[personal profile] jenn_unplugged
I have totally neglected this journal for a long time. I'm mostly on FB, and that's been really dissatisfying for me for a while now. I feel like I need a space to write about things I'm thinking about (parenting-wise and otherwise) in more than a few hundred characters, so I'm going to try to use this again.

1. I'm dieting again. I really need to get control of my weight, and I'm super-motivated to do it right now. In 2002 when we moved to Texas, I was fairly physically active, still ran a few miles a week, and wore a size 12. I was happy there, and it's a good weight for me. Then came daily two-hour commutes and 5+ years of infertility and depression, and I packed on 60 pounds. I lost a good 25 pounds after Carter was born, but then I put it back on. I lost 20 a year after that, and put it back on.

And then a few weeks ago I realized that even my fat clothes were getting too tight. I stepped on the scale and saw the biggest number I've ever seen, including when I was pregnant. And I said, "No. This has to stop." And the next day I was keeping a food diary and being careful about portions.

I still need to work in regular exercise, but it's been a good start. I about 3 weeks, I've lost 10 pounds, just by watching what I eat. I feel really good about that, but I know it's going to get harder from here on out. My goal is to lose a total of 60 pounds to get back to my pre-TTC weight. When I get there, I'll re-evaluate my goals. :-)

2. I'm teaching two classes at a small private university, and I'm really enjoying it. I miss the money of the big state university -- I get paid about the same for the two classes as I did for ONE class there -- but it feels good to be teaching math again, and to have small classes. I can actually learn my students' names, which is so nice. I really didn't enjoy teaching large lectures of 120+ calculus students. The only downside to the job is that this university is quite a drive from my house. The money I make barely covers gas and the nanny's salary. Ideally I'd love to find something similar a lot closer to home. I applied at the local community college and interviewed, but haven't heard anything since. They were looking for people to start in January, so I'm still hopeful.

I'd forgotten how much I love teaching math, and how much fun it is to dig into students' understandings and try to figure out how best to help them learn. I've spent the last 9 years mostly teaching people how to do that, but not really doing it myself. It's a nice change!

3. Carter is 3.5 going on 4, and is such an amazing little kid. I really, really love being a mom. It's more than the obvious stuff about watching this little human being grow and change, which was what I expected. I love learning about parenting in ways that I can directly apply in my own home, for example. I love digging into philosophies of parenting and the psychology of little kids, and then watching it all play out right in front of me. I was just talking with Carter's nanny this afternoon about how much I've learned about myself from being a parent, and how much I've become a better person.

I've learned to become a lot more empathetic, for one thing. I used to try to figure out what other people were thinking or feeling, but I did that mostly by making assumptions and then acting on them. You can't really do that with a small child. Well, you can, but you'll hit a brick wall pretty quickly. And you can't exactly ask them either, not until they really have a good grasp on the language and also become self-aware to the extent that they can accurately describe their feelings. So that leaves observation and inference, making of hypotheses about what's happening, and then waiting for opportunities to test it. It requires patience, faith, and a belief that what's going on in that child's mind is really that important and worth figuring out.

I've learned to appreciate things in a different way than I did before. I am able to be "in the moment" so much more than I've ever been able to be before. Carter loves to play games where we pretend to be cats, or birds, or racecars, or whatever, and it's so much fun to zoom around the house and play. It's so tempting to think about all the things I have to do -- the dishes, the laundry, email to check, papers to grade -- but I really push myself to make time to play. I'm pretty sure than in a few years when he doesn't want to play with me anymore, I won't look back and wish I'd done more laundry, yanno?

I think that's one of the gifts of having just one child, actually. I know I'm only going to get to do it all once, so I want to make sure I get the most out of it. I research everything, read lots of different perspectives, and try to make sure I've thought through all the options and have picked the best one for us.

That's all for now. If you read this much (and remember who I am!), thanks!

Date: 2011-09-14 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sassywoman.livejournal.com
Good to see you back on LJ! I love reading all about your travels and what you're up to, but also like the deep stuff too. Good luck with the weight loss. I'm back at a good weight for me but am nervous about keeping it off. I realized the other day that I weigh almost 20 lbs less then when we did our first IVF cycle in 2006. Infertility was SO stressful for me too. It's nice to have control of my body again! I know you'll do great working on the weight loss. Good luck!

Date: 2011-09-14 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sprgtime.livejournal.com
Great to see you back on LJ. I've made many of the same observations about parenting myself - we're on the same wavelength apparently. :)

Date: 2011-09-16 12:19 am (UTC)
telemicus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] telemicus
Nice to see you around, I have missed your perspective, I wish I was better at staying in the moment but like you said, I have to push myself. If laundry or dishes were the alternative it might be easier but I have very little down time and the choice is either be with the kids or write fic so it is really hard to push myself to do the kid thing after long work days when i just want to be alone.

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