OK, political shenanigans aside, it's also been quite a year for the Muklet household! We did indeed become 'Stronger Together when we 'Brexit-ed'. When 'they (Sterling) went low, we went high' (in the sky, in an aeroplane, headed to California). As a trucker be-hatted Donald zig-zagged the country we were glamped in our new house. Surviving on blow up beds and eating In and Out off of paper plates whilst our worldly possessions floated up the Panama canal in a shipping container.
It's crazy to think just 12 months ago we took the decision to put our London flat on the market with a view to moving back to the USA. Then, just a few weeks later having found we'd sold it, needing to get our butts on a plane to the States to figure out where the heck we were going to live!
If I think back to all that we have achieved this year, I kind of wonder how on earth we managed it?! But, we did! And yes, me and my husband are still talking, and we didn't need any therapy to recover... just lots of coffee, and the occasional glass of something stronger for me!
I guess moving countries with 2 small children is a bit like deciding to start your own business. There's a million reasons why it's a crazy idea, and another million reasons why you couldn't/ shouldn't/ wouldn't do it. But as the last couple of crazy years have clearly taught me, life is short, so why not be brave and give it a go?!
Besides transplanting our clan from one side of the pond to the other, ensuring there was a roof over our heads etc etc, I had given myself some ambitious goals for Muklet. I had wanted the web-store to be up and running by October. That of course didn't happen! California related life admin kind of took over. I'd probably underestimated how much paperwork we'd have to plough through. When I'd previously made the move in 2001 to New York I was a young, single, carefree 24 year old that had been relocated by a big corporate company. One that took care of all the boring paperwork stuff! This time with 2 young boys in tow, school to figure out, medical requirements to get into the schools, and navigating the American healthcare system to get that medical paperwork in order to get them into school has been, well...a challenge shall we say (bane of my existence!).
I also hadn't foreseen how complex it would be to set up a small business in the States. Now I have my head fairly wrapped around the processes and legalities I feel confident in moving forward to get Muklet set up on these shores, but it has taken some work and research. And that research doesn't always come free or cheap. If I had an endless pot of money I could have of course just paid various people to figure it all out for me, but I haven't found that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow yet! Thankfully I have got some amazing friends, who themselves have amazing friends, who have then sign posted me to the advice or information I needed.
That said, like good old British Rail I am 'getting there'. There's been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to get ready to re-launch Muklet Stateside. It's also given me time to reflect on what I have learned thus-far in my (mis)adventures in Entrepeneur-hood over the last year. It's been a great time to learn, develop the brand, and now it's time to see if it'll work over here, and if I can 'scale it' as they like to say in 'the biz'! (am I giving the impression I know what I'm doing?! Good!)
Before I leave you in peace to enjoy the delights of 'Call the Midwife Christmas Special', or to watch 'A Christmas Story' for the squillionth time, I thought I'd leave you with a few realisations I've had this year:
1) I will be nominating my Mother for a Knighthood for supporting us with babysitting/ encouragement/ bottles of plonk throughout this move
2) Selecting a house in a foreign country over Facebook Messenger video can actually be quite successful
3) Flying for 14 hours with 2 small children is actually survivable - if you have Mum to help/ your children are trained couch potatoes able to watch back to back movies for days on end/ you have 3 outfit changes and a fist full of sick bags
4) Sunshine and palm trees will make you forget 14 hours of sick covered mothering in a tin can in-an-instant
5) Realise you will have to stop stuffing your face with amazing sushi/ tacos/ mexican/ donuts at some point as you can no longer hide under a Parker & stomach syncing skinny jeans on the school run
6) Realise that it is in fact illegal for children to be woken from a nap at nursery, meaning that your 3 year old will be up, wide awake and partying 3 days a week until 10pm
7) Will find yourself totally bought into the seasonal decorating of the exterior and interior of house
8) Realise that is why people have large garages - it's to store all the decorations, not to park a car in silly!
9) Remember from my days in New York, that people will assume you are Australian, think that you 'talk funny', but love your accent, and want you to say words like 'parcel' 'trousers' and 'jumper' just to amuse them!
10) Realise that moving to California, and starting Muklet was one of the best decisions I ever made. Realise that this (like Parenthood) is the start of another great adventure
Momma Muklet x