Blue Jobs

Have I ever told you guys that in between all of the dating, the working and the parenting, I’m also renovating a house?

Ok, so renovation sounds like it’s extreme and conjures images of taking walls back to the bare bricks, having wires and pipes exposed. But I don’t have another word to describe it, and decorating feels way too simple to describe what I have been doing. I’ve been in the house for nearly 5 years, which means the work I have already got round to doing needs re-doing and then there’s still stuff that I never did and that needs doing too. I can’t actually finish a job. Example, I have a the most gorgeous bathroom, but…I still have some small jobs to finish, painting the ceiling, fitting the skirting. And you see this all through the house. Not one single room is actually finished because all the jobs that you leave to the end, I never end up doing because I’m always so quick to move onto my next project.

So as you can tell, I’m renovating a house but I’m not very good at it.

But renovation has given me a set of skills I wouldn’t normally have. I’ve learned how to tile, I’ve learned how to skim, I’ve learned how to hang things on a wall. I’ve learned some basic plumbing, I know where my stop tap is, I can locate my fuse board and I know which switch does what. I can replace light switches and plug sockets and I can even feed electrical wires through walls.

All these things I couldn’t previously do before living on my own that I have had to learn, simply because I don’t come from a family of DIY-ers. I’m not complaining, I’m glad I have these skills. And I truly believe that basic DIY for women is a necessity. But we only do it out of necessity.

I don’t think I’d be in a minority for saying I want a man who can do these things instead. And be willing to do them for me?

DIY is what I consider a blue job. A blue job is a chore that a woman can do but shouldn’t have to. Fulfilling a blue job is seen as chivalrous in my eyes. and blue jobs lead to blow jobs.

Examples of blue jobs:

DIY – filling walls, replacing bulbs, thermostats etc

Taking out Bins

Going in the garage

Going up the loft

I’m currently in the process of planning my new dream kitchen. It’s the one room I haven’t touched since I moved in. Well, I re-plastered the ceiling and took the wallpaper off.

I’ve had a number of design teams round to bring my vision to life and to provide quotes and honestly, this is the first thing I have been excited about in a while. And I’m doing it on my own. Which is fine, as I’m used to doing everything on my own, that’s the way it’s been for the last 5 years near enough. But it doesn’t feel quite right to me. My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for nearly 11 months and isn’t interested or doesn’t want any input.

If this was a casual relationship and I wasn’t thinking about a future where we might live together, then fine. But we have talked about this possibility so you would think that assisting me with my kitchen plans would be something he’d be interested in.

But he’s not. So is this an example of words not matching actions.

No idea how this ended up being another woe is me tale of dating, I really just wanted a break from all the questioning and worry but, the problem with anxiety, is that it manifests and pushing it down does little to help. I have to speak my truth, and if I don’t then things spiral see Witty Title – Speaking My Truth.

Truth is, as much as GG and I have an amazing time together when we travel and go away, we’re not much of a team in a domestic setting. Parenting, chores, support for projects. It’s just not there. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t had to. Maybe it’s because he’s lazy. Or maybe it’s just because he doesn’t see a future together so why bother investing. If neither of us are adding bricks to our castle (or only one of us is), we’ll never build a fortress. That’s my metaphor on how to build a life together. Love isn’t enough. Great sex isn’t enough. Travel isn’t enough,

Or am I just asking for too much again?

I’d rather be single than settle.

Parenting Styles

Quite often I hear ‘How do you do it?’ And quite often I hear ‘Motherhood is hard’. I also hear ‘and you work full time too?’ Or ‘You are so strong’.

But this past week I heard something new. In 9 years of parenthood, nobody has ever questioned my parenting style. Until now.

This is a little off topic for my blog but I need to get it off my chest and onto virtual paper.

