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So Saturday was a day trip to London with my oldest, Joseph and some other lovely friends. The plan was to go to the London Dungeons – interesting choice for someone who is claustrophobic and isn’t too keen on dark, enclosed spaces!

Hey ho – if I can do the worlds most scary flume (see last weeks blog here) then I can do dark, and enclosed, and scary – gulp…….

With safety in numbers in mind and with my 10, nearly 11 year old telling me he would look after me (ummm, role reversal). We headed to London and to this popular tourist attraction.

To be honest it is very often the thought of something which is worse than actually doing it but, I still surprised myself by being able to go down in the lift in the pitch dark, following people through dark tunnels not knowing what is going to be round the corner and listening to scary stories about those in our history who weren’t that savory – Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd to name just a couple.

I shall be honest and admit that I was the most scared one in our group, and it gave much cause for amusement as I grabbed others arms and jumped 6 foot in the air when a gust of air squirted me from behind. When it was totally pitch black was it me, or Joseph who was hanging on more tightly, not knowing what would happen next?

The final part of the journey was a ride which simulated being hanged (nice!) and meant a drop through the floor. Here was captured the most unflattering photo I have used at the top here (I am in the middle). Every time I look at that picture it just makes me laugh as it totally epitomises how I felt throughout much of the tour of the dungeons.

But – I faced my fears and I did it!

On the way home our friend asked if we would mind the photo published on social media. I said no. Why, I hear you ask would I post a photo of me not looking my best? My answer, because life is not all about posing, photos where we are smiling and looking happy. Life, especially as a mum in my case is about grit and determination, doing things that, really and truly I would not have chosen to do but, Joseph was really keen and I love doing stuff with my boys which doesn’t involve every sentence beginning with ‘Have you remembered your….’ when I am in complete mummy mode.

I do not truly mind what people think of me, I hope that when they see this photo they laugh at the ridiculous expression on my face. Since when did pouting at the camera become attractive anyway!?!

And this is what is important in life, lovely mums. We do not have perfect lives, no-ones, I repeat no-ones life is perfect, whatever they would like you to think through their posts on social media and the representations of their life in other ways. The last few months for me have been some of the toughest ever, but I had a friend say to me on Friday that she would never have known and was surprised that sometimes, we all can have stuff which messes with our head even when it looks like we have it all together.

Ain’t that the truth?

We are all doing the best we can at any given time, as mums, as work colleagues and as friends, and if other people don’t like it and choose to pass judgement then tough, it’s not their life, not their choices.

On Friday my son gets the results from sitting the 11+ selection test. This is going to be a true test of my grit around leaving the other parents judgement and their ideas about what is the ‘best’ behind and battening down the hatches (dramatic you may think, but not if you have lived in my world this year). I already know that my boy is amazing, he doesn’t need to pass a test to show me that – he held my hand so I wasn’t scared in the dungeons – and you can’t teach that.

#mondaymorningmessage