The last day of 2015 is upon us, and what a year it’s been.
January was an interesting month. SB was nine months old, and we were starting baby signing and seeing a few more developments in her. I had an existential crisis with regards to my dissertation, and suddenly decided to change the entire thing – bracing myself for a bad grade. I also realised that I was nowhere near ready for another baby yet – a decision that fluctuated a bit over the year, but as we leave 2015 with me most definitely NOT pregnant, I think it’s safe to say I stuck to what I said.
Wasn’t our little ten month old just the sweetest?! In February, I became reflective – I talked about people thinking we had it easy and the now-infamous Mommy Wars video. I also shared some home truths about balancing studying and parenting – the difficulties of studying when your child is sick, the doubts starting to set in and the stress threatening to get too much to handle.
February was tough, but March was great. It began with SB’s first ever St David’s Day parade and appearing in the local newspaper, and after a last-minute panic post, there was my dissertation performance! In the 11 month update, I
refused to believe reflected on having just one month until SB’s first birthday, looked to what the future could hold for a newly-graduated mum, and we re-entered teething hell just in time for April.
April was a month of celebrations, with SB’s birthday party and her birthday itself featuring on the blog. We also had her One Year video, a letter to SB on the eve of her birthday, and reflections on what I wish I could tell myself as a new mum.
May saw lots of changes in the Speed Bump household. I finished university and started a new job, which took up a lot of time, but there were still blogs about advice for student parents, online parenting friends and the all-important 13-month update!
June started out as the month where I got all broody and started wondering whether we could go through it all again, despite having our hands full with 14-month-old SB! It was also the month where I declared that I knew a First class degree was unobtainable based on the grades I already had… and then went ahead and got a First anyway.
In July, I came to terms with being the okayest of okay moms. We adapted to having a toddler in our midst. We went on a great family holiday – which taught us a lot -, I wrote a piece for the Young Parents Associates group, and I even got a little bit crafty!
In August, we appeared on the TV show “Baby Faced Mums”, which was an experience and a half, but overall I was really pleased with how it went (even if they pronounced Daf’s name wrong…). I also mused on the pros and cons of being the first to have a baby, and donned my activist hat for a few politically charged blog posts. We went back to basics towards the end of August, however, with a look at the top ten things young parents are sick of hearing.
September started out as a bit of a nightmare for us – I wound up in hospital with suspected appendicitis, and had to quit my job because student finance made a mistake. Things did improve, however – our little seventeen-month-old made sure of that! I learned to love my postpartum body, and we dealt with an early appearance of terrible-two-style tantrums! To top it all off, at the end of September, I told the world what I’d been up to recently – writing a book.
October was a much better month for us – although it began rather politically, as I pontificated on stigmatising young parents. October also saw the launch of The Daddy Diaries – Daf’s chance to give his point of view. Serious posts like “My PND Story” and my ‘Letter To A New Young Mum’ may have contrasted with “Parenting Skills You Can’t Put On Your CV” and SB’s eighteen month update, but I finally felt like I was getting into the flow of being a regular blogger. I reflected on two years of blogging, and my favourite post of the month – and the year – came at the end, written on the eve of my graduation from university.
November brought us my Top Ten Tips for Birth Partners, more Daddy Diaries and general rants about stupidity. It also saw me making my #Mommitment to judge less and support more, realising that we’re far too immature to be parents, and writing a personal statement on behalf of SB. I ended the month by donning my activist hat again, with posts like “Stigma Is Alive And Well” (which was Mumsnet’s Blog of the Day) and “Young Mums Need More PND Support” – and reflecting on new-found Mama Bear tendencies and a lack of crafting skills.
December arrived, and saw us getting full of festive cheer. Well, it should have done, but in reality it didn’t really work like that – waking up on December 1st to a dead hamster kind of put the brakes on Christmas to begin with, and then I got a new job and all thoughts of blogging went right out the window. It took us a while, but we found the festive feeling! Our weekend at Butlins involved mishaps with car windscreens, meetings with the Big Guy himself and SB’s first time on a trampoline. Meanwhile, I decided Elf on the Shelf is a minion of Satan and then immediately went on to dress my own child up as the elf… finally, it was time for our first Christmas as parents of a toddler.
And there we have it. The end of another year in blogging. At the end of most years I say “Gosh, hasn’t it gone fast?”, but it feels like 2015 has lasted for three or four years, actually. There have been some incredible moments, but in all, I’m not sad to see the year come to an end. It’s been a rocky one where my health is concerned, and full of uncertainty with regards to jobs and money and even blogging, at times.
So, where do we finish 2015? Well, right now I have no job, which is something I’m working on. We’re not skint, but – like most families after Christmas – money is tight. It’s not like we’re finishing the year on a massive high – but do you know what? Things could be a whole lot worse.
We have each other. Today marks five years since Daf and I got together, and look how far we have come in that time. I finish 2015 with a beautiful daughter, the man I’m going to marry, and a first class degree.
Here’s to a character-building 2015 – and hoping 2016 brings you all health, wealth, happiness and love.
Happy New Year!