World’s Worst Blogger

Oh I am an awful blogger.

I have about five posts that I’ve started and stopped a few times in the past month and at some point, usually around 9 p.m., I just shut the laptop and get ready for bed. Writing here, or at least trying to write something of quality, has been too much for my wee brain to manage.

Here’s the thing, and I’ve probably mentioned this before, I really can’t remember: in May, as I steeled myself to head back to the office full-time, I made a choice to make three things my priority: family, work and health. Anything that fell into those three pillars would get my time and attention, anything else was going to have to take a backseat. While these things should always have a place at the table, with a baby, it’s hard to make a commitment to anything that isn’t in relation to her well-being, let alone two more things. But, you know, this is what you sign on for. No one said raising a family would be easy, and I closely examined which aspects of my life would need me to carve some attention to it, even if those moments were small.

Work pays the bills, but having a baby throws complications into it – last night Abigail cried and screamed all night long, in a fashion we haven’t seen since she was colicky. We know it’s just a growth spurt, but obviously I wasn’t getting up to get a run in or make the 7:05 a.m. train. Since I can never predict when these things will happen, I don’t have time to waste when I’m at the office.

Anyway, you get the point.

I truly do subscribe to the idea that you can have it all, just not at the same time. Maybe when Abigail is older, and the wrenches she throws our way are, while still challenging, more manageable than these ones, I can focus on other pursuits. For now, these three things are what I consider to be the foundation of what will make everything else work better in years to come.

So let’s talk about each one and call it “a blog post”:

Family: Abigail is a firecracker. A powder keg of dynamite. She is not docile or passive. She is not easily amused, and I am not kidding when I tell you that you earn the giggles and smiles. In this respect, she reminds me of my sister, though a smidge more serious. Abigail Grace is The World’s Most Serious Baby.

But we’ve figured that our best defense, especially in times like right now when she’s going through a particularly nasty growth spurt, is to Go And Do Stuff. Truly, if we just load AG up for the day, grab the stroller, shop, walk, whatever, Abigail is the most pleasant, happy little kid. This isn’t a new thing for kids, of course, but it’s like someone flipped a switch on her. Yesterday she and I headed to the zoo and it was the best. She actually napped in the car on the way over and either let me carry her on me to see the animals – loved watching the sea lions, especially in the underwater viewing deck – or ride around in the stroller. She even let me feed her a bottle without a battle, going so far as to cuddle up next to me as she ate and watched the kids play around her.

I am now subscribing to every magazine and mailer available with local ideas for families and kids. This exhausts me just at the thought, but a couple of things: 1) This is a way more fun approach than combating a cranky baby at home all day, watching the minutes tick by until it’s time for her to go to bed and 2) I read today that every kid’s “Love Language” is Quality Time, and while some might snicker about going to great lengths to plan family outings for a little person who “won’t remember it,” I don’t know that that’s the gauge I want for my family. I’m much more concerned about the practice and habits that I want for our family, whether she’s five months or 15. None of it is lost on her, I guess is my point, whether it’s just going for a walk or going to a museum.

Work: There isn’t much to say about work, and I wouldn’t here if there was. I am still, however, juggling an overwhelming amount of emotions about who I am professionally and not expecting the world of myself. When you’ve spent the majority of your adult years with your career at center stage, it’s hard to let go that at this particular phase, before my daughter is in school, I might have to let some of my ambition take a back seat. This isn’t to say I’m not still ambitious and driven, just that there will be opportunities I will have to let pass by me in order to focus on the greater good of my life.

Health: This is a biggie. Weight Watchers is really proving to be a God-send. And, to be fair, I’m certainly putting effort there, but it’s decidedly a less self-loathing program than it was before. Honest to God, I cannot recommend it enough now.

Do I think dieting sucks? Yes, I still do. Is this a diet? Yes it is. And dear God, no wonder I’m losing weight – I programmed into Sparkpeople what I’d been eating on Weight Watchers on a given day and it works out, some days, to about 1200 calories, about 600-700 less than what I was eating before. But the emphasis on healthy eating – whole, real foods, not crappy diet foods – makes it so these calories aren’t empty, and I’m not hungry. Days where I work out particularly hard (more on that shortly) I’m a but hungrier, but I can still just reach for a bowl of cut up strawberries, or make an egg white scramble with soy sausage, and I’m set.

And I’ve returned to the boot camp and spinning classes. I’m back to working out for hour-long shots, four times a week, plus a run here and there. Real, serious work outs make a difference, to be sure.

This is all to say I haven’t felt this healthy since even before the half-marathon in 2010. I turn down alcohol as a rule. I haven’t had a cupcake since Spring, nor has a jalapeno potato chip passed my lips, though I hear Pop Chips just came out with one and my love for those suckers cannot be underestimated, though I have made sure they, too, have a moderated place in my life. I cherish the time I have to work out, and respect that it’s a choice I’m making away from my family.

It is still about getting back into my old clothes, to be sure, but if I can say anything to moms out there, moms especially? Oh take good care of yourselves. After a Spring spent so sad and unhealthy, it feels good to be present for my daughter. I think that’s the best thing I can do for her.

I’ll probably write more about my healthy explorations, so there is your fair warning. I sort of wish I still kept Lose The Buddha for this reason – maybe I’ll restart it? Maybe I’ll give this blog a new focus? Which reminds me: I need a REALLY inexpensive redesign of this blog. Not dirt cheap, I understand, but if anyone has any ideas, PLEASE let me know!

So thoughts? Are most of you old LTB readers? New readers? Would you be totally cheesed if I started just talking about wellness/mom-related stuff?