Who am I? Not always sure …..

I tend to write longer posts, so if you are looking for a quick glance read, this might not be the blog for you, but in short, here is a bit about me.

I am thirty eight nine “too old to keep adding my age here” years old.

I still laugh when I think that there is a bank that gives me a loan to buy a house, and that I am old enough not to be sitting at the children’s table at weddings.

I often think somehow I am faking my way through the day, and that someone is going to realise that I am actually still fifteen years old.

I live in Cape Town, and work in print and production, and now have wandered off into recruitment.  It looks like I will now be moving into a role that encompasses both, so that is a bit very exciting.  And frightening.  I made a bit of a life decision recently and that was to return to my little business.  I enjoy it, most days.  I realised I am actually quite good at it.  And I like the flexibility that working for myself gives me.

Though the idea that it is me who is responsible for my pay check at the end of the month scares the bejesus out of me.

I juggle three children, and work – some days better than others.

I struggle with depression and an anxiety disorder – presently not on medication, but take each day as it comes. well, that idea worked until it didn’t.

Late June 2011, I opted back on to as much medication as my pharmacist and friendly pill doctor would legally allow.  And so far so good.

Clearly when I say “you complete me” I am specifically referring to my script.

I hate jazz, with a passion I cannot describe.

I have an unnaturally severe dislike for liquorice – this might be linked to a rather unfortunate experience with Sambuca … it still makes me gag at the thought.

I love Chuckles … however have recently discovered pecan and fudge shortbread, which is equally divine.

I love a great meal with friends and a great bottle of wine … who am I kidding,  a few bottles of wine.  Sometimes I don’t even invite friends around and just have the wine by myself.  True story.

I am deeply suspicious of people who are too cheerful and too happy … it makes me MORE nervous and anxious.

I enjoy people who have a slightly dark streak in their personality, and I love people who just say it like it is.  But make it funny.  No one likes an out of control bitch.

I cry at so many silly things …. I cry when I go into Build a Bear and they put the hearts inside the teddy bears.

I live with my partner of sixteen years and we recently got married in July 2010. (I realised that I was a closet bride princess which came as a bit of a shock to everyone, including me, but there you go, wonders never cease.)

Yes about that, unfortunately that shit doesn’t fly anymore, and we are going through a divorce.  Listen, I can’t even make this shit up ….. really ……it is the most amicable divorce in history.  We are doing our utmost to remain adult, and to talk to each other with respect and to keep in mind that we have been together for nearly half our lives, and that our “relationship” will continue until we die because we have children.

I just cannot face a shitty divorce.

No matter where I sit in a movie theater I will get the guy next to me who crushes his straw into his Slurpie repeatedly – that guy is drawn to me like a magnet.  And I to him.  The universe it appears wants me to stab in his eye with his straw.

I have stopped questioning the universe.


What I would rather be doing …

Drinking wine – I am partial to a little Chenin Blanc, okay a lot of Chenin Blanc.

Killing – or just maiming – people who use the word “stationary” in place of “stationery”.

I love to read – especially historic fiction and a bit of psychological drama.

I do hang around forums a bit too long for my own good.  I have cut this back somewhat as I have realised my ability to sort through “your shit” and “my shit” is somewhat impaired.

I read other blogs when I can.

I wish I had more time to practice photography.

I am not always sure “who I am” …. and often I sort of make it up as I go.

I am not all mysterious and alluring, it really just means that at this juncture in my life I am still not sure “who I am” —- it always strikes me how self assured people appear with “who they think they are” and for me, I am all over the radar on this one.

These images are quite dated, but any way ………. three kids and I am the person most likely to be voted “she who does not want any children” —– straight shit happens when you are hopped up on estrogen.





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  1. Justanothertiredmom

     /  January 4, 2017

    We miss you, please come back………………

  2. KleinKitti

     /  August 29, 2015

    Ek het so pas jou blog ontdek. Jy is ‘n Ma wat braaf genoeg is om te verwoord wat duisende Ma’s oor droom hul graag wil sê. ps Ek hoop jy kan darem bietjie Afrikaans ook lees. Ek het my Afrikaansgestremde kinders leer spel met ‘sagte’ vloekwoorde. Woorde soos ‘donkie’. Dan donkiedrol. En dan die oulike verkleinwoord donkiedrolletjie. Hul kan dit nou nog sonder ‘n enkele stottering spel.

