Friday, August 31, 2012

Work Life Balance

double chin magnificence
This double chin is my best work to date.

I shouldn't even be writing this right now. Let's start there. I've got two gigantic loads of laundry piled on the bed, a pile of cloth diapers to be assembled and put away on the sofa, and more in the washer and dryer. There is trash on the floor of the office that I have no intention of picking up today and only the baby is dressed in something other than pajamas. We are almost out of clean bottles. Zinashi is playing well, but is frustrated that I am, yet again, at the computer.

I've been spending a lot of time at the computer. This is kind of sad considering that I am three weeks or more behind on emails. If you sent me an email longer than three weeks ago and I have not responded, you should probably send it again if it's important. It's not that I don't want to write back to everyone, it's just that I have a lot of trouble stringing together sentences into a meaningful reply when my human interaction cup is overflowing. This, I suppose, is why I like blogging. I can say something to a whole lot of people at once; it's efficient.

Today I posted my last post on the Babble Being Pregnant blog.  I have really loved having the opportunity to blog for Babble on Being Pregnant, but I'll admit the timing was a little challenging. I wouldn't trade it for the world, and I'm not sorry I accepted the offer or kept at it during what have been three of the most intense months of my life, indeed of our family life. The support we have received has been incredibly valuable, and the opportunity to write for a larger audience, as somewhat of a professional, has been rewarding to me personally. I will continue to write for Babble, moving on to their Baby's First Year blog. However, I won't be blogging there as often as I blogged on Being Pregnant. Because I can't.

I used to envy the big name bloggers and wish that my little blog would take off in a similar fashion. What I've learned these three months is that while I like have a larger readership and engaging with more people via the internet, I don't like what I have to sacrifice to keep up with blogging every weekday. Much of the time it's been sleep, but as I started falling asleep at my keyboard more and more often each night, I started blogging during the day, which means that the people who got less of my attention are my children, and by the end of the day I've been frazzled enough from trying to meet the varied needs of two very different children to not really feel like having meaningful interactions with anyone, which kind of leaves my husband out in the cold.

I know that a lot of women (and men!) who blog professionally have childcare help, which is how they manage to do what I simply cannot, and that is something I have to recognize as opposed to wondering why I can't keep up with that amount of productivity. I'm not at the level where my income via blogging would justify paying for childcare, and even if it did get there, I know that's not the right choice for my children and their particular needs. I don't criticize anyone who makes that choice, as I think it can be the right thing for other kids. Going to school can be the right choice for other kids, but I know that this year Zinashi is not ready for it, and it doesn't line up with our family schedule besides.

Life is all about choices. By choosing to parent via adoption and throw special needs into that mix, we put limits on what we can do as parents outside of, you know, parenting. We've known since Zinashi came home that having one parent at home full time was the way we needed to go to meet her needs, and it remains true as we parent Elvie and begin to homeschool Zinashi. As much as I'd like to have the kind of energy that would allow me to do a lot of additional work, it's just not there. That's partly my personality and partly still waking up every one to two hours to feed the Elvie every night.

I don't buy into the myth of having it all. By choosing one thing, you often choose not to have other things. There's nothing wrong with that; it's just the way life works. I have so much in my life, and my husband and children are the best of it. I bid a fond farewell to these three months as a daily professional blogger and happily return to a life in which I can have better balance.

6 comments:

  1. Those chins made me nearly tear up again. I love seeing Elvie getting healthier & happier every day here.

    I will miss the daily posting, but I absolutely understand why you're not going to keep it up. Parenting a newborn AND a five-year-old with the extra challenges thrown in by special needs & international adoption--you deserve a Pulitzer for just producing coherent sentences, let alone daily posts!

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  2. The double-chins made me teary as well. Elvie, you've come so far! Those chubby cheeks are beautiful. Mary, you do what you need to for your family and yourself. You're already a super star, no matter how often you blog.

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  3. I've definately enjoyed your frequent postings, but have also been wondering how on earth you are finding time to write them!

    Your constant feeding (and love) of Elvie has made her bloom, she looks almost like a different child now. :)

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  4. YES. What a great, great post. Congrats!

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  5. Bravo! You are an inspiration in so many ways. During an incredibly challenging time you not only posted daily on Babble but wrote beautiful, informative, thoughtful, and incredibly moving posts. I teared up with that cute picture too. Wishing you some sleep!

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  6. Yes, that is the cutest picture posted of Elvie to date. She absolutely glows in that photo. I congratulate you on her double chin!! Always wishing your beautiful family the best. Eileen

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