A (temporary?) disruption in service

by Jessie K on April 11, 2014

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I’m going to share something today that’s been on my mind for awhile.

My motivation for my blog has been slipping lately and I’m not sure what to do about it.

The reason is fairly obvious: I’m home alone with Katie all day (June is at preschool) and Katie is shaping up to be a once a day napper, which means I have 2 to 3 hours tops to get everything done I need to get done in a day: write, blog, household stuff, kid stuff, personal stuff, etc. So by the time I have time to sit down and post, I’m sorta half-assed about it. Both June (nightmares) and Katie (hunger) have been waking up at night so I haven’t been getting much sleep. Nine o’clock rolls around and I’m wiped out.  I can barely stay up to watch a movie with Jake (I missed Captain Phillip last night because I was already in bed). Posting these days feels more like an obligation, another daily chore I have to cross off the list, which is not how I like to roll. My blog has been such a wonderful outlet for me — it’s my daily, irreverent writing exercise — that’s led to the publication of two books so far. I have the best readers — you guys helped us bring Solha home! You leave funny, insightful, crazy comments! Some of you have been with me since I started this blog back in February of ’09. (I still remember my first post — it was about canning! Ha!) But I’m not sure the way forward anymore.

How do you know a blog has run it’s course? How do you know it’s time to wrap it up and hang the Final Liquidation Sale Everything Must Go sign out front? The indications are all there: A) I don’t really have time to write the way I want to write B) I’m not in a position right now to make my blog better (where’s a DeVry Institute around here so I can sign up for Photoshop for Dummies?) C) I’m asleep by nine thirty D) The riches have not exactly rolled in. I’m still waiting to buy a new electric egg beater with my $59.99 of blog earnings. 

I’m hoping this is just a temporary impasse that will clear up as soon as I land some kind of childcare for Katie. But I’m also not in a big rush to usher her off to a sitter. June started going to a sitter at two months old after because I was up to my eyeballs in work.  I don’t regret that. It was what it was; I do what I have to do, but at the same time, I kinda miss that time with her when she was just a little peanut. I don’t want to pack Katie off to the sitter if there’s not a dire need for her to be there.

I love being a stay-at-home mom for now even as I’m wracked with guilt for not producing. Isn’t that the way it goes? I feel guilty when making money because I’m not there for the girls.  I feel guilty when I’m not making money because I love to work (for money) and don’t feel like myself when I don’t have some kind of paycheck. See? You can’t win. Moral of the story, boys and girls: You can’t win.

And now to go drink some white wine on ice.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

peg April 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm

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I think you have to make the decision that is best for you and your family. If you don’t feel the passion for it or it feels like a chore, you should stop.
I will miss reading your blog, but do understand that life is about what you make it, and wish the best for you and your family.

Maggie April 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

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I love you blog and your irreverence and your willingness to admit to not being a perfect parent/person etc. etc. But I fully support you if you decide to stop blogging. I’ve sort of felt the “lull” lately and I think you have a right to stop for a while or for the rest of eternity if you want. I’ll miss it if you do stop but I won’t hold it against you :) But…..you had better just be working on more books because I adored your first one :)

gypsypf April 11, 2014 at 3:29 pm

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I do like to think Solha’s rescue was our finest hour.

A thought: In addition to being all the things you are – wife, mother, “new” house owner, friend, daughter, relative etc. etc. – you are also a writer. Ponder how much of your personal and professional identity is wrapped up in being a successful blogger. If you can walk away and not feel the lack, so be it. If, however, you want to keep a lifeline to the writer in you, blog monthly or bi-monthly to keep your hand in. It’s all up to you.

Kristi C April 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm

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It seems to be a theme going around right now… http://www.ramblingrenovators.ca/2014/04/weekend-brunch-can-blog-die.html

I agree with the “do what’s best for you” mentality. Is there something else outside the house you could do that gets you out and with people and feeling “productive” even without a paycheck?

Jenny April 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm

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I had this same issue when I moved back from overseas. I had a blog there which I loved doing (which brought me to your blog of course!) but when I came back to San Francisco I just didnt know where to pick it up again, and I thought about the amount of work it takes and I just couldnt bear to keep going, but I also cant take it down! Blogging dilemmas! Whatever you decide, I love your blog and your books.

Susan April 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

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I’ll miss your writing! It’s open, honest and entertaining. Thanks for the many laughs:)and all the best!

Patty April 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm

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Agree with the thoughts of everyone who left a comment.

If you do decide to stop, please do it in steps. Blog once a week, then cut back to every two week, cut back to once a month, then once a quarter and finally annually!

I say this selfishly cause it would less painful for your readers.

