Here’s your opportunity to learn more about the parenting styles of each Maturing Mama. No Mama is exactly the same in her parenting skills. This is our opportunity to highlight our differences in parenting in a means to help you find a method that works for you.
What were the highlights of the year for you?
I know 2020 was a long and hard year for most. But personally, I loved it. For a number of reasons.
Much like in years past how the best times we’ve had as a family was when Jesiah was unemployed. The times we spent at home as a family this year, in quarantine or lockdown of some kind, it was the best.
Because of that time spent with my husband at home, I got extra help with the kids. Less time spent juggling the kids, work, and household duties. I got more time to focus on some projects I put off for years. Stories I started writing years ago that I not only finished but published. Screenplays that I not only finished but sent to producers.
For Maturing Mama, we got a number more clients than we had in our previous year. We had enough work to employ more stay-at-home moms. We found new platforms to join like Readly. We started printing our magazine and shipping to subscribers! It’s been phenomenal!
This year there were lots more businesses online and many more people online. Because of that, we were able to not only continue moving forward but do much more and gain much more!
It’s been something truly special standing with and supporting small business that went online. We hope 2021 can continue to bring in new opportunities even as people get back to their regular routines after having the vaccine.
My highlight is easily when we visited the Hoodoos as a family.
It was mid-May and we were feeling cooped up. Tensions were running high from being stuck at home with each other, and things were starting to boil over as frustration came from every angle.
After a heated debate over candy with the older child, Mama Macksi told us to get ready. We were a little perplexed, but anything had to be better than staying inside.
In less than an hour, we were in the car and driving South. It felt nice to get out of the city and we all relaxed pretty quickly.
The Hoodoos are natural, ancient rock formations near Drumheller, Alberta and they are gorgeous. If you ever have the chance, go!
It was a little windy so we had to bundle up the baby, then two months old, but the older child had a blast. She wanted to climb all the way to the top of the rocks, which is quite the hike. We’ll do that when I get in shape!
For a moment, when surrounded by those giant rocks, it felt like COVID never plagued us. We were just a family again, enjoying nature and each other. I look forward to more of those memories.
I have to be a bit cheeky with the answer to this question and share with you two HUGE highlights. I just can’t narrow it down to one. As you read, I’m sure you will understand why.
I think it’s fair to say that 2020 has been quite a horrible year for the majority of us with (no) thanks to Covid. I live in Victoria Australia, and we have endured the world’s strictest lockdown measures for over 100 days (since March). With some restrictions still in place, we are only now slowly opening up.
On the 3rd of January my son Joshua reached his 1st Birthday, and there was every possibility that he wouldn’t. (You can read more about Joshua on my personal blog.) He was born with a very severe heart condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome; meaning he only has half a working heart. His first four months were crucial and we always had to brace ourselves for the possibility that he wouldn’t survive. But he has!!!! It brings me so much joy to tell you that he continues to do well. Anything can happen at any moment, but he is our miracle boy and we don’t take one second for granted. We make the most of each and every day and do our best to help him live life to the fullest while creating as many positive memories as possible. Even during the hard times. He was born in 2019, so of course, this means that 2020 brought a significant milestone for all of us. He turned one and boy were we happy to celebrate with friends and family!! We also celebrate and give thanks for him daily.
Just over one month later, on the 7th of February, our daughter Nevaeh was born. She was our little unplanned surprise, and my goodness she is a true blessing!! Her middle name is Joy and it suits her beyond words. The joy she brings is so big it’s immeasurable! I couldn’t have made it through lockdown without her. She keeps me busy day in and day out, and she has brought the four of us together better and stronger than ever!
We are still processing all that we have been through, and we are so blessed that each and every day Nevaeh gives us the biggest smiles (along with her brother). She and Joshua share a special bond. In the midst of the pandemic, all she has known is our home. My husband and I have had the honor of ensuring that she enjoys each day while we’ve witnessed her milestones and helped her to reach them. She’s learned to smile, sit independently, roll, babble, reach and grasp for toys, and crawl in her own special way. Life with her is incredible. As I’ve said, she is a true blessing.
Joshua and Nevaeh have given us a strong reason to push through and move forward while continuing to find the positive in each day. Having these two beautiful children in our lives is without a doubt my highlight of 2020. Because of them, I choose not to pretend 2020 didn’t happen. There is always something to be thankful for.
Believe it or not, 2020 has been a good year for me. Most of my time has been spent alone in my house with my two children. It has given me the space to go on a real journey of self-discovery that I likely wouldn’t have been given the chance to had I not been forced into isolation. It has taught me a lot about who I am. More importantly, it has taught me who I am not.
My mental health has never been the best. I have something called Borderline Personality Disorder. I really struggle with my own company, never knowing where I fit in and striving to be liked by people. In an effort to maintain human contact, it has led me to allow people into my life that don’t deserve to be there. That option was taken away this year, and I can hand on heart say I have never felt better! At the beginning of this year, when lockdown started, it was hard.. and I mean bloody hard. I turned to some unhealthy coping mechanisms and allowed myself to sink lower. Thankfully, this tripped a switch and gave me the kick in the arse I needed.
Being on my own no longer scares me the way it used to. I can quite happily put my kids to bed and sit down with a brew and a book. This was entirely unheard of before. In the past, I’d have been trawling through my phone messaging every Tom, Dick, and Harry for some form of communication. This usually led to me allowing myself to be used. Now I know that is not the answer!
