Being a full-time working mom who’s also trying to blog is tough, and I’m not even joking! As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t made a blog post in a week (Yea right, no one’s noticed. I wish I was that popular). And I feel tremendously guilty about it, but I am just struggling. My Twitter account activity and interactions have suffered greatly from my inactivity, as well. Which is discouraging, but what did I expect?
I desperately want to be able to just sit down and write, but so many things are getting in the way! I’ve been working nearly full-time and am about to change jobs to a full-time position mandatory overtime. Which I know a few extra hours isn’t a lot, but it is. It’s also a job that could open a lot of doors for me when I finish my English degree.
Lately I’ve been working from 8 am – 4:30 pm, and once I’m done I go and pick up my son from daycare, which was conveniently right next door to where I was working. Then we would go home, make dinner and spend a little bit of time together. Then before we know it, it’s 7:30 and it’s time to get ready for bedtime and by the time my son is actually asleep, I’ve been up since 6 am and it’s nearly 9 or 10 o’clock (depending on how bedtime went), and I’m so exhausted I just want to crawl into bed and not move until I have to start all over again tomorrow morning. And it wasn’t always this way. We recently moved and I’ve had to take on a nearly full-time job. I used to work 20-25 or 30 hours a week at most, so we are going through a bit of a change and adjusting phase.
“Parenting is not a cake walk or a stroll through a pretty field of flowers or a walk through the park or any other pleasant and effortless activity you can come up with!”
With my new job, I’ll be working from 8 am – 5 or 5:30 pm and my son’s daycare is going to be 15 minutes away from where I work. Which, I know, is a silly thing to complain about, but it’s going to be far less convenient. So now I’ll get up at 5:30 am to get ready for the day and have to leave a half an hour earlier to make it across town, 15 minutes out of my way to drop my son off at his daycare and then back track 15 minutes to work. And I know a half an hour or even an hour isn’t very much, but in the grand scheme of things, it is.
That’s a half an hour longer I have to go without seeing my son everyday, an extra half an hour before and after work I don’t get to spend with him. Time lost that I already feel tremendously guilty about not spending with him. He already spends eight to nine hours a day in daycare and I feel overwhelming guilty about that. I know it’s good for him and I know he has a great time. He’s learning so much, more than I could ever teach him because he’s learning from other children his own age. We recently switched to a new with the move and since the change he’s started singing his ABCs and is really good with 123s and he’s started singing Twinkle Twinkle and a whole host of other songs. I’ve never been more proud, but I still feel guilty, and I don’t think that will ever change.
Even right now, I feel guilty. The Mom Guilt is REAL! My son’s asleep, taking a nap and it’s a Saturday. There’s dishes and laundry and cleaning to be done to get ready for another jam packed week of work and daycare and life and all I desperately want to be able to do is just sit down and write! But I can’t even quiet my mind enough to create anything constructive with any semblance of sense or deep and thoughtful meaning. And I don’t have writer’s block. I’m very familiar with writer’s block. I have a million ideas and I write them all down. I have three different note pads going right now and they are filled with ideas and organized, as well as they can be. But this is something completely different. I just can’t quiet my mind enough to be able to form anything worth writing, in my opinion.
“The Mom Guilt is REAL!” -Every Mom Ever
I recently reached out to a friend on Twitter, @stayathomies a fellow mom, (check out her blog here) and she told me to write about it. She told me to write about how I was feeling and how I was working full-time and trying to be a mom and trying to blog and how I’m trying to spend time with my family and how I’m questioning my writing. And I can’t thank her enough, because she got me thinking about it and I finally actually experienced it. I had no other option but to feel it and experience how I was feeling and figure out what was wrong. I couldn’t run from it anymore or put the computer away and pretend it was fine because I was finally talking about it.
