I want to hug you all tight.
A thank-you-for-understanding, we're-in-this-together, we-can-do-this hug.
I had no idea yesterdays blog post would resonate with so many of you.
But then, when I think about it, of course it would.
Motherhood is hard. For all of us!
For a while there, I thought I was the only one.
When my firstborn was a baby, and I went along to mum's group each week, I felt like I was failing.
I would try to dig for clues as to whether those mamas were finding it as difficult as I was - the up-all-nighters and pacing the hallways, and the sore boobs and crazy hormones.
I think we did have the odd conversation that centred around, "Gosh this is hard isn't it?" but we were wary. As if revealing it's difficulty would somehow make us less of a mother.
I even remember telling my mother-in-law in a very roundabout way that I wasn't coping. Searching her eyes for something that recognised my overwhelming feelings of hopelessness. To no avail.
She's forgotten. I thought, She's just forgotten how difficult this is.
I flailed wildly through the first 18 months. And I loved it, but I hated it all at once.
The one thing that has made the motherhood thing easier, and I honestly mean the only one thing that has made it enjoyable, is my friends.
Desperate prayers for friends were answered when we found ourselves in a local church, meeting couples similar ages to us, with children.
Suddenly, I had heart-sisters who were doing the same journey as me.
And after reading your responses to last night's post, and receiving text messages and emails - I know that women need to be real with each other.
Tell someone when you're drowning!
Go and do something for yourself - it doesn't have to be extravagant.
Throw your favourite magazine in with the groceries, and make some time to sit down and read it.
High five your husband as he walks in the door from work, on your way out - even if it's just a walk around the block, to take a breather.
Brene Brown says, "Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen."
And I think it's important to be authentic. To show our kids how to be authentic.
To show our kids how to ask for help when they need it, we should be doing the same.
Mostly though, being authentic brings about a sense of camaraderie.
The kind that I felt as your comments and texts came rolling in.
The kind that says we're all in this together. This life thing, this being human and finding motherhood tough, and often feeling like we're not doing it good enough because everyone else looks like they do it so well.
Well, I think you're amazing.
Thank you for allowing me to be so real.
Breathe in, and out.
We've got this.