...here are our New Years resolutions!
We've never really been big on New Years resolutions, as to be honest, we are usually happy with the way we live our lives. We don't smoke, rarely drink, and eat fairly healthy vegetarian/vegan diets.
However, this year has left us feeling quite burned out, and with the general feeling that we need to take care of ourselves a little better. Hardly surprising as new mums, as your sole focus (whether you think it will happen or not) will become caring for your child!
So although resolutions can seem a bit of a cliche, we think the blank pages of a new year are a great opportunity to make little changes that you've always meant to get round to. What could be better in your life, and how would you make that happen?
Here are our goals for 2017:
My main aim this year is to lose weight and become more healthy. Before we began ivf treatment, my weight was in the healthy weight bracket and I looked and felt like I was a more than acceptable size and shape - I was happy with me!
But then I got pregnant and it all changed. Although I didn't "eat for two", I had horrendous morning sickness that only subsided if I ate carbs, so I lived off crumpets, toast and beans on toast! Along with working pretty much constant night shifts which in themselves make it pretty hard to eat healthily, and working away from home a lot and needing to find easy to store and eat foods, I really struggled not to pile on the weight.
The pregnancy itself was far from straightforward and the recovery from a c-section, plus the ridiculous breastfeeding hunger meant in the early part of Oskar's life my diet was mainly toast, tea and biscuits and flapjacks!
So here I am then, the heaviest I've ever been and also the most unhappy with the way I look. I hate pictures of myself, but want them at the same time as I want my son to look back and see me with him. I dread any occasion where I am going to need to dress up because I know I'll still hate the end result, and I've always been the opposite! Plus a huge driving force for me is that we are weaning our son and he will mimic the way we eat. I can't let him think it's acceptable to fill up on toast, tea and biscuits and sweets throughout the day instead of eating proper meals, and I want to model the behaviour I want him to learn. I have so many terrible eating habits that started even when I was a little girl and I desperately don't want that for him.
So the 1st Jan 2017 was the first time in a very long time I have eaten 3 meals in a day, and didn't eat any biscuits or sweets! I plan to plan our week better so that we have healthy, home cooked meals in the evening, and Oskar and I eat good healthy foods in the day too. I used to pride myself on always cooking from scratch for my wife and I, and used to spend hours looking through blogs, websites and cookbooks to find new things for us to try. And whilst my time is more limited now thanks to a certain small person I'd love it to be something he loved too, cooking, and finding new recipes, so I want him to see me doing it.
The other two things I want to work on this year is spending less time just sat staring at my phone, a habit that I developed whilst spending many many hours breastfeeding in the early days, as a way to pass the time, especially in the middle of the night. And i also want to make time as a family count more. It's easy to dwell on how tired I am, how many times I've woken up with Oskar in the night (he wakes an average of about 6 times to feed at the moment), and focus on the things around the house that need doing, but we are never going to get this time back with our gorgeous boy, and I want to make each day count. With this in mind I got Sarah a memory jar for Christmas, which really is for all of us, for us to be able to write down things that happen and drop it in to the jar, and then on New Year's Eve next year to look back and remember a year well spent. To encourage me to use every day wisely I have also started a Project 365 on Instagram, as I love capturing things visually too.
I am usually a fairly healthy person, but the latter part of 2016 felt like I was constantly ill, or feeling really tired.
I get up very early each morning, have quite a physically demanding job, never go to bed early as I want more time with my wife and son, and of course, due to having a seven month old, the sleep I do have is usually broken sleep. I never drink anything apart from coffee, and usually feel quite stressed and unorganised, which again probably doesn't help my sleep!
Lauren bought me three beautiful books for Christmas: a book on Hygge (a Danish wellbeing concept we talked about here), a diary, and a book titled Thrive Journal, which is quite unique in the way that it combines inspirational quotes, exercises that help you work on what positive changes you would like to make, and sleep trackers, amongst other things. It identifies whether you are dedicating your time to the right things, and encourages gratitude.
So I will be using the books to:
1. look at how I can sleep better
2. Drink more water
3. Be more organised
4. disconnect from my phone and spend my time better
5. be more peaceful, grateful and positive.
2016 was a whirlwind of a year for us with changes that were as positive as they were huge. I think overall we expect 2017 to be calmer, and the year we really settle fully into life as parents.
Lauren left her job in 2016, and we need to think about whether it is best for her to remain a stay at home mum, or whether she would enjoy a part time job. Sarah plans to hopefully remain in her field of luxury home/lifestyle but has plans to look out for different positions, promotions and companies.
Away from work, we want to make more time for each other and put more effort into planning things to do together. We so far have planned a trip to Wales, one of our favourite places and somewhere we always find peace - we can't wait to show it to our little boy! We also have a trip to Brighton planned in the summer, again somewhere we hold very dear to our hearts, and somewhere we hope our little one will love. We can't wait to make more memories.
Speaking of memories, we definitely want to continue blogging! Whilst we turned down numerous reviews, TV and radio opportunities, we discovered great brands, shared and received advice with fellow mums, and received some amazing emails from people who we have helped, be it intentionally or unintentionally! Our blog is still attracting around 17000-20000 views a month, and while it still confuses us that so many people want to read something that is often just our diary, we love that we have given information, advice, or just a positive example. And of course, we love the memories we have to read back on thanks to our blog!
We can't wait to see what memories 2017 makes us - for a start we can't believe in 5 months time we'll be celebrating our sons first birthday. So being as time seems to truly be flying, we better go and make the most of every moment!