My top five projects for 2017

My top five projects for 2017

It’s that time of year again. Detox, gym, weight loss. Blah blah. Boring.

This year I’ve decided not to make any New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I’m going to focus on some key projects for 2017. A resolution is, after all, just begging to be broken come 10th January. A project, on the other hand, is something I can get my teeth into.

2016 seems to have flown over in a bit of a blur. Of course the highlight was the arrival of our gorgeous son, Mon Petit Pudding in April. But for the most part, it was about survival: the first three months working full-time in a relatively new role while being heavily pregnant, followed by six months of treading water, just trying to keep my two under two alive. It was impossible to have any other goals in 2016. The good news is, I did it and we’re all here to see in the New Year. Hip Hip, hoorah!

Pregnant with Petit Pudding

Pregnant with Mon Petit Pudding

But now we’re entering 2017 with a (much more cooperative and communicative) 26 month old and a (still not sleeping through the night, but just you wait!) eight month old, I think it’s high time to aim a little bit higher than survival. 

These are my top five projects for 2017: 

  1. Find a nanny

    This is priority numero uno. Going back to work means I’ll need good quality childcare for two little kiddos. Having done endless calculations to weigh up nursery vs. nanny (vs. selling off a limb. Or maybe a few major organs), I realise there is no cost effective way to return to work, but the latter works out slightly better on a number of fronts. So, I’m taking the long-term view instead, meaning we’ll simply have to take the financial hit for the next few years in the hope it’ll all work out in the wash once our eldest starts school.

    The hardest bit will be finding someone amazing who also speaks French. Having put in so much effort in these first two years to create a French-speaking householdit would be such a shame to abandon it at such a crucial stage. And while no-one can replace Tatie LaLa (our nickname for our French niece) who came to look after Choupie for six months last time, I’m hopeful we’ll find the right person, unless we can bribe her to come back. The search is officially ON!

    Tatie Lala La Choupie with her beloved Tatie Lala

  2. Return to workAt this point in time, I have absolutely no idea what role I’ll be returning to. When I went back after my first maternity leave, I took up a completely new position in a full-time role managing a busy team of six. While already pregnant. And doing a three hour round trip commute. Needless to say, I’m trying to take a more balanced approach to my return this time around. Given that my job has already been given to my mat leave cover (!) my first task in the new year is to speak to my employers to try and carve out a new role for myself. You do hear stories of women retuning to the role of Chief Pencil Sharpener once they’ve got a – shhhh! family – but I’m trying to be optimistic that we’ll be able to think outside the box a little. And you know what? If we can’t, I’m just going to have to do a lot more thinking outside of the box on my own.
  3. Move house

    This has been on the new year project list for the past two years. But this IS the year we will move house. Living in a two bedroom flat and sharing our bedroom with our eight month old is just becoming a little too cramped now. Not to mention the fact that our living room has been converted into a playroom. The coffee table and armchair have been relegated to the garage to make space for a play kitchen, toy storage cupboard and baby bouncer. We literally only have a sofa and dining table (complete with two chairs and two Tripp Trapps) left! At least we’ll be able to save on removal costs.

    The kitchen that takes up the whole living roomThe play kitchen that takes up the whole living room. From Great Little Trading Co.

  4. Get into a routineOk, so this does sound like a resolution rather than a project. But believe me, it feels like the most difficult of the lot. My Petit Pudding is still waking up every night, often twice a night, for milk. If I can nail his night time waking, I believe our much needed daily routine will fall into place a lot more easily. At the moment, because I feel so chronically sleep deprived, I don’t feel on top of my game and that needs to change, pronto.
  5. Invest time in my blogThis is easier said than done due to point 4 above. It’s also hard when there’s only one Mac in the house and the hubby also uses it. While my hobby is my blog, Frenchie’s passion for photography has recently taken him to learning Lightroom and Photoshop. So before I’m able to invest more time, it looks like I’ll need to invest in a new laptop. I also started my blog at the worst possible moment as I didn’t have much time to dedicate to it while running around with two under two. But in the last few months, I’ve started to do more posts and have been astonished by the amount of engagement I’ve driven. So in the interest of having a SMART objective for 2017, I’m going to aim for at least six posts a month starting from now.

What other projects lie in store for us in 2017

Besides some of the meatier things above, I’m looking forward to celebrating Petit Pudding’s first birthday. Frenchie is already planning the photo shoot and thinking of what props to buy to turn our living room into a studio (give me strength). We did a cake smash for our daughter’s first birthday but want to do something a bit different this time around. Stay tuned!

Cake smash photo shoot

La Choupie’s first birthday cake smash (hubby WASN’T naked, I promise)

Since La Choupie turned two in October, it also means a whole load of new and exciting adventures are in store for us as we’ll become less tied to nap times and she’ll be able to understand and join in so many more activities. For starters, I’ve joined up to receive the pre-sale reminder for In The Night Garden Live (you can pre-register on 9th January). My January mission is to research all the key events I’d like us to do as a family and put all the booking dates in the diary now. I was pretty well organised for Christmas by booking stuff up back in late October, but there were still so many things I’d have liked to have done if only I’d researched them sooner. 2017 is the year of being organised!

