I left work just over 9 months ago. In some ways it seems longer, like the Winter that threatened never to end, or when my little one was done with the morning nap.
So it’s been a couple of months or something since I last posted anything. I took a break from writing, at least at The Fitted Sheet. It started to feel like work, and without getting paid, it didn’t feel like work in a good way. I realized I had enough on my plate with 2 kids and a half-hearted job search. Then I got a second pink line on my HPT and an email from my webhost saying my domain was about to expire, maybe not exactly in that order. But at any rate, I decided it might be time to take a break from the blog. Besides, I hadn’t written about my main subject matter – my leaving work to be a SAHM – in quite some time.
The main reason I hadn’t written on that main subject was because I have been, and still am, trying to figure that all out. In a vacuum, where things cruise along at a predictable pace, balance is difficult. In reality, where children get sick on the one day you have childcare help and you have to drag them into the OBGyn for your transvaginal ultrasound [awkward], it’s pretty much impossible. Once you get to a certain age, your ability to adapt goes away, right at that junction with a certain stage of parenting where you just learn to lower your expectations. It’s kind of poetic actually. I can accept certain things and move on much more easily than before.
One of those things I’ve accepted is that this project may have run its cycle, at least where documenting it is concerned. While I still haven’t figured out this work/mom balance thing, I’ve decided, at least for now, that blogging about it hasn’t been as valuable as I’d hoped. And that’s mostly my fault. What I’ve learned about being a mommy blogger is that there are a ton of us. Seriously, you can’t get on the internet without tripping over a momblog. I think it’s great-ish. We all have value and we all need value. Finding community can be difficult for moms, working or at home, and blogging offers a venue for coming together over our triumphs and struggles. But as a mom-blogger, it can be difficult to establish your voice in a crowded room. While mine seemed unique and valuable, I didn’t have the time to commit to making it better heard. Or maybe it was the desire, something I’ve learned to not beat myself up about.
Another thing I realized about blogging is that there’s way more to it than writing. I should know better since my background is in marketing, but it still bummed me out that in addition to writing, I had to network, pitch, apply, and learn way more about WordPress than I wanted to. At first I felt like a jerk about that. Am I just turning my nose up at opportunity because I’m too lazy to put in the work? Then I realized that actually I didn’t start blogging to become famous or rich, which is good because I’ve become neither LOL! I blog because I love to write. But I also love helping people, giving them some nugget of wisdom that makes a small difference for them. It turns out, my blog has helped people, but since I don’t promote it adequately, it doesn’t help very many. And most of the people it helps are people I know and talk to regularly anyway.
That’s the third thing. I enjoy having meaningful conversations with my friends in which hopefully they get some useful piece of wisdom from me, and much more likely, we can vent to one another about parenting and general grownup frustrations in a safe, loving environment. And usually those conversations are a balance between venting about, and celebrating, our children and our roles as mothers. But in the blogosphere, I found less of a balance. It felt like the internet had become a place of negativity: Where everyone comes to bitch, confess, or let their shortcomings take center stage. It’s not a criticism of anyone’s personal thoughts. We all love our children, and none of us our perfect. But I realized I didn’t want to follow suit and give my, or anyone else’s negativity, such a permanent place to take root. I guess I don’t want to look back someday on this phase of my life and feel anything but gratitude and joyful reminiscence. Like childbirth, the pain is temporary and fades quickly from memory. That’s how I hope to remember the inevitable frustrations of parenting; very vaguely and completely worth it doing again and again.
So now what? Well, my domain expires in a couple of months, which isn’t a death sentence for The Fitted Sheet, but it’s time to decide whether I’ll continue it or not. At this point, I’m thinking not. I’ve already started another project, collaboratively blogging and doing marketing for our family real estate business, which oddly enough I’m loving even more. In a way it’s an ending to The Fitted Sheet. We found an awesome year-round preschool program for our boys so I can help out in the office a couple of mornings a week, which frees up hubby for more family time and gives the kids a routine, which I think they missed. I’m not looking too hard for full-time work, but I’m keeping in touch with a few people in case that too-good-to-be-true gig comes up. But for now, I have the best of all worlds, and I wouldn’t change anything. Well, except for more sleep, a flare and love for gourmet cooking, and maybe time for a spa day now and then.
Oddly enough, when I stopped analyzing and problem-solving my situation, I found a good balance. It just sort of happened, and we’re happy. I still want to do some writing, and I’m considering writing a book about my transition from the corporate world. But I just needed to live it first, and I’m still doing that.
So we’ll see. Keep an eye out for the book, release date TBD.