  3. Ok, so I have commented just now on your blog. But here I am, again… I swear I am not stalking you, but I think I have found one of the people in this wide world who actually think EXACTLY like I do. Only I do it in a lot of Afrikaans/English mix. I hate hate HATE the slurpy straw guy in the movies. The English word I hate the most EVER is stationery. WHY ON GODS GREEN EARTH do people not know the difference??? There are actually real businesses who use it incorrectly. There is a shop in Hoedspruit i passed recently with a BIG sign stating proudly that they sell “Stationary”. Also a very prominent payroll supplier in our country (as in one of the big ones who misspell this on all their “stationary” orders.) FFS….
    And the estrogen… That shit makes babies happen when you are young and dumb.

    I’ll now leave you alone to do whatever it is that you do because I really REALLY have to get back to work.

    • acujen barlow

       /  August 18, 2016

      No. There are three of us. I, too, think (and swear) like like you. But, no matter where I go or what I do, I can’t seem to find my “tribe”. Funny, my first thought when I first read this blog post was, “Why can’t find these soul sisters in my real life”? In any case, it’s good to know there are like-minded ones out there….a continent or two away…but out there. P.S. Maybe we ARE related, as I’m a Barlow, too.

  4. Love love love your blog – you make me laugh and that is a tough job

  5. Ricky

     /  June 18, 2015

    Lol! You are funny! Hang in there! It gets better! How things going?

  6. SpiritDee

     /  July 31, 2014

    Honest, fresh, real. Definitely following this blog.

  7. Just picked up on your blog and love it. As a mum of 3 young kids, I to find it a juggling act. No doubt rewarding as well. Your blog gives an honest, funny insight about motherhood and the its incredible journey.

  8. I love the honesty of this. Can’t wait to start reading your blog– it really does look great! Kudos!

  9. Hi there,

    I would love to talk to you about my project http://www.caringforyourchild.com. 🙂 let me know when you’re keen to chat!

  10. Good blog! There is so much here. I hope to visit your blog again soon. Thanks for visiting my … SpeakListenPrayDon’tBeStupid blog. Have a good Christmas. T

  11. Certain blogs, just speak to you, yours is one of them:) well done xx

  12. Hi Celeste.

    You aren’t alone, I am a Depression Sufferer myself too.

    Best Wishes

  13. I just want to say Thank you. I found your blog when you posted it on the Cape Town BT group today. I obviously havent read the whole thing, but I’m getting there and what I have read is amazing. You put the things that have been worrying me about pregnancy and motherhood into such awesome succint words. I also suffer badly from anxiety and depression, it’s a struggle for me to get up and go to work everyday. I am terrified of the idea of having a baby – despite having wanted to be a mother practically forever. My fiance and I have been together for 8 years and we both want kids… but neither of us is too excited about the change it’s going to drop on our heads. I’m the type of person that overthinks every single tiny thing but luckily waide is the worlds most rational human being (and we’ve already been through two masters degrees) so hopefully we’re up to this. But reading your blog has made me feel so much better, thank you.

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 10, 2013

      Thank you Lisa.

      The journey for all of us is so different. Depression and GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) do make the decision to have children more challenging. I am glad you have found a platform here that offers you some support, so that you do not feel you are stumbling through this alone.

      • Michy

         /  September 17, 2015

        Hats off to you both – Lisa & Celeste. And a Thank You from my side too. I will call myself a “closet case” when it comes to GAD and Depression, because I have always had the ability to paint on a smile and seem all dandy, but some days holding my shit together is a challenge!

