As I was driving my Mum home this evening - after a lovely afternoon spent 'arting' with my toddler-daughter; fluffy sticks, glue sticks, scissors and wallpaper everywhere -I had a bit of a realisation.
In the three years I've been Mummy, I have been my most productive.
Yes, I spent the first six weeks of motherhood wondering if my eyeballs would stop itching from tiredness (ah, so that's why the pain of a few days in labour is so instantly forgotten).
And I had a few uncomfy months in PND, when I struggled to cope with any slight change in this strict routine I had created for my little family and my coping mechanism included turning into the Tasmanian Devil.
Even at the three year mark I'm discovering that hearing my daughter chat away, while amazing, often means I can't think straight with her barrage of demands (more Peppa Pig NOW!)
But in the last three years I've:
Grown more confident driving.
While pregnant, especially during the winter party season, I became the designated driver and learned to stop fretting about driving. I still need to know the route I'm going, but I can drive with music now. Probably couldn't drive without it.
Completed my Masters degree
Yeah, I faffed about with education all my life, and studied part-time for five years while working. But when I realised I was pregnant I spent that summer in the library, only occasionally popping out to buy cute baby outfits.
Presented research into narrative writing in the USA and UK
I love writing, shopping and holiday-ing, so why not? Although the 10 days away from my 15 month old (at the time) little girl was a tough stretch, it was a great moment for my CV, and ultimately she got away with toddler-stuff as she stayed with Daddy and both sets of grandparents!
Published two books
After a twenty-year plan to one day publish a novel, thanks to the interweb, entrepreneurs, non-fiction authors and the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, this year I've published two books. Go me. The first book was borne from a desire to share my style secrets with my daughter when she's a teenager.
Grown my shopping consultancy
After a similar amount of time, and shopping experience around the world, I've discovered that I have shopping stamina. And that's a great thing. I answered Marianne Cantwell's question of what would I love to spend my days doing, and shopping sprang forth as my preferred occupation, quickly followed by writing. I now shop with clients who have lost their style way (there is a LOT of choice out there in retail land) and they pay at the till!
Created the Size15Stylist brand
Beginning with a simple blog chatting about shopping, and designed as a way to illustrate to my daughter that she should do what makes her happy (as well as really honing my technical and marketing abilities) I sometimes can't believe S15S has been in existence for only fifteen months; my Google Analytics results look pretty amazing.
What are your biggest achievements in the last few years?