Instead of writing a typical “New Year, New Me” type post, I thought I would share a little bit of a reflection on 2016 and some things that inspire me daily!
Well, where do I begin? 2016 was an amazing year and a feel extremely blessed. Early in the year we welcomed a new life into our family. Gabrion Marley was born a healthy baby boy in February and life obviously hasn’t been the same since. It has been a truly wonderful year and I am so grateful to be in Canada where we are privileged to have a one-year maternity leave. This year has flown by in an instant and I honestly cannot believe that I am planning a one year old’s birthday party next month! So crazy! For each stage there has been excitement and sorrow. Happy sorrow, if that even makes sense, somehow it does to me.
He is now a walking, babbling, busy, going concern. He is so happy and cheerful and absolutely adores his older brother (my step son). I am truly blessed with how well pregnancy went, his birth, and we’ve had a smooth transition into motherhood with the typical challenges. I feel like I am living in a dream world but it truly has been a wonderful year. We were fortunate to do some travelling and spend lots of time together as a family. It’s been enjoyable so much so, that it has also been a complete blur. I wish I had written more things down to remember for years to come, but, I am sure I can deduce things from the literal million photos I’ve taken this year!
As I ready myself to go back to work, I am obviously a little sad but, I am excited. His first-year milestone is an exciting one and I feel ready to head back to work, grateful with the time we had to spend together as mommy and son bonding. I would do the whole pregnancy and delivery again in a heart beat and I truly miss the little tiny baby stage. In my personal experience it has been a lot more challenging the more mobile he gets (I miss the baby cuddles and he is into absolutely everything).
He is my whole world! However, we don’t share many photos of him on social media and if I do it’s the back of his head or a hand and that’s it. Some people have found this a little strange but it is just where our comfort level is. I obviously want to share tons about him but something about it just doesn’t feel right to me in my core. It’s just my personal preference – just an aside in case you were wondering.
Obviously 2016, as any year, was not without it’s challenges. Being a mom is tiring! Also, I exclusively breastfed for six months and then introduced some solids through baby led weaning while still continuing to breastfeed a lot! At almost 11 months he is still breastfeeding and while as he gets bigger it gets more challenging, he basically lifts my shirt up now, it is still such a magical experience. The thing about breastfeeding is, he relied solely on me for nourishment which, is amazing, of course but it does leave you bound to his schedule and feeding times. I feel like am just now able to get a tiny glimpse of my freedom back and I think this has been the biggest challenge for me. I am a very active person and I love to be on the go. I take Gabrion out with me all the time but, sometimes it’s just nice to have your own personal time and that’s a challenge with all things considered!
2016 has changed me in many ways. I am proud of myself and the mom I am.
I am by no means perfect and I rely on a lot of people for help but I feel really content with life and I have more of a calm spirit about me in a lot of ways. Although, some things still make me want to pull my hair out overall, I feel like I have less anxiety than I did. I feel like everything else I worried about before was a small thing and nothing more matters now that I have become a mother.
I have had a number of favourite moments in 2016, first and foremost the birth of my child but there were many other memorable moments too! We took a trip to Vancouver and Vancouver Island in June! It was great to visit with family and visit Parksville where I spent my childhood summers! We had a lot of fun exploring on the beach!
In December we visited Toronto! It was a wonderful trip and I was able to connect with some wonderful mommies from my Facebook Mommy Group, on a few occasions! A lovely lunch where we were so graciously welcomed by new friends and we were also able to explore the Christmas Market in the Historic Distillery District! It was a brisk walk but definitely a lovely day! It’s amazing how connected we can become and how the internet has changed our world and we feel close to people we may never have met before. It was nice how effortless the conversations were and so nice for all of our babes to meet face-to-face.
Photo cred: Ashely Eve Photography
That brings me to the second part of this post. I have found in the past year that I have been able to really connect with like-minded people and have been inspired by many different things to implement change in my own life. Here are a few things that really inspire me each and every day:
My child – yeah that one is pretty obvious. I love being a mom and it really is an amazing transformation. It’s amazing to experience life through the eyes of someone whom you’ve created and it is a feeling that is really hard to describe. It inspires me everyday to be a better person and to make constant and positive change in my life.
Instagram stories – okay, this one may seem extremely weird but, there are so many people doing so many interesting and creative things and documenting it on Instagram stories. I find so much inspiration through people’s lives and I am in awe of what some people accomplish. I think it challenges all of us to strive for what we want and to praise others for their accomplishments!
Plants – I love food. I love everything about food, especially plant-based food. I am trying more and more to challenge myself to eat a completely plant-based diet and to cut out dairy. It is amazing the food and flavour combinations you can create with plant-based ingredients.
Mom friends – People I’ve surrounded myself with inspire me every day too! My friend group has certainly shifted since becoming a mother. I still have lots of my long time friends but I have gained a plethora of new friends many of whom had their babies the same month! It’s nice to be surrounded by a great support group!
Beautycounter – In September, I decided to join Beautycounter and the mission was something that I had already aligned my values with. The company inspires me daily to strive for better and I am excited to share their amazing products.
My mom – My mom has always inspired me even through our many mother daughter differences but, becoming a mother myself has definitely shown me my own mother in a new light (something she always preached to me – “you’ll understand one day”).
Now that my random rambling is done, what inspires you daily? Share in the comments below!