        I do not have little ones. I have nothing against little ones or people with little ones. In my heart of hearts, I have just never felt like I am mom-material, because of a million personal reasons. SO reading this blog, and many of the comments and seeing real-life, honest comments – admitting that its not all rainbows and glitter farts (you had me rolling with that comment!) is so REFRESHING! Mainly because I am so over hearing from everyone how I am missing out on the most AMAZING experience and that I am selfish for not having had children. A colleague/”friend” once introduced me to her sister as “The one that hates children” – which was officially the last time I was honest with anyone about my hesitations about having a baby! (Seriously, I have considered just saying that I can’t have children when faced with the “aaaaw, but why have you not had any kids yet??” question! No honest answer is ever good enough.)

        So thank you for making me feel less alone when it comes to overthinking and overanalysing and the fact that sometimes I really just want peace and quiet (and a bottle of wine) – and that I am not a bad person for it being so.

        Definitely following this blog going forward – Celeste your sense of humour and WYSIWYG approach is right up my alley and an absolute hoot!

  14. amandla

     /  June 11, 2013

    My fiancé Tony Holby is a very special father to our three children, one whom we have adopted who is HIV positive and a child from a previous relationship.

    He makes it known at all times that his children come first, that means before soccer, before a night out with the boys, before a glass of beer.

    He is diligent about doing homework with the children,

    He is the one who wakes up and holds a coughing and crying child, while letting me get my beauty sleep.

    He changes nappies, mind you, even in public.

    He is always there for every knock and every thump, and when he as nothing left to give, he still gives my family the world.it takes any man to be a father, but it takes a real man to be a dad.

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 11, 2013

      I am going to cut and paste this to the right place ……

  15. siza

     /  June 5, 2013

    Hi Reluctant mom can I please ask you to forwrad me your email address, my email is siza.maitja@avon.com

  16. Like your blog…honest without being depressing!! ha ha, you know what I mean…
    I think only other depressives can say that as we truly know the meaning of the word…
    I have 3 teenage boys (that would drive anyone to bloody drink, i tell you!!) and motherhood ain’t what people say!! highs and low lows….Totally agree with many comments on here…

  17. Awesome blog!

  18. Beanysmom

     /  January 3, 2013

    Your blog is absolutely awesome.
    I have an “almost 4 year old” who made me smile the first time I saw him on ultrasound & two adorable stepchildren & together they drive me insane, while simultaneously managing to keep me grounded.
    You blog resonates with me on so many levels, so thank you so much for this. 🙂

  19. I would like to invite you to the next My Favourite Things Baby and Kiddies Market 24 November at High Street. Do you have an email address? regards Helena

  20. Refreshingly honest. Keep that wonderful flag flying.


  21. Theresa Richards

     /  August 20, 2012

    Just found your blog! Very entertaining and your description of yourself sounds like you are talking about me! I don’t feel grown up enough to have 2 kids, a bond and my own business but everyone else seems to think it is OK. I raise my glass more often than I probably should and also need a mouth filter but it makes my friends laugh and quite frankly there are just no adjectives as sweet as some of the profanities that my mouth has been known to spew on a regular (read daily) basis! I look forward to following you further in your journey of life.

  22. Andrew

     /  June 5, 2012

    Hi Celeste, I’d love to get in touch with you. Please may I have your email address? Many thanks!

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 5, 2012

      You can try me on celeste@happyhelpers.co.za ….. I do not really need any more stalkers, so if it is anything non-stalker related, then email me … else, not so much.

