Sunday, April 4, 2010

What My Daughters Have Taught Me....

With all of the sickness and sadness that intruded my home last week, I had a few days to be almost internet free--to reconnect with my children, my husband and more importantly myself. It seems like so much of my time lately had been on my blog. Don't get me wrong, I love my blog, reading blogs, etc...but once it was beginning to take over my life I was happy to take a few days off.

I forgot that my blog was supposed to be fun! Not feeling stressed because I hadn't visited my favorite blogs. Not wondering why some posts got more comments and some got less. Not obsessing with my BlackBerry to see if that stupid, obsessive blinking red light was in fact blinking. Not staying up until one in the morning trying to read and comment on all of my favorite blogs.

 I began to question where the fun went. How did I let this blog snowball into something out of my control? When did this happen?? And how to make it stop?

I then began thinking of what I need to do to maintain some sort of control. I won't force myself to comment if I don't feel a connection to a post. I won't feel guilty if I can't reply via email to every comment I receive. I'll try to comment on new visitor's blogs--but if I can't or I forget? I won't beat myself up over it. I simply will not follow a blog because they come by and write that they are now following my blog, could I please follow them back--if I tell someone I'm following them it's meant to make them do a happy dance for another follower *smile*--NOT to make them feel like they must follow back.

I guess things happen for a reason. As much as I dislike that saying in certain situations. My daughters have made me realize that THEY come first. My blog is a hobby--a happy place, not a job.

How do you balance life/work/children/family with your blog? Have you ever felt like it was taking over? I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

32 comments:

blueviolet said...

What happened to you happens to all of us. We have to find our own balance with our blogs. I didn't start until my kids were in college and I had an empty nest so I am lucky in that regard.

Even so, it's impossible to keep up with it all. I allow myself the luxury of stepping away as often as I need now, so as to prevent burnout. Life is my priority; not the blog. :) And it's good to see you realize that too.

Happy Easter!

Shell said...

What a fabulous post! I know that I have been having a hard time lately, commenting on all the blogs that I want to. I just don't have the time. I *want* to and I do my best, but I look at it like this: I don't freak out and wonder where someone is if they miss a day or so of commenting on *my* blog b/c I know that people have other things to do outside of being on their computers. And yet, it's hard to cut myself that same slack. Now, I'm just doing the best that I can and hoping that people understand that, the same way I understand that they can't always do everything either.

MommyLovesStilettos said...

My blog (which is still fairly new) is fun to me and if I ever get to that point I would do the same thing as you. Take a step back and remind myself that I can't do it all on top of raising a family. *HUGS*

Kmama said...

I've also been having a rough time. I'm not sure if it's the time of year or what, but it's been difficult to keep up.

I'm hoping that either I can find my balance or something gives soon.

As much as I completely understand when people say they are overwhelmed and can't comment, read, etc., I have a hard time believing that others are as understanding as I am and I hold myself to higher standards. Ugh.

Wife on the Roller Coaster said...

I totally agree with you! There are so many blogs out there that I want to read and respond to, but between my family life, my desire to become a published writer, and keeping up with my blog, it's almost like a full-time job. And the more followers I have, the more I think, "Oh my gosh, I love followers, but how will I be able to keep up with them all?"

So how do I balance it all? I'm a stay at home mom so that helps because my kids are pretty content to play independently during certain established hours of the day. My husband is currently deployed so the time I would normally spend with him (like now!) I now use to blog and comment. I do sometimes feel like the blog has suddenly taken over my life, which is crazy because like you said, it started out as a hobby and somehow snowballed.

You have a wonderful blog, you leave wonderful comments when you can, and that's all you can expect! You obviously have a lot of readers who love you (like myself!), and we'll continue to read your blog regardless of how often you comment.

Keep smiling and enjoying the wonderful world of blogging!

Melinda said...

It happens to all of us at some point. It does feel like a job sometimes and thats when i have to literally shut off the computer and look at my kids and say Mommy's Here. Take the time you need for you and your family, the blog will be here when you get back whether it's later that day or next week.

Erin said...

Yes, yes, yes. I am right there with you right now girlie. I have been trying to post everyday, but that is exhausting and I find myself not spending as much time with my children as I could be. I think I am going to back off to three or four times a week and limit the amount of time I spend commenting (like an hour) a day. The rest of my time needs to be spent focusing on my Mommy job and doing other things that I enjoy too like reading and exercising.

Okay, I'm done rambling. Big hugs!

Chantal said...

