The last 9 months have been very interesting to me. I didn't really realise how interesting until I have paused and reflected.
9 Months ago Matilda (my youngest) turned 3. This was not out of the ordinary in itself, but as many of my friends embarked upon or worked their way through their 3rd and sometimes 4th children we made the radical decision to stop at 2.
So I watched on while others went back to nappies, sleepless nights and breastfeeding. I snuggled their babies and breathed deeply as I smelt that newborn infant smell. It was all very lovely but I became aware that something was very different in me now. I no longer yearned for these babies. I felt very satisfied with my own 2 beautiful children. No more were needed.
So as the busy life of babes continued on I noticed that I was now moving at a different pace. I wasn't breastfeeding any more, I had no more nappies to change, both my children sleep through the night (most of the time anyway :)). Orlando started school, Matilda started Pre-School. My baby years were done... what was next?
As soon as I had asked this question, the universe provided me an answer. I was asked if I would be willing to do some more study in my role at work. It was left field, an area I LOVED in my recreational life but I had never considered making it a profession. It was physical and challenging and going to need me to commit a lot of time... most of my weekends... I have challenged myself mentally and intellectually a lot in my life, but physical challenges I have always shied away from.
But I had asked the question and the answer was here. So I agreed to embark on 12 months full time study, on top of my 3 days a week work and being a Mum of 2 delicious children... and here I was thinking I was moving at a slower pace! I was creating a new job for myself. I hadn't felt I could commit back to teaching full time post kids, I needed to find a new angle and here it was. I have a strong commitment and belief in the importance of children having a deep connection to and engagement with the outdoor world. Now I was skill-ing myself up to lead them into the wilderness on many an adventure... and to get paid for it!
I knew it would be an intense year and so far it has not let me down. But this intensity has brought new perspectives that I am finding really interesting.
My kids are growing up and they need me less. I'm less just Mum and can re-find/define who I am. Nathan, Orlando and Matilda have created a deeper relationship. Nathan could win father of the year this year, he has stepped into the parenting limelight and is doing it all while working full time. Ollie and Tilly have remembered that Nath can meet their needs, just as well as I can.
This has provided me space and some autonomy. I miss everyone while I am away, or busy with my head in the computer. But I also LOVE that I am away on adventures, with other adults challenging myself, extending myself.
A new chapter has begun. So far it's a roller coaster but I am telling myself that next year will be calmer, next year will be the launch, this year is the crazy preparation.
So I guess my new baby is me! My focus is on myself... and it hasn't been there for over 6 years so it feels really good to have some time to grow and develop me!