These four walls and itchy feet

I’ve never had such contradictory thoughts running through my head as the ones I’ve been having just lately. I am so desperately seeking adventure. I want to explore new places and re-visit old ones. I have incredibly itchy feet. I’ve been staring at photos from some of my old photo albums, the pictures I took when I used to live in France. A dusty collection of photographs that are full of mountains, rivers and beautiful quaint French towns. During that time, I never knew what I was doing or where I was going from one day to the next. I loved that. Every day was an adventure.

Recently, I’ve found myself wishing to be anywhere else other than where I am right now.


Please don’t for one second take this mean that I am unhappy or that I want to runaway from my little family. I am happy and I want to runway with them. I’ve always been an ‘on the move’ kinda girl, never stayed in one place for too long. I get bored easily and crave new places and new faces. Obviously this desire was much easier to fulfill in my teens and early twenties, pre-motherhood – I could go where I wanted, do what I wanted and had no one to answer to. I’m estranged from my father and my mother lived on the other side of the world. I got used to fending for myself.

So what is contradictory about all of this? Well, despite my wanderlust. Most days? I dread leaving the house. I feel an ache in the pit of my stomach every time I think about leaving the front door, even if it’s just to pop down to the shop for milk and bread. I’ve gone from being somebody who was more than happy to travel to New Zealand all by herself to a quivering wreck at the thought of nipping down to Tesco.

It doesn’t really help that whenever we go out, Jasmine is like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode into an angry pile of flailing limbs at any given second. She has tantrums several times a day and as much as I’d like to be the mum who just smiles knowingly at other parents who pass me by, a quick roll of the eyes as I say “Kids, eh?”. I’m not that mum, not yet. Instead my cheeks burn a bright red and I stare at the ground because I’m convinced everyone thinks I suck at this parenting gig, even though I know that’s not the case. Nobody’s thinking that. Except me.

Deep down I know it’s nothing do with Jasmine’s mood swings, she’s not the reason I don’t want to leave the house. It’s an excuse perhaps, but not the reason. I still haven’t really identified what the reason is. I’m completely and utterly confused by all of this. It’s like two parts of my brain are fighting against each other – one part craves adventure and the other seeks comfort and safety and it’s clear which one is currently winning the battle. It forces me to stay here, in these four walls. Protected, in my castle.

Most days it’s OK, we keep busy – Jasmine and I will play outside in the garden or we spend time dancing in the kitchen. But it gets to the end of the week and I realise I’ve not had a single face-to-face conversation with another adult (aside from my husband) all week. And I can only pretend to myself for so long, that I’m OK with that. I’m bored of routine, I’m tired of being lonely (you know what I mean by that, and if you don’t, I’m really glad you’ve never experienced this feeling). I’m fed up of this self-imprisonment.

I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know what I need to do. I just know I needed to write this down to feel a little better about it all.

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The Twinkle Diaries


  1. Avatar July 13, 2015 / 12:07 pm

    Hey lovely. So sorry you are feeling like this, you are an amazing mum to jasmine. When they are so little it’s hard to get anything much sometimes when you go out, so easier to stay in. But all I can say is that everytime you do go out it gets that little bit easier. It’s actually always hard I think, but only because you want them to be so good and when you want that, they almost never ate! Lots of love.

    • Jenna July 28, 2015 / 11:01 am

      Thank you, Karen.

      I’ve tried to relax a bit more and lower my expectations when we go out and it’s helped massively. I know you’re right and that it will get easier in time. xx

  2. Avatar July 13, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Oh Jenna my lovely I am so sorry you’re feeling this way! As you know I’m struggling with similar problems myself so I understand a little bit of where you’re coming from. I hope that you are feeling a bit better now that you’ve written it down – it’s a very brave and very important first step. The next step might be to consider whether you can improve the situation on your own or whether you might need to speak to your GP about getting some outside help.

    I think it’s very telling that you mention a fear of looking like a sucky parent (Which you’re not by the way! Far from it in fact!!!) when Jasmine has a tantrum as I think it’s something a lot of mums struggle with. Most days it feels easier just to stay at home rather than risk a toddler conniption in Sainsburys.

    What is helping me is to go out with no expectation of going to a particular place. We might make it to the library but on the other hand we might only make it to the play park. Having less pressure on both me and Bubs means that she’s better behaved (because I’m not constantly telling her that she has to behave herself or we’ll go home) and I’m much less anxious, so a happier time is had all round. The trick is that I just say “Let’s go out” rather than “Let’s go to the shops/library/pond” so if we don’t make it there it’s not grounds for a tantrum.

