Year in Review

Let's do this in two parts. Today we'll talk about the year in review–how we did and what we want to keep up and what we would do differently. Then tomorrow we'll commit to goals and change for next year.

Year in Review:

I traveled a lot for work and got better at it than I'd been before, but think there's still room not to let things bother me so much.

I came to grips with the fact that my messiness may be a brain feature(?) disorder(?) that makes me unable to organize my physical space and that I need to think in terms of managing it instead of "fixing" myself. Wow, what a difference that made! I couldn't afford to keep up my cleaning lady, so my apartment may or may not be as messy on any given day as it was before, but my attitude about it is less hopeless and more pragmatic so it's turned out to be easier for me to clean. Weird.

I got better at being a mom in general, a single mom, and co-parenting with my kids' dad. Losing the 100-minute commute and going to 50/50 custody with their dad were bigger factors in that improvement than any radical improvement in me as a person, I'm sure.

I had a mind shift about exercising and got into a groove just in time to twist my ankle and then walk and drive on it for 10 days and as you read this I'm icing and elevating it so it doesn't get worse. (Why, yes, I do twist my ankle all the time. I've been twisting this same right ankle once a year or so since I was 6.) I'm trying to figure out how to keep myself mentally exercising so when I'm back in action I can just pick up again and not be self-defeating about it.

There's been a sea change in the way my kids relate to each other–less fighting and more cooperation and engagement–and I have no idea why it's happened, but everything is easier. I'm trying to pay attention to figure out how to facilitate that so things can become increasingly harmonious.

Now you go. What big things did you work on, on purpose or inadvertantly, this year? How did they go?

39 thoughts on “Year in Review”

  1. The biggest thing this year happened in November when my husband and I realized (agreed?) that he likely has Asperger’s Syndrome.My anger and frustration at how much he didn’t *get* about EVERYTHING was replaced with me essentially learning a second language.
    “please get X some milk” got me the wrong top on a glass too full for 30 minutes before bedtime blah blah blah.
    has turned into “please get x a sippy top with about 1/3 full of soy milk” and everybody gets what they need.
    It also has forced me to be more honest. Instead of growling and hissing that “I’m FINE” when he doesn’t intuit that I’m not fine at all I’ve got to SAY it. It is hard for me but good overall.

  2. I am learning to manage my space too – rather than get frustrated that I’m the only one keeping it clean. I figured that since I am going to be the one keeping it clean, I should figure out what’s “clean enough for me” and keep it there. Works better than expecting Husband, who works crazy hours and only wants to spend time with the kids and relax when he gets home, to read my mind.I am learning to ask for help, of any kind when I I need it.
    I’m learning that I still have a lot to learn!

  3. I would like to hear more about this messiness thing you speak of. It sounds like me, but I have not reached any phase of dealing with it.This year I have had to adjust to 3 kids 4 and under and I think I am doing ok, but I am desperately hoping that people are right when they say that it gets vastly easier as they get older. Some days are great, some are… not.

  4. Oh. Well, it was a tough year in many ways. My big accomplishment, apart from the kids adjusting well to first grade and preschool, was I achieved a lot of amazing goals with my running. I was better than I thought I could be. In the end, I ran 7 half-marathons, and a couple 10 milers. I steadily improved. Again, apart from times with the girls, certain runs are my best and happiest memories. In many ways, I feel better than I ever have. But… it was a hard year for my marriage. The past year in that regard can be summed up by my saying that I need to start going to Al-Anon, which also efficiently sums up tomorrow’s post now doesn’t it?

