Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Blogging Crossroads

Was it waking up in the morning after going to bed past midnight (again) and looking in the mirror to see that the circles under my eyes continue to darken despite the free sample of Kinerase under eye rescue I've been using? Was it finding out that I'd bounced a check for the second time in a month because I'm not paying attention to my finances anymore? Was it passing my piano for the 10th time thinking, "Gosh, I would love to get the Minute Waltz back again," and then walking straight over to the computer to check my bloglines? Was it the realization that Husband and I haven't gone to bed together at the same time in weeks because I do all my blogging at night?

I don't know if it was any one of these things or something else altogether, but I am slowly coming to a painful realization:

Blogging is getting in the way of my life.

This is difficult to admit to myself because I have come to love blogging. Before I started this blog, I was aching for a creative outlet and blogging has become that for me. I crave this space. I need this space.

But I can't continue to let other aspects of my life suffer in the process.

The takeover has happened slowly, but it's happening. I no longer read for fun. Heck, I no longer read anything unless it's on a blog. I no longer snuggle with Husband in the evenings watching videos after Little Guy goes to bed. I no longer exercise. I no longer watch the evening news.

I think about what I could be doing with the 2-4 hours a day that I blog. I could be reading a book, talking with Husband, reading the newspaper, learning to knit, volunteering from home...sleeping. Sleeping, people! I could be sleeping!

But instead, I blog.

And I have to tell you something. I'm not one of those speed readers. It takes me longer than I'd like to admit to read a post and craft a comment. I try my best not to skim through posts. What's the point of reading a post, if you're just reading the topic sentences right? I get a bad taste in my mouth after I've done that. It's not good. Not good at all.

I'm also not a speed writer. In fact, I started writing this post at around 10:30pm and it's now 11:00pm 11:21pm 11:43pm and I'm still not finished. I wish I were one of those people who could write beautifully the first time, but I have to edit and re-edit, molding the words over and over again until I'm finally satisfied. (And even then, I lay in bed thinking, "Oh, I should have phrased it this way instead. Darn.)

And so, while it shouldn't be, it's all starting to seem a bit stressful. I look at my comments and my bloglines and see all those posts waiting to be read and I have to admit, I get a little anxious. I think, oh, they've been by to read my blog, but I haven't been by to read theirs yet. I have to read. I have to read. I have to write. I have to write. And I have to eat lunch. And pay my bills. And snuggle with the husband. (OK, the snuggling can wait for another day....) And slowly I start getting this nervous feeling. And that's not really what this should be about. It should be fun. Fun, damnit. But my easily-stressed-out self is not at all surprised that I am getting stressed out by blogging.

But I am.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that Blogging and I are at a bit of a crossroads.

I know I want to keep blogging. But I need to find some balance here. I'm not sure how to do that exactly. I'm not even sure what the point of this post is. I just know that I have to get a little more snuggling back in my life somehow. Because, in the end, I have a feeling that no matter how much I love blogging, it will be the snuggling I will wish I had done more of.


Anonymous Kailani said...

I feel exactly the same way. I blog every free moment I have or every moment I can get away with. It's constantly on my mind . . . what to write, who to visit, what to add to my sidebar. It's taken over my life and my daughters are the ones who suffer. I don't want to even admit to what doesn't get done around here anymore. But how do I stop or even decrease my blogging?

They should have a Bloggers Anonnymous.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

I understand how you feel. We all have something in our lvies that could/does take over if we let it. Check out this free site www.flylady.net her whole concept is "You can do anything for 15 minutes". Which means you would do one thing for 15 minutes then STOP and do something else for 15 min. Thats' how I handle it when I realize I need to do something and instead I'm on the internet. 15 min- It may just give you some ideas on how to balance. Good luck

4:30 AM  
Blogger Kel said...

Sending you lots of hugs sweetie. I've BTDT, and it's not a happy place to be.

I hope you find your balance!

Even with running CHBM my motto started to be "family first" and I've yet to find someone that doesn't understand that.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous kvetch said...

Good for you. I, too, have opted for blogging over little things like laundry. I do try (try) to step away from it when everyone has settled at night to watch tv etc. And since my kids are older - when they are otherwise occupied I figure there is no reason I can't be online. I too have to find more of a balance before it's all I have.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Christina_the_wench said...

