Nadine Courtney and Erik Courtney Disneyland

A Few Thoughts

I’ve been away for such a long time that I’m not sure if anybody has even missed me.

I spent so many years trying to build up my following and checking in daily, and then the one-two-three punch of the show, having a baby, and getting fired by my blog agent really tripped me up. It was a good thing, and I feel like a happier, healthier, more whole person…but I don’t know how to blog anymore. Or, I should say, I don’t know how to blog with a baby the way I want to blog. The way I used to.

Time was, I could sit down, write a post, tinker with it until I felt happy with the language, edit the thesis, choose some nice photos to upload, play with the size of the photos, finally publish it, share it on social, and then maybe even write ANOTHER post…but those days are (for now) long gone.

I’m ghostwriting a book and should be working on that now, because Aurelia just went down for a nap and the clock is ticking until she wakes back up, and when her naptime is over–that’s it. Fin. My writing time is done for the day. (I could blog at night, of course, except now that time is carved out for my next book project, so, alas, no.) I wrote this post, gave it a read-through, shook my head at the lack of focus, the okay-but-not-life-changing language, had about two minutes of issues with the photos and then said F-it, these photos are JUST FINE AND WILL HAVE TO DO, because I am eating up what free time remains of my precious working hour.

Free time? With a baby? That’s hilarious.

The frustrating thing is that I know I’m pissing off people left and right: friends who feel neglected or who are irritated that plans have been broken because of illness or (lack of) childcare, work colleagues who don’t get why I can’t drop everything for a phone call or reply to that email instantly, and, probably, a few blog readers who used to enjoy reading me and then eventually abandoned me when I stopped posting.

My saving grace? My husband and my daughter get my full attention…(as do my book editor and my writing projects!), and that leaves me feeling whole and content. Everything else, as stressful as it might be if I give it power, is just noise, you know?

This is what lunch at Disneyland looks like with a baby

This is what lunch at Disneyland looks like with a baby – sums up the chaos of being a working mom!

2) I’ve been talking to friends a lot recently about How to Write a Book: it seems like so many people feel they have that book inside them, but are nervous about taking the leap or don’t think they can write so many pages.

I totally understand that fear, but I’m here to tell you, you can.

My friend Jordan Reid of Ramshackle Glam just landed her third book deal (congrats, Jordan!), and while clicking through her site reading about the announcement, I came across this older post she wrote with tips on how to write a book proposal. If you’re interested in the publishing process, it’s a great read.

3) Erik, Bunny, and I got a Disneyland annual pass and went the day before yesterday. It was amazing, it was magical, we had the best time ever…until Erik got progressively sicker and sicker and ended up in Urgent Care at 1 am. All’s well now, but it was both scary and (dare I say it?) inconvenient. I wasn’t going to let him go to Urgent Care by himself in the middle of the night, so we had to line up a last-minute overnight sitter for Aurelia (still not sure how we pulled off that one, but thank you LA Sitter!) and it was just generally a shit-show all around.

The three of us have pretty much been sick 24/7 for the past three months, thanks to cold and flu season, and every time I think we’ve got this “living well with a child” thing down pat, another wave of influenza, or norovirus, or World’s Worst Cold, or World’s Worst Cold part 4 comes along to knock us on our asses. (UPDATE: four hours after I posted this, Aurelia started vomiting so…you win, universe!)

I think the general theme (of today’s post…of life in general…) is: hey, we’re doing the best we can!

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16 Comments

  1. Kristen

    Yes. All of this. ALL OF IT. Somehow, the disruption of having a baby made me want to disrupt MORE of my life. Examine. Reinvent. Tear it up and do new things…even though it’s harder than ever. I feel like I don’t know how to blog anymore, too, but I need to find my way back to that space. I still feel myself narrating in my head and crafting posts…even about the beauty stuff of the “old days.” :)

  2. @Kristen, thank you so much! I completely agree – as disruptive as Aurelia has been to our old lives and old routine, it’s been in the most wonderful, necessary, transformative way. Erik and I are both so much happier and are, ironically, much more productive. I think I’ve managed to figure out ALMOST everything in my life except for blogging with baby, and so now I’m slooowly trying to tiptoe back into those waters and give it a go. It will be a new learning curve!

