For the longest time, I thought to survive and be a 'grown up' you had to be tough. Present to the world that you had it together. Fake it to you make it. Never show fear, never show uncertainty. Don't rely on anyone. Be better than the Joneses.
I've learnt that is a load of crap and a pretty sad way to live your life. In part, blogging and being 'out there' has shown me that it's far better to be honest, vulnerable and occasionally lean on others. Be sad when you're sad, be happy when you're happy. Crushing down the facade makes for a richer life.
I've learnt there's a different between being whingy and being honest. Between being needy and needing people. That we're all a little crazy some times. That most of the time I haven't got a clue.
I'm really lucky that I have a group of friends who I trust, who are supportive and are there no matter what. It took me a long time to find people like that. Some are in the same boat and can empathise when I feel like the mundane nature of motherhood is going to send me mad. Others have completely different lives but we relate as people, love hearing about each others worlds and support each other.
I find it hard to be around people these days who feel they need to promote an image of perfection. No life is perfect and it's perfectly OK to admit that some days. I'm so far from perfect. I make so many mistakes each and every day.
It's so important to have people you can say to: "I'm struggling," when they ask how you are, rather than a tight lipped "Oh I'm fine." Who will listen without judgement, make you a strong cup of coffee and then make you laugh. They are also the same people who cheer on your achievements too. Who breathe a sigh of relief when a tough time has past.
I recently had an email from a friend who said: "I know you probably feel like you're failing some days, but from where I'm standing you're doing an amazing job." It's that kind of thing that means the world to me.
We all need people who've got our back, but we've got to allow them to by being vulnerable. I've recently realised just how many people really do have my back, and for that I'm grateful.
I just hope they know that I have theirs too.