      • Betsy

         /  August 22, 2012

        Just came across this blog while searching blogs for depression had to send a reply as I’m a Stalker that is my last name is Stalker…LOL and a depressed Stalker at that. I’m 41 female and have been battling depression for years now and to be honest I’m getting sick of it but have not a clue on how to be rid of it as it has been a part of me for so long now that it’s a part of me. Some days are better than others but there are days where I feel like I can’t go another day. I’ve been in and out of group therapies and I sit and listen to others that are depressed and their problems ,by the time the session is over I’m more depressed then when I went in for the session.There has been a lot in my life that I don’t know how to deal with or know how to accept. I lost my father 5 yrs ago and I recently lost my mother last yr and I’m still having a hard time dealing with as losing a loved one doesn’t come with a manual on how to go on without that person especially if they have a close relationship with that person. I have 2 boys that I don’t see as they live with their father. My youngest moved in with his father when he turned 16 and my oldest has always been with his father since the divorce. Both of my boys blame me for the divorce as I was the one who filed for the divorce as my husband of 14yrs left me emotionally when I found out I had cancer and even though we were married and lived in the same house he was never there for me and that hurt me emotionally. My ex was mentally and sexually abusive towards me, but was never physically abusive . Since my cancer and the divorce my boys have blamed me for everything and it hurts. My baby the one who stood by me during my cancer when his brother and father wouldn’t ended up leaving me at the age of 16 to go live with his father and brother. With that being said…… I have been beside myself as I miss my boys and it hurts that they could treat me the way they do, but I just try and take it day by day without them in my life. I have tried to explain to them both that some of the things that I have done or said has been out of anger and depression, but for some reason they don’t understand or won’t understand.Well, guess I’ve said enough for my first blog……… There is plenty more that has and is going on in my life but I will save that for another time……..

  23. How do i get in touch with you?
    I am a publicist and would like to discuss an idea with you. Regards, Candice

  24. That quote on your side bar about being surrounded by arseholes may have saved my life. The sun came out the angels started to sing and my self esteem climbed out of the box and whacked the depression over the head. I can’t find words to thank you.

  25. freetobemommy

     /  May 2, 2012

    I’ve just discovered your blog & I really love it. Will be reading a ton. 🙂

  26. Just found your blog for the first time today (your religion blog reeled me in) and now that I read your bio, I realize have in common! It’s crazy. Please come to my site when you have a chance. And, also: Are you on Twitter?


  27. Yes, Ive been under a rock and have only just discovered your blog. I think reading it may just be the best alternative to my anti-anxiety meds when they are not within reach. I have not read anything that has made me mutter “Oh thank God” meaning “Its not only me” as many times as I did here. So thanks for that!

  28. Rebecca

     /  September 26, 2011

    I’ve ALWAYS felt that having “spawn” would be the worst thing to ever happen to me. I’m 35, very happily employed, a successful professional, and married for 8 years to the most loving man (who unfortunately has always felt he wanted kids). I’ve finally given in, in a moment of weakness, and god-damn-it I got pregnant right away, and am due in spring 2011. AAACCCCKKKK!

    I absolutely don’t want to tell either of our mothers, I can’t stand the idea of how they are going to treat me. I don’t want to be known as a mother ever! And that’s how I will become (degrade to) in their eyes.

    I’m a successful scientist, hard working, skilled at several interesting hobbies and posses undergraduate and graduate chemistry degrees. That’s what I want to be known for, that’s who I am. Being a mommie to someone is NOT I repeat NOT what I want to be known for. Anyone, no matter how boring and lazy and plain, can be a mommie, it doesn’t take skill and intelligence and passion for a successful professional career. It’s not special, and mostly I think it is degrading.

    My family is not going to understand this. They are going to get all gugu-gaga baby crazy and it’s going to make me sick to my stomach.

    How long do you think I can hide it from them… sigh… I don’t want to be known as a mommie, EVER!!! My husband knows he is going to be the “go to” parent as that’s not what I’m looking for. The kid is his idea, he can be the primary care-giver. I’m just going to have to put up with becoming fat & uncomfortable and go through the disgusting ordeal of childbirth, then the kid will be his big adventure. I’ll help out of course, but I’m not the primary parent… I’m sure I’ll enjoy the kid once he/she is ~5 or 6 years old and quits being such a burden. And in case you are wondering I think breast feeding is repulsive, so hubby will be perfectly able to give the kid the bottle of formula.

    • reluctantmom

       /  September 26, 2011

      Wow — I am fine that you have “issues” about this step you are taking/committed to.

      I heard a chirp last night on the movie “Eat Love and Pray” which I think is very true.

      Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You need to be committed.

      So true.

      You do sound like you are looking forward to this with the same enthusiasm that I would look at root canal.

      I must confess I shared some of your sentiments, though not quite in the manner you described. I never quite got on the “mommy and baby” wagon in the way I saw it around me, but I will confess to eventually getting “bit” and really enjoy certain aspects of having children.