Sheila April 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm

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I agree wholeheartedly! Just ease off, a little at a time, and the pain won’t be so great for your faithful readers….then, after a few months, you may feel willing to jump back into more. Whatever you decide, do what’s best for you and your family, and remember how much all of us have loved following your stories!

Eliza April 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm

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You are one of three blogs that I read. I’m not into social media at all (very square) but after reading your published story in Newsweek and then a few entries, I was hooked. You are witty, funny as all get out and honest about life in general. I really like that about your blog. I really have enjoyed your sharing simple couple conversations between you and Jake. I like to hear about your thoughts on raising daughters. I like when you cook/experiment. I know of one blogger who writes once a month and when she does the read is worth it. I wish she would write more but I think I understand why she doesn’t. Maybe less is more for now. I wonder if you would eventually miss having an outlet when you really feel like you have something to share. I would miss your writing but I wouldn’t want it to be burden to you. Go with what’s best for you.

Carrie at Living the Daly Life April 11, 2014 at 6:43 pm

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Ditto everyone above, especially Maggie and Eliza :)

Janelle April 11, 2014 at 7:51 pm

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Take a break. Do what you need to do.
Maybe just a once-a-week hello so we know you are all well. Over the past few years, I’ve really come to “know” you and keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Don’t just disappear, please. We’ll all worry about you. You feel like a good friend and I’ll miss you. I’ll probably even go through withdrawal.

Cindy April 12, 2014 at 7:48 am

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Hanging my head and kicking the dirt with my sneaker….

JulieO April 12, 2014 at 9:03 am

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Oh the damned guilt. Seems like as soon as we have kids, the guilt starts creeping in from all directions. Or at least for me it did. I say, take a break, Jesse. Enjoy your time with those sweet girls. Drink that white wine on ice!!
As soon as I had #2 ( 3 years ago!) I totally abandoned facebook. I still have an account I just don’t have time to be messing with it right now. And that’s just facebook…I can’t imagine trying to keep up with a blog!

Kayo April 12, 2014 at 9:24 am

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How about just posting once a week, letting us down slowly. LOL
I understand your time is limited. Love reading your blog though.

Jen d April 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

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Oh, how we will miss you! I would selfishly tell you to please stay, but understand if you leave. Maybe if you cut down to once a week? Maybe stop for a while and see how you feel, nothing says you cannot come back if you want….

Janice Hodges-Polk April 12, 2014 at 12:29 pm

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Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy
I wish I had

Rebecca April 13, 2014 at 11:47 am

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Seems to be a theme going around blogs lately. This was interesting – how writing a blog about living a good life means you need to be out there living that good life. http://tshoxenreider.com/writing-a-good-life/

Alice April 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm

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You could keep things going for a little while, (while you rest), by posting about Sohla’s life.

Betty Lightner April 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm

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Still love reading your posts every day. I crave rather country life but know I would survive living it only in small doses. Your blog is my daily cup of slower pace and refreshing humor/insight. Hope to see you this week!

Jessie K April 14, 2014 at 8:13 am

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Thanks for the comments everyone. I’m still not sure what to do but I think cutting back the amount of posts I write is the prudent way forward for now. Thanks again for your thoughts!

Shelby at Fresh Eggs Farm April 14, 2014 at 11:05 am

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Yes, cut back, but don’t go away completely. Write when you feel like writing…we’ll all still be here.

Sheila April 14, 2014 at 11:18 am

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Eliza said it all, very well.
I look forward to your blogs and am entertained by them all. So many bloggers have children and either quit completely or begin write all about being a mom (understandable, but not so relevant to me). You have a larger world view, a fun perspective and a great sense if humor. Your blog is the only one I read regularly. I think that if you knew how many of us were silently here, that might give you the reward to keep you going.
This is me, doing my part :)

Ydubby April 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm

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You have a full plate, that is for sure. Cut back, write shorter blogs , post more pictures. Your muse will return when you are ready. But thanks for all your stories. We have loved them.

Sacha April 16, 2014 at 7:25 pm

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Jessie,
As someone who remembers you from our Hellgate days, I have loved reading your witty posts. But I get it, as a mom with young kids there is barely time to breathe let alone drink enough wine (should be noted, I am drinking a glass as I write this). Do what is right for you now and allow yourself the option to change your mind. Thanks for all you have shared!
Sacha

Kelly April 22, 2014 at 9:27 am

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As a writer who took time off to raise my daughters, I can tell you that you will never regret a single moment with your girls! It sounds cliche, but the time goes far too quickly, and before you know it, they are out of the house and making their own way through the world. Savor these days, as exhausting as they are!

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