  5. I’m in the black fog of the flu right now, so I’m going to try hard to look at the year as a whole, and not just focus on the awful last quarter.As the year began, I was fully in my groove as a WOHM, having been back for 6 months. Maternity leave and my new priority (aka DS) did wonders for my productivity and decision making abilities – no time to waste! This was truly an outcome from a 1 year mat leave that I did not expect. 
    Plans for regular working out did not fare so well.  Got the membership at the gym in our building at work, but didn’t keep at it regularly. Sicknesses off and on was part of it. But maybe timing (lunch hour) too. Much improvement to be made here in 2011.
    I think I became a better mom, and was able to leave DH more room to be a better dad. We’re slowly making progress I think. DS’ current favorite thing is ‘Cookin’ Mama, cookin’ ‘. At my parents’ over Xmas I had him help me make his lunch, an my mom said ‘boy, you’re patient’ (and this from a very patient person). I can definitely say that that comment made me feel good.
    Sleep trained 2x, derailed 2x. Hopping back on the bus once we’re all healthy.
    Was fortunate to become better friends with my friend A who passed away in Oct from esophegal cancer. He truly showed and reminded me to speak up. And it was empowering to have frank conversations with him about death as he faced it himself. I feel better prepared for what DH and I will likely face in the future. For this I am grateful.
    I’m choosing to look at the recent upheaval at work as the push to make a career move.
    A bit of family drama and my & DS’ flu at Xmas has capped off the end of this bad end of year. I really can’t wait to move on.
      

  6. I think I really relaxed about the fact we weren’t having enough sex. I wondered if hubby had lost interest in me sexually, was having an affair(!), was depressed or simply was low-needs in terms of sex.It seems it was none of the above, but simply a matter of timing. He was not an evening guy ( whereas I was) and prefered the mornings, which was almost impossible for me for a number of reasons.
    This was highlighted on a recent trip OS, where we took advantage of the time-difference. And on the way back too! I don’t think I had had so much sex since we were TTC with no. 1.
    Since then things have slowed down again, but at least I am not obsessing about it any more. I think I just neededt he confirmation that nothing was wrong in our relationship and that with time things would sort themsleves out, which they have, apparently.

  7. @RudyinparisWow! 7 half marathons is fantastic!! I knew you ran but I didn’t know how much. I also built up distance and speed this summer and autumn, but have recently made the leap and am running my PB this winter, despite the snow and rain we have been having. I did my one and only half last Sept and it was so invigorating. I actually came 10th for my category ( oldies, 40-49) Am planning, with hubby, to do my first marathon next September. Hopefully 9 months will be enough to train in.

  8. I am really doing well this winter, in spite of my Seasonal Affective Disorder. I am staying on top of my medication and light therapy, I’m aware and vocal about my limitations, and I’m even blogging about parenting with SAD. It’s amazing to be able to (mostly) keep up with life all year long! So I’m ending on a good note this year.I’ve been doing awesome at work. There is room for improvement, but I’ve got plans to work towards. This is the first year since having my first child that I’ve really been motivate in my career again.
    I feel like I’m slowly getting my house organized. I will never recommend to anyone to move when pregnant, because unless you get on a super nesting kick and have the time to follow through, it may take years before you have the time, energy, and brain power to get the house under control. Four years after our move, I’m finally getting things the way I want them. (If only my hubby could find the time and motivation to do the same for his areas of the house. Hopefully this coming year…)
    Finally, I think I’m a pretty good mom. And that’s a nice feeling. My kids are amazing and beautiful. My husband is wonderful and sexy. Life is pretty good.

  9. @Moxie – I love when you embrace who you are. Messy is not always a bad thing, as long as you can find what you need and are comfortable, who cares if things are messy? Hope your ankle heals quickly.@annon – Sometimes the right diagnosis or even just right name/term can help things fall into place. Good luck learning that second language. It sounds like it will really help ease frustrations on all sides.
    @Rudyinparis – Way to go, runningn 7 half-marathons and 10 milers! That’s so impressive! Sorry that other things are rocky. I wish I could be of some support somehow. Where is the Moxie Commune when we need it?
    @the milliner – Hope you get over the flu soon! That’s a crappy way to end the year. It’s always nice to get a compliment about being patient. I’m going to try and remember that as a compliment for my hubby and others. One of my personal goals is to be MORE patient. I’m working on it.
    @paola – Timing issues for sex can be such an issue! I really, really miss morning sex and can’t wait until the kids are old enough that it’s a possibility again. I’ve also been thinking recently about how women reach their sexual peak in their mid-30s or so, and men around 18. I know it’s normal and natural, but it’s also got to be an adjustment for each relationship. Way to go with your running!

