When talking with Steph about what I've learnt this year, my immediate reaction was "What haven't I learnt?". All the reading in the world doesn't prepare you for the exponential learning curve that is the first year of parenthood. When I cast my thoughts wider, however, I realised that the lessons that life has taught me this year run far deeper.
Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves
Yikes, there's nothing like practically halving your income to make you realise how frivolous your spending can be. While I'm glad that I was able to stay home for the first year of our son's life, I won't deny that it's been tighter than what I expected. It has made my husband and I sit down and really look at what our goals are and what we value. When times are good, you can often take your situation for granted. Don't let 2015 start without working out exactly where you want to be - whether that's buying a house or a glorious tropical getaway- and how you are going to get there.
Ask for what you want
I feel like I am continuously learning this lesson... Maybe some day it will stick! Whether it is a collaboration for a blog post or just needing some time off from being mummy, how is anyone expected to know my needs and desires if I don't verbalize them? It is so easy to fall into the trap of "woe is me" when we haven't actually asked for what we want. Don't presume that you'll be denied; people can be nicer than you think. Be loud!
It's not me, it's you
Yes, you read that right. One thing I have learnt this year? Sometimes, people suck. Sometimes circumstances change and friendships end and that is alright. While I think that my little guy is wonderful, some friends have slowly slipped away as I have less time to make most of the effort. I could choose to wreck myself doing the running after them. I could choose to be sad about it. Or I can choose to close the chapter on it, appreciate the good times and move on with my life.
Even Superman needs to sleep
I was the mum of my group of friends long before I was actually a mum. Maybe it was a hang over from being a camp counsellor but I was always the one checking on the welfare of my friends, doling out pain killers, hugs and tissues as needed. I was the one making frozen meals for friends or doing loads of washing after new babies were born. I'm still that person but I'm getting better at letting people do things for me. The last couple of months have been particularly rough at times for us and I've dropped the strong persona and let others know how challenging we've found it. And they want to help, bless them. Sometimes you need to let someone else take the wheel and look after you.
I feel like I'm in a much more genuine place moving forward to 2015. We're not looking to keep up with the Joneses - who even says that they are going in the same direction that we are? The relationships I have are much more honest and open, our words are loud and our family is moving forward with honesty and intention to achieve our goals and dreams.
Natasha is the voice behind SweetMamaM.com, a lifestyle blog about parenting, food and exploring the great big world around us. She lives with her husband and son in rural New Zealand. This post is in support of my new program for 2015, Loud Ladies.