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Get Up, Get Out…




I almost didn’t leave the house today.

I aim to leave the house at least once a day, even if I feel like crap and there is nothing I need to do. Quite often in the mornings I will pack S into her pushchair and we will go for a ridiculously long walk.

Having suffered to a certain extent with depression, and considering myself to still be somewhat at risk of its return, I am ever mindful of needing to stay one step ahead of the black dog. For me this means making sure I eat reasonably well, take my vitamins, fish oils and various other supplements daily, see friends, have adult conversations, exercise, and get out of the house whenever I can. On a day when I have seen a friend for a chat, I notice the difference at the end of the day. On a day when I’ve not been out of the house, I really notice the difference at the end of the day!

This morning my sister in law came round with my niece for an hour or so, but I was planning to go out after they left, or perhaps after lunch when S had her nap. I try to time my leaving the house to coincide with her naps, because she always falls asleep in the pushchair or sling any way, and if she does that on top of a nap, bed time is far from fun. But when my sister in law left I did some housework instead, and then S had a ridiculously early (and long) nap which I didn’t want to wake her from just for the sake of getting out of the house. So I waited, and waited, and then it seemed like it was probably too late.

My ex’s daughter started a new school this morning. She was only moved there because I filled in the forms for her, and then sorted out her acceptance documents from my hospital bed after S was born. I know how excited she was to get a place there, and how much she will have been looking forward to starting there. I still have the thank-you card she gave me when she got the letter offering her a place there. I really wished I could have seen her or spoken to her to wish her well, but I know that’s not possible. By the time S woke from her nap this afternoon my reason for not wanting to go out had more to do with not wanting to bump into this girl on her way home from school. I miss her and her siblings terribly, but I also worry that they all hate me and would not react well to seeing me now. I do not imagine that anything even remotely pleasant has been said about me in that house for quite some time now.

Half-way through a Biggest Loser double bill though, I gave myself a stern talking-to. In the almost 4 months since S’s father left, I have bumped into him or members of his family around town precisely once, and that was my own fault for not taking note of what time it was when I was near the place his bus drops off in the mornings. It is ridiculous to stay home in order to avoid an 11-year-old girl who probably didn’t even go home through town today any way. So I bundled S into the sling and went for a little wander to post some letters and have a browse around Tesco. We were out for less than half an hour, and it was the highlight of my day. It’s easy to just stay in this flat, have my shopping delivered and only venture into town at times I’m not likely to run into anyone I don’t want to see. But I have done nothing wrong, and really, much as I appreciate people suggesting I should put a curtain over my front door so that nobody can tell whether I’m in or not, and avoid going anywhere near places I might bump into people who might be mean to me, that to me is cowardly behaviour, suggesting that I am ashamed of something. 

I would rather not have anyone shout abuse or accuse me of being an unfit mother in the middle of town, but really, that sort of thing reflects more on the person doing the shouting, doesn’t it? And I’d be a less fit mother (in both senses of the word) if I didn’t go out for some fresh air every day. 

Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

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