If I couldn't blog at work anymore....wow, I can't even finish that sentence. I feel you, girl.

5:23 AM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

The ironic thing is that blogging is actually far more fun when you limit it to a few brief windows per day. I suddenly have far more free time now than I have for weeks, and I'm having to force myself to watch TV, go to bed, etc. etc. etc. - because it's actually not as much fun to read blogs when that's ALL I do.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard to find balance. I blog in the morning during hubby's office hours. I get up early in the morning, so I can blog!!!! It's craziness! I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON!! So, I blog every morning for about 3 hours!!! Of course I have short breaks of feeding the baby and holding her and the like. Then I usually don't blog again until the evening, and that's to post. But let me tell you...blogging is what I'm thinking about ALL DAY LONG!! I think about what other's have written, and I laugh to myself...I think about what my next post will be about...it's to the point that I spend more time blogging and chatting with BLOG friends than I spend with my "real" friends! And all my stories when I'm out with friends are about blogs, which I've now stopped because they just don't get it and think I'm weird.

So, I guess I don't know how to tell you to balance. blogging 3 hours in the morning, and then posting at night has worked for me. I get my house clean, I pay the bills, I get dinner on the table (for the most part). I guess it depends on how many posts you want to read.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous wendy boucher said...

I hope you find your balance. Keep in mind that you have to have a real life to blog about, snuggles and all.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Chantal said...

I feel the same way a lot. I feel guilty when my blog reading time tends to get out of hand. When that happens, I pear down my reading and commenting. There are 10 or so blogs I read every day and that doesn't take long. Others I read every few days can catch up on posts when I can.

My computer is in the kitchen. Sometimes that's a big distraction, but most of the time I find it handy. I can indulge easily, but reminders of all that needs to be done are right in my face!

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Mother said...

I'm still trying to find a balance. I chalk it up to having NO life before and experiencing such a drought in my own life that now I'm trying to suck it all in.

I have laid off a little post Blogher - mostly on my reading. I'm just trying to take it easy.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I agree with you that the snuggling is what you are going to do more of - maybe you just need to weed out a bit - don't feel bad if you can't or don't read everyones blog that reads yours - pick the ones that are really adding to your life - you can't worry about offending people you need to do what is best for yourself and your loved ones. You can find a balance I KNOW you can!! Good luck to you!!

8:18 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

YES, I think we all started to blog to RELIEVE some of our daily stresses... not ADD to them. You are such a sweetheart for trying to keep up with the blogs of all your fans (myself included). But I for one could never hate you for snuggling with your man.... or paying bills... or reading a good book. We all serve to benefit from a Mommy off the Record who is well-rested and happy. :)

8:20 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

I'm trying to find a snuggling/blogging balance, too. I'm too addicted to blogging to give up!

I say do whatever keeps you sane and entertained. And rhyming.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Piece of Work said...


9:08 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Like the others have said ... its all about balance. There can be too much of a good thing. The blogging I can fit into my life, its the blog reading that stresses me out. I have to figure out how to do that .. read fewer? read less often? Don't know.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Gingers Mom said...

I understand completely. I blog too much during the day and let my kids watch tv. What kind of a mom is that?!?! Good for you for recognizing it.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Poopydigs said...

I've recently realized this as well. Fortunately, I'm not as popular as you, so I can get away with just reading 10 or so blogs a day. I try to limit myself to an hour of reading, and a half hour of posting. It is quite addictive though.

You have a great blog. Your entries are laugh-out-loud funny, and you can tell that you've spent time thinking about what you are writing. I can't say that about all blogs. I guess I just wanted to say that I appreciate the time that you spend on your blog. Makes my day a little more uplifted.

P.S. The first step to any addiction is realizing you have a problem. You're there. Baby steps. Tiny baby steps.

9:36 AM  
Blogger jennster said...

you can find the balance.. and you will. HUGS!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Nikkie said...

I understand what you mean. This week I've had visitors over, and they'll be here all week and it just hit me how much time I really spend doing it. It makes you think about it.

I hope ou find the balance you need!

10:44 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

I know what you mean. My strategy is to budget my time. If I have two hours free, I try to spend half of it doing something else first(ie reading, snuggling), then work on my own blog, then whatever's left is for reading others.