    I wish I could do more and say more to help. Just know that I am here if you need to talk about anything at all. Vx

    • Jenna July 28, 2015 / 11:03 am

      Thanks so much, Vickie.

      I took every thing you said on board and have started going out with out the expectation of going anywhere in particular. It has really help and has meant I’m more relaxed, thus making Jasmine more chilled out too. She has tantrums, but they’re inevitable but we’re both dealing with them much better. xx

  3. Avatar July 13, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    Ah, I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling like this Jenna!

    Would you say it’s an anxiety keeping you indoors? I’ve suffered with anxiety, particularly social anxiety, for a very long time, and although it is hard, the best thing is to just get yourself out there. Even if that’s just a 15 minute walk round the block or to the shop etc. If you think this is a serious issue that you can’t overcome yourself, talking to your GP could really help.

    Regarding Jasmine’s tantrums ‘keeping you back’, I was there not too long ago. I hated going anywhere because Alexander was tantruming left right and centre. He still does have many tantrums, but I’ve got to the stage now where I really don’t care what other people are thinking about how I deal with my child. It’s very much a mental thing, because as much as we don’t want to think about it, the tantrums aren’t going to be stopping anytime soon. It took me a good couple of months to get to this point though, to accept the tantrums almost.

    Sending you nothing but positive thoughts!

    • Jenna July 28, 2015 / 11:08 am

      Yes, I think there is definitely some elements of anxiety there. It’s strange for me because leaving the house has never been a big issue for me. We have started going out every day, even if it is just to the local park or round the block and it’s definitely helping. Like, each time relieves a little more stress because I know it’s getting better.

      I think once I reach that point of not caring what people think about the tantrums, it will make life a lot easier. All parents have or will go through the same thing at somepoint. x

  4. Avatar July 13, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    Bless you, I hope it’s helped to write it all down. I used to be super confident and went on holiday alone and now I struggle to go into a shop alone, since becoming a mum. I don’t know if it’s some sort of anxiety or what… sending hugs x

    • Jenna July 28, 2015 / 11:09 am

      Yeah, judging by the comments on this blog post it seems to be pretty common that our confidence is knocked somewhat since becoming parents. I guess there is just so much for us to think and worry about. It’s impossible to be as carefree as we used to be but now I feel I’ve gone too far in the other direction. xx

  5. Avatar July 13, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    I go through this now and again. A few days of not being able to pick myself up. For me, the solution is always in a creative project. For some reason, if my brain is sparked by something visual or something to make, my whole mood changes. It makes a massive difference even when the days with my two cheeky ones seem looooong. Hope you can find your spark soon x

    • Jenna July 28, 2015 / 11:13 am

      I think you’ve made a really good point, Rachel. I very rarely do anything for myself anymore and that always leads me to being in a bit of a slump. Let’s hope I can find my spark too! :) xx

  6. Avatar July 13, 2015 / 9:09 pm

    Sorry to hear you are feeling like that. I gave been in that same position too. Even on my third when arthur goes into meltdown I think the whole world thinks um screwing things up. It’s so hard feeling like you are being judged and builds alot of anxiety.

    Do you have a friend that you could arrange to meet once a week to get you out, or even of they come to you to give you some company.

    I would love to meet you and I think we are quite local if you were ever up for a mini blog meet.


    • Jenna July 28, 2015 / 11:17 am

      Ah, I’m sorry that you sometimes feel like this too although it is reassuring to know that I’m not alone in this.

      I only have one local friend really and since she went back to work after having her son, I don’t see as much of her unfortunately. I’ve really struggled to get to know anyone else, despite my best efforts to go to groups etc. I’m kind of at a loss as to what to do.

      It would be lovely to meet up with you. :) xx

  7. Avatar July 13, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    Ah Jenna bless you, look how far you have come with your confidence lately, I think you self conscience is telling you to get out there, you can do it. I drive Chris mad, I never settle always want to be traveling or planning a trip or a home move. I have promised him no more home moves I think he is fed up of it. I do think it’s so hard going out with toddlers, I felt the simple things like going to the shop, getting in the car such a faff that some days it was easier not too. Jasmine will grow out of this stage and then you will never be in xx

    • Jenna July 28, 2015 / 11:21 am

      I know Sarah, I just feel that lately my confidence has taken a massive step backwards. I am sure once Jasmine gets through the stroppy toddler stage things will get easier, or I just won’t care so much.


