I hadn’t planned on writing anything about the new year. I figured the internet would be awash with content about a new decade beginning and what others hope to achieve in 2020 and beyond, but then I thought about quite how much my life has changed over the last ten years. If you’d have told me then that I would become a mother of two beautiful children and earn money doing something I absolutely adore, I’d have probably laughed in response.
I guess before I reflect on the last ten years, I should explain who I was and what I was doing when this decade began. As 2010 loomed, I was fresh out of high school, and if I’m honest, desperately unhappy. My long-term relationship was in a bad place. I didn’t know it then, but that relationship was slowly destroying me. I had a small group of friends, who I naively believed would be around forever, and I had no idea what I was doing with my life. I just did what I thought I should be doing, I was lost, I had no purpose and my confidence had been worn down so much that I wholeheartedly hated every little piece of my being.
Back then my life consisted of college, friends, and my boyfriend. I should have been embracing a pivotal stage in my life but instead, it took everything I had to get out of bed in the morning. I cried every single day, sometimes I didn’t even know why I was crying, all I knew was, life felt like a constant uphill climb. I often wondered if I’d always feel this hopeless, I questioned whether these feelings of desperation would ever go away. For a while, those feelings persisted, until April 2011, when I unexpectedly gave birth to my beautiful little girl, Mia. My long-term relationship had ended, it was left to me to raise a tiny baby. I didn’t know it at the time, but becoming a single parent to my beautiful daughter at the age of 18 was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had never planned on becoming a mother at such a young age, but I don’t regret it for a single second.
Mia was, and still is, pure perfection. She gave me purpose, she replaced the constant feeling of sadness with joy and love. Even now, as we head into 2020 and she hurdles towards her 9th birthday, she makes me laugh every single day. In 2013 she became a big sister when I had my little boy, Theo, and together, they proved to be exactly what I needed to make something of myself, to be exactly who I want to be and do what makes me happy. They love me on my good days, my bad days, and every single day in between. I truly believe that if Mia hadn’t of come along when she did, I’d be in a very bad place now, thats if I was still here at all.
2020 is shaping up to a big year for myself and my monkeys. Theo will be moving up to be with his sister at ‘big big school‘ in September and my blog continues to go from strength to strength. Just The Three Of Us is my full-time job, something I never thought would happen back when I started blogging in 2015.
This blog began as a hobby, something for me to do whilst raising two young children. Originally it mainly consisted of allergy-friendly recipes which catered for children like Theo, who at the time suffered from a multitude of food allergies. Now, nearly 5 years later, this blog reached thousands of people across the world and become more than a hobby. Just The Three Of Us is now a semi-reliable source of income which enables me to worry less about finances and provide for my children. The best bit? I get to do it all from the comfort of my sofa. I get to work around the children, I still get to be at every school event, drop off, pick up, and I get to tuck them into bed every single night. I’ll admit, it’s often tough juggling being a single mum with running a home and business, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve found my purpose, my reason, and my passion.
I’m heading into 2020 with a feeling of acceptance. I don’t have the friends I had when the decade began, many turned their backs on me when I had Mia at 18. They didn’t want to be associated with the young mum stereotype. For a long time, I had just one or two friends, and spent a lot of time on my own, but now, I am surrounded by friends who love and support both myself and the children. I’ve made peace with how I’ve been treated in the past, by old friends, by ex-partners and by members of my family. I don’t believe in cliches, but with acceptance I’ve discovered that everything does happen for a reason. Acceptance isn’t something that has been easy to achieve, but I’ve done it, and I’m really proud of myself.
When I compare the dark place I found myself in this time ten years ago with where I am now, I feel like I’m comparing two completely different people. I guess that feeling of hopelessness fooled me into believing that nothing would ever change or get better, but it did. So if your reading this and wondering whether you’ll ever stop feeling like you have no purpose or reason, I want to assure you that it is going to be okay, eventually. With a little patience, determination and resilience you can turn your life around like I have. I don’t claim to have it all, I don’t have the ‘perfect’ life we all dream of when we are growing up, but I have two children, an amazing family and group of friends, and a lovely home. I’m genuinely content.
I have no idea what 2020 has in store for us, but one thing I do know is that the new decade won’t contain the same struggles and difficulties as the previous decade has. I’m a far stronger and happier person than I was 10 years ago and I’m determined to make wonderful memories with my children, continue to create a gorgeous home for us all to enjoy and build on success of this blog.
I still, and always will, struggle with my mental health. My anxiety and depression will always linger in the background, but thankfully, I now take medication that keeps my anxiety reasonably controlled and my support network of friends and family make times of depression more manageable. 2010-2020 was the decade of self discovery, it was the decade of the unknown, of both heartache and happiness. Everything I have learned from my experiences over the last decade have prepared me for what the next ten years hold. Bring it on.