Thursday, February 28, 2008

Clarification

I am not a very good writer. I know this. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. Just so I could and would practice writing. It doesn't help that I am usually trying blog with kids underfoot. Literally. They are often sitting in my lap, pulling on my shirt for a snack, screaming in the back ground, or fighting under my legs. Makes it sometimes difficult to compose anything comprehensible, and I certainly rarely have time to really think about what I am posting.

I got a few not-so-nice emails (not comments - they are all good!) about my Synchronicity post. That post was supposed to be more about the synchronicity of my day more than anything else, but it was definitely not about working vs. stay at home moms! I am truly sorry if it came across to anyone as that. It was only describing my personal struggles and questions as a SAHM. I fully support working moms and have no issues with those who choose to work. Heck, I went back to work part-time after Kate was born. If I hadn't gotten pregnant again so quickly, I still had those connections and we hadn't moved across the country, I might still be working part time. While I am grateful to have the option to stay home, in some ways I am actually jealous of my friends and acquaintances that work outside the home. That time at work to develop themselves (and their paycheck!) seem really enviable at times.

The quote, "You can have it all, but not all at the same time" was not intended (by me) to mean that you can't work and be a mother. To me it meant that I can't literally have it all at the same time. I don't consider me on the computer working on projects and ignoring my children while they watch TV or beg for attention to be good mothering (I'm not doing that all the time, but it has certainly happened once or twice... or maybe three times...). I need to be more mindful of my parenting, not distracted by other projects. Matt and I have chosen that I be a stay at home mom, and if that is our choice, I feel that most of my time should be spent on my children. I sometimes forget the importance of really "being" with my kids during the day and thus the quote that reminded me that I am not in a holding pattern even while playing Candyland (seriously, can that game get any longer?!?). This doesn't mean that I can't/don't/won't work on my personal goals at other times, just not when I am supposed to be mothering and at the expense of quality time with my children.

The funny thing about that post, which I intentionally didn't make clear for fear of shooting myself in the foot, is that the "ideas" I was referring to relate mostly to my blog. I've been struggling for awhile with this blog. I love it, and I get a lot of personal satisfaction from blogging. Lately, however, I've been feeling a lot of "pressure" with it. I haven't had the time (without sacrificing my parenting or my sleep) to give it what I want. How many times have I said, "I'll post about _____ sometime soon" and never get to it? I've been meaning to update my blogroll for months. I have good friends with blogs that I haven't added yet! I also want to respond to all the comments/questions and email inquiries as well as comment on other great blogs, but I just can't seem to get it done which then leaves me feeling lousy and a bit stressed. I realize this is all self-induced stress. This blog is totally optional in my life. I'm getting only that personal satisfaction to blog. I am adamant that going forward I will not allow blogging to cause additional stress in my life.

I'm not saying that I'm giving up blogging. I'm just making a personal commitment about my priorities. Blogging is only going to be fun. If I get to it great, if I don't... oh, well! I am also making a commitment to schedule some time for working on my other personal goals. I alluded to that in my other post, and now it is really coming together. I am going to have a babysitter a few hours a week so that I can work more efficiently and in peace. Hopefully I'll have something to show for that time soon.

Hope that clarifies things a bit. And if it doesn't clarify things, can I blame it on the fact that I had 2 kids squirming on and off my lap while I wrote this?

15 comments:

Rebecca said...

I know you weren't fishing for compliments (or reassurance), but you ARE a good writer and it sounds like you're a good mother, too. I certainly hope letting my daughter fend for herself every once in a while so that I can get a much-needed break does not make me a bad parent, because I do that all the time! Quality time is important, but doesn't have to be all the time. Many of my fondest childhood memories are of the times I was just let loose to explore outside or create forts in my room.

Keep up the great blog. We listed you as one of the "Best Green Baby Blogs" over at http://www.greenbabyguide.com. I enjoy reading your thoughts!

Penny said...

I don't recall my mum ever spending much time with us as kids in the sense of getting down and "playing". But she did do things with us in other ways - like Rebecca said, quality time is good but it isn't necessary all the time.

Personally I wasn't offended by your synchronocity post; I got it that you were referring to yourself and your family, your decisions. It's a sensitive topic and people can be a bit over-reactive over perceived slights purely because they have their own issues about it they haven't come to terms with.

The Cole Mine said...