Good luck!

10:48 AM  
Blogger Babaloo said...

It is so good to see someone write about this! I do most of my blog reading from work, but the more blogs I discovered the more time I am spending reading them. I used to not check my bloglines until my lunch break...now I do it first thing in the morning. It has slowly creeped in and taken more and more of my time. Something to think about, thanks!

10:51 AM  
Blogger Pendullum said...

I guess snuggling with a laptop in bed is out of the question...
Ok... I am being a wee bit selfish in that comment...
But seriously,I hope that you find your balance...
It is a tough balancing act... and Bloggerland can be so addictive...

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Mama C-ta said...

Seems to be a common theme lately...My blog has been pretty much down the last several days thanks to a crappy host. And I actually had to watch TV w/my husband the other night and it was soooo nice. I was thinking it was a sign and maybe it was time to hang up the blogging. Tomorrow. Maybe.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Yes, I know. I KNOW! I'd be reprimanded at work if they knew.

And I was pressed for time to begin with. I love reading blogs and writing on mine, but that balance is so hard. You're right.

I had to promise myself that I would stop expanding my blogroll. I just can't read any more. I already subscribe to 42. FORTY TWO! It's a problem.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

I have felt all these things before...I think many of us have. Good luck in finding your balance. :)

1:00 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

I understand. Do what makes you happy. You know I'll be back to visit, and you're welcome at my place whenever you've got the time and inclination.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

You are right MOTR! I'm trying to enforce some limits on myself like no more than two posts a week and allowing my bloglines to collect two or three posts on a feed before I visit that site and read only the ones that interest me.

Feel free to ignore my blog for awhile - I'll keep reading ya.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

Maybe if you didnt blog everyday? Some people only blog about every 3 days..and yes,you should make time to snuggle! Snuggling is more important than blogging. But please dont stop blogging all together, we would miss you so much! Just try slowing down a bit. My kids are all grown, but I still try to do other things than be online all day long...I swim, watch some tv and read.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Random Musings Of My Life said...

I feel the same way too sometimes.
Then I remember its my oulet where I dump my thought to "paper"
But its weird how if you miss a day the guilt stops huh?
I think its cause we are women and I hate to disapoint...
I clicked you from Jenster.
I'll be back

3:40 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Wow, I feel the same way, especially as I have been needing to spend so much time lately getting ready for this baby.

We can blame it on the blogosphere. There are just too many good blogs out there to read!

3:51 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

See, this makes me feel so much better for not blogging/commenting as often as I sometimes feel I should! I loooove the blogs, but sometimes I take entire days or even whole weekends off, to do "real" work, or just to spend time with my family, or get things done around the house. I should redesign my blog, but I want to do it well, and that would take a fair bit of time, so I keep putting it off. And then I see how often other people post, and how gorgeous their blogs are, and I think, wow, all those other bloggers must just be superpeople who are really organized at home and never need to sleep, and I feel like lazy and inadequate blogger . . . heh.

You should be a lazy blogger, like me. Come, come over to the lazy side!

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Take some time off. You have a wonderful blog, and we'll all be waiting for you when you get back!

6:19 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I understand how overwhelming it can be, and some days I feel like blogging is taking over my life.

Maybe a short break is needed. Or maybe posting less often or alternating which days you read which blogs?

I hope you find a good solution that keeps it all in balance. Just don't disappear entirely - I've had too many blogs I like disappear lately.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

OMG! I just realized this the other day. I've gone up two dress sizes in the last 6 months because over that time I've been spending more and more time on my ass blogging. And I do it at night too.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Queso said...

Get your snuggle on, my friend. Snuggle away.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

Thanks for making me feel like less of a loser for my blog-slacking - I was beginning to think I was in need of some hallucinogenic mushrooms in order to jump-start my creative mojo. But I see, from your post and a couple of others that I've read lately, that a lot of people seem to be going through the same conflict.

So, what's the solution? A hiatus? Time limits? I'm not sure - let me know what you come up with. I'll be looking for your answer - at 3am when I'm usually blogging...

9:57 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

last night, as I snuggled with C, I thought, "huh. this is nice. I need to do this more. why don't I do this more?"

blogging. it is the snuggle-killer.

p.s. I heart you, MotR. your writing is excellent. I love it like cupcakes. (which I could use one or two of, right about now. my stupid blogger-arm is all screwy and cupcakes -- just - make everything better.)


