2016: My year in review
Wow, 2016 was pretty crazy, right? Politically, I think it’s the most change (and potentially most disturbing direction of change) I’ve experienced in my lifetime. The kind of year that makes you look around at the world and wonder how much has gone wrong to result in people feeling so full of anger at not only the establishment, but also for the poorest and least well off in our society. Scenes of refugees and war continued to bombard us, and I think for many people, the situation just felt (and continues to feel) utterly hopeless.
But this isn’t a political post, this is a personal post. Because personally, things were thankfully significantly better. 2016 was not exactly what I expected it to be. I certainly did not expect to be heavily pregnant by the end of it! My plan for the year was to really focus on my career and get that into a great position before even thinking about getting pregnant again, but just 7 months into my return to work, I was having a chat with my boss about my next round of maternity leave.
2016 was a very strange year for work, in the end. In terms of the work I did, I’ve really loved it. It’s been stressful (very stressful) at times, but overall I still love what I do, and actually look forward to going to work most of the time, which is not something many people can say! But the last few months have been very up and down. My boss left in the early autumn, and since then, my team has been a bit in flux. My new boss is really lovely, and I’ve worked with her for years, so was happy for it to be her taking the reins, but I guess change breeds more change, and between my surprise pregnancy and other team members deciding that it was time for them to move on, too, it looks as though I’ll be returning from maternity leave to an entirely new team.
Personally, I feel like this year I’ve returned to being me again. The first 8-9 months of Theo’s life, I really didn’t feel like I’d ever feel normal again, I kind of felt that my mum personality had absorbed everything else about me, but returning to work has definitely made me feel more myself. Peter has been a great support with that, too, taking on evening baby care whenever I’ve wanted to go out with friends. Being able to go out for dinner without worrying that Theo won’t take a bottle or won’t fall asleep or that Peter is at home alone with a screaming baby is life changing.
At home it’s been a wonderful year with Theo. Yes, he’s a wilful toddler now, and we’ve DEFINITELY hit the terrible twos (how many arguments are we going to have to have about throwing toys/getting dressed/needing a new nappy in the coming months!? How hard is it to keep a blimming hat on when it’s freezing cold outside!?), but he’s such a joy most of the time. Seeing him grow up is the absolute highlight of my life so far. I can’t believe how many words he has, how much we can actually communicate, how funny he is, how loving, how cuddly, how clever. I am insanely proud of him and of Peter and I for raising such a cool little kid. And now that he is FINALLY SLEEPING THROUGH, often until 6am, sometimes until almost 7am, I feel like I have a lot more energy for playing during the day.
All in all, it’s been pretty great year, despite all the turmoil and all the dead celebrities. It’s felt like things have really settled into a comfortable, happy routine, and I feel like a normal human person again. What the hell we’re going to do when a newborn arrives and I start having 2 hours sleep a night again, I don’t know, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it…