Kate has challenged us to come up with five decisions that we are glad we made...so I'm going to take some credit for taking the forks in the road that have lead me to where I am today.
1: Keeping My Son
When I was pregnant and single, it was suggested by people close to me that I had an abortion. I even had a clinic recommended to me. I would have been able to go to university, brush my past under the carpet and start a new life away from the waste of space who was my now ex-boyfriend. At the Family Planning Clinic when my pregnancy was confirmed, the nurse went straight for the abortion option speech. I will never forget her writing "will not consider abortion" in big letters across my medical notes when I stated emphatically that I wanted to keep my baby. She seemed disappointed! Perhaps she was on commission? I may have been a young, vulnerable, single teenager ...but I knew that this baby, my Joe, was my destiny!
2: Being Brave Enough to go it Alone
Being 21 and finding myself pregnant with baby number 2, could have made me prepared to settle for the relationship I had found myself in. I had a partner and a roof over my head and I'm sure I could have done what I needed to do to make it work if I had tried (or given in and accepted my lot). But instead, I had the guts to find myself a flat to rent and start again on my own when I was 6 months pregnant. I would never have been happy living like I had been, and my children would not have had a good life had I stayed. I would have had to compromise who I was and what I wanted. It was not the easy option to go...but it was the right one. I don't regret anything though, because I wouldn't be without my daughter Megan for the world. Another good decision!
Being brave enough to risk a fantastic friendship and making Ian my other half was a tremendous decision. He has helped me to be the best version of myself I could be. We've had another three gorgeous children to add to the two beautiful ones we already had.
Recently when we tidied out our garage I unearthed a box filled with cards and letters I had sent to Ian over the years. From the age of sixteen, when Ian left school, to when we got together at twenty-three, I had regularly written to him. He had kept every single one. We were so meant to be together!! Writing those letters and never letting our relationship fade away was a great decision...because as soon as the time was right we didn't hesitate!
4: Moving to Shropshire
We lived in a Housing Association flat in Hampshire. It wasn't a great area to live and I worried about the future of our children. My sister had just moved to a lovely house in the country and we saw the possibility of a much better lifestyle. Ian wasn't on a big wage but we worked out we could just about afford a house of our own if we scrimped and saved. It also meant that Ian had to carry on working down south while we relocated to Shropshire. We found a lovely three bed semi with a garden for less than it would have cost us to buy the flat we lived in! As Ian worked shifts, he lived three days with us, returning to work for a further three days and so on. We only had one car so my sister helped me with school runs and shopping trips when Ian was away. Eventually Ian found a better paying job nearer to our new house and he came home. Everything fell into place. We now have a 4 bedroomed detached house and I count myself extremely lucky!! All thanks to our decision to become Salopians!!
5: Starting My Blog
I've loved being a wife and a mother, but I've always felt that I needed an outlet for myself. I've taken courses, done extra A'Levels, volunteered at my kids' schools around the children once they started nursery. But it was starting my blog last year that has really fulfilled that part of me that has wanted something for myself (without compromising the time spent with Freddy).
I've met some great people, I've done things I would never have dreamt of doing (interviewing Ken Barlow??!!), I've been to some amazing places and I've had unbelievable opportunities! My personal confidence has grown immensely. I've met some fellow bloggers already this year and can't wait to meet up with so many others at Cybermummy! I've had some brilliant products sent to me for review and I'm about to start my Toyology adventure. I've 'met' the lovely #mumentum ladies who are helping me with my weightloss efforts by offering support and encouragement. Blogging has changed my life quite literally! What a great decision to click that "create blog" button on Blogger!!