Something has to give…

Of all the things I love about blogging, I am perhaps most grateful for the comments you leave on my posts. I truly put my heart into each post and to know that I am connecting with you brings me so much joy.

I’ve tried to reply to each of the comments left for me here and to also visit all of you on your blogs.  Over time, this has grown to be a bigger undertaking than I ever dreamed it would be.  I find myself falling further and further behind.

Though I’ve continued to reply here, as hard as I’ve tried, I’ve not been able to find the time to read and comment on all of your posts on as regular a basis as I would like.  I feel like I’m missing out on so much of what you have to say.

And I would imagine that you feel the same way that I feel … you put so much thought into your posts and you want people to read and comment, to show you that they have connected with your words in some way.

So, sadly I’m now at a place where something simply has to give.

I wrote on Sunday about my commitment to playing with Katie and Matthew more.  They have to come first. Always.

I don’t want them to look back one day and remember me on my computer, asking them for just one more minute.

I can’t count the times I’ve spoken those words to them and it breaks my heart every time.

Do I continue to reply to all comments here OR visit you and comment on your words?

I’ve decided that the right choice for me is to visit you.

I will try to reply here when I have the time or if you ask me a question, but I want to visit you and learn more about your world.

For those who you beautiful readers who do not have a blog, I will always reply to your comments here.

So, if you blog, please be sure that I can link to your space. I can’t wait to read your words on a more regular basis.

And if you don’t blog, I’ll keep leaving you love here.

Thank you all for sticking with me through this.

I’m so incredibly grateful for each and every one of you.

49 comments

  1. BringUpBee bringingupbronwyn.com

    That sounds like a wonderful compromise. Good for you for keeping your priorities in check.

  2. bywordofmouth

    It has us running in circles this trying to be well mannered and gracious – altruism as its finest …
    Abandonment for prioritizing your life & getting back to why you blog, unlikely.
    Visit from time to time, it would be lovely to see you there!

  3. *HUG* I was stalking your conversation on Twitter, so am glad you found a solution that makes you happy. And I would still stick around here even if you holed yourself up in your little corner of the blogosphere – 'cause you're THAT good.

  4. Oh I hear ya! It is so hard sometimes. I am trying very much to get better at checking in on blogs daily- even if I don’t have time to comment I can read and then tweet them later. I understand and I think you are so right. Not that you asked.

  5. Paige Morgan

    I think visiting someone on their blog is even more personal them a simple reply. I don't have nearly the traffic you do and still find it hard to get to every comment, as much as I want to and love it. I also like to read about the people who read something of mine, so I find your solution impressive! I can't wait to meet you!

  6. bywordofmouth

    Thought I would reply back here to keep life simple :)
    Actually I was named Nicola, but other than a stint in High School as Nicki – I have been Nicole for years now (there were three of us at the first company I worked at, so changed for ease) My birth certificate could go either way with the script, so even my passport is Nicole.
    Between you and me, I think the 'h' is kind of classy.

  7. babybabylemon babybabylemon.com

    Your tags on this post made me so sad. One of the things that I dislike about blogging is the feeling of obligation that commenting brings. I want you to know that when I comment here, you never *have* to answer or come visit my blog. I am commenting because I have something to say to you about what you wrote. That's it. One of the reasons I rarely comment is I don't want to make people think they have to visit my blog. They can if they want. One of my resolutions this year was to comment more, both on other people's blogs and to answer all comments on my blog. I'm going to give it a go. I'm interested to see how it plays out. I would much rather you played with those long haired children of yours than read my blog.

  8. Ashley

    It's hard to keep up and I do not think anyone blames anyone for not being able keep up with it all! You have to start with living your life so you have the stories to tell, right? I love your posts, as we all do- looking forward to reading more.

  9. Sherri

    OK, here comes your hug, virtual as it may be. I just finished reading Natalie's post about the very same thing, so it's fresh on my mind. I love, LOVE the relationships that have formed through the comment process on my blog, and on the blogs that I love (including yours!) and I'm not sure that blogging would be the same for me without having that base.

