With 2015 officially firmly in the rearview mirror, and 2016 already 6 days in; I thought I should do a little roundup of where we were and where we are heading. My focus for 2016 is on growth in all areas, but first let’s have a look at all that 2015 had to offer and give it the send off it deserves.
Our Charly Roses has just blossomed and come into her own in 2015. That may sound silly when speaking of a 1 year old, but it is the absolute truth. She went from a robust advanced 10 month old baby to a little girl who speaks beautifully, has the most adorable wacky sense of humour, a completely endearing way of being and the ability to make people adore her with one of her targeted dimpled smiles.
When I say she speaks beautifully, I don’t mean she has a few clear words now, I mean she has a full vocabulary and speaks mostly full sentences and is even in the process of mastering the use of “I” instead of referring to herself as baby or Charly. She distinguishes between me, mine and you and yours – although she has also hit the stage of “it’s mine” when referring to all things, peppered with heartbroken wailing of “I neeeeeeeeed it”, and “excuse me, give it back now pleeeeeeeease”, with the associated foot stompage.
2016 will see her starting nursery school, not playschool, but a proper nursery school, where she will be taught in themes and given structure and guidance to make the most of her frightening intellect. I am torn between utter blinding fear of my baby going to school and an unbearable excitement to see how fast she learns and to see if she has the same passion for knowledge that her dad and I do. She already says she is “excited for school while mommy does meetings”, which is how I’ve explained her spending time there three mornings a week to start. I believe she will be asking to stay longer or go more often before I am ready to let her.
She is also turning 2 in February!! Although she is “older” than most of the 2 year olds I know, and I mostly can’t remember life before her; it is also a little surreal to think that my baby belly bump has transitioned to a teeny tiny 2.9kg baby, to a wobbly toddler, to a 16kg almost 2 year old being with very distinct thought and personality traits of her own!
2015 was a year of adjustment for our little family as we tried to create space for each other again, after the first year being fully focused on Charly. I am incredibly blessed with my gorgeous other half, he is mostly incredibly patient and supportive and does 99% of the looking after everything stuff; but there’s no pretending having a new baby in your life doesn’t require all kinds of adjusting and shifting and tearing and starting anew in a relationship.
Watching Brett in 2015 was very inspirational to me. He has broken through so many of his personal boundaries; heading out into new and strange places, meeting new people and networking with others in his field. If you know Brett, you will know that this is a big deal. He also pushed himself to grow, doing courses and teaching himself new coding languages and skills. And he has grown incredibly as a father as well, which really came to the fore over the past few weeks with holidays and my mom’s illness. I am so incredibly proud of him.
We have definitely grown as individuals and we are starting to see how we are growing as a couple and as parents too. Enough so that we are leaning towards rounding up our family with trying for a new addition from August in 2016; there needs to be a lot more written on that another day.
2015 saw such a shift in my professional life. I went from my one business writing client to expanding PiCT in May, to taking on freelance clients in June, to doing brand consulting for small businesses and blogs in July, to co-launching South African Sisterhood with my amazing friend Laverne in September, to buying Tums 2 Tots Online Magazine and taking over as Editor in Chief and beginning its transformation in November, which will culminate at the relaunch in April. The beginning of 2016 will see an additional dimension of my work come to life in an adventure with another special talented lady, but more on that another time.
Brett and I are also embarking on a plan to get healthy in 2016. We are both fully on board and will be easing into our Weigh-Less eating plan during these first two weeks in January and then 100% from the 18th. We are both struggling with our weight at the moment and we both want to be healthier and set a better example for Charly, and I want to be at a very healthy weight before facing the incredible challenge of pregnancy again. To support this goal for me I have also joined Laverne’s new project the “South African Girlfriends Guide”, where I am one of 500 women who are working to encourage and support each other to getting healthier in 2016.
2015 saw me blessed with the most incredible influx of women into my world, all through my online life. It was definitely a year of friendships for me.