I have never really looked into how to parent. When my son was a baby I followed a number of methods that were designed to help my son be more independent, attachment parenting, Baby Led Weaning blah blah blah. It turns out that they didn’t really work, but the consequences are that I have a very open, honest and loving son. My son is a character. He knows what he likes, what he doesn’t like already. Sometimes to his own detriment. His only negative quality (if it is even a negative) is that he is stubborn. Oh and lazy but find me a boy that isn’t lazy.

He’s funny, smart and effusive. He doesn’t give anything to receive, he’s just generous and innocent. He is like any other boy and goes through phases of liking things, his current phase is Pokemon.

He’s also very well behaved. He has a strong sense of right and wrong already, so disciplining him isn’t something I really have to do. Of course, there are times I do have to give him consequences for his actions; breaking things is pretty regular (because he can be clumsy) and withdrawing privileges.

But I believe in the freedom of choice. When I am withdrawing privileges, I always give my son a choice of what is to be withdrawn. For example, access to his Xbox, no Fab lollies for two days or a Youtube ban. He always opts for the Fab lollies. And I’m ok with that, they are his favourite treat. I probably let him eat way too many anyway and so it’s a win-win all round.

Plus, banning YouTube or his access to his Xbox should be reserved for very serious offences, not accidentally dropping a cup or throwing a dart and missing the dartboard. And only when the boundaries have been set prior.

Kids will be kids, they will pick up a dart out of curiosity and throw it. They won’t always ask. They may hit the wall and cause damage? Most parents wouldn’t even notice and therefore would never know.

But I’ve raised a good kid who is conscientious and honest, so he owned up to it.

‘Umm, btw, I tried to play darts but I couldn’t hit the dartboard. I accidentally hit the wall so I put the other darts back’

Three things going through my head here: 1) He didn’t have the boundaries set prior to throwing the dart so giving consequences for something he wasn’t aware of would be unfair 2) he has recognised something wrong may have happened, put the other darts back and he’s owned up to it (having looked, you’d never have known something hit the wall) 3) It can be solved with some wall filler and an apology.

My son apologised for the incident. But I was told I was too lenient and I should have removed privileges. Also, the wall filler comment didn’t go down well.

I may not have dealt with it perfectly, but guess what? I’m not a perfect parent. I am lenient as a parent. I know this but my parenting style is probably a direct result of having a strict mother who gave no leeway, being a single mum who works 40+ hours a week and I have a home to maintain with just these two hands. I quite often, JUST.WANT.AN.EASY.LIFE.

As a child I rebelled against the strictness of my mum. I ignored consequences, they didn’t work for me. Mum tried to Instill boundaries but I pushed them every time.

I have a son who is half of me and potentially has the genes in him to be like that. So I know that instead of squeezing me into a corner, if my mum had taken the time to listen to me and provide me with options to be punished, then I may have been less of a rebel.

And thus I provide those opportunities for my son. I also prefer positive discipline over punishment. Yeah ok, so what if that makes me soft, the world could use a bit of soft.

I’m not saying that I am right in this approach, and there are lots of methods out there. I know parents who believe that children are children and adults are adults and their children seem perfectly well behaved too. But I don’t know many adults who would be ok with having their privileges removed for pushing a boundary. So why are we so quick to apply it to children? Imagine hubby not doing the dishes as you asked so you tell him he can’t play PS5 for the rest of the week.

Or wife accidentally dyes your favourite shirt pink so she doesn’t get to go out and see he friends that week. When you apply this method to the adult world…it becomes a bonkers method. To me at least.

So yeah, I’m not saying I am right, but I have a good kid, who is honest and owns up to his actions, who does well in school, gets good reports, has lots of friends, is loving and kind and generous.

My parenting style might not be for everybody, but it can’t be that bad?

Insanity (The GG Series)

Somewhere, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results.

This was my dating life for such a long time, those who have followed me long enough will recognise the change in my dating pattern and tel you that it worked. I found myself a boyfriend.

