Sunday, November 2, 2014

Love Multiplies: Why I'm blogging again

So - as everyone knows, I fell off the face of the blogging earth a long time ago.

There was this blissful postpartum grace period after having Emeric when he was still sleeping a whole lot and I was feeling soooo good as compared to being pregnant and on house arrest due to preterm labor woes and I felt like I could conquer ALL THE THINGS.

Like taking my 3 children 3 and under out to Panera's 3 days postpartum.
And apparently I had to document this momentous occasion.
Say "broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl!!" some point reality set in...

I think it was right
Just kidding, it was way before this.

And I thought that maybe this wasn't a good time in my life to blog.

It sounded very logical.  Everything in my life seemed to need more, more, more of me.  Blogging time, internet time, me time, seemed to be taking away from people and things that needed my attention.

So I took some time to focus on "getting it all together", but instead of things coming together, everything just seemed to get crazier.  I felt like a rabbit on a treadmill trying to catch a dangling carrot.  If I just run a little faster, I'll get there...

I read Hallie's excellent post about planning the Edel gathering, and I spent a lot of time thinking about it.  I feel like I had a mini aha moment - perhaps I was running myself too ragged? - but deep down, I think I still just didn't believe it.  HOW could I take time for such relatively unimportant ventures like blogging and social media and - yes, even real life friends!! - when I couldn't even keep up on basic tasks like getting dressed, cooking dinner, and calling or emailing my family members?!

And let's not even mention the laundry...
At least nobody's going to accuse me of pushing gender stereotypes on my kids, right?
Meanwhile, Stephen was constantly encouraging me to keep blogging.  I tried over and over again to tell him all the reasons this was a terrible idea.  I wasn't sure why he would want me to add something to my schedule that would take away from our already limited time together (you know, those 5 minutes in the evening when I finally sat down and said " how ya doin'?" after running around like a mad woman from the time the kids went to bed trying to accomplish everything that didn't get done during the rest of the day) and the very lame job I was doing keeping the house from turning into a health hazard during the day.  I think he had picked up on the fact that blogging is an energizing activity for Jamie before I realized it myself.  Kind of like how he always knows when I'm in labor before I do.  He's a smart man.  Remind me to listen to him more.  Especially about the labor thing.

I wrote a little recap of our crazy summer, and while almost everything that happened was really, really was also really, really hard.  I am always crazy sick in my first trimester, but this was hands down my sickest pregnancy.  Add to all this the fact that I was prepping for my first year of homeschooling and basically - I feel like I hit rock bottom emotionally.  I think that was what started turning the tide.  Taking some time for me started feeling less like a luxury and more like a matter of survival.

I'm pretty sure this is what rock bottom looks like.  Secret robe candy at 9am.

And besides all that, I was pretty sure I couldn't do a worse job than I was already doing.  I figured that if I started taking some time for myself, at least maybe I'd feel a little better despite the house and our diet and everything else I felt like I was failing at.

So I got a hair cut, and for the first time since I was a teenager, got some color done.

And much like a teenager, took a weird selfie while doing it...

I started getting out of the house on Saturday mornings by myself.  At first I tried to squeeze in a lot of errands and kill 17 birds with one stone and get home as fast as possibly.  Then I started slowing down a bit.  I tried just grabbing a coffee and taking my time to window shop for things I didn't need.  I tried getting lunch at Panera's and savoring my food without any interruptions while leisurely reading a Kindle book.

Say "broccoli cheddar soup in a" ... wait, nevermind.

I even tried to paint my fingernails!  And then vowed never to do such things again.  My fine motor skills are definitely not up to snuff.

I wouldn't call myself a new woman now, but on a recent Friday afternoon when I was thiiiis close to losing it with the insane end of the week chaos and triple meltdown that was occurring, I stopped, took a breath, and remembered that in the morning I could go and take some deep breaths, eat a quiet meal, read a little, let my brain wander and unwind - all without stopping to break up a fight or wipe #2 off anyone's bottom.  I then calmly dealt with the crazy and the chaos and the meltdowns and by the time Stephen got home, I even had dinner on the table.  And I realized - hey, maybe this idea really works.

Remember Jamie, by this time tomorrow you'll be
leisurely browsing Instagram on the back of a goose.

Maybe love - including loving yourself - really does multiply.

When I write this all out, I realize how ridiculous it sounds.  I honestly don't think the internet needs another "Hey mom!  You have to take care of yourself!" post.  Yeah, yeah we KNOW we are supposed to take care of ourselves.  We KNOW it's not selfish to take care of ourselves.


If you're reading this right now and feel like everybody and everything in your life needs more of you than you have to give...please, remember that you can't give anything to your family, to the world, unless you've got something left to give.  Put on that oxygen mask and breathe.  Go do something completely frivolous with your time.  And if it makes you feel happy and energized, do it again.

And that's why I'm blogging.


  1. Awesome post!! I am so happy you are back!! WE all need those breaks!

  2. Exactly. Yes. I have had the same struggles this past year, and I'm still trying to carve out space and time for me that doesn't involve little people hanging on me at all times. It is hard. But as you say: oxygen mask first.

    1. I wish I had more insight into WHY it's so hard to recognize when we're not taking good care of ourselves...if I ever figure THAT part out I'll definitely write another post :) Good luck with it, mama!!

  3. I miss you in blog world! Especially since I never get to see you in real life :( Please don't forget the conclusions you're coming to here - it's easy to feel like you have to retreat from social media to be a more productive person, but I know that for me it helps me be *more* productive because of the energy I get from actual human interaction (well, over the internet, but it's so hard to get out of the house so I have to settle!). All the blogging!!!

  4. I'm so happy that you're blogging again!!! Love you!

  5. I'm so glad you're back and that you're taking the time for yourself! I've had to learn (still learning, actually) to make time for things that energize me, even if it means the laundry waits a bit longer. Good thing you have such a supportive husband, too!

  6. So very true and so very well said. I'm glad you're back :)

  7. YAY! I so connect with this. Errands by myself are not relaxing. And just yesterday Kendra made a graphic from the St. Charles Borromeo quote, "Do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for yourself." Thumbs up for coming back!

  8. I needed to read this right now. Like right this very minute. And so I'm leaving you a comment on it now, even though you came to this realization way before I did. This post feels like a hug to me tonight...and I'm seriously looking forward to meeting you in person at the conference Saturday. Thanks for writing this one- and for blogging. :-)

  9. Me too!! It's sooo hard for me to say no to the zillion/never-ending tasks and relax, and do things for me. Much to my hubby's chagrin. Such a good reminder!!