  10. My main goal for 2010 was to find a new, permanent job with benefits. After working as a contractor for 4 yrs, my job ended and I needed to find something new. I thought I had it figured out mid-year, but that job was a total disaster. People were bullies and I was miserable. But, just this month I was hired at a place I had been temping and I love it so far. Nice work, great people and benefits!I thought that was the only thing I accomplished, but Paola reminded me of one more thing, sex 😉 FINALLY, 18 months after giving birth my libido returned. I don’t know what brought it back, because there is no one thing I did differently. We are still bedsharing with our daughter, he is still up late at night studying while I go to bed early, we are both still tired with too much to do…but somehow my typical level of interest came back. Now we are just encountering the usual roadblocks I think most parents of young children have of finding time for each other.

  11. I am glad to think back on this year, when the good has outweighed the bad.Good:
    -I began exercising consistently in February and didn’t look back. I run 3-4 times per week (not a great runner, but it’s quick and free, and I’m up to about 2 miles without walking), and honestly I’ve never felt better about myself physically, even before the 3 kids.
    -Husband and I are on the same wavelength, and he has, on several occasions, verbally acknowledged how hard my stay-at-home mom gig is. He recently started putting in even more effort in the areas he’s able (sometimes helping with morning routine instead of just leaving for work, etc.).
    -I love my friends. Don’t know what I’d do without them, especially my closest and best friend. There’s something about commiserating with and encouraging someone going through the same stuff.
    The bad:
    -My yelling. I feel so guilty each time I yell at the kids; at the same time, it seems that each time I yell, it becomes easier to do it again. Vicious cycle.
    -The kids’ ages exasperate me. Boy 5.5, spirited girl 3.5, and boy 2.0. They fight more often than not.
    -Finances. Wondering if we’ll be able to keep our house. ‘Nuff said.

  12. The first half of this year was rough. Bobo (my youngest, now 2) was very sick, and we weren’t sure what his ultimate diagnosis would be and whether he would ever be truly well again. His illness necessitated rearranging everything about our lives. It was hectic and chaotic and quite stressful.The second half of 2010 was great though. Once we got our lives rearranged around Bobo, everything sort of fell into place. He’s recovered remarkably well. He’s made strides in speech and development. I even had a few hours every week to myself and took up running. I ran two 5k races this year.

  13. 2010 was not a “normal” year for me at all! I did not work a day in 2010. I went on short term disability in late 2009 for the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy, and gave birth to Annie on January 21. I’ve been on maternity leave ever since (full year in Canada).I start back to work on Tuesday. I’ll have lots to say about that for tomorrow’s post.
    Anyway it’s been a year of watching my baby and pre-schooler grow, learning how to parent with sleep deprivation (didn’t have to do that with my 1st, I tell no lie) and deal with sleep issues, learning how to survive life with a 3 year old, and being a stay at home mom.
    I’m ready to go back to work. This year has re-affirmed what I already knew – I am meant to work, and I’m a better mom if I am working. Plus the job I’m going back to kicks ass and is a promotion. Bonus.

  14. Most of the past year has been spent trying to navigate life with serious sleep deprivation. My little guy is now over two and we had several rounds of sleep training the last one being last October 1st I believe it has stuck, he’s cutting molars and still sleeping through the night more or less. I feel like we now deal with “normal” toddler wakings than chronic night wakings. Truly the sleep thing was affecting everything in my life and I just was getting through each day. It wasn’t feeling like a good life.In September I also started to barter with a life coach which is amazing and so helpful and I feel so great about the opportunity to work with her and make changes in my life. I could never afford it otherwise! I have connected with a amazing group of women who are all embarking on making positive changes in their life. I took up running as well, common theme here. I was actually inspired by Doctormama’s blog who I found through a blog, through a blog so I became one of her maggots:) (google it) very inspiring indeed!! Can’t wait to run my first race! Its really cold and snowy in Chicago so I feel very proud of myself. I have made a commitment to be more present with my husband, more date nights and more sex!!
    All of which I want to continue with in the new year along with some new ones… tomorrow!
    @Moxie, regarding mentally exercising. My “coach” gave me an analogy yesterday that I’d like to share. The difference between dropping the ball and putting it down. Nothing you can do right now but put the intention out there then when you can, you will and let it go so your mind isn’t taking up all that physic space. Write it down somewhere even, let your body heal and then get back to it.
    Really grateful to share my parenting journey with all of you, I read all the time, post sometimes but it means a lot to have someplace to come to where I can get the community I need.
    Thank you and a wonderful 2011 to you all.