  10. Sherri

    Having said that, I as a reader do not expect an answer to my comments; I always look at them as icing on the cake. If I felt enough about a post to comment, even a short one, then that was my reward. Not a visit or a return comment, but the fact that the writer heard what I thought about their post.

    And there just isn't enough time! And if mine were still little and home playing with Stripper Barbie and little cars and blocks? I would feel the same way. Heck, I already feel that way a bit when I'm distracted by the laptop and my kids are hovering near by. We're here, Nichole, because we want to be here. You are here because you have a gift for writing and this is your outlet. And you are growing something bigger here, I feel it.

    And just know that we will still visit and comment. And sigh, and sniffle.

    Many hugs to you my sweet friend!

  11. Natalie mommyofamonster.com

    You know how I feel about this :)

    Family first…always. ALWAYS.

    We love you and whether or not you respond to every single comment, I bet every single person will still be here.

    Also? I posted about commenting too. Mine is not nearly as perfectly written as this.

    And last but not least, I love that Sherri brought up Stripper Barbie ;)

  12. You have to do what you have to do Mama! And you are doing the right thing! And I never EXPECT a response to every comment I make, it's a nice surprise if I get one, but I am like you, I like to connect with others.

  13. Hutch bawesomeinstead.com/

    Finding the right balance is always hard, but it sounds like you've got you've got the right idea!

  14. MelissaDrMom confessionsofadrmom.com

    I can completely relate Nichole! You have to do what makes sense for you without sacrificing time with your children.

    I'm torn too. I feel SO behind right now and I feel guilty telling my kids, one more minute, I'm almost done.

    Luckily (or unluckily) I'm on blogger and cannot respond directly to comments so I've been visiting commenters blogs and trying to repay the kindness that way. I'm still a couple of days behind but it's the only way I know how to keep up these days.

    Good Luck Nichole :)

  15. I have been feeling the same way. And most times I can't even comment NOR visit other blogs. Sigh..I agree your children must always come first. I think what you have decided to do is a fabulous idea! And then, if you write a post and feel compelled to comment back here, then you will find the time. For example, people gave me such wonderful support and ideas for my food battle post that I wanted to comment back. But overall, as I comment on other blogs I def. DO NOT expect a comment back! xoxo

  16. @natablog twitter.com/natablog

    Anyone who expects a response to every comment is not being fair to you. I comment when I can b/c I appreciate what someone is saying or (hopefully) have something meaningful to add. You SHOULD spend more time with the kiddos, after all, you wouldn't be able to write if you didn't have the moments to write about.

    I can't even begin to comprehend, because I'm not at your blogging level, BUT I think if it were to start losing moments with my kids, my readers would understand my decline in responding. I think you have the same kind of readers.

    Now, go out and PLAY!

  17. Mad Woman behind the Blog

    Nichole, you are my wise and sane mentor. I love this solution and I pray that it gives you the peace and the time that you need.
    And my selfish little self is so excited to know that you'll come by and see me.
    Saturday can't get here soon enough my friend! To hug you is all I need.

  18. That's the point I was at when I started this: http://www.haglerhappenings.com/live-consciously/ In my opinion, it all cycles. Enjoy those kiddos… right now. :)

  19. brandy

    juggling is never easy. mommyhood is always a compromise! :)

  20. Good decision! Family always comes first! Juggling a lot of diff things is hard. Spend as much time your adorable kids as you possibly can!!! They are only young for a short time!

  21. gigi

    There's no easy solution and no right answer. Do whatever works for you!

  22. Jaime ainsleylynn.blogspot.com/

    I completely understand Nicole. I love blogging, and reading other blogs, but I do find myself telling my kids "One more minute…" that leads to 10, or "mommy just has to post her blog" but then I need to re-read it and make sure it's PERFECT.

    Our kids should definitely be first. It's easy to say but sometimes hard to live.

    On a similar note, since I started reading your blog just a few weeks ago, I've definitely been trying to enjoy the "small moments" especially with my three year old. There are so many, but sometimes I'm busy with the baby or busy with work or the house. Thank you for reminding me.

