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to feel terrified of letting my family down; it's a bit stupid I think--but it's getting to me.

(19 Posts)
hydeparkhottie Mon 24-Nov-14 01:03:41

I had intended to send my DS to a very nice private school, one that he had a place for because I was organised enough to get is name down the moment he was conceived. My dh also applied for the local state primary. We got a place in the local school and I actually thought it was much nicer than the private one. So off we went with the amazing free school.

Now, over the years I've gone from being the confident and slightly obnoxious woman to a very quiet and awkward wall flower. My husband who hadn't noticed this change volunteered me to go around London collecting raffle prizes for the Childrens Christmas Fair.

...I have dropped off letters, made phone calls, tweeted and approached every local business and NO ONE wants to give me any kind of donation. Last year, the prizes were amazing (looking through the list) and this year I have nothing to show except the kindle my husband is giving me for Xmas. I do have a partner, who seems to be able to get businesses to donate who have already said no to me.

My children already see me as a shit mummy because:

1. I have a funny accent to everyone else (I'm from Texas)
2. I'm fat
3. I don't bake or bring anything to the cake sales because I'm allergic to eggs, milk, nuts and gluten.
4. I don't volunteer to go on trips because I work.
5. I can't make friends with the school mummies because I'm generally dead in the face whenever I see them. (sometimes due to it being the morning, sometimes due to botox, or sometimes due to no makeup)

AIBU to think that my children were hoping I could do this ONE thing and pull it off excellently to cover my other shortfalls? I know my husband was.

the mothers that know I'm having a difficult time have been lovely and have gone out and found gifts

CookieLady Mon 24-Nov-14 01:09:36

No words of wisdom here but sending you an unmumsnetty hug. don't be so hard on yourself.

nocoolnamesleft Mon 24-Nov-14 02:11:00

Um. I'm betting your children don't think you're such a shit mummy.

1)That's how your kids are used to you sounding
2)That's how your kids are used to you looking
3)Lots of mums can't bake
4)Lots of mums work
5)They probably don't really care if you have friends

I think that the real problem is that for some reason your self esteem is in the floor. Which knocks your confidence. Which makes tasks that rely on confidence (like blagging gifts for the fundraiser) harder. Which knocks you more.

You almost sound like...don't take this wrong...like the first step is to start liking yourself again.

Oh, and you're not doing one thing. You're a mother. And a wife. And working a fulltime job. And still trying to help out with fundraising. That sounds like quite a few things to me.

wobblyweebles Mon 24-Nov-14 02:53:09

Texan accents are the best.

I don't understand #5 though, sorry.

Bulbasaur Mon 24-Nov-14 03:04:09

You would be surprised at how easy kids grade their parents. You're being way too hard on yourself. Do you love them and let them know you love them?

If you answered yes to both, congrats, you're doing fine. wink

Getting donations is not an easy thing. Look at all the threads of people cringing at door to door charity workers knocking on their doors. So I wouldn't beat yourself up about that. Can you take your kids along and have them guilt people ask? Sometimes it's harder to say no to a small child, and they'll like the initiative that they're asking for their school.

hydeparkhottie Mon 24-Nov-14 11:03:14

So, the good thing is after I posted this woeful 'dear me' thread both my children cuddled the heck out of me. (and I didn't have to bribe them).

However, I still have no gifts for the children's raffle. I will now call some more people and see if anyone wants to donate. I want to give myself a fighting chance ... I just can't cut it.

A lot of me has been lost over the last 8 years. I moved country and the differences between home and London are great. I as a person just haven't been able to 'thrive' here. I just keep wilting and becoming more and more soggy.

listsandbudgets Mon 24-Nov-14 11:28:17

Dont be so hard on yourself. I constantly Feel that i have let my family down though for different reasons. I al a shouty sleep deprived mum who feeds them ob rubbish and bursts into tears because they wont tidy up. This didn't stop dd telling me i was tje best mum in the world yesterday when we were cuddled up in the sofa.

Honestly it takes a lot for our children to think we are rubbish mums and failing to bake or make friends at school gates really won't convince them of it

listsandbudgets Mon 24-Nov-14 11:30:12

Ps i am going on a school trip tomorrow and dd is worried i will embarrass her!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 24-Nov-14 11:35:24

OP why do you think you have changed so much, as you say in initial post? What is the reason behind becoming a 'wall flower' ? I think this is something you need to address in order to regain some of your confidence.

With regards to your children I think you'll find they love you no matter what smile Children are incredibly accepting, but can sometimes say hints that may be misconstrued as hurtful as they lack the social filter that adults have. This is one of the things I most love about children, their blatant and sometimes offensive honesty grin

I also don't bake things for school as I am an abysmal cook and quite frankly would endanger the health of the local community, so you are not alone!