  15. This was the year of the DIAGNOSIS that we had tried so hard to avoid — autism — in the six year old.It turned out to be the best thing, hands down, that has ever happened to me, period. It led our family to floortime, to being really, really honest with ourselves, to being willing to face the hard stuff and discover that it can be endured.
    My life — my child’s life — sort very neatly into BEFORE FLOORTIME and AFTER FLOORTIME — and it all took off in a couple of months this summer. I will never forget 2010.

  16. I can attribute every single good thing that happened in my life in 2010 to two big events. My son started sleeping through the night and I graduated college. Life is so good when I’m sleeping and not studying!

  17. This year has been sort of a shift of things. All good, though from the outside, it doesn’t seem all that different.I’ve gotten to be better friends with a couple of people, and one is even local.
    DH has just recently accepted his doctor’s recommendation to take depression medication, and has also entered a program where he exercises 4x a week. He is a new person because of these things. He looks nearly 6 years younger, in just a few weeks.
    DD who will be 5 in April is on the same steady upslope of just being more delightful every year. And she started off pretty danged delightful. The horrible sleep deprivation and her tantrums in the mid 2s are not forgotten, but even then she was a cool kid when not screaming and flinging snot.
    I continue to feel rewarded enough with my work, though I need more hours and better pay, or I will be forced to look for another job.
    I also resumed running, but sadly illness and snow have kept me away for a month. I will start again tomorrow, literally, because a) It’s warmer for a few days, b) I feel better, and c) I have time. Today we went swimming, and just using my body was wonderful.

  18. Wow, I really admire all you runners out there! I like a brisk walk, but have never been able to push through the “excruciating” part of running to get to the reward.This was a big year for me. We live in a semi-permanent state of controlled chaos, so every year feels like this, but particularly this year, since we welcomed our #2 in the spring. In addition to expected joy from his arrival, I was profoundly relieved to come to the end of that pregnancy, which was a very dark and miserable period in my life (I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum and was so ill during this pregnancy I almost had to go on disability, became very depressed, and couldn’t take care of my toddler at all). During the early part of the year (before the baby’s birth) my DH was only coming home every other weekend because of his work situation. It was challenging for me (pregnant and sick), because I was working full time and alone with the toddler, but it turned out to be a really special time with him that I am profoundly grateful for.
    I experienced the birth of my dreams when #2 came, during which I felt happy, confident, and calm (until transition!); it was unmedicated, in spite of the fact that he was born sunny side up (3 hrs of pushing). I didn’t do this to prove anything to anyone, or even myself, but only to experience it, and it was totally worth it, and a really beautiful experience.
    I worked as always on creating a calm and loving space for my children to thrive in – the biggest piece of which is working on my own patience, which has been really difficult since #2 (and the ensuing desperation of sleep deprivation). A two and a half year plus a newborn who won’t sleep has really kicked my a$$ on a bunch of levels this year, but mostly I’m proud of how smoothly we’ve all transitioned to having a new person join our family, especially my toddler who is a gentle and loving big brother (most of the time).
    I took the baby on a work trip to Italy (with my mom as a nanny). He was an amazing traveler, and I got good work done, which was an important thing to show myself in my continuing quest to continue to be professionally successful “even though” I’ve had kids.
    @Paola So glad you brought up sex! I have thinking, Oh I wish moxie would do a post on sex! Improving our sex life will definitely feature on my new year’s resolution post!

  19. I just realized last week that I am looking forward to 2010 being over. This year began with a lot of stress with the in-laws. It is like a roller coaster. Things level out and then another hill comes, each bigger than the last. It wouldn’t be so bad if Dh weren’t so completely blinded by/ invested in the dynamic. July was terrible. Now I am ending the year dealing with the biggest mother of a hill yet. It explains and changes everything. But how I just don’t know yet.Other than that, I’m heavy, depressed and out of shape, and my business is dwindling in this economy. I need a plan and I don’t have one yet. DH’s pushing me is not helping. So, yeah, so long 2010.
    But my kid is awesome and I am LOVING being her mom, even if sometimes I don’t feel particularly stellar at it. Every prayer of gratitude I say right now is about her.

