We started 2014 in Brighton, our possessions packed into boxes, cleaning out our flat in preparation for our move to Leeds. Awaiting me was a new job at the University of Leeds, and a return to my home town which I had left 15 years earlier. My wife was 22 weeks pregnant at the time, and there was much uncertainty in our lives. The job I had found was just a 10 month contract, and of course being 22 weeks pregnant is not ideal for job hunting, so my wife didn’t have a job to move to at all. We were faced with the very real possibility of neither of us being in work a few months after our baby was born.
It was also strange to be moving back to my home town, that I had never lived in as an adult, having left for Uni at age 18. My wife had never lived in Leeds at all, and hardly knew anyone there, so it was an even greater leap into the unknown for her. The biggest uncertainty of course, was parenthood. How would it affect our lives? How would it affect our relationship? How would we cope? Would we, in fact, cope at all?
Fast forward to a year later and at least some of those uncertainties and questions have been resolved. I was promoted at work, and completed my professional qualification so am feeling more secure, and my wife is currently job hunting with a view to starting a new job in the next few months. Being back in Leeds has been slightly strange, bumping into people I vaguely know from many years ago, but we’re pretty happy here so far and don’t, I think, regret our move. Although, of course we do miss Brighton sometimes, especially our friends there, and the sea (and our favourite restaurants).
And parenthood? Well, see the previous 60 or so blog posts for more on that. But I think it’s fair to say we end the year tired but happy with this fascinating creature we have bought into our lives. There have been stressful times (mainly around 3am) and a lot more bodily fluids than previously were in our lives, but I haven’t ever regretted our choice to become parents. It is still hard to believe sometimes that we are really doing it, we really are parents and that we seem to be managing ok in the main. It is also strange to think of the years ahead as Frida grows into a toddler, then a child, and one day an adult (I may skip the years 2027 to 2033 in which she will be teenage).
2014 was our first year Frida was in our lives, but 2015 will be our first full year with her, and I can’t wait for the delights and challenges that await. Oh, and a full night’s sleep at some point would be quite nice too.