I'm still a very new blogger, but I have been determined from the start to keep it casual and fun. I get excited when I get a new follower, but I don't follow all my followers back. I feel like I rather make a firm commitment to blogs I am interested in. I also only comment on posts that I feel a connection to. This may not make me a very successful blogger, but I am feeling pretty balanced in my life right now.

Laura said...

I had this very same feeling a while after I started blogging in 2004. I started out like gangbusters! TONS of comments and readers. TONS of new blogs to read. It became a "committment"! Thats when I started to almost RESENT it! And, at times it almost seemed like I was back in high school, some are more popular than others for whatever the reason!

Like anything else, you have to put it into perspective. It IS supposed to be for fun. When it stops being fun you need a break. I took some time off when I felt like that.

Just remember, read WHEN you want to, read WHO you want to, comment when you WANT to...it should be pressure free!

Debbie said...

I am newer to the blogging world, but I too have days where I feel pressure to think of a post, and to make sure I comment on people's blogs. Some days are just overwhelming between mommyhood, blogging, and working. I think that all of us mom bloggers totally understand. Thanks for this post!

Brittney said...

I know exactly what you mean.. I was following so many blogs at one point to *repay the favor* but the truth is I never read them if they didnt interest me, Blogging can become a job, but i took a step back. I mean I dont expect ppl to follow me just b.c i followed them Its not about the numbers for me.. I wanna enjoy it ya know!!! :)

jackie said...

Great post!

I haven't felt that my blog has taken over, but I'm fairly new to this. I really enjoy blogging when I can. I started my blog to document what's going on in my life and so my family can read it. If people comment, great. If not, I really don't stress over it. I also try to read the blogs I follow. I don't comment unless I really want to.

Chrissy MacCEO said...

I have definitely been where you are, and I think that all mom bloggers must go there at some point. Re-evlauation is good, and it'll only make your blog even better.

I recently went through this, and what helped me was refocusing my schedule. I got a calendar out and actually started scheduling posts--it's really helped.

HUGSSS!!!!

Rebecca D said...

I know what you mean about worrying why some poss get tons of comments and others just a few... I worry when I don't write a funny post for awhile... it seems like people really respond to the funny ones, but sometimes I don't feel funny... I find myself asking if they will still love me if I show the real me... Where did some of my readers go... did I chase thm off... I had to stop checking google analitics daily to see how I'm doing... it's insane... I know...

PS... somebody... please... stop... me... from... over... using... periods...

Becks said...

I started feeling this way when Sophia was one. It was taking over my life and i felt like I had to comment on everything so that people would keep commenting on my blog. Silly i know. So I let it go....I don't care if people comment on my blog (but of course I love it when they do) I only have a handful of followers and i like it that way. I only follow a few blogs as well. Ones that I feel a friendhship with and a few that i "lurk" on and I love that stress free feeling of reading blogs without the need to comment. I don't have any of those blog rolls (is that what they are called?) I just have my fav. blogs in my favorites and I visit when I have downtime (usually evenings). I found myself so tunnell visioned with blogs or facebook that I would end up ignoring Sophia or keep telling her just a sec...i hated that!! So I keep it simple and let go of the guilt and the need for others to follow me. It's done wonders I tell ya!!

Love ya girl, and if you visit me don't feel the pressure like you have to comment all the time. Relax and enjoy your time!

(wow that was a super long comment, oops!) there is probably a million spelling mistakes..but oh well, haha!

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

Hey honey! I think many bloggers feel this way. I can't imagine how much stress you are feeling, if you are trying to get back to each and every person. I think people will be MORE than understanding if you don't comment back EVERY time. If someone is a true friend, they will understand that your family comes first.

Your blog should be a release, not a chore.

I recently had the same realization, and here is my strategy...
I only post 3-4 quality posts a week. AND, I turn the computer OFF when I want to get other things done, and spend time with family!

You are NOT alone, I promise. Loves!

Terra said...

I had that moment about a year ago. I now tend to post in bulk (scheduling a few days at a time) and I read when I can (before the girls get up and after they go to bed) - I don't answer all comments only if the comment merrits a response and I tend to shy away from new blogs (which is funny because I just hit yours last week and I love it) I have become very particular about the blogs that hit my google reader and I chopped that list to less than 30. I also stopped beating myself up if I didn't get any posts up (like today for example) with all the yuck in my life right now, sometimes it is easier to just read about everyone else and blow mine off! And that is ok.

Jenny said...

