Happy New Year! I’m not really one for resolutions as I’m not realistically going to change my personality or habits that significantly because the year on the calendar has changed… However, I am one for lists! In fact, I created a list of 30 Things to do Before Turning Thirty – which actually happens THIS YEAR! I’m 30 years old in April this year and it just hits home harder just how quickly time flies by…
The reason for this post is to make note of the things I’d like to achieve this year – 18 Things in 2018 – and, of course, the lovely Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts tagged me to do so in her post! So, without further waffling, here we go.
- Work on our Work / Life balance – At the moment, both hubs A and I work full time, Monday to Friday. This means that the boys spend a lot of time in childcare – Q in a private day care nursery and O at school with breakfast and after school clubs. It costs us a small fortune each month and, even though the boys both love their childcare arrangements, they would love to spend more time with their parents – and us with them. Hubs is lucky enough to be starting a new job this month, and has more predictable start and finish times. Whilst my job is a lot more flexible, I do have core hours that I’m expected to work. However, this change may allow for a few less hours in childcare and a few more hours at home. Some clever time management skills required!
- Make an effort to save – Hubs and I save for the kids each month, and have recently made a change which will allow us to make regular savings of our own. Spending less money on childcare will help with this one!
- Landscape the garden – We moved into our home over four years ago now, and we’ve never been able to use our back garden quite as much as we’d like. This is because it’s sloped and mainly grass, that is predominantly clay and so is incredibly boggy. Because it’s sloped, we can’t have a table and chairs outside which makes hosting garden parties and barbecues extremely difficult. The children also can’t play outside, which is totally rubbish. Hence the saving money, to pay for the huge job that is landscaping the garden!
- Re-decorate Q’s nursery/bedroom – Q is almost 2 years old (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!) and I still haven’t gotten around to decorating his nursery as a nursery. Now, I may as well decorate it as a little boys bedroom.
- Regularly de-clutter – We are terrible hoarders. We keep all sorts. But our house has very limited storage space and I just can’t cope with the clutter and mess. We’ve had a huge clear out of kids clothes – I’m not keeping O’s old clothes for Q as there’s almost 5 years between them and I’d need a flipping storage unit for it all as I wait for Q to grow into clothes that no longer fashionable.
- Create a Photo Wall – Now, this was on my 30 Before Thirty post and I still haven’t done it. I have got plenty of photographs I’d love to display, I just need the frames and the time to start it off… 2018 is the year for the photo wall…
- Visit a new place in the UK – This is a bit of a cheat one, as I already know that I’m visiting a new place this year. We’re visiting North Wales with Donna and Dave with all the kids and staying in a lodge for a week. I’ve not been to Wales for years, and I can’t remember where I visited when I was 8 years old. Can’t wait!
- Take a Family Holiday or two – Again, we already know that we’re going to Wales, but it would be lovely to take a holiday abroad with the kiddies. I absolutely adore the warmth and sunshine you get on a beach holiday and it is so good for my mind and soul. Plus, the kids love spending days on end in the pool!
- Squeeze in regular exercise sessions – Okay, I’m on the bandwagon with a typical “New Year’s Resolution” and I’m saying I want to exercise more. Before I had Q, I was a religious exerciser. I’d go to the gym three times a week and would watch what I ate. I was trim and toned and I loved my body. Since having Q, I haven’t changed much in weight – maybe 9 or 10 lbs heavier – but my body shape is just not for me. I don’t like it and I can’t find clothes that I like and that fit me well. Because having two kids and working full time is pretty tricky to find a workout schedule to fit around (and when it isn’t rammed at the gym!), I’m ready to get into a running routine. I need to invest in a few key pieces of Winter gear, like reflective clothes and a jacket / long leggings, and I’m ready to go.
- Invest in new clothes – Linked to the goal above, since I had Q I’ve bought very few new clothes for myself. I don’t like my shape and so struggle to feel comfortable in anything so stick to my trusty leggings and dresses. With the toning up of my body, my confidence will come and so I plan to enjoy shopping for myself again!
- Spend more Quality Time with Hubs – Hubs and I spend most nights sitting on the sofa, speaking few words once the kids are in bed due to exhaustion and the need to watch the newest box set on Netflix. This year, I want to make the effort to go out – just us – once a month or 6 weeks. Little distractions and time for us to stay connected.
- Organise more things with friends – Lately, I’ve spent some real quality time with some of my most special friends and it’s been great. This year, I’d like to spend more time with them and make more of an effort to organise things to do with them. Whether it’s going out for tea after the boys are in bed, or going on play dates with those that have children.
- Read more – Books and Blogs! I love to read, and my mum has just given me a load of new books! Time to switch of the TV and unwind with a gripping story instead.
- Take in a show – Another bit of a cheaty one… I’m going to see the Strictly tour in a few weeks, Miss Saigon and Matilda this year! I do love a show though, and hoping for a trip to London’s West End with hubs for my 30th…
- Figure out Q’s Allergies – For some time, I’ve thought Q had a milk allergy. I’ve spoken to the GP about it and hw I’ve come to that conclusion, and she agreed so has referred Q to a paediatric dietitian. With their help, we’ll figure out how to manage them safely and appropriately.
- Support O through his SAT’s – O is in Y2 at the moment, and will sit his KS1 SAT exams in the summer. I want him to know that they aren’t something to be anxious about, and we’ll help him through them as best we can. His school is pretty good and doesn’t lay a lot of pressure on the children, but they are told of their importance.
- Blog once a week – Because I’m short on time, I feel like I’m neglecting my blog an awful lot. I really do want to document more of our day-to-day though – I love reading through the old posts about our family days out and looking over the photographs of my once tiny children. This year, I want to make the effort to write at least one blog post a week. Whether it’s a short update post with a few photos, or a more in-depth post – just something to keep my little corner of the internet ticking over.
- Maintain a Positive Outlook – As 2017 progressed, I found myself having to let go of the perfectionist attitude I had and be able to embrace everything life threw at me with a smile. Purely because, if I didn’t, I would have sent myself bonkers. My mantra now (and my colleagues and husband are probably sick of me saying it) is “Positivity Breeds Positivity” – and it really does. A positive outlook on life these last few months has prevented me from stressing out over everything that I would have done before. There’s still times where things do get to me, and the pressure is high, but this doesn’t last long with my determined attitude and positive outlook.
And there we have it! Thank you if you managed to get this far! And if you did, leave me a comment letting me know what your goals for 2018 are!