It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I took an unexpected and unplanned hiatus, but I’m back. I’m all about those fresh starts and there’s no better time! As the year comes to a close, I guess it’s tradition around these parts to do a little round-up of the year— in fact, I’ve been doing them since 2011!
No year is complete for me without trying my hand at taking a photo every day! 2015 was no different and I failed again, of course! It was probably my longest stint yet though
My little star moved from nursery up to preschool, a few months early
Byron moved into his own big boy bed!
Byron turned three!
His birthday was spent at the zoo and I made him a delicious chocolate cake, to celebrate
I wrote about being an introvert and how no one should make you feel like that’s not okay!
Me and Ashley hit the 10 year milestone in our relationship. Wha’?! Madness
We moved at the end of the month, to be closer to our families and potential schools for Byron!
I dabbled in a bit of vlogging in the hope to reignite my love for content-making on YouTube
We spent a lot of time having picnics and fun in our new garden!
Byron had a glowing report at his first parents evening
We went to a ‘Classic Car Show’, which Byron loved more than life itself
I turned 28!
Myself and Byron went on a little summer holiday to Majorca with my sister, while Ashley was away in Sweden recording his album!
I had writers block. The story of my life!
We took a day trip to Whitstable— something we’ve been meaning to do for 10 years!
My MacBook died. RIP!
Byron nearly exploded when we took him on a surprise trip to Diggerland!
Am I a working mum? I mean let’s face it, as mothers, mummas or mummys, we all are really— it’s just that some of us are paid in cash and others are paid in love, snot and drool! Raising a child is no easy task, whether you’re in their company 24/7 or slogging away at work, missing them. I prefer not to pigeon-hole myself, but if I’m going to be put in the ‘Stay At Home Mum’ or ‘Working Mum’ box, then I guess I need to hop into the latter.
I work three days a week and spend the other four with Byron, so I suppose I have the best of both worlds right now: I contribute to our household and have the opportunity to have time with adults at work, that you can seriously crave after being stuck inside with a baby or toddler all day (and it really is refreshing to be able to have a conversation with someone without saying “Listen, please! I won’t tell you again!” or be asked “Why?” every time you ask them something, or have to go and wipe their bum); but I also have the opportunity to spend some time with my best little buddy and soak up the cuddles, kisses and the funny little things he likes to do, because one day he’ll grow out of them and won’t reach for my hand when we go to cross the road, or want to sit on my lap while he watches Peppa Pig, or lay on the floor and fix pretend cars for his preschool friends.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my working life, lately. I work in HR for retail and I’ve worked for the same company for 12 years, in various roles. People either react one of two ways when they know that; a surprised and somewhat impressed look as to how someone could be so loyal or not get bored after so long, or most commonly, it’s a look of pity, where if I had the ability to read their mind, I’m certain they’d be saying, “Oh. That’s a shame. Poor girl.”
And I thought the same too, for a long time. I didn’t want to get that little gold badge to signify I’d been there for 5 years, let alone the one I got after a 10 year stint. And I’ve realised that perhaps I’ll be there for the 15 year mark too, because I’ve had some what of an epiphany; it’s okay. It’s okay that I still work there, because it’s my job not a career.
a paid position of regular employment
an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress
I’m not career-driven, at least not right now and I have no great ambitions to be a designer or teacher or journalist or anything that I could be missing out on progressing to, while I’m working my job. It’s not what I want nor need right now. I don’t need to rush and think about working somewhere new. I have to think practically too in terms of having a second child one day, so where I am makes perfect sense for now. Never say never, because I’m always keeping an eye on what’s out there, in case something interesting pops up, but I am happy being a mum and this little work-life balance thing we have going on right now. Perhaps I’ll have a different job in the coming years, but the time for my career will come.
People are too quickly defined by what it is they do to earn a buck. So next time someone asks “What do you do?”, I’ll be talking about who I am. How I’m a mum to a beautiful three-year-old, I love taking photographs and making content for my blog and YouTube Channel. I bake, cook and keep my family well-fed. I like to travel abroad and lay in the sunshine. I love skincare and cosmetics. I enjoy being creative.
We are defined by who we are, not what we do. Or at least I think we should be.
“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” — Virginia Satir
“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’” — Maya Angelou
I love the British seaside, despite the sand that gets in places you really don’t want it to and sticks to your suncream / feet / anywhere & everywhere after a paddle in the freezing cold salty water, or the stones that hurt you when you grace them with your bare feet. There’s even something charming about the smell of the fresh air and seaweed, and the noise of gulls, to let you know you’re getting close to the coast.
Brighton will always be my favourite coastal spot, with it’s abundance of shops and restaurants, not to mention how close it is to home; but naturally, because of it’s awesomeness, it’s a tourist hotspot and gets packed as soon as a ray of sunshine is forecast.
Whitstable has been on my radar since I met my husband, as it holds a special place in his heart and so a few weekends ago, we finally decided to take a little day trip there with Byron. It’s only taken ten years!
