I know, we are already 13 days since the start of 2015, but here I am trying to stick to one of my resolutions (blog more, and on time!) so forgive me 🙂
I can’t even start to say how much inertia I’ve had trying to get this post started – so much has happened in 2014 that I am not sure I can even remember it all – let alone pen it down coherently (I have lost many of my words since become a Mama).
But here goes nothing!
2014 has been the most difficult, but also the happiest year of my life so far.
On Becoming a Mama
I survived. 16 bloody hours of labour, and 9 months of parenthood.
Correction: we survived, because there would have been no way in heaven or hell that I could have done it without K’s love and support. Motherhood is such a paradox – some days I feel like I am just struggling to get through the hours until Sophie Rose’s next nap, but then a smile, a giggle or a wet kiss, or even just your baby burying her face in the crook of your neck, just makes it seem so much easier. It’s intense, that’s what it is. I am perpetually hormonal, perpetually an emotional wreck, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And K and I are amazed, every day that we created and are raising such a beautiful, perfect being.
From the tiny, mewing little newborn placed into her terrified parents’ arms, to the first initial weeks of non-stop poop checking and obsessing over milk production to watching her smile for the first time and hearing her call us Mama and Papa then standing triumphantly (albeit very wobbly-y) while clutching the table for dear life – our lives have been transformed.
We no longer live for time, or days or hours but moments.
I know I live for the mornings when I wake up to her big happy grins before she flings herself into my arms for a morning hug, and for the evenings when I get off work and I see her break into huge, gummy giggles when her Papa and I greet her with effusive kisses and swing her in the air.
In 2014, I learned that the heart has no limits. It expands and contracts as much as its owner allows it to.
Before Sophie Rose came into my life, I’m afraid to say that I had allowed my heart to shrink quite a bit – 2013 was a rough year for me – I lost my grandfather, a friendship and a lot of my self-worth when I decided to go on long-term no pay leave to concentrate on my pregnancy.
Not having my family around for support as much as I was used to made me very inward looking. It could be that it was my own way of protecting myself and my unborn child from any hurt or disappointment, and I was fine with it at that point, but I wasn’t growing as a person.
My resolution for 2015 as a Mama is to:
- Enjoy my baby – I’ve stopped looking at milestone charts, or at “educational” toys for Sophie. I’m just going to enjoy her being a baby as long as I can, because I know it won’t be for much longer. She’s so full of surprises anyway, so I’m going to let myself be surprised by my little imp and let her grow as fast or as slow as she wants.
- Spend less time on my phone, and more time with Sophie Rose. No more absent-mindedly clicking away at Instagram while she tugs my hair.
- Be less hard on myself- Feeding Sophie Rose food from a jar is not a sin. I am not a Earth Mother. I do not need to potty train her by 10 months. I have not failed because Sophie is not interested in flashcards.
- Make another baby 🙂 Yup, you read it here first!
In 2014, I felt my heart grow to accommodate so many people and so many new friends from all walks of life. And unknowingly, this has brought me so much support in my new role as a Mama – and I feel so blessed that things turned out so wonderfully – it gave me the courage to take another big step, which is:
The Little Bow Company
What started out as a vain Mama’s quest to find the softest, and most comfortable bows for her fussy little bubba turned into a business which I can hardly manage by myself !
This passion project means so much to me – we support Mama entrepreneurs from all over the world through our lovingly picked and curated items. Of course this has been a huge source of stress as well – quality checking, shipping woes, administrative troubles – but it has also been a huge blessing.
Firstly, through The Little Bow Co, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many other like-minded Mamas and their beautiful babies 🙂 And that makes every day ( I mean, every single day) brighter for me and my elves.
This business has also brought me and my best friends so much closer. They decided to step in a while back and help me out with the invoicing, packing as well as to invest in us a little to show their support and faith. They are also Sophie Roses’ fairy godmothers – The Little Bow Co makes sure we all meet and catch up every week – perfect for us to discuss their upcoming weddings and to just spend time companionably together with our partners 🙂
It is a lot of work – with my full time job – but I’ve just learned to balance everything better. I know I’m no superwoman, which is why I’ve also had to give up a lot of time for other smaller passions I have but you can’t have everything 🙂
I have so many big things planned for The Little Bow Company for 2015, fingers crossed they will work out!
My Resolution for 2015 for The Little Bow Company is:
- To improve the customer experience. I’m a tech-noob, but I’ll find a way to make our site easier to access!
- Continuing to bring in beautiful, high quality baby things!
- To finally pay out some “dividends” to my hardworking partners who have sacrificed their weekends to help us out 🙂 I know I won’t be seeing what I’ve put in for a while, but I guess that’s just part and parcel of starting out your own business on a budget. I’m just glad that God has provided whenever we needed, and just enough to keep us going 🙂
This is probably the one thing I think I could have worked a lot harder on for 2014.
What with the business, work, house chores and of course, the Baby, K and I have had practically had no time for each other and Benjy. I think we’ve gone on a total of maybe 4 dates in the past 10 months – and spent the entire meal talking about the baby, house, dog and business -_-
I know that K does feel like our marriage has been neglected, which is why one of my highest priorities for 2015 is to spend more time with him, alone, and remember that before Sophie came along, we were actually a couple (It is horrible that I can hardly remember what life was like before she actually did come along)?
I really do miss our crazy, free-spending days before we became parents – taking off randomly on long trips with no real plan in sight, splurging on luxury goods and expensive food, pigging out on takeout and marathoning on Grimm and Criminal Minds – or just hanging out and drinking with friends into the am without having to worry about anything.
Now, the house has to be clean, the laundry has to be up to date, the bills are piling up and we get maybe 5-6 hours of disturbed sleep between the both of us. We’re definitely happy, but it would be nice to just relax completely and let loose for a while.
So in the plans are a beach getaway (2-3 days at the most) for the two of us after Sophie turns one, just to relax, recharge and get to know each other again 🙂
And of course, a date night a week (I not optimistic, but aim for the Moon and fall among the Stars, right?)
Against the better judgement of many of our friends and family, K and I have traveled twice with Sophie in 2014, once to Sydney when she was just three months old, and then again to Hong Kong for Christmas. In between, I squeezed a trip with my sister to Seoul and went for a quick company offsite. It’s nothing compared to the five or six trips we used to take a year, (obviously because travelling with a baby and a more restricted budget is no joke) but I hope 2015 will mean more exploring and growing.
Already we have a trip planned for Sophie Rose’s first birthday in March – we’re heading to Paris, then Zurich, London and maybe the Cotswolds. I’m already worried about how we’re going to manage the 12 hour flight but we’ll deal with it when it comes 🙂 All I know is that whatever happens, good or bad, it will be an experience we will likely never forget.
As for my resolutions about family and friends, those are ones I’d like to keep private (for now :)) For both their sakes and mine 🙂
What a year!
Lastly, I’d just like to send a hug and a kiss to all of you who have been following us on this crazy journey on The Little Bow Girl 🙂 Your comments and support have been deeply appreciated and every single one read and thankfully received by the three of us. Here’s wishing all of you (and us) an even better, brighter 2015 !!
Lots and lots of love!
The Little Bow Family.