  20. The good from this past year:We tried for #2. Got pregnant. Had a beautiful baby girl in November. She is 5 weeks old and slept a five hour stretch of sleep last night. I didn’t get that with DS until he was about 5 months old, so am completely elated.
    I’ve made the decision to leave my work to start my own practice at the end of my mat leave. So excited about that.
    Realised that my husband and I have a pretty awesome mutually supportive very communicative relationship. This is mostly apparent with DD’s arrival – things are so much easier this time around because we know how to talk to each other and get what we need from each other. It’s amazing to see how well we parent together now and how much better we are from when DS was born.
    The bad:
    Pregnancy kicked my ass. I spent so much time feeling sick and under the weather, that I didn’t do a very good job parenting my preschooler. With DD’s arrival and my recovery from a c-section, I’ve been feeling really sad about the lack of time I’ve had for DS. He’s been my little mini-me for so long and I feel like I have hardly any time for him.
    DD’s birth was traumatic for me. I was having an AWESOME labor but when I started to push her heart rate plunged and I ended up having an emerg c-section. During the c-section they accidentally cut a uterine artery and I was in danger of bleeding out and having a heart attack from blood loss. It was bad for me and for my husband and I didn’t get to see DD for 5 hours after she was born. Everything worked out okay (obviously) but every time I think about how it all when down I want to cry. I’m not sure what I need to do to get over it.

  21. I join those who will be happy to put 2010 behind me, but I have high hopes for 2011. One year ago this week my ex moved her stuff out of my house after leaving me in August. So it’s been a year of adjusting, learning, opening up to new possibilities, and struggling to come to terms with being a single parent, and just with being single. I have come to enjoy the time my kids are with her; I have started dating a little; I took and passed the CA bar exam; I fell apart at work and took a leave; I returned to work and subsequently decided to leave permanently as of this week; I let my kids watch too much tv; I had some wonderful times with my kids and with friends; I lost some friends and gained some new ones. I’m sure there’s more, but I’m looking forward to the new year. I’ll write again tomorrow.

  22. Moxie, I love the chance to be reflective about the old year and the new. Thanks for the nudge.2010 is the year the baby turned into a little person, walking, talking, climbing, being altogether delicious. We ended 17 lovely months of nursing, and I’m so glad the weaning was natural and gentle. Sleep improved, but not much, since both kids get up at 5:30 a.m. no matter what. This year also marked the transition to “big-kid school” for our older daughter, and I’m really pleased with the way things are going. Choosing the school was stressful for a bunch of reasons, but the last few months have proven this to be the right place for her. She’s happy and learning, and the teachers are creative and smart. So in the kid dept., things are good, but parenting was rough this year. Too much yelling and threatening on my part, too much defiance and disrespect on Kindergartener’s part. I’m giving a lot of thought to how to address both parts of that in the new year. Other not-so-great items: husband way to stressed in his job, me not motivated enough in mine, house clutter/mess/disrepair that’s really unpleasant, complete lack of exercise. Definitely need to address those.

  23. This was a crazy year. Like Melba, I didn’t work a day this year either (1 year mat leave, and took my 2010 vacation at the beginning of the year in my last 3 weeks of pregnancy). Those 3 weeks, though I was heavilly pregnant, were wonderful, and spent going to the spa, doing yoga, and eating out in my favorite restaurants. As a bonus, DH was working from home at the time so we spent lots of time together anticipating the birth of our baby. Had DD through a relatively easy but not as we pictured birth (we wanted a home birth and I ended up in hospital).DD is a “wakeful” baby. She slept a lot less than average from day 1 (and still does). I had to deal with breastfeeding issues (milk not coming in, baby couldn’t latch), total non support from both sides of the family, and DH going back to work outside the home 2 days after DD was born. Those first few winter weeks alone with a newborn were horrible and depressing and I suffered from postpartum depression.
    DD is the love of my life but she is still a very demanding and non sleeping baby so I have resigned myself to constant sleep deprivation. It’s getting better in baby steps though.
    I also had to deal with the fact that DD simply is late with hitting milestones. She gets there, but is a month or two behind every baby I know with EVERY milestone. Head control, tummy time, sitting up, rolling over, babbling, eating, even now at 11 months she’s just starting to crawl on all fours (she was limited to the belly slither for the last couple of months) and barely pulling up on her knees. She’s still on the far range of normal but I felt like I had done something horribly wrong either in pregnancy or with parenting every time I saw other kids younger than her who were surpassing her.
    Even still, the year away from a really bad job situation was wonderful and DH and I really took our relationship to the next level (kids are the ultimate test!)
    I’m not looking forward to going back to work in a few weeks but at least I won’t be spending my days trying to get DD to nap (and failing…)

