A crisis of confidence

One of the few advantages of co-parenting, and trust me when I tell you that there are not many, is that two nights a week when Cygnet stays with his Dad I can go out without having to fork out for a babysitter.

In reality, I work late on one of those nights and by the time I finish work I am too tired to do anything other than sit on the sofa and drink wine.  On the other night, I always make sure I go out.  Just because I can.

Tonight came round very quickly and I hadn’t made plans.  My delightful ex collected my son at 6pm and I was left in my flat on my own. 

Although a plan is clearly better, not having a plan has never stopped me from going out before.  I put my hair up, painted on some red lipstick to hide the fact that I hadn’t changed out of my scruffy jeans or plain black t-shirt and left the flat with my laptop.  I would go to one of my local bars, order a glass of Prosecco and write a blog post, just as I have many a time before.

Except tonight was different. 

I peered into the local pub and it was full of large groups of people laughing and chatting.  I felt self conscious and conspicuous sitting on my own in front of my laptop.  I decided against it. 

I walked passed the local gin bar (and an excellent gin bar it is too).  I planned to sit at the bar with my laptop and a large Hendricks and tonic (always Fever Tree).  But this evening the tables around the bar were candlelit and occupied by dating couples.  Again I felt too self conscious and I didn’t go in. 


I went to the local Italian restaurant where I have been known to occupy a table by the window, order a penne arrabiata and read my book.  But this evening it was full of families, of groups of friends, and of work colleagues having an early evening meal.  Again I didn’t have the confidence to go in.

In the end I walked to Waitrose.  Red lipstick is not my normal supermarket attire and the man who serves me my daily free coffee noticed and smiled.  Again, Jesus, I felt self conscious.

I walked round Waitrose, picked up some sushi, a yoghurt, some grapes, and decided to buy myself a bunch of flowers with the money that I was going to save by not buying Hendricks or Prosecco. 

I am now sitting at home.  I have eaten my sushi, my yoghurt and some grapes.  My flowers are in a vase on the side board and I am drinking wine whilst writing this blog post. 

I sure hope this crisis of confidence doesn’t last long.


  1. October 29, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    I am sure it won’t last. You have to look at it as a little blip and next week will be better x
    Ali Duke recently posted…My Empties October 2016My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 30, 2016 / 9:02 pm


      I hope you are right. thanks for your comment. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      October 30, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      Thank you Jen. Yes, flowers always make me feel better. Pen x

  2. October 30, 2016 / 3:42 am

    I used to travel on my own and it never bothered me. How are you different to anyone travelling? To the outside world, you’re not. How dare you let couples, families and groups steal your fabulousness? I say, next time, head high, March in there and raise the vibe with your awesomeness. (We invited a good friend over for dinner last night and she’s a year into single and she raised that she was so happy to come for dinner because couples don’t invite single people to the house for dinner – so I totally get what you are saying but I think we need to chuck those old rules out the window!! Easy for me to say but let’s give it a whirl!!) #Kalcols

    • thesingleswan
      October 30, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Hi Lydia,

      You are right. When I was travelling (admittedly quite a few years ago now) I never used to bat an eyelid about going into a bar on my own. I guess it is because this is my local neighbourhood and I fear that people might recognise me, but don’t know me well enough to come and chat and be friends. Pen x

  3. October 30, 2016 / 9:17 am

    Oh sweet, I hope this doesn’t last long. I’m sure you will find your confidence again soon. xx

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.
    Rachel Bustin recently posted…New Mum Stories: The Newby TribeMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 30, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      Hi Rachel,

      thank you. Pen x

  4. October 30, 2016 / 12:01 pm

    Sorry you felt like that. I have times like that too. It feels like everyone else has people to share their life with. But you were probably there the other week too and someone stared in and thought the same. Hope the confidence comes back soon x #KCACOLS
    Ellamentalmama recently posted…Sanity Is Priceless: When Your Husband Suffers PsychosisMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 30, 2016 / 8:55 pm