I'm sorry you got some not so nice emails...That would be upsetting. For what it's worth, I didn't read anything into your synchronicity post other than what I thought was stated very clearly in the post - the synchronicity of your day etc. Regardless, you shouldn't have to answer to anyone - it's YOUR blog with your own personal thoughts. I have had similar thoughts about staying home vs. working and I think your post spoke to a lot of moms who also struggle with this issue. I appreciated it and the reference to the Real Simple article. It actually helped me sort out some of my own feelings about the topic.

I too understand where you are coming from with the time associated with blogging...I don't know how many times I've thought, I should be reading, writing my children's book or playing with my kids rather than blogging. I guess it's all just a big priority balancing act like you said and truly, you seem to be so good at it! I'm still trying to figure out my priorities at present, but reading your (well written) blog often helps me through this!

I look forward to hearing about your new personal goals - via the blog or otherwise and hope your weekend is stress-free and full of fun.

Marathon Moms said...

I often think the people who are the most critical of other people are those who aren't at peace with themselves and therefore have to get defensive. That sounds new-agey--and I'm definitely not that way--but I doubt there's any mother (or person, quite frankly) out there who wonders what if...or should I have...or will this freakin' Candy Land game ever end. It's the people who will own up to those thoughts that are the ones worth listening to--and you're definitely one of them. Keep on keepin' on, my friend...but don't let it stress you out. (MUCH easier said than done, I realize.)

Dawn said...

I think your attitude regarding blogging and finding the time for it and other projects is great. I find myself dealing with a lot of the same issues. I'm sorry you ended up with some negative feedback on that last post. I have been both a working and a stay at home mom and I know it's definitely a sensitive issue. Your blog is great; you are very encouraging and offer a lot of useful information.

Gray Matters said...

You are doing a great job - sometimes it's hard for us moms to cut ourselves a little slack.

Kelly said...

You shouldn't ever feel like you have to justify your desicions or words. I think your Synchronicity post was well put. I'm a working mom and I wasn't offended by it at all.

Everyday Yogini said...

I have to agree with marathon mom, if you got negative comments, it must be because those women are not happy with their choices (or lack thereof).

I think blogging is sort-of a double edged sword. I put pressure on myself to blog every day and it is starting to interfere with other things I want to be doing! On the other hand, I really enjoy it and I love the connections that I've made, so it really is a tough balance, isn't it?

Looking forward to talking this weekend!

molly said...

just so you know, your blog is one of my favorite to keep tabs on - even if you take time off from it and only write occaisionally, well enjoy reading it and checking out the great links you provide. but take it easy and enjoy those sweet kids!

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

goodness. i never thought that you might mean anything other than you were struggling with parenting and blogging and keeping it all together. sorry you got the negative emails. i guess at least they emailed you rather than leaving comments.

i'm looking into cloning for myself so i can accomplish more. i'll let you know how it goes. ;)

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

and FTR, i think you write very well.

PopMom said...

I believe that there is no right or wrong way to live your life or be a parent. It is just as easy to be a crappy SAHM than it is to be a fantastic FT Working mom and vice versa. I sometimes think that there are too many choices and combinations out there and that can cause people to second guess themselves. It is only natural to wonder if you are making good choices. After all, the weight of the responsibility of raising children is a heavy, albeit awesomely rewarding, one. How's that for sketchy writing :)

Your post was great b/c you were sharing your ambivalence and the how you feel the balance in your life is going so honestly. You are not the only one and people like to feel they aren't alone, so thanks for sharing. I change my mind every month as to whether I should continue to work part time or quit my job and stay at home. And so it goes...

Angela Miller said...

I'm sorry that someone emailed you with not so nice comments. Why do people have to read into stuff and turn it into something that it is not? I love to read your blog and find myself getting very excited when you have posted a new entry.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

I have found that part of blogging and putting yourself out there is that sometimes the feedback you get can be upsetting. With all I blog about - BELIEVE me I've had some feedback! Hee hee.

You know, I totally get what you are saying about blogging, too. I spent the better part of last year really trying to get my blog out there and get readers and publish good content . . . and now it feels a lot more like work than I want it to. Thanks for sharing your perspective on this and for the great reminder that, yeah, this is OPTIONAL, isn't it? ;)

village mama said...

Do NOT give up blogging; this is one place I've got on my technorati favourites.

How's the training?