Only now, I keep wondering if it’s for me. I’m feeling a lot of resentment, seeing behaviours I’m not fond of and a couple of times have felt that my son is an inconvenience.

The problem is, it’s difficult to talk about these things because we haven’t been our rock steady selves the last month or so and I don’t want to keep picking fights.

I called GG my sons dads name whilst half unconscious through alcohol at a wedding last week. I did the same thing again the other night half asleep, calling him Jude (no connection). I gotta question why I’m doing it.

Some self sabotage maybe at play here, but perhaps the ugly truth is that GG is demonstrating behaviours that I associate with my sons dad? I assume He took care of me while I was puking all the wine up, which is a good thing, and one I do associate with sons dad, I can’t remember though. The whole evening is a black hole, right up until I called him the wrong name. But some of his behaviour also reminds me of my ex. He is selfish, a lot of the stuff we do is on his terms. I cook and clean. I asked him to do the bins and he said it was too dark.

I’ve also asked him to help me with getting my son comfortable with a new swimming schedule by coming with us and showing him round the changing rooms as he’s too old to come into the ladies now. He’s either said no, or forgotten his kit, which sounds like a resounding no.

I know it’s not fair to compare. But it’s hard when you have 13 years behind you with somebody and you know what behaviours you don’t like. It’s easier to spot them in the newer people.

On the flip side, GG brings me flowers, buys takeout for us, takes us camping in his van. He’s still sweet in many ways. But honestly, we haven’t done any camping or walking in the last few weeks and I think it’s telling that without that, we don’t really have all that much in common.

He likes to watch tv, I like reading, doing puzzles and listening to music.

He’s a night owl, I’m an early bird.

He likes movies, I fall asleep at movies.

I am flexible with my time, he’s rigid in his routine. (I’ve found myself being way more flexible this time round than I have ever been).

He’s laidback, I’m not.

I’m needy, he isn’t.

I don’t know whether I have lost myself a little bit. Up until I started going steady with GG, I was out walking/hiking 3 times a week at least. I was blogging regularly, indulging in regular pamper nights, exercising and meditating, really understanding the assignment of self-care.

I’ve lost that a bit. I don’t feel like I have a routine, my life just revolves around GG and my son.

Actually, what do I do for me? I have stopped biting my nails. That’s self care right, 9 glorious weeks and I actually have nails to be proud of.

I’ve continued meditation and sleep hypnosis, although not as often as I did I guess.

My pamper nights have definitely fallen on a cliff.

I haven’t been solo hiking since August bank holiday. AUGUST!

I don’t get to relax with a book, or a puzzle or with music because the nights GG comes over we have to put the tv on. It’s on when we go to bed too. It’s like he needs constant stimulation, can’t even leave his phone alone when we are eating dinner.

I wonder what would happen if GG just sat in silence for 5 minutes, doing nothing?

I’m probably whinging for nothing, and maybe all the above is just the product of being in an actual relationship. Imagine that?!

But the truth of the matter is, I don’t really enjoy his company at the moment, I don’t feel reassured that I’m what he wants, I’m walking on eggshells around my feelings because it’s been rocky lately. I’m not psychic, but I am intuitive. I’ve never got a vibe wrong ( I may have ignored it longer than I should, living in hope) but if I didn’t know any better, we’ve both got one foot out of the door.

GG #5

You are gonna read this blog and roll your eyes.

And that’s ok, because if I was reading this blog, I would roll my eyes too. I’m probably being a bit unfair because of our recent spat, so I’m in quite a negative headspace, because I’ve been feeling insecure and needing a bit of reassurance, which hasn’t been forthcoming.

I’m nitpicking….

But Gamer Geek spends an awful lot of time gaming. I’ve never noticed before but it’s beginning to piss me off.

I don’t mean an hour here or there. I mean a whole day or evening, to the point that I don’t hear from him or I get the odd text message.

