This time last year we had no idea what the year ahead held for us, but we knew it would be pretty massive. A baby, yes, but what did that mean? How would it really feel to be a mother, to have a baby of my own? How would we respond to parenthood? Well, the intangible became tangible; she came, in a slightly unexpected way, but she came and it's a thousand times better than I thought it would be. A thousand times harder. Completely different to what I imagined yet exactly as I had anticipated. I start this year with that familiar sense of excitement and apprehension, albeit about a different game changer.
This year we are moving away from our beloved London. The decision has been tough and I still feel evenly torn in two. We move to Kent. To family, to childcare help. To a bigger house (for the same amount of money we pay now!) and our own garden. To quiet nights and country walks. To farmers markets, muddy wellies and pub lunches. Away from all those stairs in our flat! But we will also be leaving many cherished friends and a city that we love. We will be but an hour away from London so will be visiting frequently, but we are under no illusions. This will be a major change of pace for us, for the better, we trust. We're ready.
I'm not going back to work either. Even had I desired it, the cost of the commute makes it pointless. So I'll be caring for Frankie, along side my mister who is freelance. I will become a freelance writer again (I've mostly been on maternity leave from that, too) which will be possible with childcare help from family. It feels almost too good to be true. Leaving my office job. Being able to be with my baby as she grows up. A bigger house. Help with Frankie: Time- maybe even a whole day- to myself, just so I can write! Oh my. I feel giddy at the prospect. We will get the train in to London frequently too so wont miss out on too much. It will be hard financially, but we'll manage. We always have.
We are blessed that my mister is around at home a lot and over the last year we've loved the home- grounding that having a baby leads too; making bread twice a week, belt tightening (!), getting into a rhythm of cooking and playing and being a family together. I look forward to more of the same this year, as we really settle into the groove of parenthood and prepare for toddlerdom (duh duh duuuuh) in our new home.**
Bring it, 2013. And a big thanks to you too, my readers, for always being here with encouragement, and a hearty slap on the back. I look forward to spending 2013 with you.
*We painted our fridge with blackboard paint last year but, as part of our new year resolutions, we are now using it to plan meals and record whats in the freezer rather than recording various drawings of a cock and balls. Loving it so far! Side note- our meals are not usually so meat heavy at all- we were making up for the fact that we are having a no TV, no booze, no cake, no chocolate, no biscuits January. Hard. Core. So we indulged in a little meat love.
**We haven't even chosen it yet. Trying not to wildly romanticise.