  24. The beginning of the year was a haze–baby was 2 months old, and slept sporadically, and I was surviving on fumes and doubting everything I did as a mother. I remember just about every part of every day being a big, black hole of panic and exhaustion.And I slowly came to terms with the fact that the sleep issues we have–although trying and still exhausting–are what make baby unique. She’s smart and quick and learning language at an amazing speed. She surprises us every day and is unlike any other 14-month-old I’ve ever met–both in terms of how she sleeps (short naps and up a lot) and how she learns.
    We also decided that I’m not going back to work, and will take on freelance now and then instead. I love my job, but I love my daughter more.
    I’ve lost my temper like never before this year, too–babies are unpredictable and frustrating, and husbands can be too! It fills me with shame and regret to remember the times I exploded in the middle of the night, so tired yet fleeting justified, in my head, to yell at a helpless baby for waking me up yet again. I hope she doesn’t remember, and I hope I can find deeper patience and remember to love, love, love…
    I feel closer to my friends with kids–I feel like I really get them now, and they get me.
    I also feel closer to my family. What a lot of change a baby can bring!
    I started reading again.
    I walked a lot.
    I learned to not just love my baby, but really enjoy her too.
    I’ve watched my husband become a fantastic father, and our own relationship change and adapt–sometimes with difficulty, but in the end always for the better.
    And I’ve found that being honest about how I feel as a mother has connected me to people who’ve helped me through a lot of tough times–and made me feel normal.

  25. @Minty – there’s nothing wrong with your DD or with you. Someone has to be on either side of “average”, right? 11 months is fine to crawl. Some are even later, I know of one personally. My first daughter crawled at 10.5 months and my niece on her first birthday. My second daughter was considerably sooner at milestones.I remember feeling the same way with my first. Why is she the only one laying there while all the other babies in my mom’s group crawl around her? Then later, why is she the only one just sitting there while others are pulling up and cruising, some walking? I think that when its your first child, you’re more sensitive to it as well.
    The more important thing is that she is actually making the milestones, even if only in her own time.
    And the sleeping… oh the sleeping. I got nothin’ on that. Daughter no.1 was a napless wonder but slept beautifully at night. Daughter no.2 naps like a dream but is a horrible night sleeper. You can’t win, so stop trying. Easier said than done, I know, because I can’t really stop trying either. Hang in there.

  26. It sounds almost like bragging, but I have had a really wonderful year. I was at home with my baby the whole year, finding out that maybe being a SAHM really is for me. When I had her in August of 2009, I definitely would not have been able to say that, but I had been laid off just before pregnancy and could not find another job. The biggest help for me is finding an excellent playgroup in my area in which I connected with a few moms as real friendships. Our families regularly hang out. This. Is. Amazing.Friendships have made my year. I didn’t know that I would ever be able to say that, considering my social awkwardness. If I didn’t have my baby girl, I would never have reached out, but desperation worked wonders on me.
    Shout out to my amazing husband, who was home SO MUCH this year, and has a ridiculous bond with our daughter. I am actually occasionally jealous of how close they are.