10:04 PM  
Blogger wanderglow said...

Another flylady tip - you could do a "27 fling boogie" and "throw out" 27 blogs from your bloglines.

Now, whatever you do, don't go visit my blog just cuz I commented on yours. Stay sane. And go get some cuddles already.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

i love that you all know how i'm feeling in the way that only bloggers truly could. and i love how each of your comments is so supportive. you all rock. i heart each of you.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I know how you feel... this month away in Hawaii has been a great enforced blog break... I can blog but not to the extent that I found myself doing before we left town.

I mostly blog in the morning... like hubs to work, kids to school/camp and the tot settled with sesame street... but more and more I find myself quickly "checking in".

11:46 PM  
Blogger IMMomsDaughter said...

I feel the same way too. Starting to take control of things though. I limit my posting to max of 3 per week for my mommy blog and 1 per week for my personal blog. Other times, I blog hop. I believe that helps.

11:48 PM  
Blogger h&b said...

Oh dear :(
I hope you find the balance you are looking for. I love to read your blog, but it shouldn't be a chore for you !

2:12 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I think we've all been there. In the end, it's a matter of priorities. If choose your family over relative strangers on the internet, I'm sure no one would think less of you. Follow your heart.

5:00 AM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle...just do it!

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Moobs said...

It is a question of balance. I could bear to read fewer MotR entires if I had to but I wouldn't want to manage without any at all. Ration us.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

You speak for many of us it seems.

Do what you need to do. I hope you are able to find a happy medium.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

Aside from the actual seriousness of this problem, it makes me want to laugh. Laugh because I'm not the only one. I always throw myself headlong into something new and can't get enough. Eventually, the honeymoon ends and I get back to normalcy. Well, normal for ME. I'd been thinking I was the only blogaholic out there.

I think it is harder with blogging because you are dealing with people and having these little internet relationships. I know I feel guilty if I don't post often enough (and I'm only looking at maybe a dozen or so readers.)

Ultimately, this post is like the voice of my conscience saying, "Pay Attention!" And I will.

P.S. New to MOTR. Here via Kvetch, I believe. (See, I can't even remember how I find other blogs. Geesh!)

P.P.S. In the realm of unasked for advice, I would tend to concur with the you-don't-have-too-read-every-blog crowd. I don't have that many commenters, so it easy for me to say, but leaving a comment on someone's blog doesn't mean you are guaranteed a return visit. Blog reading should be for your pleassure. (Assuming some of your blog reading is done because you feel a sense of obligation. It is a big assumption.)

9:02 AM  
Blogger virtualsprite said...

Yes... balance good, snuggling good. Hard to get sometimes, though. You'll find your path. Fear not.

9:22 AM  
Blogger sunshinedaily4me_wuz_here said...

I, like many others, totally relate. I feel for you. And unfortunately, I don't have the answers...except I don't think we can keep ignoring our home lives for these blogs. The blogs are great and I love reading and writing them...however, I don't think you should ever turn your back on what is there in the flesh - your husband or your son. Like you said, I seriously doubt you will look back and wish you spent more time with your blog! It won't grow up and go away to college and get married. It is really an obsessive and addicting thing (blogging) and I do think before long, someone will come up with a "bloggers Anonymous" - but then where will the attendees write about their experiences?? hee hee. Seriously, keep writing when you can cause you are a very talented and interesting writer and we all love you. (just try to set a limited bloggin schedule and stick to it so you can have the best of both worlds) Sorry I've written a novel.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

FYI--for anyone who may be interested, I came across a Bloggers Anonymous Website a while back.


11:20 AM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

I know what you mean. If I do it during the day, I feel guilty. If I do it at night...I feel guilty, too.
Just promise you qon't quit.

11:35 AM  
Blogger cameo said...

i wrote a post about this very same thing quite awhile back - "Blogging Smogging." trust me when i say to you, drop the blog and go snuggle with the man. he's so much more satisfying - and important! (but i know how addicting all we witty women are!) ;)

12:41 PM  
Blogger beth said...

