2016. We’ll that happened.
Whether you look externally or internally, whether it was euphoric Andy Murray world number one male tennis star, or terrifying politics both sides of the pond, or tragic loss of too much talent (and about half my teen idols) it was a year to remember. And forget.
I don’t do New Year generally. Since the children started school, my fresh start and broken resolutions begin in September.
But, like many, I have dragged myself over the finish line of 2016 so very ready for a new beginning.
Not resolutions, well not like lose weight and quit wine (as I read somewhere on Facebook, no one likes a skinny sober b!tch anyway). More like kick up the bum thoughts.
I got to the end of 2016 without really knowing what happened. Personal achievements were few and hard to recall. I only wrote one book and I feel ambivalent about that one. I did help edit a memoir, and found it rewarding. And we did loads to our house. But still.
I’m a mess of anxiety and contradiction. My kids called me lazy yesterday because I keep hiding in the bedroom, often asleep for hours at a time. I did point out that their 5.30am starts might have something to do with it (although that just makes every parent I know smugly point out that their children have been trained not to wake them until at least 7am. I must have missed that section of the parenting course. Oh, wait…)
But actually I’m hiding from myself. The mess of guilt and duty and boredom of being a work/stay at home mum. I loved helping another author bring their book into the world, but working on someone else’s deadline was ‘real’ work. The kids did childcare (and hated it). The house suffered. People ran out of clean/ironed clothes. I realised however much being a SAHM sucks sometimes it’s easier than self-employed mum.
I was a person, I was appreciated. I was paid.
So, 2017, my plan is for structure. Goals, achievements. The children can adapt to a working-a-bit-more-often mum, just as they adapted to karate mum. This time next year I will have written novels, plural. Perhaps edited a few for others. Maybe even sell some craft on Etsy. Exercise. Read more. Hide less.
Yesterday I took the children swimming and was able to swim away from them (while watching over my shoulder) properly for the first time. They didn’t drown. They did fine.
2017 I’m going to swim away from Mummy towards Amanda. But I’ll still be watching them. Because Mum is a job for life. Just maybe not my only one.
Happy New Year.