2016 has been a year of real highs and lows, a year of stepping out of comfort zones and trying new things. That being said, 2016 was one to be remembered, and remember those that have left us. I wanted to reflect on some of the things that have happened throughout the year.
At the start of the year I had embarked on a new career chapter by being granted a bursary to learn Social Media Management through Digital Mums. Whilst it was a tough course and it really took it out of me, I learnt some valuable new skills and have been volunteering for a local sports club ever since graduation day. I'm hoping that 2017 will bring me some paying clients and I can't wait to see where it leads.
Me and Scott have both had pretty rocky times at work this year. We've both thought that we need to progress or move on to bigger and better things, but are unsure of the best path to take. Whilst we both love the companies and stores we work in, we would love to bring in a bit more money and save towards the future. It's tough when you have a child to look after as you can't take a leap into the unknown but I am confident that 2017 will bring us the changes that we need, whether big or small to start looking forward to our future.
2016 did bring us a year of losses, with Scott losing two grandparents and the family dog passing away. It was a tough one to explain to Max, but he took it in his stride and looks to the sky for the new stars that have joined his other great grandad. My mum also moved away temporarily, it felt like such a gaping hole in my life to know I couldn't just pick up the phone for a natter, and had to schedule Skype times. I'm so glad she's back and I know that Max is happy that he can see Nanny whenever he wants.
Max has had an amazing year. We have been so lucky to be given so many opportunities through blogging, that he has really been spoilt for choice. He has loved every visit to London, show he's seen, toy he's played with and adventure he has gone on. At school he has come on leaps and bounds and excelled himself in subjects like reading and maths (no idea where the maths came from!). He absolutely loves going to school, and the bullying incidents that happened last year have been ironed out and he is really enjoying year 1.
Max started at Stagewise performing arts school this year. We always knew that he loved performing and being on stage (he asked for a guitar when he could first speak!) so it was only natural that he would join his pal Dylan at Stagewise. I'm so glad he loves it as he's flourished with confidence and I love listening to him practice all his songs.
Max has some of the best friends I could have ever wished for. From Kayden who he met at nursery to Rubi, Grace and Ryan who he met on the first day of school. They are all thick as thieves and I wouldn't wish for it to be any other way. I'm so chuffed as well that I have made some friends for life in their parents. I never would have thought that I would have made some amazing friends like I have done.
I mentioned that this year was about stepping out of comfort zones and I wasn't wrong. This year a campaign I had been working on for a long time was launched. Last year Young Women's Trust and the Equality and Human Rights Commission approached me about my experience of maternity discrimination. By telling my story for the Power To The Bump campaign I ended up doing things I could have only dreamed of.
I went on TV to discuss my experience of discrimination, I was on the radio discussing flexible working. I featured in the Huffington Post and the Guardian about working young parents. I went into the houses of Parliament to tell MP's how bad some people experience pregnancy discrimination. I featured in ad campaigns and articles on BBC news about Young Women's Trust annual report and I even sat on a panel at the Gender Pay Gap conference which was surreal. In fact all the things I did this year for charities and raising awareness for young parents left me inspired, determined and excited to see how 2017 pans out.
We don't have any set in stone plans for 2017. In an ideal world we would have a chunk of money saved for a house deposit and have a family holiday planned. But things don't always go to plan. What we do want is to be happy and healthy, to continue growing and learning as a family. Who know's what the future holds, but whatever it is, we hope it's fun and we can't wait to share our journey on here too.