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 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:
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 household, it 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!
La Choupie with her beloved Tatie Lala
- 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.
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 play kitchen that takes up the whole living room. From Great Little Trading Co.
- 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.
- 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!
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 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!
Notre Famille Française, Christmas 2014. There have been 3 new additions since then.
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.