Thursday, 31 December 2015

The year that was 2015

I figured I should probably do a post where I discuss everything that was 2015. Unfortunately for me my memory is based purely on what I can find on my Facebook news feed (thank's mummy brain) so that's actually a tricky thing to do.

A lot happened this year that I just didn't bring up here, parts because it was too hard (or against the law) to discuss on such a public medium, and others I simply didn't know if it was even worth mentioning. I'll talk about some of it here now, simply because these things made up such a large part of me during the year, and because you're all such wonderful friends I feel I should share them with you.

The first and best thing I did all year was start writing again after taking 12 months away from blogging. I had gotten to the point in February of last year where I really didn't know what I wanted this place to be. I'd spent a lot of time crawling around a frightening website called Get Off My Internet, where readers would spend all their time slamming bloggers from around the world, including some that I absolutely loved. A lot of their vitriol was aimed at "mommy bloggers" which terrified me at the time because that was what I identified as, and the thought of being the target of their disgust paralysed me whenever I tried to write. I spoke to some of them, to try to understand what made mommy bloggers so hated, and thankfully I seemed to be avoiding the biggest pitfalls of the genre, but that didn't really make me want to write any more. So I walked away for a while, spent some time not writing at all, deciding whether I was really prepared to be such a large target, and also questioning what I wanted this place to be. It was a chance conversation with the wonderful Tamara over at Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom that got me to dust off my keyboard and come back here. She was so encouraging at the time, and I consider her a great friend, despite the fact that there are several thousand kilometres separating us.

The other friendship I got to rekindle once I came back to blogging was my friendship with the indefatigable Karen over at Baking in a Tornado. She is a huge tube of glue for a large group of us bloggers, and she has managed to create a wonderful community full of welcoming and supporting people, all of whom I love.  I am actually going to be doing a guest post over at Karen's website early next year, so you need to keep an eye out for me over there, where I attempt to be a food blogger for the day. You won't be disappointed, I promise. Karen has had her own struggles this year, but through it all she has supported me through everything I am about to discuss, we have had lots of late night email conversations where we commiserate the state of our respective lives and try to prop each other up. She is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever had the privilege to know.

But it wasn't all rainbows and smiles this past year. There were lots of hard moments, times when I wondered the point of continuing anything, and times I even broke for a little while. I quit my job at the beginning of October, and have been living an incredibly hobo-esque life ever since. I found it became too hard to balance a job and my life as a parent, and my health began to suffer. Although life has become slightly harder to afford since I gave up work, I still don't regret my decision, and feel it may have been the best thing I could have done. At this stage I have no plans to work until Miss K starts school in 2017

 I had several significant fights with Miss K's dad, we attempted mediation, and nearly ended up suing the pants off each other for custody of Miss K. Luckily we managed to get past all of the horrible fights and hurt feelings, and we've even managed to draw up joint consent orders without having to spend $40,000 on lawyers fees. We come to the end of the year at an albeit slightly tenuous position, but reunited in our attempts to parent Miss K the best way we both can.  It hasn't been a smooth road for my little family, and we're still trying to paper over all the cracks we've created this year, but I have hope for us. I may discuss the process we went through next year, just to share with any of you who are dealing with your own custody battles, because whatever you're going through, you're never alone.

But through all the tears, the smiles, the fights, the boredom and the frustration I have felt incredibly blessed. I can't say this was the best year of my life, because that can only mean it's all down hill from here, but despite all the crap, it was a good year. I feel stronger than ever before, and I have faith that I can cope with whatever 2016 has to throw at me.

So I will definitely be back next year, I promise no more holidays for me, and hopefully there will even be some growth around here in the new year. This website has already become more than I ever thought it could be when I first started it three years ago, and I thank every company that gave me an opportunity to speak for them this year. Hopefully there will be more opportunities to come, so stick around and see where we end up.

Happy New Year.
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