On the school run I generally look like the walking dead, but I don't think the mums or kids really care. And if they do, I couldn't give a shiny shite grin

Hairtodaygonetomorrow Mon 24-Nov-14 11:36:10

You don't sound like your old self, and whilst we all change (ok, get fatter) once we've had kids, you do sound down on yourself. I am not able to be at the school gates, I work, don't bake or go on trips but I feel a lot better about myself than you do. What do you think it would take for you to start to get your mojo back? Talk with husband about the future? Losing weight? Counselling? Mindfulness course? (this really helps with appreciating the little things you have). Your post is quite sad because your children don't see you the way you see yourself, and if I am brutally honest, being down and not yourself around them for years on end is probably not that great for them as they will know you don't love yourself. Stuff cake-baking- think about what you can change.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 24-Nov-14 11:38:30

My husband who hadn't noticed this change volunteered me

Nobody can volunteer you - you can only volunteer yourself. Tell him to do one.

cheesecakemom Mon 24-Nov-14 11:38:48

Clearly the issue is more than just getting these donations. Maybe talk to your DH about how depressed you feel and consider moving back home.

pinkisthenewpink Mon 24-Nov-14 11:43:12

I've done the dreaded search for raffle prizes and it is very hard work. I've had people say no to me only to say yes to someone else, but also vice versa. I think in the current economic climate businesses etc are much less likely to donate....or if they do they donate within a much smaller net (only very closest school or only one charity that they pick). I think a lot of it is who you speak to (some always say no, whereas others from the same company, different rank might say yes) and how they're feeling at that precise moment - so it can be a bit random. Don't beat yourself up about it.

Don't give up your Xmas kindle, honestly!

You are not a shit mummy at all! And you'll be fine on the school trip!

SeasonsEatings Mon 24-Nov-14 11:49:49

I think you need a girls night out. Get dressed up and have some wine and a whine.

Stop beating yourself up, you sound fab.. Are you friends with any fellow Americans? There should be some facebook groups.

Mrsstarlord Mon 24-Nov-14 11:58:53

I can empathise with you a bit OP. I come from a very different area from where I live now and because of my accent (and the fact that I don't watch Xfactor and football) I stand out a bit - as do my kids. I work full time so can't do as much with school as I'd like, when I'm picking up or dropping off I'm usually late (which makes me selfish apparently according to mums net) and preoccupied (and red and sweaty from running) so people avoid talking to me. I do make cakes for cake sales etc but they're so rubbish that I pretend the kids make them. I worry sometimes that I'm not good enough, but when I'm more objective I think bollocks to it!

I LOVE texan accents, I'm sure that your kids are really proud of you - how great to have a mum who is different and exciting compared to all the other mums. (I think you don't know just how much street creed that will give your kids at school!).
Why don't you make some allergy friendly cakes - I bet you are not the only gluten free person at the school and someone will be so grateful that for once they don't have to go without because someone has made something that they can eat and if they turn our badly you can blame the kids
Your kids clearly love you and the raffle will work out fine you can always donate your husbands Christmas present instead of yours given that he is the git that volunteered you for this thankless task

Oh and next year volunteer him to have custard pies thrown at him at the summer fair.

Hairtodaygonetomorrow Mon 24-Nov-14 12:24:32

And- by the way, be proud of your accent. My husband has a very strong accent and I would hate it if my children were embarassed about it- I'm sure they are not though, and unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you won't be the only one who has an interesting accent, and an interesting backstory to boot.

EilisCitron Mon 24-Nov-14 12:47:20

Do not give your christmas kindle away! That is yours.

Your children do not think you are shit. I promise you that x a million.

Times are hard for people looking for donations. I don't blame you for not coming up with anything.

Tell your husband you've done your best, it's over to him.

You need some serious pep-talking. Is there a friend or a sister back home you can make an appointment to skype later? IF you don't have any local friends you need to open up to someone and tell them you are feeling stressed and down. There are a million brilliant things about you, I bet, and you just need to make some time to have a chat with someone who loves you. Your husband isn't helping if he is volunteering for things you are not confident in. If he "hasn't noticed" you have lost confidence you need to open up to him too. He should help you.

Good luck with everything - except the stupid raffle. Dump that and focus on the important things - including you, and how you are feeling.

hydeparkhottie Mon 24-Nov-14 13:08:30

To be fair, the mothers at the school have been nothing but kind to me. Although, we've never been invited to birthday parties bar one--everyone came to my sons. That's what mattered most to him. When I've struggled to find gifts for the raffle, some of the mothers went out and found me a few things from local businesses that they had contact with.

I just need my mojo back.

casperandjasper Mon 24-Nov-14 15:13:59

Firstly, speak to your husband and tell him acquiring raffle prizes is not your thing (it wouldn't be mine either - horrendous task). Pass it back to him and don't take no for an answer.

Then spend some time thinking about what would help you get your mojo back. Sometimes life just gets on top of us and we only see the things we aren't doing (baking, volunteering) rather than the great things we are (raising children, running a house, working etc).

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