I shouldn’t complain too much, because it could be far worse, he could be out there, chatting up other girls, cheating, playing about. But I think ignoring your girlfriend for a whole day or evening is also disrespectful. He knows too, because he always apologises for going AWOL.

If he gave me a heads up, at least I could plan something in with my time. I probably wouldn’t plan anything, but still. It’s about valuing that your partners time is equally important.

And he’s really inflexible about when he games. I mean I know I just said he could give me a heads up, but really I know that Sundays and Wednesdays are reserved for gaming. I still want it confirmed though ok? But he wouldn’t give up a Sunday or a Wednesday to come and see us. Especially if we weren’t able to see each other another day in the week.

And yet, I’ve given up a whole weekend with my son this weekend to attend a wedding with him.

Ok, so that’s possibly like comparing apples and oranges to a lot of people, I’m sacrificing my routine for a big event, whereas he’s sacrificing his to spend time with us. But if I haven’t already said… Quality Time is my love language.

But come to think of it, I flex quite a bit for GG. I have come to learn this through previous relationships, that being so static and set in my ways and my routine is a detriment. So I have been a lot less rigid. And now I look back over our time together and that isn’t reciprocated either.

Not seen GG since Saturday.

Not had a single text message or phone call to tell me he misses me.

Or a message to say that he can’t wait to see me tomorrow.

Or a message to say that the week is dragging on.

He didn’t seem to be bothered about the social media outage on Monday, I didn’t hear from him until I sent him an actual text message around 9pm; a photo of my new nails and a message to say my messages aren’t delivering on WhatsApp. He replied I know yeah, it’s all down, Facebook and Instagram. So he knew it was down and didn’t even try to get in touch. It’s like he hadn’t even thought that texting was possible outside of WhatsApp.

Because he was too effing busy playing his game.

Why is it that when you ask men for reassurance, they give you the exact opposite and just leave you the fuck alone?

Idiots.

Am I asking too much?

I know y’all love some screen shots.

This conversation started verbally on Thursday, continued Saturday which was bought to a close, but somehow ended up like this on Sunday. And the conversation could have ended at ‘cool beans’. But then he goes and says again ‘Tuesdays are not easy’ and ‘it’s a lot of effort’ and I’m TRIGGERED given that I’ve just discussed this with him yesterday!

I thought I had got my feelings across during out little team talk, that I was feeling a little vulnerable and just needed some reassurance, to feel wanted and connected. I want to know that I’m missed and that that the changes he had suggested were not because GG didn’t want to see me less or that I was too much effort, I wanted to know that I’m still worth the effort to him and that we are both as equally crazy about each other. I thought I had been clear about why I was upset but perhaps I also needed to be more direct as he asks twice ‘Not sure how much more reassurance I can give you’. Have I overreacted? See for yourselves:

So stand-offish and defensive? Or understanding and supportive?

Should I even put so much weight into his words, he says he talks shit all the time and when he’s drunk, so how am I meant to know what is meaningful?

The comment about ‘I wouldn’t be with you if I didn’t want to be’ feels very much like a negative statement containing negative words, it has no feeling whatsoever. It’s the closed off response.

I’ve said I need reassurance and to feel missed, and that’s what I get.

Am I being unfair?

Just a post of random thoughts

Autumn has well and truly landed. The warm summer and muggy evenings have vanished to be replaced by endless rain. I look out my window to a grey pavement a grey sky, puddles ripple as water droplets steadily fall. I read somewhere recently that all water, all water, is as old as our planet. There has been no new water since earth began. It is 100% recycled. My mind was blown!

Rain.

Rain.

It’s also cold and I have officially put my heating back on after switching it off in April. I feel like summer has gone on for ages. It’s been a slow year for me, despite the craziness of my life, I definitely feel like 2020 flew by faster.

I’m feeling a little bit sorry for myself though, so the grey wet weather is fitting for my mood. I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself, but I do. I don’t know why. I just do. I’m sad to see summer go. I don’t really care for warm cosy winter nights, all I see with that is heating bills and the price of energy is stupid right now.