  8. Avatar July 14, 2015 / 10:29 am

    I found that I had quite bad anxiety (and still do) taking the twins out on my own. They really have tested me quite a few times! And if I’m in a public place I can’t concentrate on anything except watching them. It hasn’t helped that Lottie has been a ‘runner’ too. However…I still try my very best to get out nearly every day. It honestly is so good for my sanity and mind. Wether it is the park, a little walk or soft play. And catching up for a quick coffee once or twice a week with different friends on playdates helps me too. I hope you feel better soon, as Sarah says above, once you’re out of the toddler stage they do become more fun and it gets a lot easier – we are now finding we can actually go out for the whole day relatively fuss-free! Jess xx

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 10:45 pm

      Thanks Jess, I think the problem is that I don’t really know anybody to meet up with. I lack adult company and now even the thought of it makes me anxious.

      I think Jasmine is going to be a runner too, she already seems to have selective hearing when we’re out at the park. ;)

      I’m sure it will all get easier in time. xx

  9. Avatar July 14, 2015 / 11:31 am

    I can totally relate to how you are feeling; I loved to travel pre-babies and have incredibly itchy feet but find getting out such a challenge with young twins. Take each day at a time and keep adventures small and close to home and you’ll gradually build your confidence. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I’ve written a lot about this on my blog, would love you to drop by. Thanks for such an honest post :)

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 10:46 pm

      Thanks Nia, it’s really reassuring to know that it’s not just me who is going/gone through this. I have been trying to get out as much as I can and start small by going to the local parks etc. It is helping but there are still days when I just want to lock myself inside the house and never go out again.

      I will definitely pop over and read some of your blog posts.

  10. Avatar July 14, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    I suffer from anxiety, some days are worse than others. One of the things I try and do is get out of the house even when I don’t feel like it. I find that usually I feel better once I’ve done it. Most of the time I don’t plan to go anywhere, so we could end up going to the park, around the block or into town. I’m terrible at worrying what other people will think and I do let it stop me from going places so I know exactly how you feel on that. Clem has just discovered she has a voice (a very loud one at that) so she makes a lot of noise now whenever we go out and I get so embarrassed by it. I’m sure no one is staring but I think they are. You could try meeting up with someone for a coffee at somewhere kid friendly, that way if Jasmine does have a tantrum it won’t matter.
    Ky x

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 10:50 pm

      I know exactly how feel, Ky. Some days I feel much better than others and will happily go out without thinking too much about it and other days I don’t want to leave the house ever, ever again! I remember when Jasmine found her voice and she used to do these high-pitched screams, I felt like everybody was looking at me. She still does it now if she spends any longer than 5 minutes in her buggy. It’s water off a duck’s back now though. Hopefully I’ll feel the same with tantrums eventually. Trying to get out as much as possible is good advice though. I always regret it when I don’t go out, never regret it when I do. xx

  11. Avatar July 14, 2015 / 7:52 pm

    Awww!! Sending you hugs lovely! I have no advice, I still have days like this and I have no toddlers. I just ride the storm and know it will pass. But like you I’m a total contradiction too, I do such a public, out there, kind of job but I am a wreck in real life at weekends. Take care sweetie, it will pass I’m sure xxx

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 10:53 pm

      Ha, it’s funny isn’t it? I used to do stand-up comedy and yet I am incredibly nervous when it comes to talking to groups of people?! I hope you’re right and that it passes soon. xx

  12. Avatar July 14, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    i can totally empathise, as I often feel this way myself. I have found small outings close to home and taking pleasure in slow adventures and small details have helped me deal with the itchy feet a bit. It is such an adjustment from a busy, active traveller to being somewhat impeded by children, but we have to believe that it will get easier :) thanks for writing such an honest post #twinklytuesday

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 10:55 pm

      You’re right, It is a huge adjustment and one that I totally underestimated. Taking it slow and not expecting too much has definitely help. If we make it out to the local park then the day is a win as far as I concerned. We’ve had some lovely times together at the park just lately and I think the fact I’ve just been more relaxed about it all has played a major part in that.

  13. Avatar July 14, 2015 / 9:32 pm

    I’m so sorry you’re feeling like this Jenna. I completely understand the loneliness. Oliver is going through a bad stage at the moment and I have been dreading leaving the house, I try and force myself out though. Sometimes I wish I could just jump in the car and drive, but I now have the responsibility of a small human and that still terrifies me! I hope writing it all down has made you feel a little better.

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 10:58 pm

      Thanks Becky, writing it all down certainly helped a bit.