      There is lots I am not a fan of – but I will confess to loving other aspects.

      I hope for you, that you are able to embrace it a bit more …… it does make the crying in the bathroom at 2am more bearable.

  29. BrianaKay

     /  July 29, 2011

    Wow, I must say, I never thought that there would be someone out there who would understand EXACTLY what I am going through. I had an unplanned pregnancy back in Sept of 2010 and now I have a beautiful little two month old girl named Sophie. I love her to death, but I have to admit, I get SO frustrated with being a mom. I didn’t plan to have children until I was out of college (I’m twenty-four and have a little less than two years left to get my BFA in Graphic Design) and I am an EXTREMELY reluctant mom. I have been struggling with Bipolar disorder since I was sixteen and during my pregnancy it seems to have gotten worse plus I seem to have developed a mild anxiety disorder. It is possible I’ve always had it, the pregnancy just exacerbated the problem (I’ve always been a worrier and been really hard on myself). Either way, I have really been struggling with balancing that, school, being completely broke and trying to be “perfect mom”. I find myself getting manic when my little one starts crying and just won’t stop and, though I am more than ashamed to admit it, I find myself screaming at her sometimes to “shut up”. Logically, I realize this only makes it worse and that she doesn’t know any other way to communicate. However, when I am in the midst of a manic attack, it’s a little difficult to stop and make myself accept that. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but it seems like you might understand where I’m coming from. I definitely can identify with your feeling of still being fifteen and hoping no one notices. I live for the two days a week where I spend nearly eighteen hours up at my school in class/working on homework. I wish I could have less time, but everyday instead of just two days a week. I know you aren’t supposed to say that as you have noted in your “About” section. We as women are supposed to just love our children and want nothing more than to stay home and take care of them, the house and our husbands (this is said in a saccharine voice that would kill a diabetic to just hear it). I have one thing to say about that: f@ck that! I like being able to go to a life drawing class whenever I want or have a couple of shots with friends. Sometimes I just wish I could get through my freaking homework without having to get up every fifteen minutes just to entertain the nooblet. I guess the point to my rambling is that it is SO refreshing and comforting to know that there are people out there who share my feelings/struggles. I haven’t read all of your posts yet, but I sure plan to. Speaking of my nooblet, hark! I hear here screaming for attention again. For all the reluctant moms out there, please keep up the posting!


    P.S. It annoys me when people say “three a.m. in the morning”, don’t take the time to spell out numbers under one-hundred when writing, and when people put the apostrophe in the wrong place when writing out “y’all” (I’m from Texas and the rate at which this occurs is alarming). Never had a problem with their, there and they’re, but I always have to spell check myself when typing weird heh. 🙂

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 29, 2011

      You make me laugh …. even though you are clearly in pain …… I do like you quite a bit.

  30. Kirsten

     /  July 5, 2011

    Hi Celeste,
    So I’ve read your whole blog – love it and I think you are fabuous!
    While reading your stories I suddenly realised that we’ve worked together before! I used to work at a publishing company and you were our contact at H&C 🙂 I also used to work with Joyce and Leon… Cape Town is like a little dorp sometimes!

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 5, 2011

      Yes, it appears it should just be Cape Dorp and we can drop the Town bit …..

  31. 1nked

     /  April 21, 2011

    Reluctant Mom,though i am YEARS younger than you and not a mother yet, i can relate to you so much personality wise. I also am suffering from depression and have been therapy,but it has not helped me and i have never been on medication either,im not the huggy happy type of person and i prefer to stay in the house alone,though my partner prefers the outdoors,a social extrovert etc..he does understand the kind of person that i am and he never imposes, and he never fails to extend an invitation,which a lot of times i just tell him to go alone,and sometimes i do accompany him and he is aware i will not be jumping up and down and chattering away like i just got an energy shot. ….just from reading the above comments from everyone ,i have started to feel normal. i have always thought that there was something wrong with me. now i know that there isnt,its just the way i am and i have fully embraced it.