I have a boyfriend at least who I can cure boredom with. It’s bad that the only thing I’m planning with my boyfriend is curing boredom. Meh, it’s fine, I’m still mad with him and it isn’t resolved so I’m not feeling very loving at the moment.

I wonder if that is normal? When couples are in the midst of a fight, do they still feel the yearning and pull towards their partner to make things right. Or better? Do they fall out of love briefly?

Does one of them reach out a pinky finger to wave the white flag. How about if they are as stubborn as each other and insist they are both right on whatever front?

If there is no compromise or conclusion, does this spell the end?

I think back to my metaphor that Love is a spectrum, swinging like a pendulum. I need somebody who is consistent and level headed, to bring me back to equilibrium because I am all or nothing. I’m in the nothing zone right now, and can’t see how GG can bring me back to equilibrium.

And then I even wonder is it even him that’s the problem? Or am I so overwhelmed elsewhere in my life that I don’t even have the energy to fix whatever the problem is?

I don’t even have the energy to text my friends and I love them. I’m certainly not mad at them.

Urgh. Work then maybe? I mean I have less than 2 weeks to meet a project deadline, that’s pretty stressful. I work with some great people, but a couple just boil my piss. It’s always the few that ruin it for the many.

And so I wonder, if I didn’t go to work, what would I do? Would I even do anything? I could hike more. I’d deffo have more time to contact friends and family. I might even have more energy to put up a fight for GG.

But in reality, with it being cold and wet, I’d probably end up on the sofa, under a blanket with the heating on all day, racking up the bills. And I’m not going to work so who’s paying the heating bills?

If work is the problem, then it’s a vicious circle. Nobody gets the best of me and without a job, I’m not at my best either.

My friend put me onto a self-helpery book by a woman called Jenn Sincero. I can’t really remember too much about the book, but she did say one thing which has stuck with me… we often stop following our dreams because of fear. Fear holds us back, but if we overcome the fear, we can become anything we want to and do anything we want to.

I genuinely came away after reading that book believing I could give up my job and all would be ok in the world. Jenn Sincero made me believe that beyond any doubt.

Fortune favours the brave and all that.

But I’m not brave, and that belief was nowhere near as strong as the fear of giving up my job.

I have no idea what this post is about. I have a lot of questions and philosophy bouncing around my head and I just wanted to get it out.

Much love

Xx

Cracks

This past week saw us celebrating GG’s birthday. I planned something fun for him to do at the weekend, well us, that included a bit of healthy competition, booze and food . For his actual birthday I took him to his favourite steakhouse, with its thick cuts of beef, opulent lighting and a view overlooking the quirky sights of Birmingham’s waterways.

Throw into the mix a few very thoughtful gifts and I was happy we were going to celebrate GG’s birthday in style.

And so we did.

All in the lead up to his birthday, GG kept insisting to me not to spend to much money blah blah blah. I ignored him. It’s up to me how much I spend, and besides I didn’t think I spent too much anyway. Last week was all about him and I wanted to show him how special he was to me.

Fast forward 1 week and my neurosis is creeping in. Here’s why.

Saturday evening, after we’d spent the best part of the evening playing games, drinking beer and eating burgers, we found ourselves in a very cool underground bar. It’s like being transported into an underground cellar that resembles something you’d expect in a Harry Potter book. As we were stood sipping our drinks, the subject turned to when we first started chatting and GG informed me that had there been another girl to chat with who didn’t have children, then he’d have chosen to chat to them over me.

With a keg of beer and half a bottle of wine sloshing about my insides, I paid no mind to his comment. We continued the evening before hopping on the train to take us back home.

Later in the week after we’d wined and dined on steak, he suggested that seeing each other on a Tuesday made no sense. As he has badminton, by the time he is home and showered we have an hour of TV before going to bed. Again, I paid no mind to it.