We talked about how I was feeling and struggling with my work life and home life and writing life balance, (which isn’t saying a whole lot because there’s absolutely no balance). I feel like work is dominating my life because I need to be able to provide for myself and my son. And my son needs to go to daycare while I go to work because there’s no one else to watch him, and daycare is ridiculously expensive! Half of what I’m making is going directly towards daycare for my son and the other half is barely paying my bills, leaving me with very little to actually live off of while I wait for my next paycheck. And I can’t afford to be a stay at home mom. Needless to say, I’m experiencing a lot of stress. And it feels like my head is so cluttered that I can’t focus on any one idea and form it into anything other than fragmented thoughts and ideas with absolutely no flow or concise purpose.
I also realized I’ve been so wrapped up in my own head lately. A tremendously shocking amount of my new followers are parents who are just starting out on Twitter with 50 or less followers. Which is baffling to me, and also humbling and it makes me so happy and excited. But I’ve been so wrapped up in these new followers lately, because I so desperately want to create content that they need or want or will enjoy. I’ve been having a tremendously hard time putting myself back in those shoes and remembering why I followed people when I was just starting out. And every time I sit down to write and work on one of my ideas, I talk myself into thinking that what I’m trying to write about isn’t important or interesting enough, or it won’t be what someone who’s following me wants to read.
I end up scraping a lot of my ideas and write nothing at all, which just makes me feel worse. I’ve been struggling with this for the better part of a week. So I sat down and spent a lot of time trying to figure out who my audience was, why they were following me and what they might want from me as far as content. I thought about asking my followers directly in a tweet, but that just seemed desperate. My previous blog post about Tried and True Twitter Tips for Moms and Dads was a huge success! I couldn’t figure out why I had just come off of a great success and couldn’t keep it going! It received 100 views within the first day or two, which is a huge success for someone who started a blog less than a month ago. I was hell bent on trying to figure out what I had done and why so many people had loved that post. And you want to know what I came up with? Nothing.
“My friend told me that there was probably a whole world of people who would not only understand, but who are also going through the same thing.”
And I have absolutely no idea why these people are all of the sudden following me! I have no idea how they’re even finding me or why they’re choosing to hit that follow button! I don’t know what I’m doing, other than being brutally honest to the point of hilarity about parenting, and I know I’m being 100% real and completely transparent. I will not sugar coat anything! I am not faking this. You can’t fake this kind of stuff! Parenting is not a cake walk or a stroll through a pretty field of flowers or a walk through the park or any other pleasant and effortless activity you can come up with! All I know is that you guys are following me because I am being 100% genuine and I’m not afraid to bare my soul, and I’m a mom. I write about mom things and having a toddler who drives me crazy and the next second I also love him to death.
So here I am, forcing myself to write about it, because my friend told me that there was probably a whole world of people who would not only understand, but who are also going through the same thing. And she’s right! It made me realize I’m not the only one who struggles with these things! It reminded me exactly why I started blogging and going on Twitter and tweeting about being a mom in the first place, so that I didn’t feel completely alone!
I wanted to have people to reach out to who were going through the same exact thing. I wanted to be able to follow people who were experiencing struggle and lend a listening ear and know that I wasn’t the only one wanting to pull my hair out while I struggled. And I wanted to spend my ever abundant spare time (ha, now there’s a laugh) writing, because it keeps me sane and let’s me say the things I can’t ever put into words and it’s tremendously therapeutic (apparently tremendously is the word of the day) and helps me sort through the chaos that is in my mind, and every other mother’s mind when they have a 2 year old toddler running around and running their life, (that’s running, not ruining!). I wanted to be able to express myself and for people to feel like they could come to me with whatever they were going through. I wanted to share my journey through motherhood with people who understood on a daily basis.
And instead of doing what I love and writing about it, I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty and I can’t produce any quality content. I should have just been facing my feelings head on and dealing with how I was feeling and making some peace so I could move on. So I hope I’m not the only one. And after writing all of this, I actually feel better. And I feel like I’ve created some worth while content that someone can relate to and maybe they can find their way through this feeling like I have and get back on the horse! As always, keep on loving those little ones like only you know how and try to keep yourself sane. If you enjoyed this, it would mean the world to me if you shared it with others. Have a great weekend and a happy Fourth of July!