Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Mama Life || 2018 Review & Plans For 2019

First of all I thought I'd remind myself of what my intentions for 2018 were and how I got on with them. It's quite laughable reading the first few and knowing how royally flunked they were, but I'm going to be kind to myself as it has been a rough year and my head hasn't been in the right place to achieve very much. Anyway, here's my 18 for 18 list and how I got on...
1. Publish my book - I didn't even get close to this last year, but it is firmly on this years list and I'm a lot more ready. All the illustrations are drafted, the text is written, so now I just need to put it all together and get it self published on Amazon. I'm not expecting fame or fortune from it, I just really want a printed copy for the kids and this seems the best way to go.

2. Give my hair a break - I really really wish I'd carried on with this one. I was doing so well, my hair was growing out really well so I decide to pop a darker colour on to hide my roots while it continued to grow. Unfortunately though the dye I used was as bad as using bleach and it absolutely destroyed my hair. After this I did two lots of colourant remover which although didn't make it worse, it obviously didn't help either. After this I stupidly put a cheap blue toner through my hair which finally killed it. My hair started breaking off about half way down, the colour was terrible and so just before Christmas I bit the bullet and went to a salon. I ended up having half my hair cut off, with the damaged bits blended in as much as possible.

3. Join the gym - I joined the gym and went regularly until mid summer when it all kind of dropped off slowly. I was really getting into swimming while the kids were at school, but once they were off for summer I got out of the routine and haven't been since!

4. Take a day off blogging - I have been much better at this, maybe a little too good at times. If I've needed a break I've taken one, I've refused work when I've felt I couldn't cope with any more and I decided against gift guides this year as they take such a lot of work. I also get into really bad sleep habits so by switching off every now and then I can actually get some sleep and have a bit more normality in the day.

5. Declutter like a mad thing - I've aced this so far and although there's a long way to go, I've finally learnt to let g of stuff and learn how much better it is living with less clutter.

6. Look after my skin - I've been up and down with this. I was doing really well but then my mental health hit a bit of a rough patch and I let it slide again. I have been trying to make sure to take my makeup off every night and it's definitely an improvement on last year.

7. Book a holiday - We didn't end up booking a holiday but did get to return to Bluestone Wales and visited Devon twice staying in a family home. We are hoping to book somewhere with Haven this year as I think Soph's a good age to enjoy it now.

8. Have more date nights - We sucked at this, we will try harder though and already have three event lined up this year and a friends wedding.

9. Be more organised - As the year went on I got better with this and have lots of things ready to make 2019 much more organised. One thing that really helped especially near December, was syncing my calendar with the school one so I could quickly see what was going on. We get so many emails and sometimes it feels like there's much more than there is.

10. Curb the spending - I didn't do too great at this, but I did get better at budgeting and we only had one month where we really struggled which is a huge improvement.

11. Focus on my health - I did pretty well with this, giving myself what I needed at the lower points and trying not too gain any extra weight. Although I didn't come out of 2018 gleaming, I didn't come out any worse which was pretty good going after a tough year.

12. Work on my photography - I've really enjoyed working on my photography and editing. I am so much better than I was but still need to work on mastering all the settings on my camera so I don't need to do as much editing.

13. Sort our bedrooms - We have decluttered a little and have things slightly more organised, but they're still not great and all in need of redecorating.

14. Decorate the kitchen - We did this one and if it wasn't for the damp patches we would have completely finished by now. It looks great though and it's been amazing having what feels like a new room to use.

15. Downsize kids pics - My intention was to get photos of all the kids work and have them made into picture books to save on drawer space, but needless to say their work is all still sat in drawers, taking up a lot of space!

16. Be myself - I have worked hard on this and can honestly say I've been much more myself and cared a lot less about what people think or how many people I have around me.

17. Make the garden usable - Nope.

18. Do more of what makes us all happy - We had lots of family time and I've made sure to capture lots of memories with my camera and explore new places. I can't wait to do more in 2019.


In 2019 I'm still setting rough goals so I can structure my days properly, but I am going to be far kinder to myself and in no way feel any disappointment if I don't achieve these as you never know what life will throw at you. I will try my hardest though and I'm packed with motivation for this year with lots of fresh ideas. So here's some 'light' plans for this year, some following on from last years that fell slightly short and a few new ones to boot. 19 things for 19...

1. Publish my book - This year I really really want to get this done. Holding a real copy of my book in my hands will mean so much and feel like such a huge accomplishment that I just need to do this one. 

2. Visit the hair salon regularly - After finally learning my lesson (I think) and destroying my long locks, I had half my hair chopped off and realised how much I love having my hair done and how I do deserve that treat every couple of months. So I'm booked in for February for a trim and balayage and hope this to be a more regular thing until my hair grows longer and stronger than ever.