I’ve spent hours looking at myself in the mirror. Really delving into my own likes and dislikes. Hours devoted to meditating at night and starting my own spiritual journey. It’s so damn refreshing to be able to say yes, this is me! I may not know who I am yet and have my bad days, days that I want to hide from my kids under my quilt. Thankfully, more and more, I also have days where I feel like an absolute boss at life.
I can finally say that I am beginning to accept myself. I have never felt more enlightened than I do now. My house isn’t always tidy.
I’m not Superwoman, but my kids are happy and finally, so am I. I’m a mum, and a good one at that. I’ve learned patience and the ability to walk away from situations that no longer serve me. I’m growing more and more every day. I appreciate what 2020 has done for me, and I hope the best for you.
2020, what a ride! For a year that has turned out to be an absolute dumpster fire there were some definite highlights for me and my family.
When the first “lockdown” (not really a lockdown here, more self-imposed stay at home and away from everyone) hit, I really struggled with the feeling of being stuck and not having an outlet. Add on having a busy 5 year old at home and I was going insane! Plus my anxiety and fear of death really set in.
I turned to exercise to get me through. As a family we started hiking. We walked 5 to 6km a day during the week and headed out to local trails on the weekend. We checked out some great waterfalls and found a hobby that we all enjoyed. I also started an exercise program at home, and with this new found love of being active I started feeling better about myself and my anxiety lessened. As of today, I have worked out everyday for the past 243 days and feel great! Having the time to be able to really focus on me and my health was a definite positive outcome of the pandemic.
Being at home so much has also allowed me to spend so much (sometimes maybe too much) time with Zoe. We have had our struggles, but we have really been able to enjoy each other’s company and gone on some great adventures. In the summer we explored new parks, visited local tourist attractions, and spent tons of time at the beach. It was amazing to be able to have that time with her before she started kindergarten.
The last highlight of this year was probably something I was most worried about; Christmas. Christmas has been tough since my mom passed away, but this year was so nice. We were able to spend the day at home, just the three of us, relaxing in our PJs. It was calm, and just what I needed to end the year.
2020 was a big year for our family! We had some really special things happen. First off, I think the pandemic brought us closer as a family. It made us make some really tough life changing choices like whether or not we would homeschool. I never thought I could do it, but here we are looking forward to homeschooling not only 1, but 2 kids next year now.
For the first 3 years of our marriage we lived in a 2 bedroom 500 square foot coach home. Somehow we managed to raise 2 little kids there without going crazy from lack of space. When we found out we were going to have another baby we decided to buy our first townhome and moved in January.
I found out how strong I am when everything started getting crazy last March due to the pandemic. My husband was in Nigeria for his mother’s funeral. We didn’t even know if he would make it home on time to see his first boy be born. While he was away, the biggest lockdown happened and we didn’t know if he could even fly home. Thankfully he got a plane ride home 2 days before they stopped all international flights. Unfortunately that meant that he got put on quarantine for 2 weeks. This resulted in me birthing our baby without him and then caring for a newborn, a 2 year old, and a 4 year old alone for 10 days. Baby J came into the world around midnight on March 23rd and he has been the biggest blessing this year.
As hard as 2020 has been, I don’t know if I would change anything about it. It taught me so much.
2020 was a bit of a roller coaster for me. I laughed, cried, fell to my knees and prayed, read, homeschooled two boys, lost my job because of the quarantine then gained a new one, read the news, hid from the news, gained weight stress eating, lost weight not stress eating.. the list goes on!
I have been so proud to watch my children be so brave and resilient. I would say that has been the highlight of 2020 for me. In March, both of their schools shut down two days after I lost my job. We went from being a busy family of three, each with our own daily routines, to sitting together saying “what the actual?” just happened. We had to figure out how to homeschool, work together, and basically be together every second of the day. It has been surprisingly fun!
My older son is incredibly active. He loves nothing more than a busy day, rounded out by skateboarding with his friends. So, when he broke his elbow skating at the beginning of the summer, I cried. Literally. We live in a small apartment, and I wracked my brain trying to figure out what we could do with all that pent up energy. He could no longer skate and we were basically not allowed to leave the house, thanks to Covid, so we had to get creative. Thankfully, he chose not to dwell on the negative and we played a lot of Jenga. He also got some quality time with his Xbox.
When my younger son fell sick with a potentially life threatening infection, I just prayed. That sweet boy was so brave and I held his hand the whole time. We spent two nights in the hospital and then nearly fourteen days on antibiotics that he could not stand. So we made special “antibiotic smoothies” twice a day to get him to keep them down. Watching him recover has been one of the biggest blessings of my life.
It has been a whirlwind, and I know that so many people have stories of this time. Some have had a terribly tragic ending, but some are so heartwarming and give me hope. I am amazed by how strong and resilent we are as people. I have been blown away by the kindness shown by the people we are blessed to have in our lives, and I have been so inspired to pay it forward. I believe that 2020 has taught many of us some very powerful lessons. I know that I have been sincerely humbled and my eyes have been opened. Let’s go 2021!!
Now we’d love to hear from you!
What were the highlights of the year for you?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the highlights of your year, to be featured in our January and for the chance to win a Maturing Mama mug!