I’ve always loved the idea of having a Rainy Day Fund or as my folks say Funny Money, which is an awesome way to say “here’s a few bob. Let’s treat ourselves!” Myself and Papa Bear don’t drink, smoke or pop any drugs stronger than paracetamol for the migraines that come our way. Alcohol is something neither of us are bothered about and I hear we’re saving a tonne by skipping it all together, although the odd Lidl wine has said to be a bargain and there’s something to be said for making your own moonshine! Even so, we like to splurge on our favourite vice – food! Little Miss has a saying which goes something like, “Can we go somewhere nice to eat?” So Lord knows we gotta save for these little treats now that we’re down to one income and a bit! Read more
Or rather, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated is pretty much the best any parent can hope to achieve. I have to admit, and I should be embarrassed as I say it, but my health is not at the top of my agenda. Since quitting my job and having two kids run rings around me, earning money and putting clothes on their bums is what keeps me going. So writing is my wealth but with that stupid attitude my health has taken a nose dive. Stress, anxiety, yada, yada, yada, we all know the drill. But to be good to my kids, I have to be good to myself.
Since Storm Emma, I’ve been leaving the electric blanket on. We don’t necesarily need it now that the temperatures have started to creep up but, oh my, how luxurious is it to wriggle into a toasty warm bed after a 5.30am start and a looooonggg day of being maid, cook, cleaner, educator and servant to two (or more as the case may be) innocent, never screaming, never needy, impossibly helpful kids? (There’s sarcasm in there, hope it’s obvious!) I love my bedroom and while it’s not a typical oasis of calm or all that big, it’s purple with a king size bed and blackout blinds. Our bedroom, which admittedly lately I’ve been calling my bedroom since Papa Bear is routinely called into Little Missus’ room after midnight, has always been a reflection of comfort and somewhere to gently ease away worries. And this goes for Little Miss and Little Beans room too.
Lately I’ve found myself talking about relationships a lot. And it’s not because Papa Bear and I have hit a personal milestone. It’s more to do with the fact that being a family of bears takes its toll on even the most stable of relationships. It’s hard. We know that. We’re up against quite a lot when kids come along. Intimacy, conversation, time for each other stalls. And Hollywood doesn’t help. The Hollywood Ideal lures us into a false sense of security, almost as though it’s not necessary to work on our relationships daily. But we do, oh we really, really do.
It somehow feels justified and appropriate to use a boot in what felt like ten thousand feet of snow as the image for this post. Just like #Snowmageddon, this post feels endless with the potential to fall and get stuck in it. Or at least that’s what I thought when I saw the very lovely Ross from The Stented Papa had nominated me for the most god awful, ridiculously long and painfully torturous blogger tag 100 Questions, 100 Answers. Thanks Ross! But since my brain power has melted somewhat with the snow after four odd days of being snowed in, it’s a good way to get my blogger mojo back. So here we go, endless questions and real answers. There may be something in here about me that you don’t know yet!
I sound incredibly pretentious and righteous with the title of this post. But the fact of the matter is, myself and Papa Bear are together 17 years last week. We must be doing something right. I was a teeny, tiny 17 years old when I met him, meaning I now literally know him half my life. I’ve thought of this day quite a lot over the last almost two decades. Knowing, and loving him (get a room!) for half of my life feels like such a huge achievement. He has been by my side for so long and I can’t imagine life without him. We were young when we met, young when we married and we’re still young. And we’re still together. Against the odds. Because everyone figured there would be odds. That we were too young. That we wouldn’t last. Well, we did. And we are. And I put it down to three things.
I’m broke. Ok not broke but this freelancer lark may just break my mind if I struggle to be able to afford to meet my friends for a coffee every now and again. Worst part of freelancing? Wondering if and when the money will come in. Only one month in and I already miss being a trigger happy credit card swiper. It was so easy. Thoughtless. Effortless. Until the bill came in. But now? I can’t wait to see a triple figure bill. Will I even make triple figures in a month? Who knows. Thinking twice, and figuring out how much surplus cash I have for coffee splurges, if any, has been a big change for me. But oh I’m learning tricks! I have to really. The biggest, is how to avoid the supermarket.
Two words – Spring Clean. This will be a good way to find out if Papa Bear actually reads my ramblings here. Usually if I ask him, “oh did you catch my blog today?” I hear a mumbling of “Em Yeah, what was it about again?” To which I discover he did actually open the link, hooray, but only skimmed through the text picking up key elements so he could nod yes and be compliant in the good husband stakes. He was my second subscriber (Hi to my first *waves to Grandma Bear*) and a guinea pig to see what the email looked like when I hit publish. FYI – self promo moment – if you want those emails you can subscribe to the blog but who needs more repetitive strain from hitting the trash icon! If you want to read me, you’ll find me. Anyway, I’ve digressed a little… I did say Spring Clean didn’t I! Surely I’ve suitably pissed off Papa Bear now but let’s see if he reads more!
I’ll be honest I’m glad to see the back of 2017. In a year when I should have been ecstatic at the fact that our baby was born without any issues, I was a mess. There’s no nicer way to say it really. I struggled for months with postnatal anxiety and I’m still not over the final hurdle. There are days that are tough but I’m managing a million times better than I was a few months ago. Even so, I’m starting this year with a particular mindframe that is going to keep me balanced and in control. I’m finding the positive again and I’m living to my full potential. Or at least trying.
Don’t hate me but yes I’m already thinking about Summer Holidays. For the first time in my life, I have already booked a family holiday for the Summer. No, we’re not going to Spain or Disneyland, although they were options that soared out of our price range even with the sales. Instead we’re taking the kids on their very first family holiday to a self catering house on a rural organic farm in Wexford. The beach, the quiet, the sunsets, the reminder of the magic of family holidays when I was a kid. I genuinely can’t wait for this staycation.