When I was younger, like most people, I would think about the future and how I saw things panning out for me. I imagined the man of my dreams coming along and whisking me off my feet, marrying me in some grand wedding before settling down and having four kids, all alongside a glittering career.
Turns out, like a lot of people, my life didn’t quite go to plan… When I was doing my A Levels, I wanted nothing more than to train as a beautician at the local college. My mum, however, didn’t appreciate my plans as she wanted me to go to university. Having been adamant I wasn’t going to go until the last minute, I then panicked a little trying to research where and what to do. Having always loved events and planning parties, I decided events management would be as good a degree as any and the fact there was a course at my local university was a bonus – I didn’t fancy moving away from home.
The first couple of years of my degree went without much drama. I was pretty much a typical student, going out to clubs, studying late into the night to get assignments in on deadline, eating soup during the week to afford the weekends. Our third year was a placement year and I settled into a summer job working for a catering events company, commuting all over the south coast for events including Wimbledon tennis, where I met my boyfriend, and also got sexually assaulted by a hotel porter on a work night out, which totally messed my head up.
The following six months went by in a bit of a blur with my relationship dramatically finishing around Christmas as the long distance was too much to handle. Following a brief fling, I discovered in the new year that the hangover that wouldn’t quit was in fact a pregnancy that I definitely hadn’t planned.
Single, about to embark on my second university placement and due to start my final year of my degree within weeks of my due date, it’s safe to say it was a fairly stressful time. In the end, I gave birth only a week before going back to enrol.
I juggled my final year with a newborn, taking breaks from lectures to breastfeed and passing up on boozy nights out for nights in catching up on my assignments and trying to rest in between night feeds. It was tough but I was incredibly proud when I graduated along with the rest of my year in November 2011, with a one year old in tow.
Whilst my classmates went on to graduate jobs, I took some time out to appreciate being a mum. It was during this time that I met my now ex husband and entered a whirlwind romance which resulted in my second child, a girl, Carly. By the time she was a few months old, I was itching to work.
I’d been blogging since Cameron was a baby but back then blogging for a living wasn’t something people really did, or I definitely would have considered it. I started my own events business and then the following year I was in my first full time job working as a wedding and events coordinator at a local hotel. It was here I met my now fiancé.
This year I turn 27 and, whereas some of my school friends are now settling down and even having children themselves, I already have a five and three year old. I’ve been through a failed marriage and I’ve come out the other side. I’m still working, although now I’m starting a part time role to juggle being a mum with my career.
I find it difficult sometimes when friends without children don’t understand how different my life is with two kids. I feel so much older than I am sometimes. Having children is very rewarding but it is also a huge change to your life. I find it hard to spend money on myself anymore as I would rather spend it on the children. I’m exhausted a lot from the children not always sleeping through and when they are unwell it’s a huge struggle to arrange childcare. Having children young does have its upsides. I know I will be able to experience their lives with them and I can keep up with them, most of the time. Some people worry they need to get their adventures out of the way before they have children, but the plus side to having the children is that I can share experiences with them. I wouldn’t let having the kids stop me from doing something in life, I would just adapt it to include them.
Although I didn’t imagine or plan to have two children at the age of 26, I wouldn’t change my life or my kids for the world. Having them tell me they love me makes everything worthwhile and they make me proud everyday.