  3. Maggie Baker

    Love this post-as a working mom I feel the same and we also have been sick for months! It is tough but we’re surviving.

  4. Bri

    Thank you for this post! I became a fan through the show and then found your blog. I love your post about the challenges of having a newborn. I had a baby seven weeks ago and had similar feelings. It was so refreshing to read. I am glad to hear that you and Erik are doing well and feel that you are happier post-baby. It gives me hope! I wanted to ask if you could write a post about traveling with a baby! My husband and I love traveling too, and I just assumed we’d still travel with the baby, but now that we actually have a baby it seems almost impossible! I’d love to hear your tips and advice! What activities do you do with your daughter during your trips? Again, thank you for this blog! I love your honesty and wit! Your family is beautiful- congrats!

  5. @Bri congratulations on becoming a mom!! It’s hard but SO wonderful, as you doubtlessly already know. (And I promise, it definitely gets easier!) Love the idea of doing a “traveling with baby” post – I’ll put it on the books! We’ve definitely amassed some tips over the past 15 months, and I think traveling with a baby is totally doable as long as you’re prepared.

  6. Stephanie Wing

    I am SO glad you are back. I DID miss you. I loved your writing and pictures very much. This article was written well and from the heart. Wonderful. We have all experienced what you are going through, well, most of us have, and DO understand. I hope you keep this blog up and running now, I cannot wait for the next one…I fell so in love with you all on the show, so this is the next best thing. Carry on, carry on, Stephanie

  7. Jen

    I’ve missed you!!!! I check regularly, once a week or so, but figured motherhood was taking all your “free time.”

    So sorry to hear about all the illness. Babies, and children in general, are petri dishes for germs and viruses. It’s just the way it is. I was surprised to see Norovirus in your list of ailments. I nearly died from it. Fortunately, my husband came home (phone off the hook and worried since he knew I wasn’t feeling well), found me on the floor turning blue, and called the ambulance. I was overnight in hospital and continued to be ill for another week. Got it from my Mom whom I had just put in a board and care facility and it was going around there. I really thought I was a goner. Do you know how you picked it up or from where–it is mega super contagious. Also, do you know your blood type? Those with type O blood are the most seriously affected (me). My mother, is type A but carries the O gene and was not nearly as sick as I was. The manager at said board and care facility was Type B and was not affected at all. The bad news is you can get it again.

    So nice to see a post from you again. Kiss Baby Boo for me.

    Jen

  8. @Stephanie Thank you so much, that means a lot! It’s nice to be reminded that other moms feel the same, and thank you for keeping up with us post-Newlyweds!

  9. @Jen Aww, I love that you kept checking back in – thank you! I’m not sure where the hell we’re getting all these bugs (or even what they are, half the time). It may not have been Norovirus but just some generic vomiting bug, perhaps, but it happened back in December in Vegas when it all seemed to be spreading like wildfire. (I think I’m also type O.) Regardless, I am SO looking to a nice, long period of health. I’m sick of being sick!

  10. Lynn

    Having had 4 kids of my own I understand your struggle. And for new Moms you probably gave them peace of mind they are not alone.

  11. Rue

    So glad you are able to write a few words here and there for the blog- I’ve missed it and checked regularly. So wonderful to hear about the excitement in your life and continue to learn through your sharing- it doesn’t matter so much how you share, so long as you do it, so thank you. Good luck to your fam in getting better ASAP!

  12. Janice

    You’re still the cutest family going and maybe Bravo needs to give you your own show.
    Really!
    You’d be a breath of fresh air!

  13. Alicia

    I have been a fan since your show. I felt bad bc I hadn’t had time to read your blogs Thought I should take a second to give u some attention. I didn’t know u got fired. Glad to hear it tho since u r happy!!! U r doing a great job. The most important jobs first as a mother and second as a wife. Your followers will come back to check on u I bet Best wishes!