Something I have learnt since having children is that not everyone actually cares about you and your children.
They often care when it suits them or when they can gain something from the friendship.
Having a disabled child has taught me that in a much harsher way.
People often want to be associated with you for the way it makes them look or for the personal reward it gives them (whether that is likes on Facebook or others thinking they are a good person).
But the bigger lesson I have learnt is that when these people show their true colours, you have a choice - to allow them to continue to use you, or to put your own needs, and the needs of your children first.
Trying to make everyone else happy is impossible and comes at the expense of your own mental health.
After 18 months of therapy with a mixture of psychologists and psychiatrists, and a further 6 months of personal development, I have stopped listening to the wants of others.
The change I have felt has been incredible, I no longer worry about what others may think of the choices I am making, the only consideration I give is to the needs of my children and my husband.
They are the most important people in my life, so why should I make decisions based on what others want?
I stopped bothering with people who only contact me when they want something from me, or my children, and it quickly became clear who mattered and who didn’t. I cut away the toxic people in my life and felt myself and my children flourish.
As a result of that, I have been called every name under the sun- selfish, spiteful, ungrateful… I could go on.
Yet none of this bothered me, because the people who have said all of this are the ones, I needed to cut out to find my own happiness.
Life is too short to pander to their needs.
I live in a city where the only support system we have consists of work colleagues and incredible women who work at our children’s nursery ( a city I love and a support system I wouldn’t change for the world); I have a highly stressful job, and young twins- one of whom is severely disabled.
Why would I want to deal with additional, unnecessary negativity?
Finding my own happiness has been a long journey, yet now I have it, I’ll never sacrifice it again.
I will make sure I raise my children to know that their own happiness and mental health is worth far more than the wants of others.
No one else will put you first in this world and the negativity and stress of toxic people will never change.
Happiness is key so always make sure your comes first.