Tuesday, April 15, 2014

in the works

thanks in part to your ideas, a list of ideas for future posts:

blogs i am currently reading
what i love about my job
mixed media: favorite TV / music / podcast / movie / book ( ? monthly series)
thoughts on eating: current approach
tables turned: being a patient (or a parent) in the medical system
my current mess of a wardrobe (likely seeking advice!)
the planner i switched to (i know, but i couldn't help myself)
planning out weekends / the blueprint approach
hobbies, me-time, and guilt (or lack thereof)
routines + rhythms: things that are working
thoughts on minimalism
approaches to unplugging
ideas i want to bring to my clinical practice

Monday, April 14, 2014

thoughts on the blog

almost 10 years in.
When I started to post in this space, blogging wasn't so much of a thing.  Most people weren't 'monetizing' their online musings.  Pinterest didn't exist, nor did Instagram (nor did ubiquitous high-quality camera-phones, for that matter!) and Facebook was a mere shadow of its current behemoth self.

Some of you have been reading forever and remember when I wrote mostly about my medical school experience.  Others began reading when I started posting more about running (especially over the course of my marathon years: 2005 - 2009).  Then TTC happened, and motherhood, and now I suppose I've joined the mommyblogging ranks, though that truly wasn't (and isn't) my intention.

I often do a lot of thinking -- and writing -- about time.  And every so often, I start to wonder whether the time I spend typing out my thoughts here is worth the precious minutes taken up.  In addition, as Annabel and Cameron grow older, things become even more complicated.  Will they feel exposed if I talk about parenting issues or post pictures of them -- even if I limit/censor the selection?

Earlier this weekend, I actually wrote out a list of pros/cons to potentially giving up this hobby of mine.

pros to quitting included:

* Having more time for other things.  (the most obvious and main reason for my initial musing)
* Less public exposure (both for A & C, and for my professional life -- although I never post anything here that I would not want my patients to read, and I'd actually love to create a series of useful posts for patients!)
* Sometimes I question my own authenticity.  As in:  do I shape the blog, or do I sometimes let it shape me?  A somewhat scary thought.  Plus, in this social media-obsessed generation, I don't want to view my own experiences through the lens of what might make a good post.  There's a blurry line between sharing happy moments and living-for-the-camera, and I want to avoid the latter at all costs.
* Maybe it would help me seek out more quality relationships (friends) OUTSIDE the online realm, something I currently feel I am in need of.

cons to quitting included:
* I enjoy writing here.  A lot.  It is really my only creative outlet right now
* Writing here is good practice, as I still think I may want to write a book someday (likely a patient-directed book related to my profession, but I haven't entirely decided yet!)
* Often writing does serve as a way for me to analyze things in an effective way.
* Posting can be a source of accountability
* I like having the camaraderie of other women (especially women) experiencing similar challenges with parenting, work-life balance, and the like
* I love the community of commenters and receiving at least some feedback on many of my posts

in the end, I am glad I took the time to consciously address this issue -- and I feel confident that I'd like to continue to write here.  While there are a few negatives and I see time pressure mounting even more when I head back to work, I think the positive sides of taking these moments to share some of the pieces of my life here are worth it.  In some ways, thinking about this has actually motivated me to write more, and on some different topics.  I do sort of miss thinking about this blog as a daily (or near-daily) habit.

And on that note:  anything anyone would like me to write about, or topics you'd like to see more/less of?  I won't promise anything, but I am always interested in your ideas.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

baby #2: things that are different

muffin + mini-muffin

I care less about naps/sleep patterns.  In fact, I couldn't tell you how many naps C typically takes. I know that's partially due to age, but I definitely had an idea of our "schedule" even at this age with A.

✔ I am in less of a hurry for things to be "normal" because I know how quickly they will change.

✔ I am (I think) less crazy about milk supply.  I am putting in what I consider to be a reasonable pumping effort (daily morning pumps now, with >100oz banked in the freezer) but refuse to let it dominate my life/thought pattern as I did at some points with Annabel.  While I  am committed to breastfeeding (and I do enjoy the breastfeeding relationship, just as I did with A), I am also open to supplementing with formula as needed once I return to work, assuming that at some point may not be able to quite keep up with demand.

✔ On a related note, I am dreading pumping less and appreciate it as a break (!).  Although I know it will be much more stressful at work.

✔ I feel confident about getting babysitters for some me time, or just to help provide some relaxed one-on-one time with A or C.

✔ I a
m okay with my body not being 100% "back" at this point.  I am not saying I loooove every aspect of how I look (because I don't!), but I also have a calm sense of acceptance of what it is right now.   I also don't see the point in making my own body a focus (ie, attempting to lose fat/increase muscle/drop a few vanity pounds) until I'm not responsible for most of C's nutrition.  I'm honoring my breastfeeding hunger and enjoying it :) Again, I think this all comes down to acknowledging how temporary this stage really is: I see this phase as so transient that I might as well just settle in and enjoy it for the short haul.

✔ I am actually looking forward to work (using another part of my brain, the social aspects, getting into flow state) and feel good about this.

✔ I don't feel guilty about going back to work.  Okay -- maybe a tiny bit, but nothing compared to how I felt dropping Annabel off at her first day of day care at 12 weeks.  I feel very confident that my children are going to get really expert and loving care while I am gone.

✔ I know that I will be tired and that this will be challenging but I realize more that at least the sleep aspect will eventually get easier.


Last night we went out for Thai as a family of 4.  1 relatively quiet 7-week old, 1 well-behaved 2-year old, and 2 adults with actual meals consumed (including 1 glass of wine for each parent) and no crying?