Monday, 31 December 2018

The Year That Was, My 2018

2018 what a year you have been.

I’ve had so much heartache with the loss of my baby in January and I’ve lost friendships too, friendships that I thought were strong and life long, but I’ve also gained faith and friendship from others. I am grateful for the time spent with family and I am proud of all I have achieved with my blog and social media.

Me and my daughters


Pregnancies


When I lost my baby to miscarriage in January I chose to share it publicly on social media and my blog. I did this for 2 main reasons: I believe people should be free to talk about the harder things in life from grief to mental health and, at least initially, I couldn’t talk about it in person. Writing those words once to put online saved me having to repeat them over and over. 

The response I got was amazing. I couldn’t read the messages for severaldays, but I had so many people share their unheard stories with me, so much support and so much love from people I know and those I didn't. I have since found out that I hurt some people by not telling them personally, and I’m sorry for that, but I wasn’t able to contact people individually. I needed to write it once and hide.

Spring passed in a bit of a blur, but on our final try before giving up on having a 3rd child for good I discovered I was pregnant again. I was happy, but I had a constant fear that I would lose this baby too. In fact by 8 weeks I was convinced that had happened and when persuaded to have an early scan I couldn’t believe there was little heartbeat there.

My anxiety around the baby has been there throughout the pregnancy, but it has lessened since 20 weeks when the scan looked ok and I started to feel movement. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all is ok and I will meet my baby boy very soon.

My pregnancy announcement for baby number 3 with numbered balloons

Maternity photo shoot picture at 37 weeks pregnant sitting on the floor in black

Friendships


I have been reminded of the fragility of friendships in 2018, but also how lonely others can be and how open they are to being friends. I start 2019 with happiness that I have 3 groups of friendships that are mostly new, but filled with amazing people, all of whom make me smile when I hear from them or see them. 

A group of people I know online through blogging has become closer and we are determined to meet up more in real life.

The Mother Hen Club ladies are a lovely supportive group and we had a lovely meet up, I’m looking forward to seeing more of them in 2019.

And then there are some school mums, ladies who some weeks I might just see in passing as we rush in and out of school, but I have been lucky to get to know better and I’m sure that we will be good friends by the time our children go to school without us.

Holidays


This year has been one of embracing the caravan, we have discovered it is a practical and low cost option for us when going away for a short break. It means we have separate rooms for us and the children, a space for G to stay up late in and no shared walls/ floors with other guests (although the sound proofing isn’t great). As a bonus we have stayed places with pools which the girls adore. 

2018 saw us staying in Great Yarmouth at Easter and in the New Forest soon after for a visit to Peppa Pig World. We also spent an extended holiday in France (thanks for cancelling our flight home RyanAir) with family and it was lovely for my daughters to spend so much time with their cousin and Aunts, and for me too.

We managed to go camping for a couple of nights in the Summer with our new tent. It was the first time I have been camping without the back up of more experienced camping friends nearby  (although it was near to family in case of emergencies), we survived and even managed to get a decent amount of sleep on the second night. My youngest in particular frequently requests that we go again so I guess we’ll see how we feel about going camping with a baby next year.

Our annual theme park break for 2018 was to Alton Towers staying in the Cbeebies Hotel, we had a great time and I’m glad we finally made the trek up North to go, but I’m not sure we enjoyed it any more than Chessington the year before or Legoland the year before that. It’s likely we’ll be skipping our annual visit to stay in a theme park hotel in 2019 as M likes to go on the faster rides and we probably can’t manage 3 children with 2 adults very well.

Sisters on holiday looking out to sea on a cold beach

A young girl in bikini swimming underwater on holiday in France

Posing with a supersize Bing and Flop at the Cbeebies Land Hotel Alton Towers

Work


This year has been a great year for my blog, despite their being some lulls when I have been unable to write much. I have earned more money than ever before, worked with some great brands and been to some fantastic events. I continue to be thankful for everything I get through blogging and the flexibility I have to work around my children and my mental health.

My Family


Both my girls have changed so much this year. Little is a chatterbox and almost has enough hair to go in a (very short ponytail). She is independent and defiant and funny.  M has got so much older this year, her reading and writing is excellent and she often shows so much maturity. That's not to say her meltdowns are behind us because she is just 7 after all and she still finds it hard to manage strong emotions, but I often look at my beautiful big girl and see her for the Tween she is rather than the young child she was.

I have spent more time than expected with G too this year thanks to his long term contract (like 7 years or something) ending and him spending several months out of work. It brought new challenges to our relationship with less money and a temporary change in roles, but it allowed us the opportunity of more time away. There has also been a permanent change in his relationship with Little and I am grateful they got the quality time to get closer.

A 2 year old and her chocolate birthday cake

A 7 year old and her birthday balloon

2 girls dressed in Tu Sainsburys witches dresses for Halloween at Audley End Railway

I shed more tears in 2018 than I have done for many years and while I hope there will be less in 2019 my anxiety reminds me only too well of all that I have to lose so my thoughts for the year ahead are few: I hope to spend time focusing on my family and I plan not to put myself under work pressure so I have no work targets other than to spend more time writing about what I love.

However your 2018 was I wish you happiness for the year ahead and thank you for reading my blog.

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