  23. Stacey staceysmotheringmoments.com

    I so appreciate your thoughts. Sometimes, my lack of time to be able to be on the computer is frustrating. But all I have to do is look around me and I'm reminded about what is really important. Finding balance is so important and being there for your kids is without doubt the most important thing you can do. So Hoorah to you for making them your priority. I hope you are able to find a better balance!

  24. Evonne theumbels.com

    This is the second post I've read today about responding to comments. You are definitely not alone is trying to figure out the balance. Kids and family should always come first. When it comes to blogging, you need to find the balance that works for you.

  25. I completely agree that there is a definite struggle between "computer" life and real life. It's hard. As long as you keep cranking out wonderful posts, I will still come to your blog regardless. I think all of us moms can relate to this struggle. Don't sweat it…your wee ones will thank you for it and that's what matters most :)

  26. Alexandra174

    Nichole, I come here b/c I love your writing. I never expect a visit back.

    If I need you, I know how to find you. If I miss you, I'll get you on twitter.

    You do not want to live a life of regret, where you turn around, your children are grown, and you don't even know them, and have no memories.

    It can happen.

    If you don't turn around and look into their eyes, it can happen.

    Sorry…but just look at their faces, and know where your treasure lies.

    That's where you time should be spent.

    My children are 14 and 15 and 8. Did I think I'd ever be the mother of teenagers when I was submerged in motherhood? No.

    But, it happened. Thank God, I only discovered blogging/ etc. about a year ago.

    Don't get me wrong…I LOVE my blogging life and how much more it's done for my depression than my prescribed meds and therapy sessions. I love what blogging has brought to me: friends that are real, a place for my writing, and recognition that I don't receive in real life.

    But, secretly: I'm glad I didn't discover this world until a year ago.

  27. @PBJdreamer twitter.com/PBJdreamer

    Yeah for you,
    prioritizing so brilliantly.
    No need to apologize.
    Love your blog

    Keep writing…

  28. liz

    This is my same feeling; instead of getting a follow-up email, I think most people would like me to show them the time of reading THEIR words.

    Well put, Nichole!

  29. I think that's totally fair…good for you! Our kids always have to come first. THis is supposed to just be an outlet/hobby…whatever you want to call it. Our first and foremost priority is our spouse, kids and home. This shouldn't be so overwhelming and stressful. I appreciate your honesty. I've been blogging/social media-ing for only 4 months…a very, very short amount of time. But I find myself in the same boat and wonder how others do it. It's nice, for me anyway, to see that others struggle with that balance too. Sometimes I feel like "bad blogger" when I don't visit or comment on other blogs enough. But I honestly feel like you do. My kids ARE my job, my priority, and legacy!!

  30. p.s. I can't, won't, would never quit you either.

  31. kris

    Love you.

    You are wise and generous.

    That is all.

  32. We are in the same place, you and I.

    And we both know that we need to do something.

    It will work. It will work just fine.

    We'll lean on each other.

  33. @The_BMG twitter.com/The_BMG

    Love this post! I never reply to my comments because I'm never sure if people actually come back and read those replies. Plus I'm not a big comment receiver anyway! I decided a long time ago, that I will read blog posts and if it strikes my fancy and I have something to say, I comment. If I don't have anything to say, I don't. It works. It allows me time with my family and doesn't cause me to feel all pulled around by the internets. Do what works for you! If it means never replying to another comment, do it!

  34. Efloraross thewriterrevived.com

    Oh I totally get this. I struggle with it myself. The more fabulous women I connect with, the harder it is to actually connect with them. It bothers me greatly. I think you'll find we all understand. Kudos for you for coming up with a solution that works best for you and your family!

  35. she thethirstymagnolia.blogspot.com

    You are awesome and a great writer and your blog inspired me to get busy on mine. I think it's a great decision. And the crowd goes wild!

  36. Sherri mamasherri.blogspot.com

    I have recently found your blog & I love it:) U made the right decision, for u. I also hate when I utter the words "i'm on the puter" when I say it to my kids. A happy new follower!!!
    mamasherri@blogspot.com

  37. ash shadesofblueandgreen.com/

    Oh girlie, yes, yes, yes. I respond to comments via e-mails only because I like that one-on-one. However, I am horrible about getting to other blogs, which makes me feel like a little weasely, belly of a snake, scummy bloggy friend.

