Monthly Archives: January 2014

Plans for 2014

I’m not calling these resolutions – these are more like guidelines I’d like to set out for 2014 to help steer things in the right direction!

  • Get enough sleep. The hardest thing I found about having a baby last time was the lack of sleep. I can cope reasonably well on 5.5 – 6 hours sleep but anything less than 5 hours and I feel like I’m losing the plot. I’m going to try as hard as I can to get to bed much, much earlier. I’ve learned that even just getting rest (if I can’t sleep) makes a huge difference so going to bed early is never going to be a waste of time.
  • Lose the weight. Long term readers may recall that I never did lose all of the baby weight. This time I want to get rid of all of it, from both pregnancies, by the end of the year. And generally remember to look after myself a bit (in a budget friendly fashion of course). This will have to include a bit of a wardrobe overhaul as over the past 4 years I’ve worn two different ‘normal’ dress sizes and two different maternity sizes. This means I have a bonkers collection of clothes (and possibly a way of making some money on ebay when I’m done with some of them) which will need sorting once my weight settles one way or another.
  • Get the balance right: Making the transition from one to two, going back to work at the end of the year and balancing what needs to be done at home (ie chores like cleaning and cooking) against making time for playing and adventuring with wee ones. I get stressed by trying to operate in disorganised mess but at the same time there is so much more to life than back to back chores. Having the last two weeks at home (I only got one full week off on 2013 for a variety of reasons – the rest was all in odd days here and there) has made me realize how relaxed I currently feel versus how frantic I was before by comparison. It’s only going to get more challenging with two kiddos so it something I want to be aware of!
  • For the whole family to eat healthily within our budget: The monthly budget is currently set at £220 pcm. I am constantly impressed by how little some bloggers manage to eat on. I’ve managed to make some switches here and there but I still find it a huge struggle to get as much fresh stuff (like fruit) as I’d like. I was also a bit alarmed by having anemia and felt wildly guilty for not eating well enough while pregnant. I have been assured that it is veryy common in pregnancy and that it is really hard for your body to absorb iron at the best of times (there are things you can do to help) but it was a bit of a wake up call anyway. More attention!
  • Financially survive maternity leave: We’ve had a lot of unexpected expenses over the last few months and have had to plunder our reserves. We are considerably ‘down’ on our maternity fund and there are elements that are going to be really hard. In the UK you get maternity pay (around £500 a month) for 39 weeks (usually a bit more for the first 6 weeks depending on your circumstances). I aim to take the full 39 weeks plus the holiday I will have accrued during that time (around 4 weeks). I would be gutted if I had to go back earlier than that for financial reasons so I am going to have to be really on the ball. There are no grander plans than this at play. For 2014 this is our only financial focus and I will also be trying to sneak in some good family days out and some fun stuff too! Oh and any stuff that needs doing on the house. It’s going to be interesting! I may be back with a more extensive plan but I’m not putting any pressure on myself – the business of parenting takes priority!

Posts here will still be sporadic but I promise to keep popping back with updates on my progress!

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Happy New Year!

Hello! Yes, I’m still here, rattling around the place. I seem to drop in here every few months and apologize for my absence. 2013 was extremely busy. We’ve completed a huge amount of work on the house – all 3 bedrooms are ‘done’, the bathroom and kitchen are complete and the living room has had a lick of paint while we decide what to do with it. There is still plenty to do (lots of hallway and stair space covered with hideous wallpaper), the outside of the house is a bit scruffy and the garden….eek…still, I feel like we’ve done the most major stuff. Just as well since we are well and truly out of funds!

Of course, most of last year was dominated by our impending arrival – due sometime in the next couple of weeks! Oh, did I mention it’s a boy? It has definitely been a tougher pregnancy this time around, although I am still one of those people who loves being pregnant (although I am now v ready to finish this stage!). I felt sick right up until 20 weeks and then not long after had to start taking iron supplements for anemia. For me the main symptoms were staggering tiredness and being extremely breathless. It took a while before I felt better. I’ve now got SPD (lovely pregnancy pelvic thing) and am finding standing up after sitting down and walking really quite painful. So I guess if you put it all together that is why I’ve been absent.

Aaaaand. Well. I’m not sure where I fit in. I still love reading all of the thrifty/frugality blogs out there but I’m not living below the poverty line or trying to pay off a huge lump of debt. I certainly find trying to stick to a shopping budget a total nightmare. I just can’t reconcile what I want to be spending with what I want myself and my family to be eating. But I have to as things are going to be very very tight this year. Even so, I’ve veered away from coming back and doing a big financial clamp down project. I found that that type of approach had got me into a weird way of thinking. A sort of extreme form of productivity that took over at the expense of any creative or spontaneous thought.

Anyway, I do have some very simple plans for the coming year and I’ll be back with a post in the next day or so. The blog stats show people still dropping in and subscribing so Happy New Year to you all – I hope it’s the best one yet!

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