Earlier this week I went on my first Mum outing with ‘new’ Mum friends (those I’ve met since having Winston) minus our children – except from a gorgeous 3 week old – a meal to ASK Italian. I enjoy socialising but I’m not a very relaxed socialiser and get quite anxious around new people, those I don’t know very well and when in large groups.
I’m fine once I start talking, it is the initiating conversation and entering a room full of new people that really puts me miles out of my comfort zone. Attending a new playgroup alone is literally my idea of a worst nightmare, so I’ve really had to force myself to go to things and make conversation with others. I find it much easier to ask people about themselves rather than talk about myself, so sometimes I think of potential questions in my head before I arrive (!). I don’t think people would ever notice that I get quite stressed out, I think I’m quite good at hiding it which I’ve decided is probably a bad thing. I don’t want people to find me awkward – plus, when you have a child it is easy to occupy yourself with them if you are feeling a bit shy.
I would like to say it has gotten easier, but I don’t think it has, however; I am quite proud of myself, as on occasions it has been a real effort to initiate conversations with others. I have attended baby sign, baby massage, baby swimming, music time and a toddler playgroup since Winston was born and still always have the feeling that I don’t want to go just before I leave. It is such a strange thing, as I don’t particularly like being alone either!
Jared is good at encouraging me. I must get annoying when I start saying I don’t want to go (like a whingey 3 year old) 2-3 days beforehand. I did try to persuade him to take me and pick me up (so pathetic at the age of 26 I know) but he wouldn’t allow it. Some things I just have to do alone, even if it is as basic as going out for a meal with people I’ve known for quite a few months now!
I’ve spoken to people and they have said that they would have never guessed how shy I am. I do come from a family of 13 so you’d think socialising would be my forte. My family have always been my comfort blanket. What better way to avoid new people at a social event, wedding or new place than to pin one of your ten siblings down to chat to? So much easier and something I have done my whole life. My younger sister is much more social that me, so I always relied on her to get conversation going, and now I have Jared who is great at starting conversations, so often I rely on him to help me out. Naughty I know.
I’ve not been to ASK for quite a few years. I love Italian food but must say I was a bit disappointed overall. Yes it was nice and I enjoyed it but I felt like each dish was missing something vital. My salad caprese was nice but pretty basic, my pizza was quite dry and tasteless and the chocolate salami cake was lovely but not very inspiring.
There were lots of attendees and it was a wonderful evening with lots of laughter, and we did all get a bit sucked into talking about children, birth and other associated ‘mum’ topics. We all start yawning from about 9:30pm! Standard.
Pregnancy does make choosing what to wear easy…I only have one pair of trousers, 3 or 4 tops that fit me and heels are mostly out of bounds, so it doesn’t take long to get ready. Easy peasy.