been really trying to get back on my bike again. I’m on day 3 right now and I’m hoping that I can continue for as long as possible, even with all the goings-on around me with the packing and the move. I am having interrupted sleep because the pains wake me up every time I try to switch positions and turn, my lower back ‘locks’ and I have to grab the bed posts to pull myself as an aid. I thought I’d share this here as I know so many people have this problem and I’d love to help others out.

I have been told I will always and forever suffer with this because of the natural shape of my spine, I can delay the time in between the back attacks but I can never get rid of them, so the trick is for me is to get into a habitual routine no matter what. This is the bit that is difficult for me. I find that I fall out of routines fast as soon as I travel/get sick/relocate.

Do any of you suffer with lower back pain? Do you agree with me that exercise is the only thing to really help? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, thanks for reading 🙂

XO