At the start of 2014 I had pretty much never read a blog unless I’d stumbled upon one accidentally, I had no idea that there were these lovely online communities of people who share their every day waffle with each other, I was half way through my maternity leave and, actually, I was struggling.
At the start of 2015, I am an actual blogger, I know what widgets, Tots100, linky’s and sticky posts are (the last one I’m less sure of!), I feel comforted by a group of wonderful parents online, I am fully back at work and tired beyond belief, but I am happy and motivated.
I have a great big diary (a lush, gorgeous 100 year diary) that I fill in every few months as a reflection anyway so I suppose this post is just the online, sharing version of the end of year entry. And let’s face it, there’s only one way that I could break this down to review – blogging life, teaching life and mama life!
- I have had had a blast since I set this blog up in April by finding out many weird and wonderful things from fellow bloggers.
- Being part of a parenting community. I was the first of my friends to have a baby and was totally bewildered and unsure, I love that every day I get online and share my stories and read other people’s stories of parenting highs and lows. It most definitely gives me comfort to know that I’m not the only one winging it!
- Almost 10,000 views, almost 500 twitter followers and a new love of Instagram…I’d never even been on it this time last year.
- Increasing my audience was something that stressed me out for quite a while once I realised that I quite enjoyed blogging. Once I found some linky’s and got involved in the social media side of things though, that soon came.
- I’ve not always found it easy to post original or interesting content. I work full time. And that’s not just 9-5 full time, that’s teacher full time which is close to 60 hours a week, if not more as well as looking after Sprog.
- Honestly, just going back to work and being ‘me’ again. I loved being off with Sprog and a much more leisurely lifestyle but I felt like my brain was rotting. Going back to work has been amazing for me.
- The social time with colleagues has given me space to be ‘me’ again and to relax.
- Surviving. There has been an awful lot of challenges. Tiredness. Complete lack of time. Being too emotionally invested in students. But the great big positive in all of that is that I am surviving and just about managing to stay on top of all of my spinning plates.
- Lack of time to do anything. I am constantly up against a lack of time to do all my planning, marking, phone calls home, interventions with students, revision sessions, trip planning, meetings with colleagues, moderation of exam work, CPD programmes and it can feel one feeling a little inadequate no matter how hard you are trying.
- Missing my little Sprog like mad.
- I’ve actually had a really tough term with some of my GCSE students who have admitted that they don’t like History, they don’t know why they choose it, and their behaviour and effort has therefore been…difficult.
- So so many that I don’t know where to begin.
- I suppose the key thing is just the genuine joy and happiness that Sprog brings to my life, my husband’s life and to everyone else he meets. He is honestly the most smiley and cheeky little man going and luckily (or not) for him, he has inherited my great big gobby grin!
- He is kissy, huggy, smiley, loving, angelic (I would only guarantee this whilst he’s asleep though), monsterous and amazing!
- He just makes my heart melt.
- Too soppy?! So how about the days out that we’ve had together – a summer and a winter trip to London, an epic adventure to America, days out at the farm, trips to the library and great baby activities. O, and making my loving group of Mummy friends!
- I will just pick two things as we all know that this parenting gig is no easy one. In the last year, I have left a whole range of emotions. Far beyond what I have felt before. There were really low times – this time last year I was really struggling to feel ok, to want to get going and I actually felt quite useless as a Mama. But I’ve also experienced incredible highs like when Sprog took his first steps and I’ve never cried at so many happy things! The rollercoaster of emotion is one of the toughest and best things about being a parent.
- Secondly, the utter, unrelenting and constant tiredness. Enough said.
I hope that when you sit back and reflect upon 2014 that no matter what chaos the universe has thrown at you, you can see positives and that as you plan for 2015, which we inevitably all do, you can look forward with anticipation and eagerness. My plans involve shedding the remaining Mama tum… eek, and actually just remembering to enjoy my family as much as I possibly can.
It’s been lovely ‘meeting’ everyone this year and all that remains is for me to wish you all a fantastic New Year and a wicked 2015.
P.S. If you’re stuck for ideas for NYE with a toddler, I came up with a few this week!