But, having reflected…actually in the space of a week I’ve learned that he only got chatting to me online because there was nobody else and that catching an hour with me and spending the night with me (when I lead such a busy life) is pointless. Let me just add in here that on Tuesday’s I go to him. He has to do nothing, he doesn’t have to change his routine in anyway. He just comes home and his wonderful girlfriend is there waiting for him.

The word ungrateful springs to mind.

And I wouldn’t mind so much if he made half that effort to come to us in the week. But he keeps his Mondays and Wednesdays for game night while I spend my evenings with my son. They’ve met btw, so no barriers there.

He spent Saturday night with us and asked when I would see him next. Based on his Tuesday comment, I said Thursday most likely. He said ok. Guys, this means that I will see him once, maybe twice a week at best and I’ll be honest, that is not enough time for me to invest and nurture what we have been building.

It feels like in the space of a week, we’ve undone 6 months worth of building.

Now I’ve not been the most fun person the last couple of weeks, I’ve not been my usual chipper self as I’ve re-started my contraception (don’t even get me started on how unfair that is!) but giving me a little bit of patience isn’t too much to ask for. And certainly not worth the back pedalling that seems to be going on.

And so cracks are finally starting to show. Maybe the reality of dating somebody with a child is starting to dawn on him. Maybe he doesn’t have the same patience as me to withstand a few weeks of adjusted behaviour? I’m not psycho btw, just more fatigued that usual and dealing with headaches that I don’t usually have. It’s even more annoying when I think about how much effort and patience I gave him at the start when it would have been easy to go ‘nah I’m just not feeling it’.

Do I really have to prepare for the ‘mug’ stamp on my head again? So now, the only day we will spend together this week is going to be taken up with me explaining all the above to him. This will be the first discussion/argument we’ve had really in this whole time.

I’m not looking forward to it.

Hopeless

Hopeless romantics scare me. Have you never been scarred from love? Please tell me what that is like if you are a hopeless romantic.

What does hopeless romantic even mean?

Since giving in to the love I feel for GG and accepting that I am loved and in love, I’ve been in a very sappy mood.

I’m daydreaming a bit more often, I’m seeing couples for the first time in ages and smiling at PDA’s instead of cringing. I’m lying on the sofa or in bed wishing that GG was with me on the nights I’m alone, and telling him so (I don’t ordinarily, because I’m a strong independent woman who doesn’t need a man). My independence has dive-bombed and I’m now looking ahead on how I can fill my free days with GG, planning dates and fun things to do, or just deciding to chill and eat some food before getting an early night. It is close to 8 months, yet the bedroom antics are as wild as ever.

I’m a firm believer that if a guy tells you he loves you after sex or alcohol, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. That oxytocin has us all messed up.

GG and I have just spent the best part of a week with my son on the English coast. We’ve been camping. One night, after a particularly dirty bedroom session (I really can’t go into detail, because our sex life can be rather twisted and I am honestly ashamed of myself, but not so ashamed that I won’t do it again, you feel me?) GG says ‘ I fucking love you’.

It wasn’t immediately afterwards, and GG has been telling me he loves me for at least a month, so I allowed it. I replied ‘oh yeah? I love you more’. It was as simple and straight forward as that, but in the moment I said it, after nearly a week of watching him playing and supporting my son, hearing their laughter and seeing him nurture him, I couldn’t hold it in. It might also have been the oxytocin you see, but when I woke up the next day, I knew I’d meant it. As we packed all our stuff away and loaded the car and van up with our gear, me returning home and GG off to visit some friends to do some more camping, I did not want to say goodbye. I hugged him and I didn’t want to let go. I kissed him and I didn’t want to stop.

So, what is a hopeless romantic? Can a love cynic be turned? Because I think ya gal right here, miss independent pants who doesn’t need a man, who won’t give up her free time, who thinks the Menz are dogs and they deserve nothing, is becoming one.