When I first got pregnant, I swore up and down I would never turn into one of those women who completely gives up on herself the moment she gives birth.
And for the most part, I've made good on that promise.
I drag myself out of bed at 5:30 am most mornings so I can go for a run at the gym.
I never skip my morning shower.
I always have make-up on.
My hair is always clean.
Add the fact that my British, stiff-upper-lip mother taught me to never, under any circumstances, ask another human being for help, and I assume the rest of the world thinks I have my crap together.
And 9 times out of 10, I can semi-convince myself that's true.
But when we went on vacation last month and my biggest concern was getting my daughter to poo before naptime while 2 other adults picked up some of the slack, I started to see things a little differently.
Okay, very differently.
Personal hygiene aside, my needs have been put on the back burner for far too long.
Like, 4 years too long.
So I removed the stick from my bum and enjoyed some guilt-free time for myself for a change.
And oh my goodness did it ever feel good.
I got my eyebrows threaded and my nails painted.
I went on 7 dates with my husband.
I went to the mall.
I read a book.
I ate peanut butter straight out of the jar.
And then we packed up our suitcases, kissed our babysitter my mother goodbye, navigated 5+ rows of airport security, endured 4+ hours of air travel, waited an hour for our luggage, battled 90+ minutes of rush hour traffic in the rain, and came crashing right back to reality.
But I had a plan.
Things were going to be different.
I was no longer going to spend 95% of my day stuck behind my computer.
I was going to give more of myself to my daughter, my husband, and, more importantly, me.
There would be more bubbling blowing at the park, we'd spend more time outdoors, I'd get that zoo pass I've been talking about, my husband and I would silence our smartphones and unplug our laptops at night, and I'd start wearing pants with buttons again.
But then my husband boarded a plane less than 10 hours after we got home, and I was left to unpack 3 suitcases and 3 carry-on bags, do 5 loads of laundry, scrub the toilets, and fill the fridge, all while trying to entertain a 2-year-old.
After 2 weeks away, how has she already lost interest in all of her toys again?!
And just when I thought I had everything under control, and my child was blissfully napping and I thought I'd be able to grab some time alone, my hosting company emailed to tell me they'd disabled my blog.
And it took 6.5 hours to get the mess sorted out.
And then I got my period.
And then my new hosting company disabled my blog.
But things have settled down, and I'm making some promises to myself.
I will spend less time on my computer.
I will be more present with my family.
I will pay more attention to myself.
I will eat more peanut butter.
So if I disappear every once in a while, please don't take it personally…
Because chances are I'm plucking my eyebrows with my new 12x magnifying mirror so I never, ever, have to have half my forehead threaded at a beauty salon again.
Are you finding a better balance this summer? If so, how? And if not, why not?
Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+!