I’m An All or Nothin’ Kind of Girl…

I have a tremendous problem with achieving balance in my life.

There is also little that I love more than learning and fully immersing myself in new things.

Combining these two traits has proven unhealthy on many occasions.

My latest obsession?  Blogging.  Since my first post just over a month and a half ago, I have both lost my mind and found it.  Let me explain.

Writing this blog has awoken a part of who I am that has been lying dormant since before Katie was born and I have found refuge in it. Writing again has helped me to remember who I am, aside from being mother to Katie and Matthew and wife to Craig. I have immersed myself in this blog, either writing, thinking about the things that I want to write, or dreaming of all of the things that I can do to improve this little space of mine that is mine alone.

Then the other day, I found myself deep in thought about a post and could faintly hear Katie asking me to play. When I brought my mind around to her and focussed on what she was saying, I saw an expression on her face that looked remarkably like loneliness and my heart broke.

This is not the mother that I want to be.

One of the things that I’ve always been proud of is that I am a present parent. I gave up my career to be a stay-at-home mom so that I could be here, not just physically, but mentally, raising and nurturing my children each day.

Craig has also taken a hit lately.  He was talking to me the other day, referencing an earlier conversation and I realized that I must not have been listening because my recollection of the conversation was dreamlike–only bits of it penetrated my thoughts.

This is not the wife that I want to be.

Writing this blog has made me a better mother and wife in many ways–I am happier, thus healthier mentally, than I was before I began writing.  But, there is no denying that my balance is off.

So, I took the past weekend off from blogging, tweeting, and reading other blogs to regroup.  In so many ways, it was wonderful–we took Katie for bike rides, we read lots of books, and we played trains.   We tickled Matthew’s toes, we held hands, and we had evening dance parties in our living room.

But, a huge part of me was missing this little space that I’ve carved out for myself and I felt like I needed to write.  The solution cannot be all or nothing.  I have to find a way to create balance and to learn moderation.

In his journal, Henry David Thoreau questioned, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live?”

I have to be able to stand up to live AND sit down to write; these two goals cannot be mutually exclusive.


  1. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I LOVE the notebook idea. Having a notebook handy would probably help me to capture a thought, write it down, and let it go until later. Off to find a notebook! Thanks!

  2. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I blame technology!
    It is way too easy to grab my iPhone for "just a sec" to read something, check email, etc. Imagine if we had to use dial-up on a desktop computer every time we wanted to check in? I can assure you it wouldn't happen more than a couple times each day.
    See, it's technology that's to blame!

  3. kris prettyalltrue.com

    I am all about notes. Notes on paper, notes on my iPhone, notes on the backs of envelopes. There are scraps of paper everywhere. As long as I get the idea safely down on a piece of paper, I can return and be present in the moment.

    I have the freedom that comes with having two girls who go to school all day. My time is mine for the first time in a long time, and so I feel no guilt at having made this choice to spend that new found time blogging. None.

    I am available 100% when my kids are home, but you know what? Even during this time, I find that they are spending more and more time with their friends and their books and their studies. Our lives are all changing, and my daughters are becoming more independent.

    As am I.

    And it has thus far been good, for everyone.

  4. KLZ taminginsanity.com

    Oh, I hear you. My husband is really starting to hate the computer – even when all he wants to do is lay quietly together and watch TV. It’s so tough to find a way to BE while you’re being a mom, a wife, a friend…

    Let me know if you come across any fantastic ideas for balance.

  5. Marian runawaysentence.com/

    I can relate! It’s so challenging to be inspired by something but have it take my focus away from my kids. I work full-time outside the home and when I am home, it’s MAMA time. If I am distracted at the computer, looking at my blackberry, or whatever, they notice right away. I’ve taken to writing down thoughts in an old-fashioned notebook so that I capture them for when I sit down to write, which is always late-night after the kids have gone to sleep. Good luck and know your struggle is common, if not universal!

  6. brandy

    You have to know I have "been there" too.

    Women are often told we can have it all: A career, family, fulfilled life. We are not told, however, how difficult it is to achieve the balance necessary to be successful in all these facets of life.

    At times, I feel I am not particularly good at anything. That's when I assess where I am at, my priorities and try to start over.

    The children grow so fast… Don't ever forget that! <3

  7. Lyndsey

    Nichole I recently took facebook off my iphone for this very reason! I found myself checking it so often that I realized I wasn’t present enough for Max. So far so good. I enjoy taking some time after he goes to bed to check in with friends and family instead of checking all day. I like the notepad idea!

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