Yesterday and today, I haven’t taken baby girl to school.
Or picked her up. My car is at the mechanic’s and it may be there a couple more days.
Hubbie instead, has left work both mornings to run home and drop her off.
Yesterday I asked baby girl’s friend’s mum to pick her up for me.
She more than happily obliged.
Even though she told me that she was able to pick her up again today… I was hesitant.
You see, I kinda realised something about myself.
I find it REALLY hard to ask for help.
It’s something I’m so used to doing, being, ever since we moved down here and made our sea change. We knew we had no one in this area to rely on, to help us out with child-minding duties, random help here and there, and although we were prepared, we weren’t really prepared.
But we have accepted it, it’s what we wanted, and it is the way it is.
Because we rely on ourselves so solely, I think this is part of the problem.
Not only do I find it hard to ask for help… I hate to put people out. I felt sooo bad to ask the mum again if she could help out this afternoon, I was on the verge of tears. But my Mum had told me on the phone yesterday to ask again, to not feel bad about it, and Hubbie was much the same, saying one day, you’ll help her kids out too!
But there’s a little more to this story than meets the eye.
I was reluctant to ask for help, because this mum I’ve been feeling up and down about for a while now.
Without getting into the full history, we started off really good. Since prep. Lots of playdates, the girls had fun, and we always bump into each other at the same beach.
Sometime in the last year, I found out she had a playdate with another friend of theirs. Not just someone, but a girl from baby girl’s small friendship group. Essentially, out of the three girls, baby girl was left out.
This kinda enraged me, I will not lie. I never exclude her close friends from playdates, I include them all so no one is left out.
I didn’t know why baby girl was excluded.
I withdrew. Avoided her at the pick-up gate. Gave her a bit of the silent treatment.
Then to make matters worse, that friend of hers actually said some really mean things to baby girl. I got involved, told the teacher, there was intervention, etc, etc.
Things have been returning to some kind of prior normal, but I’m an elephant. I don’t forget.
I thought I had this mum all figured out. At first, she seemed to be the super friendly, easy-going, happy-go-lucky type, but clearly there was no loyalty. Clearly she wasn’t too involved in her daughter’s life, or else she would have stepped in to tell her not to say such hurtful things to a so-called friend.
I thought she had been my type, but I had clearly been way off the mark. I was keen for baby girl to move on, and being the end of the year I knew there was a chance they would be split up next year.
But then, a birthday party happened a couple of weeks ago. At that birthday party the mum told me that she was available if I needed her to watch baby girl, at any time now, leading up to baby’s arrival, what with all the increased appointments I have during the end months now, etc.
I was shocked, moved even. It was the furthest thing I was expecting after the year that had passed.
Which is why I had been so tentative yesterday to ask her to pick her up.
Which is why I was tearful today when I had to ask her again.
I felt guilty. Very, very guilty.
Clearly, I had gotten it all wrong. I had gotten her ALL WRONG.
Yeah, she was happy-go-lucky. She was casual. She probably didn’t look into things as much as I did. I’m a classic overthinker. She probably set her daughter up on play dates, not to exclude baby girl, but just to keep her daughter happy (now that I think, there have been plenty of times only her daughter and mine have caught up too).
She didn’t know about her daughter’s mean words, probably…? Which child tells their parent everything though? It’s a really tricky area, because her daughter is actually nice, but I think she is used to getting her own way, a bit like baby girl. So they clash. 🤦♀️ I often wonder what baby girl perhaps said or how she contributed to words being spoken between them. However, I see that their teacher did a wonderful job of helping to repair that friendship, because nothing has happened since.
I had gone grrr. All mama bear. Ultimate protector of my child. I went into defense mode, got judgmental, and decided that I didn’t want her in my life anymore. Hi, bye, that was fine.
But nothing else.
So when she offered help, and then again kept saying to me yesterday “just tell me if you need me to pick her up” insisting she was there for me…
I was quite honestly at a loss to explain her actions.
I was only left with one conclusion.
I had been completely wrong.
Or really, my first thoughts were correct. It was when things went askew that led me to have these other thoughts, and I guess, I’m human right? I should have trusted those first positive instincts, and if anything this experience has taught me a lot about myself, how I look at others, and that sometimes, I can be completely wrong.
It’s very easy to let your experiences and biases cloud your judgment. It happens on a daily basis for everyone! I want to try and not be so quick to assume, to judge, and only hope if I make a mistake somewhere, others give me the same benefit.
Her real person came through these last couple of days when we had no one else to help. She threw us a massive lifeline, and I know now who she is, where she stands, and what kind of person she really is.
There is enormous power in allowing yourself to be completely wrong, owning it, and then changing your thoughts, your ways. We have so much to learn in life, and by stubbornly holding onto views or opinions that serve us no more, we limit ourselves to a close-minded view of life where growth never happens, and learning is non-existent.
Allow yourself to be wrong. I was talking about this with Hubbie today, and there was something incredibly refreshing and liberating about saying to him, wow, I was sooo wrong.
(Even he admits, he was a little wrong too 🤭)
I won’t forget this. Remember, I’m an elephant. 🐘