How do you sum up a decade that involved the birth of three children, the death of my father, divorce, marriage and two house moves?
Ten years ago I was pregnant, had just given up a stressful job and was looking forward to a future of motherhood and then a possible career change. I had no way of knowing that ten years later everything would be so different.
Job applications whilst pregnant weren’t successful (after all who employs someone heavily pregnant?) and then not long after Little Miss C was born my father was diagnosed with cancer. That news, along with what I now see was PND, meant that I never did go back to work in the same way. Instead I tried to make a go of blogging as a new career. It worked – somewhat.
A couple of years later Master C came along, but two weeks later my father died. Dealing with a newborn and grief is not easy. And even harder when your husband is in a new job, working stupid hours and going off to Belgium regularly.
I survived though. Sort of.
The kids grew older and I tried to find myself again, and in doing so made some amazing new friends (mainly thanks to joining the WI), and realised what really made me happy, rather than what others expected me to be happy about.
Once the kids were old enough to start school properly and I was less needed at home in the daytime I realised just how much things had changed. I also realised just how much I hated being belittled and how hard it was to love someone who had such a fundamental difference of opinion with me about the role of women in a family, and also about the role of disabled people in society.
I didn’t plan what happened next, but a chance meeting with what I now realised is the man I was supposed to be have got together with when he worked in my local pub twenty years earlier changed everything.
Very quickly we were heading for divorce and sold our house. Months living in a tiny flat with the kids was tough, but necessary at the time. The whole episode taught me exactly who my real friends are, and which “friends” were happy to hear only one version of events and make a judgement based on it. There are two sides to every story.
In the couple of years since then everything has changed again. We’ve bought a house together, got married and have our adorable daughter, who recently celebrated her first birthday.
This decade has taught me so much about myself. About how strong I can be when required. About how important my kids are to me, and how I will do absolutely anything for them. I’ve also learnt what real love is, and what really makes me happy.
Admittedly not everything is perfect as I go into 2020. I miss my oldest two acutely when they are with their dad and if I could, I’d have them with me full-time in a heartbeat. My house is more of a tip than I’d like it to be, and I really ought to be far more organised, but these are things I plan to work on over the next year. I’ve taken my eye off the ball somewhat when it comes to work, and that’s also something I need to turn around in the next year. However, I think I’ve found what I think I’d like to do long term though – working with SEND children or young adults. It feels a bit like going full circle by realising that when I consider at one of the things that changed everything. Realistically, a full on new career is not going to be until my youngest is of school age, but it gives me a goal for what I hope to be doing at the end of this decade.
For now though I’m concentrating on 2020. There’s lots I want to achieve and I’m determined to keep my eye on the ball and actually do things this year, rather than just talking about what I want to do. Expect lots of online updates – partly because feeling accountable to my followers weirdly motivates me to make things happen. Work is going to be online, in the form of more blogging and social media work, along with a sideline of reselling of vintage board games – something I’ve completely fallen in love with. I’ve a huge list of projects and other aims for the year, as well as planning lots of adventures with my family, now I just need to get organised enough to turn them into a reality.
Happy 2020 everyone!