  27. Well, I got a couple of half-formed poems out during a challenge with a friend in April. First even half-formed ones since Mouse was born. Pandora and Science Fiction . They’re in a pretty different voice from my older work and I like it, but I need more time to develop it. I also figured out what I want to do next, and I think I can get there from here, eventually, so that is very cool.Mouse became a 6-year-old and a first-grader, learned to read for real (meaning chapter books) and is becoming cooler with every passing day. I cut myself some slack on going to PTA meetings and focused on things where I can actually help. We launched 2 new websites for her school, for parents and for fundraising, and they’re working! I sewed a freaking awesome cobra costume for her for halloween (as requested and if I do say so myself) and threw an enchanted treasure hunt birthday party for 30 kids in a local park. That was a great time to spend with my sister, who came to help out, before she got sick. Right now her treatment is going really well so I have a lot of hope. I met several great new people – I’m getting better at it – and spoke at a couple of conferences. I also was pretty constantly too hard on myself, my sweet girl and my sweet husband. Mouse still strongly prefers that I lie down with her while she falls asleep. I need to cut myself some slack on that too.
    That is either a sentence pile or a boxscore.

  28. This year was wonderful for many reasons:1. With the help of a truly wonderful therapist, I basically pursued a policy of refusing to engage with my parents negative/critical/over-the-top narcissistic behavior. After years of really being at my wits end in dealing with them, I have actually now have strategies for how not to get sucked into power struggles and arguments with them. They’re sad about it (they think I’m cold now, and frankly, emotional distance was exactly what I was going for) but I’m thrilled with the boundaries I’ve been able to establish. I honestly think I didn’t cry over something my mother said in all of 2010, which is the first year of my life that’s happened. Yay therapy! Yay good therapists! So worth it!
    2. A big part of the reason I started therapy was a desire to be a better parent to my son than my Mom was to me. And I am; I have worked really hard to be a thoughtful, conscious parent and I’m proud of myself the work of done on myself to make that possible. Now, I’m very, very blessed to have a wonderful partner who is loving and supportive to me and a great father; and I also have a son who just seems to have an awesome temperament, so I don’t want to be too self-congratulatory. A lot of it is the luck of the draw. But the fact that I’m able to enjoy my son, work as a team with my husband and not torture myself too much about my inevitable “bad mommy moments” is a direct result of a lot of therapy and thinking and making choices. I’ve been so terrified of being a bad mom for so long; but this year, I learned to acknowledge that I’m actually a pretty good one, and that feels great.
    3. I finished the last of my PhD coursework, passed the last of my major exams and got my dissertation prospectus approved, all while pregnant with baby number two. My big goal was to get all of this stuff done before I had the baby, and I did. I still have to finish writing my dissertation, but all the administrative hurdles are over and i have a well defined, doable dissertation project with an awesome data set already in hand to come back to in the fall. The end is in sight!
    4. Since passing my last big exam in November, I’ve been nesting like an OCD fiend; not necessarily a healthy thing, but I have cleaned out every closet in the house, re-organized and re-docorated the kids’ room, sold a bunch of my son’s old clothes, stocked up on supplies for the new baby and generally battened down the hatches for the coming blessing/upheaval of a new baby without driving the rest of my family too terribly crazy. I actually feel ready. And slightly terrified. (Baby is due Jan 6 🙂

  29. Well this was the Year of Baby – Moo arrived in a great hurry in the first week of January and is closing out the year by taking her first steps and, just every so often, sleeping well at night. (She’s in a hurry with the steps – I’m sure she’d string more together if she didn’t get the speed wobbles!)I’m proud of the way Moo, her Daddy and I have formed a family. None of us are perfect, but we have a lot of love and a lot of fun.
    I can’t believe the travelling we’ve done this year! Our first trip was to Samoa for a wedding when Moo was 10 weeks. I was so shit-scared about the trip (involving 4 flights, two x 1hr ferry rides and about 3 hours of driving) I threw up shortly before we took off. Thankfully it all went fine and the tropical holiday was totally worth it. Nine months (and 10 flights!) later, we’re all old hat at the airplane routine. The only near vomiting experience was due to turbulence on landing at Christchurch airport. That last, windowless row of seats next to the toilets SUCKS.
    I can’t think of anything I would have done differently this year. That would imply I have regrets – and well, I just don’t have any. I do feel I neglected my relationship with my husband a bit – but given the level of sleep deprivation I was under, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have done more than I did in survival mode. If that makes sense.

  30. @caramama & @charisse, it’s giving me some hope and a new perspective about work to hear you both talk about your drive and motivation for career / creative come back after about 5-6 years after your kids were born.I’ve had such a hard time since DS was born managing my need to be creative & career driven with my complete lack of motivation (new for me since DS was born). I had finally worked out a nice compromise this year when it was all blown to smithereens with the layoffs in our dept and the redefining of my job. Anyhow, all this to say that your words make me think that maybe I’m being too hard on myself, and that everything will come together again when the timing is right.