    Theres nothing wrong with me loving wine so much ,nothing wrong with me being the the type that cringes at the thought of mother hood and pregnancy,nothing wrong with not being a social butterfly. i love me just the way i am.and my partner Loves me too,just the way i am. hes the sunshine in the relationship ,(not that i am not) 🙂

    …When I was reading highwayvolkswagen’s comment i couldnt help my say to my self ” OMG,there is some one else who is so much like me ,she is so spot on!” …….i love your Blog and thank God i found it,i cant seem to stop reading all of your posts!

  32. Meredith

     /  March 13, 2011

    I relate so much to your blog, and wonder something in particular. Do you ever find yourself cursing inappropriately around the children, or say things that are off color? I have this problem of controlling an impulsive mouth, as I have ADHD (with depression, which is definitely why I relate to much of your blog), and sometimes say the most horrible sounding things around the kids. I feel just awful about it. It seems verbally abusive sometimes.

    • reluctantmom

       /  March 13, 2011

      I would love to regale you with stories that show how controlled I am and how I speak in soothing motherly tones …. unfortunately I have few (none) of those.

      I realise that using language infront of the kids is inappropriate …. and I have no real excuse other than being too lazy to watch what I say ……… obviously I do make a concerted effort to “speak well” in front of them but every now and then I do realise that I am going off like a sailor’s wife – but it is usually a sign that I need to maybe give myself a bit of time out, and move away from the situation so that I can gather a bit of energy/strength to appear more composed.

      But that is me ……..

  33. Ayanda

     /  January 19, 2011

    Just read about your depression and anxiety. I have really been struggling to find someone to speak to about this and you seem to be a very Frank kinda person. I have what I have self-diagnosed (via google) to be GAD (General anxiety disorder) I am almost always slightly anxious. It’s like part of my DNA!!! There needn’t be a specific thing I am worried about, it’s just always there bubbling under the surface…AM I WEIRD??? I also tend to have a tendency towards general melancholy – if that makes any sense. I am definitely not a Happy Clappy type. That takes effort for me cos i know nobody wants to be around a depressing morbid person. But secretly I just wanna hibernate in my room curled up reading a good book, or be left alone at home while hubby goes somewhere, ANYWHERE, with the baby (9 month old daughter). I looooooove being alone. Is that weird???? I love my daughter to bits but after playing with her for about 2 hours after I get home & wash & feed her (that means watch the nanny wash & feed her :)), then I’m good to go. Just wanna lie down and read and not be disturbed. Hubby has meetings most evenings so that’s one thing outta the way… I feel so guilty about this but it’s just how I feel. Even going to the mall/ shopping = activity best enjoyed BY MYSELF.Am I a loner? Am I depressed?

    • reluctantmom

       /  January 20, 2011

      I think we both struggle with the same things, much of what you describe is exactly how I feel and I am. I think I spent years thinking there was something wrong with me- the need to be alone, the idea that after 2 hours with my kids I needed to be away from them, the fact that I loved being with my friends, but also loved being just by myself – and it was not a case of not wanting to be with them, it was a case of NEEDING to have time with me.

      So my initial feeling was there was something wrong with me, and I needed to be fixed, as I also have a partner who seems to have an ability to be social and in company 24/7 without a need for down time, while I try to slink away every chance I can get.

      It is not weird, it does not make you any less, it just is. It helps when you have someone to talk to and someone who can explore that part of you with you. It helps you to get to a point where you accept and also understand yourself, and then it helps you better to know what your limits are.

      My partner is very aware that I need “time out” and cannot function with too many social obligations, so he helps me by not over committing our time, and also when we are in a situation that I feel stretched, he “allows” me to step away without making me feel uncomfortable. It is not unusual when we are at friends for me to stand up and walk away and go and sit in a room by myself for a bit to just have some time to myself, and to “gather my thoughts.”

      My life has got so much easier when I realised who I was and what I NEED to get through my day. I am here anytime you want to chat, feel free to drop me an email – I really am happy to be here if you want to bounce your thoughts out of your head to someone who has been there, and is still there!

      You are not weird, you are you, and it is okay to feel different, it is really okay!

