Wow, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. Good news is I’ve started my L4 counselling course. Bad news is it’s nothing like I expected it to be. The L3 course at the same place was fairly standard – theory in the first half of the evening, break, then skills practice. The L4 course is entirely different. It’s what’s called experiential. There’s lots of presentations and role plays and student-run workshops. And skills practice can take place in a ‘goldfish bowl’ – in other words, in front of the entire group, observing. Essentially, it’s all my worst fears rolled into one course a week, and it’s for two years.
To make matters worse, I only went back to the same place because I assumed other people from the L3 course would be there, including my tutor. Only one person I know (but don’t click with) was there out of a sea of brand new faces. Meanwhile, a load of my former L3 peers have found a one weekend a month course is central London that they’re going on. I bet you don’t have to do massive presentations and run evening workshops at that course. I’ve also been told the counsellor I’ve found off my own bat (as you have to have personal counselling) is not suitable because they don’t have the right type of experience, despite her meeting the set criteria by the centre. Plus the number of hours’ personal counselling that we’re asked to get is way more than was initially set out… I could go on.
I’m just feeling fed up, and I’m already not enjoying it. But what can I do? I’ve paid for the course, so I’m committed. I’m spending most of my waking day thinking about it, too. There’s loads of reading, preparing for group work, designing workshops… and, because it’s me, I’m just worrying constantly. I’m stressed because my time is no longer my own because of Baby R and it’s so difficult to plan my workload. I also don’t want to present in front of a bunch of new people, especially in an ‘out the box’, experiential way. I feel vulnerable and completely at sea. Last week, midway through the course, I clammed up completely. I was so tired and overwhelmed, all I wanted to do was hide in a cupboard. No one else seemed to feel like that – just me. I should be enjoying the process but instead I’m regretting my decision completely. That’s a scary feeling.
Meanwhile, the sleep training I’ve started with Baby R has been pretty successful. I’ve been doing the Pick Up, Put Down (PUPD) method (Tracey Hogg) and on some occasions, the baby has fallen asleep after a couple of minutes of me putting her down. On others, she’s cried for an hour. This afternoon was like that and, by the sounds of it, she wasn’t too happy about this evening’s one either (for once, my husband did it as I’ve been at the end of my tether today – just so tired and sorry for myself). I should be a bit more positive, really, as I’ve also got her on a four-hour feeding schedule now, which has actually gone well. For the most part, she naps now for an hour and a half – even two hours sometimes. This is a major improvement of where we were at before that, with 40-minute crap naps at best.
I suppose I’m also fed up because I’m getting sick of the mommy baby classes I’ve signed up to. I really hoped I’d meet some nice local mommies, but I find it nearly impossible to chat with anyone. Like today, I turned up feeling tired out and as such, anti-social. And at the end, I just wanted to go – I hate making small talk with people I don’t know. But there are some cool looking people there, so I don’t know why I struggle so much. I guess it’s because I’m not at my best. Man, I’m bloody exhausted, and there’s no end in sight. No wonder I’m not that sociable. But it’s a vicious cycle, because I’m quite lonely sometimes. The days on mat leave can be long, and I have no help. So I need to build up a network. But there again, I just don’t feel like it. Gah, I’m my own worst enemy!
The sad thing is, all I need is a good night’s sleep and I’ll feel much better about it all. But I can’t even get one of those, can I? Ah well, maybe tonight. Wish me luck!
In other news:
- We took R swimming for the second time on the weekend. She enjoyed it again, despite it being much busier and noisy. There was a photographer there as well, so we got some nice shots of us all in the water.
- I found out my role has moved into a new team as part of a big restructure. This means a newly recruited boss when I go back, which isn’t ideal – my fifth boss in four years… but at least I have a job
- We’re going to Centre Parcs! I am SO excited about this. We’re off in the first week of November: the three of us, and my parents. It’s only for three nights, because of my course, but I can’t wait for a change of scenery. Only three and a half weeks to go!