  31. Finding this website when I searched 4 month sleep regression was a highlight for 2010. Many thanks to you Moxie and all the regular posters for sharing your advice and experience.Otherwise, this year has been tough. Had DD in February and things were progressing well until June hit and DH lost his job and DD’s sleep got shorter and shorter. By September, this lethal combination led to strained marital relations and a lot of long walks with baby, who would only nap for longer than 10 minutes in a moving stroller. Stopping for more than 2 minutes would wake her up.
    In November, DH and I started counselling, which has helped a lot. DD will sleep for 9 hours at night but usually goes down at 6:30. I feel like I’m the one who has been sleep trained as getting up at 4 am almost seems normal. On the up side I’ve lost all my pregnancy weight and DH found a year-long contract position that starts in 2 weeks. I’m hopeful things will improve from there in 2011.

  32. @ Bluebirdmama: What a wonderful post! Congratulations on your wonderful year & all its joys, and the new joy of your epiphany baby. We had a remarkably smooth transition to #2 this year – I hope you do too! It’s possible.

  33. Mmmm.My year kicked in on Jan. 5 – finding out that we had been accepted as tenants for a house that was actually Near Things I Could Walk To – like libraries, parks, shops, pool etc. after two years being shackled to the car. On the same day, being told that we didn’t have to move, as the owners of our current property had pulled it off the market – they offered us another 12 month lease. And still on the same day, finding out I was pregnant – four days before my first daughter turned two. The daughter that had still not slept longer than three hours in a row. Ever.
    We moved house. It’s great. My pregnancy sucked. I was unable to lift my two year old or walk anywhere (ah, the irony). However, I did wean her without much trauma, and she began, OMG, to sleep. I planned another waterbirth…but my babe was born in the car on the way there – and actually, it was amazing!
    I have so enjoyed being a mama this second time around. I am less uptight, she sleeps a little better (on her tummy, but I don’t tell people that), and actually LIKES THE CAR?! More than that – she is healthy, feisty, smiley and I love her to bits.
    On the other hand, my relationship with my adored two year old is faltering. I have low oestrogen and have been depressed and witchlike, and she is acting up in response. I am not happy about how we’ve been relating and this has to change. I’ve also been trialling her in childcare, and finding this very difficult as she’s never been away from me before. Another thing to work on.
    I haven’t mentioned my relationship, because it is taking a total backseat to the two little ones. And there is some resentment involved as well. However, we have both agreed that this too will pass, and they are only tiny once…
    This is way too long. Stopping now. Happy New Year.

  34. @Minty – I’ve got a baby who’s supposedly “behind” with the physical milestones as well. It’s hard, but I really have managed to accept that it’s nothing we did wrong – she’s just on her own timetable. When she does hit the milestones, they’re all in the correct order, just a few months delayed.She only just started crawling at 13 months (!) and didn’t really roll over much until probably 8 months or so. She’s just now, at 15 months, gotten really good at pulling up on things, and is able to walk a few steps holding on to our hands. She doesn’t cruise yet.
    Because of this, she qualifies for early intervention physical therapy through our state. I’m not sure whether the therapy really is helping, but I’m sure it doesn’t hurt. But it’s taken some effort on my part to not think/act like there’s something “wrong” with her, esp when seeing “everyone else’s babies…”
    But she is amazing, chill, has 20+ words and gaining more each day and finally sleeps through the night almost reliably. So 2010 was pretty amazing to watch her grow from a tiny newborn to a “real person” 😉

  35. I have been doing many things this year. First off I became a mother. I now have a 9 month old little boy. So I’ve been up to a lot. I was single when I became pregnant so I have been working on correcting my life since before he was born. I came to the realization when I was 4 months pregnant which ironically was around the new year last year. Since then I have worked on my relationship with my then ex because I knew we were suppose to be together and have worked very hard at learning to be a mom which obviously I had never done before. Now at the beginning of 2011 I have a wonderful boy and I’ve learned so much. I live with my now fiance and we are getting Married at the end of this week.

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