This one’s a positive one. As I’ve overcome the difficulties of recent years, losing my dad and ending my marriage, and also the joy of having toddler P. I’ve learnt a lot about people. I’ve learnt who and what matters most and about having let people go and walking away. I’ve learnt about accepting people for what they are and not letting them hurt me anymore.

I’ve also learnt to be grateful. I’ve learnt to appreciate the people who are there for me and who have got my back. I’ve learnt to know the difference between a joke and a comment laced with nastiness. I’ve learnt to know when someone is being jovial but in a supportive way, when they’re lightening the mood but the subtext is telling me that they’re also complimenting me. I’ve also learnt when it’s the opposite but with this I’ve learnt to try not to focus on it.

I’ve mentioned before in several posts about my mummies group chat and the girls in that group who’ve all got my back. Having that forum has been brilliant, there’s always someone to answer or respond and not only is it a safe space to vent, laugh, cry and just chit chat but it’s also a little bit of something that just makes me feel a bit less lonely as a single mum. It means there’s someone to joke with or reach out to when toddler P is down for the night and it’s just me. These girls all give each other knowing boost and virtual pat on the back that says “you got this mama, in fact we’ve all got this” and by nature of the beast some of the girls I know a bit better or am a bit closer to than others and they quite literally go, “hang in there L, you can do it” they laugh with me, they take the mickey out of me and do so with a caring nod and smile that makes me feel good and reminds me that I’m pretty damn good. We all remind each other of what we manage to achieve and how we each fight our own battle of some description, that neither one of us is any better than the other or that neither one of us has it any harder than the other. We’re just all us, mum’s together, pulling together and I’m grateful for them.

I’ve learnt about people caring, just silently knowing that sometimes things aren’t ok and giving a nod, a smile and a glint from their eye that says, “I’m here if you need” it’s nice. It’s a small, kind gesture that can be a lifeline without ever being used, it’s just a reminder that people care.

I’ve learnt about friends, being loyal, being lifelong and being more than just people you spend time with. I’ve learnt that good friends will help pick you up when you’re down but also give you a shout out and sing your praises when you’re on top. True friends love seeing you succeed. True friends don’t just let you into their life, they let you into their families. A friend looked after toddler P for me awhile back, not only did she though, her parents and grandfather were there too, not just looking after toddler P, enjoying toddler P, I picked her up and when I got there I felt warmly welcome. Another friend has us accompany her and her family at special occasions and Christmas traditions, joking that I’m an honorary member. We went to a Halloween party at my childminders and walked in and felt at home, felt welcome chatting not only the other mums and children but to the family of toddler Ps regularly childcare. Feeling welcome and part of the gang with jokes, laughs and warmth shared. I’m grateful for it, I appreciate that people think enough of us to let us in and feel welcome.

I’m grateful for the practicalities people offer, whether it’s a small favour like making my bed for me and sorting my washing out whilst I run around after toddler P during a long weekend away, or putting my bin in/out for me on collection day. Whether it’s offering to a van and some brute strength to pick something up or a set of ladders to change the smoke alarm bulb. I’m thankful I have people to ask or people to just offer and do because they want to chip in a bit.

It’s easy to focus on the people who can throw you off kilter and make you doubt and over think. It’s easy to allow too much headspace for the people that if you let them could bring you down and upset your equilibrium. However, it’s more satisfying and beneficial to remember the people that just walk in and pass you a brew or answer a phone call for a much need vent. It’s better to focus on the people that send a heartfelt text, unprovoked, just out of the blue to remind you that you matter. It’s better to remember that for every person that may say or do something that makes you feel bad, there’s several others wanting to make you feel good.

Thank you, to those people, I’m grateful.

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