You were a busy old year for me. You were the first full year I spent with my little boy, you were the year where I spent half of the year on maternity leave and the other half back at work, you were the year where my stress levels got to levels they hadn’t reached before, and in the end, you were the year where I finally took a step back and decided enough was enough.
No one can prepare you for just how much your life changes when you become a mother. It comes with highs, lows, challenges and lots of firsts! 2017 – you bought me all of those!
The year started well when I got promoted (whilst on maternity leave!!!), even when my interview was scheduled during the worst part of the 4-month sleep regression. It gave me a big boost – which was needed. I was 5 months into being a mum, and absolutely loving every moment of motherhood; but, I didn’t feel as though I was doing anything for me anymore – it was all to keep this tiny, amazing human alive.
The year has been filled with pointless arguments about pleasing others (families with high expectations), and hence the strong unit we once were as a couple felt deeply compromised. How could having a baby do this? Surely this was supposed to strengthen the unit?
One thing I learnt in 2017? If you let arguments and other peoples needs get in between you (which is easily done when you are sleep deprived and tried), you will become very unhappy.
On reflection, I WISH we hadn’t let other peoples opinions / expectations / needs come before ours. When I look back, we spent most weekends seeing others, not getting to know each other properly which is what we should have been doing, as for the first time in 14 years, we were now 3, not 2.
Another lesson? Time goes way too quickly when you are a full time working mum, and there definitely are not enough hours in the day to be the best employee, the best mother and wife, and still have time left over for yourself. Something always has to give. For me? It was my “release”. After returning to work, I stopped blogging as much, I stopped exercising as much, and I stopped thinking about myself as much.
2017 may have been a stressful year for me, and testing at times, but it wasn’t all bad. It came with some major milestones for the little man and they were the most exciting times! We started eating, started crawling, started walking, started speaking our first words, and went on holiday for the first time…. we had some truly memorable moments which have been captured in my heart forever.
So, what’s going to change for 2018?
- I am going to start thinking about ME a bit more, and my wellbeing. Stress is not good, and can spiral out of control quite quickly. I need my “releases” back. I have started blogging again, i’m going to get to the gym a bit more, have regular “me” days, and I have bought Fearne Cotton’s Happy journal to write in on a daily basis.
- Our little family unit (the 3 of us) are THE more important things. Families grow, and family dynamics change – it’s all part and parcel of life, and people should be able to accept that. If we don’t enjoy these moments now, with the speed that the little man is growing up, we’re going to regret our choices.
- No-one else and their demands / opinions come before ours. We have made sure we have at least one weekend a month in the dairy when we have the whole weekend to ourselves.
- Time away from our phones. There have been numerous times when the little man is engrossed in In The Night Garden, and I look up to see us both sat either side of him on our phones. We’ll also be sat in the evening on the sofa together watching tv, and will both be sat in silence because we’re on our phones. So, we’re starting with one night a week where the phones do not come out!
- Yes, I love my career, but my family is number 1. E-mails do not get checked outside of office hours, and I have just had two and a half weeks off over christmas where I managed to not look at my e-mails once – and it felt great!!!!
- Stop trying to people please. I have always been the person who wants people to like me, and then have a sense of disappointment when that doesn’t happen. That has to stop. Life is too short, and lots of those people really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
So there we have it. 2017 has been a mixed bag, but has taught me many lessons. Many of which will change the way I think forever.
How was it for you?
Mummy Setra x