      This is true. Next time I do have the confidence to venture in, I will pay more attention to the people walking past and peering in to see whether any of them are having a crisis of confidence like me. thanks for your comment. Pen x

  5. October 30, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    Such a hard feeling but I loved your post – so you can take confidence in that!! So need to get into red lipstick… it always makes me feel self conscious but everyone says it’s a life-saver on a scruffy day! #kcacols
    Devon Mama recently posted…Recipe: Pumpkin & Crispy Chorizo SoupMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 30, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      Ah yes, red lipstick is an absolute lifesaver on a drab day. I’d definitely recommend it. It doesn’t necessarily give you confidence though! Pen x

  6. October 30, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    Oh honey! So sorry the night was such a bummer. I am sure it feel crap-tastic. Head up lady!

    • thesingleswan
      October 30, 2016 / 8:51 pm

      Thank you. Pen x

  7. October 30, 2016 / 6:36 pm

    Looking through a bar window is a bit like reading everyones happy Facebook posts on a Sunday night… not real life. You’ll be back on form soon! #kcacols

    • thesingleswan
      October 30, 2016 / 8:51 pm

      This is so very true! Thank you. Pen x

  8. October 30, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Oh bless you, it sounds like normally you wouldn’t give a damn so like you said this must just be a blip.
    If you still feel like this next time maybe try somewhere new that you’ve not been to before, that might be easier for some reason?
    Good luck! Xx
    Heledd- YummyBlogger recently posted…Death, life and blogging My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 31, 2016 / 8:35 pm


      yes, this is true. I pondered getting on the train to head to a bar where I haven’t been and where no one would recognise me. I was too tired and couldn’t be bothered. Oh well, maybe next time. Pen x

  9. October 30, 2016 / 11:48 pm

    I hope the fug lifts soon! Trust me many of those folk would be stealing glances at you from their unhappy relationships and manipulative families and thinking, look at her- she’s so cool and sexy and independent; I bet she’s a writer, she’s got that red lips and tousled hair thing going on. Why am I here? I don’t even like gin. #KCACOLS
    Moderate Mum recently posted…You don’t have gender disappointment, you need to get over yourselfMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      October 31, 2016 / 8:34 pm

      Haha, love it! thank you. Pen x

  10. October 31, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    Aw bless you! I can imagine it would be very daunting. Would a coffee shop be safer till you get your confidence back? I would love a couple of hours in a coffee shop, blogging, on my own – bliss! #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      November 1, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      Hi Becky,

      I agree, it is much easier to while away the hours in a coffee shop on your own than it is to enter a sociable bar of an evening and blog away. Pen x

  11. November 1, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    Zero self confidence is definitely a word I would use to describe myself. I always feel like I look like a real mum with a boring rushed, chucked up on top of my head hair do, baggy clothes and baggy eyes! I’m hoping I’ll get a sudden confidence boost too #KCACOLS
    Amie recently posted…Halloween CupcakesMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 2, 2016 / 9:43 pm


      I bet you look wonderful all of the time. Pen x

  12. November 2, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    Lizianthus? My favourite. I like to buy myself flowers from time to time too. Sorry you felt that way – I think you’re really brave to go out alone at all – I don’t mind doing it during the day but I haven’t ever considered it of an evening. I know what you mean about wanting to always make the effort to go out when the kids are with their dad though – I have joined a meetup group so at least if all my friends are busy I can go and meet some new people! 🙂 Hope you are back on your game soon hon Xx
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #92My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 2, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      Hi Sam,

      I buy myself flowers every week. I tell myself that they are essential to preserve my emotional well-being. I am not sure whether this is entirely true, but I do like looking at them. A meet up group is a good idea. I hope you are well. Love Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      November 4, 2016 / 7:56 pm

      True. I should count my lucky stars. Pen x

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