  34. I relate to so many of these things! You sound so much like me. I’m excited to have found your blog! I came across the title on BlogHer and thought, “The Reluctant Mom… that’s exactly what I would call myself.” That is, if I’d thought of it first. 🙂

  35. natasha

     /  December 30, 2010

    Hi… hoping everything is okay with you… and the loss of job and new house pressures are manageable. I’ve missed reading your posts and not sure if you’re simply busy with life, or if I lost some sort of IT refresher link somewhere cause the last post I have is from dec10. Anyways.. here’s hoping 2011 is everything you want it to be

    • reluctantmom

       /  January 4, 2011

      Thanks, yes 2010 ended in a bit of a poo in the pants and a weep in the toilet, so I hope 2011 is far better.

  36. Hello Madam,

    I completely understand that I am very young to even comment or better yet understand your posts with the same intensity as you have written. Yet, I just want to convey my wishes for you and your beautiful family for a good life ahead. Very well written blog..


  37. Hey…interesting…I just clicked on your blog as it was in freshly pressed. I must admit the only thing I could relate to in the most recent post (about decisions not being your own) was the feeling like a 6 yr old and not wanting to tell your partner exactly what is wrong because you fear it might all actually come out (the way you feel it rather than the way you should explain it as an adult!).

    Then as I read bits and pieces and checked out your pictures I realized you’re South African. I grew up in SA and moved here to Aus about 10 years ago.

    I read the ‘Who am I?” section and realized we had a bit more in common…I too have struggled with depression and anxiety type stuff for about 17 years. On and off I’ve been to shrinks and taken medication, but nothing’s ever made a difference.

    I’ve been married and currently have a de-facto partner, though I have no children (something I am very sad about but hopeful that one day I will – I am 31). Partners and even friends and family who have not struggled with these difficult emotions think that I am just a negative person who needs to be more cheerful, and my ex-husband even went as far as taking me to a psychiatrist and putting me on medication! I started to believe him and think that maybe I was in fact just crazy / a nasty, negative person – even though I felt in my heart that I was not crazy, and that in fact all I was was a loving, caring, kind person who wanted a good life for myself and everyone I loved but who was (and still is) struggling with all the enormous pressure that is put on women these days.

    It does seem to me to be symptomatic of an upper-middle-class white South African upbringing in some ways. My father worked, was very successful and my mother stayed home and looked after us, we had maids and garden boys, nice cars, a nice house and never wanted for anything. Of course I went to varsity but although I was academic, never really had any career ambitions, I just assumed I’d marry a great guy who would look after me and our kids the same way my Dad had. Ha! Well that definitely was not the case.

    Anyway – I guess the pressure to be attractive, slim, well dressed, well educated, successful at work, secure a ‘good’ partner, have a lovely home, be a good cook and entertainer, be polite, well-mannered, strong, financially successful, a great friend and also carve out a personal life along the way has just always felt overwhelming and no matter what I have accomplished it has never felt like enough.

    I constantly feel like I should have done more, eaten less, run farther, worked harder, earned more, cooked better, worn something more stylish….you name it, I can tell you how I should have done it better.

    The saddest thing about feeling this way is that personal joy and fulfillment comes last – so I feel as though the things I really want are not possible for me because they don’t often align with what I should be achieving. So…if I really want to eat cheese and drink wine – well – I can’t because of the calories and then fact I won’t be able to go running in the morning and my partner will look down on me….If I want to just paint my nails and sit on the sofa…well…I shouldn’t because the house needs cleaning, the washing needs doing and I should be working on my business….

    Not sure if you can relate to any of that at all. But I do find it quite difficult to keep smiling and keep telling people I’m ‘GREAT” all the time – when in fact I feel a lot like the walls are crumbling around me and I’m only just barely keeping everything together. I definitely relate to what you said about feeling like someone is going to find you out every day! Ha!

    Anyway – I’m logged in here under a work login – I’m setting up some social media stuff that isn’t live yet. I have a blog on blogger – if you feel like it check it out – you might want to start at the beginning :-). http://www.capeandtiarainc.blogspot.com

    Nice to ‘meet’ you.