Pregnant in Cape Town’s growth allowed me to “meet” and befriend some amazing people through my interview series’; I chat to many of those women most days as they explore new motherhood, special mention to Tamarah who has become a forever friend. I love that I have been able to share in their journey and provide them with a friend who has been through it; and they have provided me with the most incredible amount of love and support as well.
The reviews and giveaways on the blog also brought the most wonderfully talented and warm, hard working women into my world who I have learned so much from – Jess, Carmi, Kirsten, Berneen, Katie. I have loved playing a small part in their growth and helping them to get their businesses out into the world. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for them, and for me as I meet yet more talents.
Being a part of the mommy blogging community has absolutely changed my world from the moment I fell pregnant, but even more so in 2015. I can’t begin to explain the huge impact these women have had on me personally, on my parenting, on my belief in myself and my writing. The way they have thrown an invisible net of love over Charly and myself and my family as we have battled our way to where we are now, has reaffirmed my belief in humanity and the good in people.
Meeting some of them in person; Laverne, Maz, Cindy, Lindsay, Leigh, Radhia, Cassan, Cupcake, Zayaan, Celeste, Charlotte, Nabilah, Andz, Robyn, Andi; has brought me friendships that I believe will last forever as we navigate our way through life and parenthood. And then there are those that I have yet to meet who have shifted my perception of who I am and have become absolute touchstones in my world when things get tough, or who have brought me to tears with their journeys, or made me smile when I didn’t think I could – Tracey, Jonelle, Ella, Megan, Zoe, Carla, Shan, Sam. I know KNOW there are more of you that I have left off this list and I swear that doesn’t for a second detract from the impact you have had on me, it is just the almost 2 years of chronic sleep deprivation that has left much of my brain mush.
South African Sisterhood expanded my circle of unique big-hearted women yet further. And Tums 2 Tots is helping me to help and grow the talented writers I know, the brands I love, all the while helping me to achieve my ultimate goal of reaching out to other parents and letting them know they are not alone.
And then there are the steadfast always there forever friends who accept me with all my endless faults and nueroses, including my semi-agoraphobia and always always make the effort to come see us and be a part of our lives; and the crazy mom-life friends who are struggling to keep their heads above water just like me, and we hold our friendships through talking online or on Whatsapp every day. You ladies have my heart always.
There were also some big disappointments and struggles in my world in 2015. A lot of people let me down, didn’t make any effort to be a part of my life or celebrate my wins or share in my losses; people I’ve loved for years that missed important moments and barely know my child.
I threw my heart into supporting and helping grow a platform for people who turned on me completely, took advantage of me and treated me appallingly; and it continues to eat at me because of the number of people I introduced to them that have since been mistreated and taken advantage of, or who I have no doubt they will do so with at some point.
I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety and chronic sleep deprivation, though my awesome psychologist (Dr) Rob has helped bucketloads with that. I’ve struggled with being a parent and a wife and a daughter and a sister and a friend. I’ve struggled to keep up with all the work I’ve taken on. I’ve struggled to balance my finances. I’ve struggled with balance full stop.
All of this has left me feeling stronger in some ways. It has left me feeling sure that I am going to be choosing where I spend my time more carefully in 2016. I am going to invest myself in those that invest themselves in me and my family. And I’m not going to give any of my time to those who surround me with negativity, who focus on the bad, who don’t take my life into account when passing judgement on how I spend my time.
I believe 2015 gave me so much, from incredible people, to love, to understanding, patience, appreciation, confidence, self-belief, passion, chances and opportunities.
2016 is all about taking all 2015 gave me and using it for growth. Growth is my word for 2016. I want to experience growth as a wife, as a mother, as a sister, as a daughter, as a friend, as a writer, as a businesswoman. I want to reach out and help others to grow, their brands, their lives, their skills. I want to be surrounded by growth; I want to watch my businesses grow, I want to watch my daughter grow, I want to watch my family grow, I want to watch the networks and connections and relationships all around me grow.
I have high hopes and big plans for 2016, and I can’t wait to share that journey with all of you!
Sending all the love xx