I watched Cheryl Cole on The One Show this week talking about her new position as an ambassador for Child Line. She spoke very frankly about her own insecurities as a child and a growing teenager and how she worries that children today are growing up in a world where they think everything needs to be perfect like we see on Instagram, Facebook, magazines and on the television.
Cheryl and I are the same age and I think that is one of the very few things we have in common, she as we all know is a beautiful, talented and very famous woman who has been in the spotlight since her teens. We also know that she has publicly been through considerable heartbreak, battled issues with her weight and has her every outfit and decision scrutinised because that is what we as a world now seem to do to celebrities.
My life has of course been far removed from Cheryl’s, I have children, I have never been famous, no one would pay to hear me sing and my every life choice has not been put under a microscope by people who don’t even know me. However we do all suffer this kind of scrutiny from people around us don’t we? There are always people in our lives who judge us based on the idea of what we should be and what we should do in our world which is so focussed on being ‘perfect’.
So if I as a grown woman am aware that what I do is measured against this almost impossible standard set by the world around me how right is Cheryl that we need to be concerned about how the children growing up around us feel. There is a saying that the only way we can be truly happy is to learn to drown out the opinions of others and let our own opinions be the only ones that matter. Of course we all know this is so much more easier said than done.
As an adult I can filter things out of my life, my family unit are the most important thing in the world to me and this includes some of my close friends who I see as being family. I can make a conscious decision about who I chose to have in my life and if there is nothing but negativity and unkindness then I can cut that out because lets be honest who needs it! However children cannot, they can’t decide not to see the person at school who is being nasty about their hair or another physical attribute. They can’t cut out those who deem themselves to be better or more worthwhile than them so understandably they end up in a position where they need some help to get through these times.
It is the same with family, as adults we can decide if we have given all we can to a family relationship and move on, as children we have no choice other than get on with it and try to keep our heads held high. We know and I have written many times before that we absolutely cannot get on with everyone that we meet. It would be lovely but totally impossible. Personalities are so diverse and we all love and like different things, variety is definitely the spice of life.
This is where the work that Child Line are doing becomes so important as it helps to communicate to children and teens that it is okay that everything isn’t perfect and do you know what nothing will ever be totally perfect. But…… that’s totally okay, in fact that is totally ‘normal’.
I also like to think that what I write emphasises this point also, I was chatting to a friend of mine this week about how bloggers have a niche, a thing that they are particularly good at doing and writing about and this makes their blogs well read and they gain popularity. This of course made me wonder what my niche is, I am a mummy blogger, I write mostly about my life with children however on reflection I realised that actually my niche is normality. I don’t pretend to be anything other than me, I am not perfect, I am not even close. I struggle with being a mum on a daily basis and being honest I’m really not sure that I am very good at it, I have little confidence in myself and self esteem is something I have always struggled with, I have in recent months made conscious decisions along with my husband to step away from some toxic people in our life and I have a tidy magazine worthy home about once a year when I have people round and I spend two days before cleaning.
If you look at my Instagram you could be forgiven for thinking that my house is tidy, I always wear make up, the boys are impeccably behaved, I have a wardrobe full of beautiful things and a social life that Cheryl would be proud of. If however you read what I write on the comments of my pictures, the things I write in this blog and my column for the local paper you will know I don’t pretend to be anything other than normal. I have grey hair and only get around to dying it every few months or so, I have a close circle of good friends but don’t spend all my time out socialising, I worry about walking onto the school grounds for fear of what other mums think of me, I worry when I leave work what my colleagues think of me, my Ugg boots have a hole in them and my children behave like monsters more often than they behave like angels. But do you know what, who doesn’t feel like me? Maybe not all the time but sometimes and I think this is the point that Cheryl was trying to emphasise.
People will always be there to criticise, to say the things you do wrong, to act like they are better than you or can do the things you do better than you do them. As long as you are true to yourself and you accept that you will never be perfect and neither will they then you will always have the upper hand. Surround yourself with people who feel like this also and you will truly be blessed.
Much love, Lucy xx