Goodbye 2016

I haven’t made any resolutions for 2017. I don’t keep them. I am not planning any glorious blog triumphs or personal life goals  (ok, we are on the very last ditch attmepts to get me pregnant, but that’s not really a goal any more, more of a last attempt to persuade this body of mine to do something it really doesn’t want to) and I haven’t got any great achievements planned. 

The last 18 months have been pretty tough, to be honest, and if I had a goal or wish for 2017 I would hope that it would be better, easier, and less stressful than life has been for the past while. A multitude of things all piled up have made life somewhat challenging. Nothing life threatening, or tragic, but just a niggling constant series of stresses that have left us all a bit weary, glad to see the back of 2016 and hoping that the next few months will be smoother and easier on us all. 

The blog has been neglected, I know. I transitioned from running a few toddler groups part time, in my “other job” to being the co director of a charity, which is a huge thing, encompassing our groups but meaning a lot more work for me. I have had moments where I have thought I would give up blogging, and I know there have been a lot more sponsored posts around here lately, and less of my own writing. Partly to just keep the blog going, and also partly to help with my part of the financial contribution to my household (running a charity does not earn you mega bucks, contrary to what the media would tell you) 

Juggling life as a mum, wife, working adult, friend, sister, daughter, and all the other hats I wear has been challenging and I don’t really think I have done that well at any of them in the past while. I still haven’t entirely found my groove, and I have days where it all goes so smoothly I feel smug and then days when I wonder why I bother and question my sanity, and if we get dinner on the table on time and homework done then I consider it a triumph. Let’s not metnion the constant battle with keeping the house clean, tidy and the laundry mountain vaguely conquered, because when Mum goes out to work, this stuff still has to be done, and The Husband and I have a good working partnership on all things domestic, I am very lucky that I have never had to fight for that, he has always worked along side me and we share the responsibility, but I still struggle to keep it all together. The Husband works hard and long hours and his job has been incredibly stressful. Add in occupational therapy for the boy, dance classes, violin lessons, swi,mming training, finding time for me to exercise and to keep up the rehab my knee needs to stop it entirely crumbling and you have a crazy life that needs a lot of control to manage it. Basically we need a maid and a personal assisstant but can’t afford either of those.  

One thing I have done that is positive and I do feel good about is continuing to look after my own mental health and putting myself first a lot more. This has been beneficial not only to me but to my whole family as I cope better with life, handle my anxiety better, and am calmer and easier to be around. I haven’t cracked it and still have some pretty big wobbles but the wobbles are just that, and not fully fledged free falls, which is huge thing for me. I have also practiced the notion that sometimes no matter what I do I will not make people around me happy, because they themeslves are intrinsciutly unhappy, and I cannot spend my life trying to make them happy at the expense of my own mental health. This has meant boundaries, in relationships and also in  my working life. I am forcing myself to exercise, and to run even though it hurts my knee, because exercise helps my mind to clear and to burn off a lot of what bubbles inside it. Monthly therapy appointments and check ins with my therapist are now down to quartely, and will be reviewed next spring. I am proud of where i have got to and for finding peace and my own space to heal and grow after a life time of feeling broken or on the edge of breaking. 

So, 2016 has been a mixed bag. I am glad it’s over. Let’s not mention all the wonderful people who have died, or Brexit, or Donald Trump, becasue those do not bear thinking about and I want to leave the old year with a smile. 

I hope to be blogging more, sharing about parenting, particularly now we have an alomst teengager in the house (a whole new ballgame for me, toddlers are a total picnic compared to a child about to hit puberty, I promise you, and I don’t actually have a clue what I am doing most of the time, my mother would probably laugh and say it’s revenge for my own teenage years, if I could ask her!) and who knows, maybe there will be a reason to keep the name of the blog The Mad House of Cats & Babies, if we add another to the mix, otherwise, watch out for a name change on the cards…

So, goodbye 2016. hello 2017. More sleep, less chaos, less stress? We can only hope so….

Happy New Year from all of us, and thank you for reading and for all the support and love you show us! 

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