    I think that's where "tribes" come in, though – we all know how hard you work, all that you do. We understand. I always understand, because selfishly I pray for that understanding as well. It's also why I now only post on Tues/Fri – gives me extra time to make the rounds.

    You're doing just fine. Awesome in fact. Go enjoy those babies!!

  38. Laura

    Something always have to give in life, and it should never be your family. I had a few overwhelming months in October and November and I didn't read a single blog. It's how life goes and we should never feel guilty about it!

  39. katie sluiternation.com

    Nichole, this is SO timely!
    I just started to have the ability for my comment replies to go through email, so I feel all this pressure to respond to people's comments. But it has taken a horrible toll on my ability to read what is being written on THEIR blogs…just like you said.

    I would MUCH rather read blogs than respond to the comments on mine. It makes it seem like a job.

    So maybe you are inspiring me to only respond when the comment calls for a response (I feel like it, there is a question, I need to clear something up) and otherwise spend the little time I have on reading what people are writing.

    Because honestly? If the shoe was on the other foot? I would MUCH rather welcome you to my place than just receive an "heck yes!" or something in reply to a comment, ya know?

    So come on over to Sluiter Nation or Exploded Moments anytime :)

  40. Renee 2old2tap.blogspot.com

    Sounds like you've made a good plan.
    Anything that gives you more life time is a good plan.

    And I'll keep reading, no matter what!

  41. CDG

    You do what you need to do, just don't stop writing, my friend.

    And tweeting. Sweet mother of instant gratification, please never stop tweeting! :)

    Love to you!

  42. I agree with Paige. And I really like what you came up with and I think I'm going to follow in your footsteps. I don't want to hear myself say those words "one more minute" to my own kids anymore either…. Grateful for your decisive, sincere words!

  43. Nicole

    Beautiful words spoke so graciously! I am new to reading your blogs, I do not have one. I leave comments only when I feel I have connected or felt something with your words. Today, I did. I am not sure if its because I have had a bad year so far, or if its because I am in a highly emotional state presently, however I cried over truer words! I am always on the computer, pretending I know how to tweet, email, facebook cafemom and because I am interrupted often by the loves of my lives, I am now wondering if they are seeing me as always telling them one more minute so I can finish yada ya. Then because the interruptions are so time consuming, it takes me even longer to finish what I have started. Now I realize that maybe when they first needed me for something, had I just taken the time to attend to their needs, then they would have left me alone to take care of what I need to take care of!
    Thank you for your words, you blog. I look forward to reading :)
    Nicole

  44. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    Do what you must. But if you don't comment on my blog I'll never come here again.

    OMG I'm kidding! Could you imagine if I actually posted that on a blog? HA!

  45. jessb27

    Completely understand where you are coming from. I absolutely love blogging but the more of my time it consumes the more I feel torn between the computer and my kids and the computer should never come first. Your decision is perfect because it is right for you.

  46. I completely understand and respect your decision. Family ALWAYS has to come first!!! Congratulations on your decision. I think it's just fab. xoxo

  47. As the other commenters said, you are doing a great job keeping your priorities straight! Your kind, gracious spirit shows through clearly in your blogs, and that's the reason I come back time and again. I don't expect a comment back when I comment on blogs, and if people come by and visit, I consider it a giant plus but don't hold it against them if they don't! We all only have a limited amount of time in the day, and we need to use it to the best of our abilities. I often wish I had more time to be on twitter or to navigate more around the blogosphere, but with an almost 3 year old & a 1 year old, I have very limited time here.

    I, for one, look forward to reading what you live and have lived and write, and will continue to do so no matter what!

  48. Hope hoperoth.com/blog

    I like comments more than I like responses to mine. I think you made the right choice.

    Of course, I have so few commenters, it's pretty easy to respond to all of mine. :p

  49. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Nicole!
    It's funny how computer time kind of snowballs, isn't it?
    I've found it helpful to actually set a timer for myself because what I say will be just two minutes sometimes turns in to five, then ten, then fifteen.
    I appreciate you reading my words and hope to see you here again!

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