2010 what a year! Gifts and Challenges all round.

I normally write a letter about my year and send it out with Christmas cards, but this year I’m too late, so instead I thought I’d write a blog post.  Hopefully some of my friends will get to see it.  I like writing this sort of thing, its probably very selfish, but it gives me a great perspective on the year past, before I look to the year ahead.

I was thinking about gifts, as it’s that time of year.  This christmas the focus of the gifts has obviously been on the kiddies.  Curly Headed Boy is 5yrs old and his excitement knew no bounds!  Little Dimples (10 months), got the idea, but tended to cry each time a present was opened, as though each one was almost too good.  The big hits of the year were Kinectimals on the xbox kinect which Santa gave to the family (we’ve been a very good family this year), and the Little Mover pram for Little Dimples, which has had her up and walking instantaneously.  Whilst I was worrying whether Curly Headed Boy would understand that there was more to Christmas than just getting gifts, I decided to think about what I have been given this year instead.

This year has been a big gift and a big challenge, as all years are.  I know that for many it will appear to have been more of a challenge than a gift, but I encourage you to look for as many gifts as possible, as it will start your 2011 better than being desperately glad that 2010 is over (that might sound easy, but I promise it is possible, although tricky on your own sometimes).

The best gift of all was the arrival of Little Dimples to complete our family.  She had a very relaxed arrival in a pool in our lounge, while Big Hairy Northern Hubby and Curly Haired Boy played computer games downstairs.  She lights up the life of everyone who comes into contact with her, and has a bad habit of making people terribly broody.  She is almost irresistable because she is so cute.  I’m amazed that I can definitely love another baby AS MUCH as my first, but how different it is.  With her, she is my ‘sweetheart’, to cuddle close, and enjoy; it’s a very light hearted feeling.  Whereas with Curly Headed Boy he feels like a ‘soul mate’, sometimes so beautiful that he is erie; a bit ‘fey’ my irish friends would say.  How I and Big Hairy Northern Hubby could create such beautiful kids is beyond me.  I am truly lucky, and truly lucky that it happened after such a long wait at 36 and 40.  They are definitely a package, and it wouldn’t be complete without both of them.

Following soon after her birth was the obligatory blip in Big Hairy Northern Hubby’s job.  After Curly Headed Boy was born, hubby was made redundant and was off work for a year.  We almost thought it was going to happen again, but instead his paternity leave was cancelled, and he has been through 3 jobs (same company) and a change of several bosses.  At the moment they want him in the states every other week.  I won’t say what I think of them and their bright idea here, incase I ever have to meet the boss and be polite ;o)

To balance that out, Curly Headed Boy was very settled into his nursery (I moved him for the last year, which was risky), and got an acceptance into a school for reception just before Little Dimples was born (it’s very competitive around here, and a stressful experience choosing schools).  The Mums at his nursery there were amazing in the run up to and after the birth of Little Dimples, and I was inundated by offers of help, so although it’s tricky without any family of my own, I was lucky to have such support.

The next major challenge was me falling big time ill, having to ask for help LOTs, and worrying as they checked me for cancer over several months.  Thankfully it all worked out, which left me realising how lucky I was in comparison to many other Mums.  It’s probably because Little Dimple’s birth was so easy, and with the cancellation of Hairy Hubby’s paternity, I was up and running on school runs within 5 days.  No relaxed bubble with Little Dimples, like I had when Curly Headed Boy arrived.  Definitely a case of ‘don’t do as I did, be a lot more sensible’!

I realised that if I was going to continue to work (it’s tricky when your business is up and running, to take a long time out), then I would need some help with childcare.  After a few false starts and finding someone who turned out to be incredibly unreliable, I really hit the jackpot.  I’ve always said there should be a ‘rent a granny’ site; well that’s what I found, the most amazing irish 73yr old.  She’s be wonderful for Little Dimples, Curly Headed Boy and myself.  She must be the second best gift I got this year, after getting Little Dimples.

I also had help from someone taking care of my other business, as with Little Dimples there hasn’t been space to work that as well as my Mummy Coaching.  I always expected one child to change my priorities and values, but it’s amazing how much a second has done so as well.  I have been pruning, decluttering, and prioritising all year.  With work I have cut back and back, to just focus on what is most important to me, which has been difficult as I was the first person in the UK trained in the Demartini Method many years ago, and I have always felt a sense of responsibility for it.  You are never in-dispensible though, and there are plenty of people to step into the breach now a days.  At home I’ve been ebaying and freecycling like mad.  I’m very lucky to have had someone to help take some of the responsibility, and clients who’ve been patient with us as we tried to improve the communication and my role over-seeing/mentoring her.

All this decluttering, gave me the space to find an online coaching system, which has completely reshaped the way I’m working, and I’ve got a shiny new blog as well.

September was the time for a big change, my hair got a massive make-over, Curly Headed Boy started school, and Little Dimples turned 6 months, which makes things much easier.  Starting reception is such a major thing, maybe for Mums more than the kids; with parties every weekend, letters and words to learn, and new friends to meet.  It’s been more difficult to do play dates as the local soft play shut down, but my new years resolution is to try and fit in at least one per week from now on, as he is still not as settled as he was at his previous nursery.  It is really cute though when they go on their first school trip and do their christmas play, which does help to assuage the sense of loss as they go through this rite of passage to growing up.

I’m going to write a whole other blog about how David Tennant made my day; just to give you something to look forward to!

I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be very different, which we probably all need.  Maybe less intense?  It’s started with me having another declutter, I reckon it might be time for a light detox as well.

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