Choupie's second birthday

Choupie’s second birthday in October

We didn’t have a holiday in 2016 and while I’d love to get away this year, I think the expense and hassle of moving will make that pretty difficult. That said, we are starting to plan a gathering with the French side of the family in Easter and something with my brother’s family too. It might not be the warm holiday I pictured, but time spent with family is always good for me!

French family Dec 2014

Notre Famille Française, Christmas 2014. There have been 3 new additions since then.

The Sandersons

With my brother’s family in Centerparks back in June 2016

So there you have it – my projects for 2017. What are yours? I’d love to hear from you below.

My Petit Canard
Pink Pear Bear
One Messy Mama
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday








  1. January 20, 2017 / 20:12

    Some fab projects here which are a lot like mine. I return to work in March. I’m struggling to understand how it will all play out but I know we need a good routine to help it all go smoothly!
    We’d also like to move to a bigger house this year, I’ll be surprised if it happens but a girl can hope!
    We didn’t have a holiday inn2016 but we have one booked in September. It’s a big family occasion so hopefully it won’t be too stressful as we have lots of help! Looking forward to feeling the sun on my skin!
    All the best for the coming year! #KCACOLS

  2. January 15, 2017 / 22:02

    Good luck with the projects, just tell me how do you find time to do it all? I’m already wiped out! Good luck and I hope you smash the projects #KCACOLS

  3. January 12, 2017 / 17:48

    Thats a pretty big list already, good luck it all:)

    I love your pictures and it looks like a great time with your brother at center parcs.

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday
    mainy recently posted…How to time manage your way back to happinessMy Profile

  4. January 11, 2017 / 17:41

    Wow, that made me exhausted just reading it!! It’s great to have projects to keep working on for the long term though, and you’ve certainly got enough to keep you going for the year and more!! Moving house sounds particularly exciting-I loved looking for our house when we were moving! I hope you can find a French speaking nanny too-you’ve put so much effort into being a French speaking household!! I love the cake smash photo shoot that you did-such a genius (and very cute,) idea!! Good luck with everything you’ve put your mind to, I’ll look forward to hearing about it! My littlest fed twice in the night until his first birthday-i was just on the cusp of doing something about it, when he just dropped it all by himself!
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…PCOS Has Ruined My LifeMy Profile

  5. January 10, 2017 / 10:20

    I read this the other day but I don’t think I commented (I must have got distracted). Good luck with all of these. I hope work gets sorted, I know that can be so hard to find a good balance with little ones. I also hope you find a French speaking nanny. You really have done so well to make a French speaking household I hope you can continue that Xxx

  6. January 9, 2017 / 19:21

    Wow!!!! You don’t do things by halves do you! Sounds like you have an exciting and crazy year planned. Best of luck with it all. Especially returning to work and moving. As I always say, the best things always seem the hardest. #KCACOLS

  7. January 9, 2017 / 19:21

    lovely blog goals. good luck with the move. we moved last july after two years searching for our forever home. and yeah we didn’t really have a proper holiday because of the move. mainly because once we were in I really wanted to decorate and treat us to a new sofa etc 🙂 good luck with it all #KCACOLS

  8. January 9, 2017 / 14:58

    Sounds like you have a very exciting year ahead and I look forward to seeing how it all goes! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays x

  9. January 9, 2017 / 09:43

    What a gorgeous little family you have and oh my what a busy year ahead! I have been just where you are now returning to work after my second, although I already had the nanny in place from my first and wasn’t trying to find a french speaking one. I hope you have success, I’d have loved to have brought my children bilingual. I wish I had a blog back in those days but I just never found the time. Go you fitting it all in. Wishing you every success in the year ahead. Fiona
    Coombe Mill – Fiona recently posted…Planning for success in 2017My Profile

  10. January 9, 2017 / 00:21

    I love your new year projects! New year resolutions are so difficult, projects are a create alternative! I’ve gone for monthly resolutions in the attempt to make them more manageable. I think I’ll take inspiration from you and add in a few projects through out the year! #KCACOLS

    • topfivemum
      January 9, 2017 / 00:50

      monthly resolutions definitely sounds more manageable. I probably need to break mine down so I can actually get things moving! All the best with your plans for 2017 xx

  11. Laura Legge
    January 4, 2017 / 08:57

    Where is the trip to Luxembourg? 😆😆😆

    I can visit you if it’s easier xx

    • topfivemum
      January 4, 2017 / 23:29

      How could I forget? Although that’s less of a project and more of an escape act. I’ll be there. Just bear in mind though that I’m only coming so I can get a good night’s sleep and a decent meal. I hear you do good Yorkshires?? 🙂

  12. January 3, 2017 / 12:17

    Welcome back 🙂 Happy new year!
    Projects sounds much more official than resolutions, I like it!
    Sorry to hear about your job – is that even legal!?
    Good luck with these projects. You sound committed, I’m sure you’ll nail them!
    Also, you’re not alone, my daughter (10 months) still wakes usually twice a night. We bedshare tho so I just give her a boob (or she helps herself) and we’re both back to sleep within minutes. It has SAVED me, I can’t cope with sleep deprivation!
    Lucy’s Locket recently posted…Stuffocation: Living more with less #BookReviewMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      January 4, 2017 / 23:27

      Thanks Lucy! I must say, December just went by so fast and I didn’t have any time to dedicate to much at all. New year, new commitments to blog! Happy new year to you and let’s hope this is the year we both nail the sleeping through the night thing. Ruth xx

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