      I’m sorry you’re going through this too at the moment. It’s very hard and really lonely but I think you’re doing the right thing by forcing yourself out of the house. It’s a scary responsibility having these small people to take care of and I think it’s only natural we feel this way sometimes. I’m just scared that it’s taking over my life somewhat. :( xx

  14. Avatar July 15, 2015 / 12:43 am

    Ahh hon, I hope writing it down has made you feel better? I know very little about this, but it might be an idea to see if you are suffering from anxiety I think its quite common and motherhood tends to bring it out in all of us in varying degrees, as your comments to date seem to confirm… Have you any NCT friends or others with little ones that are going through the same? I don’t think we are that local otherwise would offer to meet up? Im in West Sussex..

    Its probably not much consolation but I still have days when Monkey throws a typical 3 year old wobbler for no reason what so ever, and despite (often laughing – which incidentally doesnt help!) the fact that I have learnt to roll my eyes a bit there is always someone, somewhere that doesnt approve. I would swear but I won’t ..but it ends with ’em. We were in a restaurant the other day and a woman actually turned round and told him to shut up. He was giggling at something after sitting at the table for an hour like an angel… I asked her if she had been a good mother… lol. But its taken me the best part of three years to be able to do that and actually signified a page turning point for me, as some of my doubt started to disappear, and since then its almost disappeared. But it took anger to start the process!!

    It is easy to write it will get easier, but it does. If there is anything I can do to help, please message me :D. And remember you are a fantastic mother, wonderful wife and brilliant blogger. You are also the amazing woman that went and danced with strangers. xx


    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 11:02 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, that really cheered me up.

      I don’t really have made any friends local, just the one who I don’t see so much now she’s back at work. I never did the NCT courses or anything. I’ve tried lots of baby/toddler groups but nothing really came of those either. In fact, most of the time they made me feel even worse. :(

      I cannot believe that woman told Monkey to shut up – that’s so rude! You’re right though, there are always going to be people like her around. F**k ’em. :)


  15. Avatar July 16, 2015 / 11:09 pm

    Oh Jenna this was a brave post to write and I am sorry you are feeling this way. I suffer from anxiety too, I am exceptionally lucky that we have had a few trips away this year, but I have been so scared before hand as I worry about everything. It’s a not an uncommon thing, especially with children. Do you have any baby/toddler groups near you? Even though it would be a big step going, they would probably be the best ones as Jasmine could run riot alongside all the other kids doing the exact same. She’s no doubt going through a stage, my littlest is the same, but they grow out of them just as soon as they start them. Anyway I just wanted to send you my love and I am sorry you are lonely. I hope you get out of your funk soon. xx

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 11:08 pm

      Thank you, Katie.

      I think I could deal with family trips OK, it’s purely when I’m on my own that I feel I can’t cope. We were going to quite a few baby/toddler groups but they’ve all stopped for the summer and these weeks seem to be going so slowly. There’s nothing for us do, nobody for us to visit. It’s a pretty lonely existence to be honest. I just want to be close to family and friends but it’s just not possible at the moment. :(


  16. Avatar July 17, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    Lovely girl, I don’t know what to say to make you feel better but all I CAN say is that you are doing brilliantly!!
    Being a new mum in a new area can’t be easy… I struggled to get out and about when my little miss was between 13 to 15 months too due to the tantrums. But it will pass. I promise!
    I find reasoning and bribery work a treat now that she’s 20 months old. xxxxxxxxx

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 11:10 pm

      Jasmine’s 15 months now and still going strong but hopefully it will pass.

      I think being lonely and isolated is just the worst thing for me but I just don’t know what to do about it. I’ve tried everything I can and now I’m out of ideas. :( xx

  17. Avatar July 18, 2015 / 11:06 pm

    You are really brave to write your feelings. It’s good that you are feeling the itchy feet, it might help motivate you to get out and about more. I’m so glad for the support you received in the comments! It can’t be easy for you x

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 11:12 pm

      Thanks Becky – it’s such amazing support. I wish you all lived on my road as you’re all a lot more friendly and supportive than others seem to be where I live. *sigh*

      I’m working on getting out more, I have a feeling it’s going to take some time though. xx

  18. Avatar July 20, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    I tell you what you need to do – you need to move near me! But in all seriousness, Jasmine is young so now is the time to move. You need to live somewhere that makes you happy. I picture you somewhere in the country, going to the local farm to collect your eggs, Jasmine runnibg free in a field of a back garden. Do what makes you happy x

    • Jenna July 30, 2015 / 11:13 pm

      I know, and I wish it was as simple as just upping and leaving to live somewhere else. Also, I’m not sure where the ‘place that makes me happy’ is. xx

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