I totally agree with you on all levels...sometimes I let blogging take over which it shouldn't. When we were away these last 3 days in NYC it was freeing to be away from blogging...like you I love it but sometimes you just need to come up for air.
I hope everything is okay...at the beginning of your post you said sadness and I hope it is not about your grandpa.
love ya girl!

Vanessa said...

Wonderful post! It's something I've been thinking about so much lately. This post challenged me to think again about how much time, emotion, and energy I am putting into my blog (or others) rather than into my girls lives. Thanks for the reminder!

Messy Mommy said...

Oh how I agree. I took the weekend off and I'm so overwhelmed right now trying to catch up. I was just about to "mark all as read" and leave it alone and I saw this post. What a perfect post to end on for now. THANK YOU!

Heather said...

Great post Chelle. I do most of my blogging when Diaper Diva is taking her nap or at night when everyone is sleeping. I will respond to comments through out the day with emails. And I have taken weekends off from blogging. That is 100% family time.

Lindsay said...

Loved this post! Its a constant battle for me to keep my blog as a hobby. I haven't done any reviews or things like that because I feel like I would easily lose control! You are so right your family must come first :-)

Bubble said...

It suddenly came to me last week regarding blogs, i had a bit of a wake up call via a blog i follower and this lady sadly took her own life. Dreadful for her family friends and blog followers, but it was like a light bulb for me. How real are these blogs?? You would have never guessed from this ladies blog that she was depressed.She gave of this image of total perfection in her world. I suddenly thought how 'real' are these blogs?? Are they a front? You can make yourself be percieved as who or what you want via blogs but how real is it. I'm abit unsure? Like you i love reading blogs but time with family is the most important.xxxxx

Christy said...

I feel kinda the same way, like the fact that my reader now says 1000+ updates that I am never going to have time to read. I'm not sure how to balance it yet though, because I still want my blog to grow, but I don't want to neglet my job and my family just for that goal. Good words and good thoughts!

amanda said...

u know this is totally normal right friend? the bloggy hormonal roller coaster :)

for the record and not saying that this is the right option for you - but going private was huge for me. not near the bloggy ups and downs i used to feel.

at the end of the day we do this for them. period. and they don't care how many comments each post gets, nor will they ever know if we visited everyone we wanted to each and every day.

Jewls said...

I'm trying to figure that out still! I haven't been to motivated to blog because I just want to spend time with Z, but I'm trying to make time for journaling and for grandma who lives far away!

Krystyn said...

"Mark all as read" let it be your best friend....if you are even at the computer.

I think it has ebbs and flows for me...sometimes I'm better about it than others.

But, you are absolutely right..family first. Those girls are going to grow up and you want to savor it all!

((HUGS!))

Ali @ Mommie Life said...

It really is so hard to keep up! I would have to make blogging a FULL time job!! It is supposed to be fun and I think we all get a little too into it sometimes... It's good to take a little break every once in a while and remember why you were doing it in the first place! :)

It's your blog... Enjoy it! :)

Angie's Spot said...

Balance? I'm not sure that I've ever found it! It took me a long time to get over my tendencies to want to "do it all" when it came to my blog. It's become too much like a job on a couple of occasions and I've finally become ok with just letting it go for a while until I can get my ducks in a row again. In a perfect world, I would love to blog every day again, comment on all 200 of the blogs in my reader and reply to every email, but I know that just isn't realistic. Kudos to you for finding peace with your blog and making it the happy place that it should be! And thanks so much for stopping by my place today! :-)

Much More Than Mommy said...

I have been blogging for a while but since moving to Blogger I've made a ton of connections and I saw early on that I was going to have to find that balance! I try not to write on weekends, and many times I don't read -- but then sometimes on Mondays I feel so behind when I open my Reader! :-) But family comes first, and I've noticed I've felt more relaxed about *blogging* the *more* time I've given to my family! Like, playing Just Dance with my girls when I used to be blogging and reading! :-) But my blog is still important to me, as are the connections I've made because of it. So I'm still working on it!

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

I have been feeling so bad lately because I have not been able to read/comment on as many blogs as I would like to. I feel so guilty because I am not able to keep up with it all. What you wrote make so much sense to me and it makes me feel better that I am not the only one feeling this way. I am getting a teeny tiny bit better about not feeling so guilty and just do what I have time to do. Blogging is fun and we just need to remember that!

Lauranie said...

You are a truly good person...just LOOK at all of the wonderful and supportive comments you get. BELIEVE that...take time...enjoy your life and family..NO GUILT..EVER! :D Just some things I've learned while I was away...FOR OVER A MONTH!! xo