3. Get back into swimming twice a week at least - Aside from the fact I'm paying £20 a month for nothing currently, I really did enjoy swimming and taking that time for myself. I felt a bit guilty going and doing something so nice while Adam was at work, but he's encouraging me to go and I did feel good when I did it.

4. Follow a rough schedule - I've spent a lot of days floundering since Soph started school and now it's time to take the bull by the horns and get stuck into a real working day. After a shocking job interview, I realised how much I love working from home and really want to make it work, so I want to give it my all and make sure I'm using my time effectively to manage work and life without failing in all areas.

5. Carry on with the declutter - I'm really enjoying the process of getting rid of our stuff and I'm doing SO much better than I thought I would. We've still got a fair way to go, but I did have a massive task ahead of me which has probably now halved so it seems a lot more achievable. I'll be making time in my working week for the house and trying to keep on top of things better.

6. Work more in the day time - I always imagined buckling down for work all day when both kids were in school, but it hasn't quite gone to plan. The six hours of a school day rushes by and although I've spent a lot of my days working, I always feel bad about neglecting the house and really struggle to strike the right balance. This usually means me working until 2am and feeling rubbish all day, making the day time less productive and the cycle just goes on. This year I want to try and get into a proper routine while they're at school so I can actually relax in the evening and feel more awake in the day.

7. Get more sleep - Leading on from above, by having a better routine and getting to bed earlier I will get more sleep which will make everything easier to cope with in the day. I had been really struggling at bed time, finding it hard to switch off, but my anxiety has improved so much and it's the perfect time to get a proper routine going and feel less chaotic.

8. Have more date nights - We've already booked tickets for two gigs, have tickets for a comedy night and have a hotel booked for a child free wedding later in the year. Just those alone make for more date nights than the last few years put together, so with a couple more meals out, date nights and child free days we will get this one cracked this year.

9. Be more organised - With less clutter, more sleep, a rough schedule in place, maybe, just maybe I'll feel less of a hopeless wife and mother this year and feel less panic. I hate the rush in the morning every single day, yet I never prepare for it. I always panic about getting work done, but it never takes long and if I stick to a list I won't have the un-needed panic. All this needs to change and I really want to be on top of everything more this year, by knowing what is going on each day and feel prepared for everything. I'm so sick of being disorganised and feelings stressed, it has to change.

10. Paint more - I adore painting but very rarely do it. Even though the days rush by, I need at least an hour or two a week where I can just paint and get super creative.

11. Practise self care regularly - It's taken me a long long time to realise how essential this is. I've written posts about this for other mums, telling them self care is not selfish and that it's so important to look after ourselves, we can't feed from an empty cup etc etc but I rarely take my own advice on board. Now though, I am being far kinder to myself, I know I'm worthy of that extra care and taking time out from work, family or doing house work is OK.

12. Work on my photography - I love photography so much but I really need to crack on with learning all the settings and becoming a bit more of a pro at it.

13. Redecorate one room - For most people this is a weekends work but for us, nah. I want one fresh new room this year and if we can do more - bonus. I'd love to do our bedroom but we need so much furniture I'm not sure it'll be happening any time soon. Next on my list would be the playroom which is basically resembling the stock room of a charity shop right now and desperately needs sorting.

14. Finish the kitchen - It's so depressing doing the damp work for a third time in the kitchen but it isn't a huge job so we need to get that sorted, whack up some shelves and get the job done.

15. Restart Etsy shop - I've loved starting my Etsy shop and although it's not the most successful venture in the world, I've been holding myself back a bit with promoting myself as I just had some doubts. Now though, it's clear in my head what I want to be selling so I'm excited to restock and get sharing and hopefully some sales too.

16. Market myself confidently - One thing I'm really bad at is having a big lack of confidence when it comes to marketing myself. I think my main hurdle is that so many people on my social channels are local school mums, friends and family, who although should support me, I know some will be not so supportive and I have no idea why I've let that bother me. If I don't promote myself, people don;t see my work so it's literally costing me money and progress in my business by holding back. No more!

17. Sort the garden - Finally, I'd love to have a clean safe place for the kids to play. I always wanted a nice grassy garden while they are small and they are now 4 and 7 and still stuck with this awful concrete courtyard. It won't take much to change but it will take money and elbow grease which I hope will be more plentiful this year.

18. Explore somewhere new - I've loved venturing to new places this year and want to tick some more places off our list this year. I'm not sure where the year will take us, but I'm going to start off with a few local places I've never been and go from there.

19. Do what makes me happy, surround myself with people that want me to be happy - This is a big one, but it's hard to admit when some people are just rotten to the core and don't have your best interests at heart. People being jealous or not just wanting the absolute best for me have no place here and I'm not doing anything I don't want to do this year. This year, I'm finally being selfish, but not actually selfish just what I think is normal and not completely putting myself beneath everyone else on the planet. I matter.

I hope you all have an amazing successful exciting fun 2019!