    • reluctantmom

       /  September 15, 2010

      Thanks M – I do think the depression and anxiety plays a huge role in shaping who we are. We fight it for so long, and try to “appear normal” in so many situation when our “normal” is not the normal that we show the world. Part of this role play teaches us to act, and be really sensitive to changes in mood etc – unfortunately the down side is that it also makes us extremely sensitive.

      Trying to juggle this “outer us” and the “inner real me” does get really stressful, and sooner or later the cracks appear – it is pretty much inevitable.

      I do agree that society (especially other women) put HUGE pressure on women – especially moms, and the need/pressure to conform in us is often the thing that tips us over the edge. Well, it was for me – I was unable to manage the “two faces/several faces” that I had going on, and it just was all a bit too much.

      The defining moment for me in years of therapy was when a therapist said can you accept that “good enough” is enough, it does not always have to be perfect … silly thing, but huge for me, who always needed things to be just “so.”

  38. rene punt

     /  August 5, 2010

    i never know whether to write – you are a spoiled girl, or you are a spoilt girl…

    • reluctantmom

       /  August 6, 2010

      I think it is spoiled – but I must be honest I pronounce it as spoilt as well.

  39. cathjenkin

     /  July 8, 2010

    stationary vs stationery.

    loose vs lose.

    seriously. those crimes of these times should be punishable by tarring, feathering and smacking people with large dictionaries!


    • reluctantmom

       /  July 8, 2010

      Ownership versus plural does also set my teeth on edge – but I must confess to not knowing how to spell their or friend without spell checker … we all have our dark and dirty secrets.

  40. mandyhall

     /  July 8, 2010

    I love your blog! I just came across it now! I totally get you, I have suffered with depression for too many years to count… I find that it makes me view the world a little differantly from “normal” people and YES I also have a dark sense of humour and can be at times too honest – I need a mouth filter….I wonder if it is because of the chemical imbalance that I no longer care what I say as long as I am real!! Hehee! I am 28 and have also just had my first baby who was a welcomed surprise, if he was planned I dont think my hubby and I would ever have had the guts to take the plunge. I LOVE him but am terrified of him…..I find baby things totally and mind numbingly boring! I want to be a stay at home mom but a part of me is scared because when I do drop him off in the mornings at my moms house I sometimes sigh with relief…wow I have NEVER said that to anyone 🙂 Thank you for putting this all out there! I feel a little calmer, a little less manic, a tad more normal reading your blog!

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 8, 2010

      Mandy, I think you are me!!!

      Please go back in history and read the original posts I did – it is all about “us” and our first baby and the fact that it did my head in … totally. I also cannot be a SAHM as jealous as I am of the moms who can, I really can’t – work is my relief and my sanity. I really also did not know who “me” was until several years later, even post-second child. I do feel much more settled now, and my manic episodes are a lot less frequent and not as dark.

      But I am glad I can offer you a little solace, even if it is knowing that you are actually not going totally mad, and that you are not as lonely as you think you are.

  41. Hilary

     /  June 21, 2010

    LOL so funny. You don’t mention anything about a sense of humour but, in case it needs pointing out, it is evident that you have a whole Savannah Dry thing going on.

    Since I love a good, entertaining read I think I’ll stick to this blog for now. Besides, its a great comfort knowing that there is someone else out there who is also actually bluffing their way through life’s happenings. I am 32yrs old and have one 2yrs, 3mnth old boy with another on the way and yet, deep down, I often think someone’s gonna turn around and say ‘hey who gave this moron permission to get married and have kids’. Definately do not feel my ‘age’. Not sure if you’ve read any articles by Sam Wilson (ed of Women24) but I love her sense of humour, she did an article once which I could totally relate to about ‘drunk Sam’ being waaay more fun than ‘sober Sam’. Well that’s me in a nutshell – what makes it worse is that since having a kid I cant hold down any liquor. I love reading but have not read a single book since falling pregnant the first time around – keep meaning to but just dont find the time to pop in at the library. So basically you’re one of my reading sources for now. Keep up the good work 😉

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 21, 2010

      Now I am inspired to do a “drunk reluctant mom” versus “sober reluctant mom” …. but really it is only a matter of time before I get a call from child services …..


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