I’m not usually one for making big promises at New Year that I just can’t keep, but right now I honestly feel like I’m craving a little more structure and clarity in my life. I’m not sure if it’s to do with being a first time mum, freelancer working from home or my age – but 2018 certainly feels like my year to knuckle down and focus on what’s really important to me and what makes me (and my family) happy. Here goes…
1: Family First
There’s definitely a pull in me to spend as much time focussing on Hector as possible. He’s nearly 11 months old (where did that go?) and I’ve found that as he’s stepped out of the newborn stage and entered nearly-toddler territory, gaining independence along the way, I too have inadvertently taken my eye off the mum-ball a little. It’s as if I’ve almost accidentally lost my concentration on him. In an attempt to focus more energy on Hector, I’m going to find some weekly classes we can enjoy together, finally get myself onboard with visiting and picking a nursery for him (he needs the interaction with other babies) and allocate certain days of the week when I won’t work at all so that I can 100% zone in on him.
2. Wellbeing Revisited
During the later stages of pregnancy I developed Gestational Diabetes. It floored me. I felt like I’d failed at pregnancy and it was a huge wake up call that my health was not a given. Daily insulin injections and medication really grated on me, I hated having to pump all those alien chemicals into my body, but I knew I had to do it to keep Hector safe. Fast forward nearly a year from his birth and with all the breastfeeding, sleep training, new routines, teething, weaning and general baby life to navigate, I’ve let my promise to myself to get my wellbeing in check slip. I’m starting with the small changes – daily vitamins, healthy eating and exercising more.
3. Project Home
Just before I fell pregnant we’d undertaken a huge house build extending our kitchen/family room. It meant we had to live in the lounge of our house for months. For me that meant working, cooking, eating and relaxing all in the same sitting room. It was awful! But of course worth it! Where I’m going with this is that I spent so much of my energy planning and executing the project that when it was over (and I fell pregnant) I kind of lost my house mojo along the way. What was initially fun, turned into a huge chore, with anything to do with fixing up the house becoming all about getting it done before the baby came. We’ve since completely redone the bathroom, done a temporary fix on the sitting room and still have the hallway, landing and another bedroom to go. I’m going to find my interiors drive and inspiration again in 2018 and finally get all the unfinished projects wrapped up.
4. Working Mama
It’s been a funny old year for me work-wise. Like lots of other mums with their own businesses, freelancing and working from home, I’ve tried to nail juggling my career and motherhood in tandem. But it’s hard. And I’m not always getting it right. I had a rosy image in my head of me sat at my laptop writing while Hector played on the floor with his toys, which in hindsight was completely naive of me. I know Hector is fully aware when I’m concentrating on a blog post or a commission for a client and not him. He just knows! Which in turn triggers a needy bubba who just wants his mama to sit down and play with him. The guilt is horrendous! I’ve had to learn fast to accept help, and I honestly couldn’t have carried on working post-baby to the extent I have if I hadn’t had Hector’s brilliant grandparents around me. For 2018 I really want to get him into a nursery a couple of days a week too to relieve some of the pressure all round.
5. Saving The Planet
Ok, Im’ not going to achieve this one all by myself but the small changes add up and whether it’s saying no to straws with my takeaway drinks, reusing carrier bags and recycling food waste, I’m determined to reduce my carbon footprint in 2018. It’s definitely something to do with becoming a mother and wanted to make the world a better place for my child, and let’s face it, if you watched Blue Planet then there’s no way you could come away from that series ignoring the big problems we’re facing.
Have you got any New Year’s resolutions? What’s your big goals for 2018? I’d love to know, and if you’ve got any of the same goals as mine – high fives all round!