We made a quick pit-stop just nearby in Hernhill to tidy Ashley’s grandparents grave. It’s the first time Byron’s ever been to a cemetery, so to avoid any confusion (or nightmares!) about what they really are, Ashley told him a very sweet story about how they have “people stones” in them and they’re there so we don’t ever forget people. He quickly accepted it, and that was that. Taking a walk around the outside of the church though was a bit of a different story, as he was quizzing his Dad on why he doesn’t like them. I don’t think discussions about religion and atheism is appropriate yet at the age of three, so thankfully we distracted him with a sit down in a local pub, where he tucked into his picnic!
We took a short drive down to Seasalter, with the help of GPS and Ashley’s memory. The boys picked up stones and had competitions to see who could throw them the furthest, while I perched on a rock and watched. The tide was low, leaving behind lots of soggy sand, that ate Ashley’s flip-flops and covered Byron in crap, head-to-toe— but a good time was had by all!
I think we’ll travel a little further along into Whitstable next time, as we didn’t really know where we were going on this trip. You’ve gotta love a little seaside town though!
Sometimes I sit and think about our wedding, and it astounds me that it will have been 5 years since that day, next year. Half a decade of marriage already! Naturally, it seems like only yesterday that I was crying my eyes out when Byron was born, too. I will never forget that feeling of pure joy! And now my ‘little’ boy is 3 & a half. He’s still little in the grand scheme of things, but I’m constantly reminded of just how much he’s grown, developed and learnt already, to shape him into the big boy that stands in front of me today.
Time appears to be moving quicker than it should. It’s part and parcel of growing up, I suppose. I remember when the 6 weeks summer holidays at school felt more like 6 months and yet this year, children seem to be back in their school uniforms quicker than ever.
Oh sweet baby jesus, this hurts my womb
“They don’t stay babies for long” is something I’ve often heard people proclaim, whether it’s to me or someone else— and it’s something I’ve often quoted too, because it’s so true and everything in motherhood seems to come back to this point: they grow up so quickly. Too quickly. We celebrate and treasure every milestone, whether it’s a smile, rolling over, crawling, solid food, sitting up, first words or walking, without realising that every day they are becoming more independent and outgrowing that baby phase, right in front of our very eyes. One day they’re sprouting their first tooth and the next, you’re having a full-blown conversation with them about cars or healthy food or they’re singing along to “Sam Swif” on the radio.
In the last week, I’ve seen an abundance of cute kids in their school uniform for their first day at school, all over social media and it terrifies me, because that will be my cute kid next year.
When we moved to our new place in May, a huge part of it was because we wanted to be in a better location for certain schools. Applying for them still seemed so far off, but now it’s here. We have decisions to make that could hugely effect his life. I’m firing off emails this week to have a look around prospective schools and I don’t know what I’m looking for, other than Ofsted results and just getting that gut feeling.
In around 6 months, we’ll know where he’s going to school. I am not ready for him to grow up just yet. Soon, he won’t want to hold my hand or give me a kiss infront of his friends and teachers. He probably won’t call me his best friend anymore. He won’t come into my bed, spoon me and pat my head and say, “I’ll always look after you, mumma.” It feels very much like the end of an era that I’m not ready for and I doubt I will be in a year, either. I’m going to be one of those parents with tears streaming down their face once they’ve dropped their child off, for sure.
I worry, have I done enough? Has he had fun? Will he look back on these years with fond memories, if he can? Deep down, I think I know he will— he’s been lucky enough to go on a couple of holidays abroad, day trips and spend lots of time with his family. He’s had adventures and new experiences and made new friends. It’s the small things I have the Mummy Guilt about. The every day things. I’m very much a homebody. We haven’t baked or gone to the park every day. If it rains, I’m less inclined to go out. I guess that’s just me and I hope my less-than-adventurous side hasn’t completely rubbed off on him!
Byron loves preschool where he is now, but I think he has a good understanding of ‘big school’ and has grasped that he’ll be going soon too— and he’s raring to go. He wants to wear a school uniform, play and make more friends. All of the worries definitely lay in Camp Mum right now! We’ve spoken about it and I’ve told him he’ll always be my baby, to which he has said, “No I won’t mummy. I’m going to be as big as Daddy! But it’s okay, I’ll always love you.” Slow down kid, you’re too grown up!
He couldn’t run away from me any quicker on his first day at nursery, but I worry that he won’t want to go into his class when it comes to his first day at primary school. I worry that he will be scared, or not make friends, or that someone will be horrible to him. I was never worried or scared about nursery or preschool, but moving to a primary school seems final, somehow. It’s compulsory, where as nursery was our choice as parents. He will go off one day to start a whole new life and routine, and when it’s finished in years to come, he will officially be an adult and won’t need me in the same way anymore. Byron has never given me any reason to worry— he has lots of friends at preschool and seems to fit in well. He has flourished there. But like time moving faster than it should, worrying too, is part and parcel of parenthood.