I think so many of us can relate to this. Blogging, because there are SO MANY great posts to read, just takes up more and more time the more time you spend on it. But it is supposed to be fun, so give yourself a break. You don't have to read every post by every person, nor do you have to visit every blog of every commenter every time - not when it makes you feel that you are missing out on something else. I know it is hard though. I have felt stress over making time to visit everyone's blogs or get a new post up. It's hard to step back and take time off but it is a relief once you do it.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Bloggers Anonymous would be a great idea. I would need to join.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

Well... I have to say that I must be going downhill fast. I just posted a comment over at Pieces of Work that I meant to post here. Very, very sad. What I meant to say here is that I visited the B-Anon site. You must check it out. Especially, "10 Mock Signs..." Very funny and a little too close to home.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

This is more or less the reason that I don't post almost everyday anymore. That and the fact that my child is a lot more demanding when I sit down to read a blog or two (or eight). And yet it still takes up a huge chunk of my time.

I agree with kailani, Bloggers Anonymous is needed. I'll be starting the NE chapter as soon as I get through my bloglines.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous GetSheila said...

All I can say is AMEN SISTER. You are preaching to the choir.

If you ever do find the secret to eternal blogging life, PLEASE POST IT.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Well, I for one will be here when you decide to post! :) It IS so hard to find a balance. Now that I am back to work I don't have as much time to blog so that makes it easier for sure. I find I am only reading the blogs now that I REALLY like and only commenting when I really really want to. So, don't know if that helps or not. :) And don't ever feel like you need to post someting eloquente on my comments, just say HI. :) :)

7:15 PM  
Blogger Mary Tsao said...

I never feel caught up. It's hard to know how to juggle both the writing and the reading/commenting.

Hey, I certainly understand where your coming from, although I would rather read a post that had the answer! (So on your break, if you figure it out, come back and let us know. Thanks!)

7:59 PM  
Blogger MSUgal86 said...

I am at the same crossroad! I used to just turn my computer off to enjoy my real life but lately I haven't been able to that. When I shut the thing down I get a bit uneasy so now I keep everything on and just minimize the blogger sign in so it is always there for me.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Great Day said...

It seems that many of us are having a hard time finding balance in this area of our lives.

Blogging is a wonderful outlet, one that I think we truly need some days. Other days not so much!

Do what you have to do, but don't let any one pressure you into keeping up with them. Just keep up with yourself, that's all you can do.

good luck! X's and O's

10:15 AM  
Blogger Oblivious Maven said...

I have been making adjustments as well. Still tweaking it. I wanted to blog every day, but now it's every two days or so. Stuff like that, I'm trying to keep this a hobby as well. But not a suck-my-family-time-away type hobby.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

I just stumbled upon your blog a few days ago (over from Sweatpantsmom) and I love it.

Wow - this is a wonderful post.

I have been feeling exactly like this. I don't really post too often (my life is probably too boring), but I do read MANY blogs every day. I also wouldn't be able to keep up if I didn't read from work too.

Last night, I intended to quickly just check some favourites and ended up reading for 2 hours.

There were some good suggestions from flylady. I'm going to try the 15 minutes trick. Maybe I should limit my blog reading to 2 sessions of 15 minutes.

I'm sure this will limit me and force me to focus on my absolute favourites.

Thanks for making me think about my priorities!

2:56 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

It shows you how far behind I've gotten in keeping up with my blog friends that I'm just now getting over to comment (you know I read this in Bloglines since I linked to it in my own post, but I feel horrible that I haven't made it here before now...)

I think "managing" blogging is a balancing act, like any other aspect of life that can consume time (new friend, new romance, short term project, long term hobby). I still struggle with finding the right balance to keep me in touch with the people I care for in the blogspace but while not sacrificing real life. Some days are better than others.

But I love ya, girl. Selfishly, I don't want you to give up blogging -- not one bit.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

Did you read my post last week about time management issues? Sorry I can't recall. Too many blogs on the brain, I guess. A huge part of my problem is blogging, staying up late etc. And I LOVE blogging SO MUCH. But it does cause a lot of problems for me, as noted. I'm sure you've figured out by now that you're not alone, but you can add one more to your list of blogging addict compadres.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous krista said...

Want to start knitting? Come see me... Hehehe, knitting and blogging go hand in hand- really, there is a whiole other community out there of knitting bloggers, just dying to suck you in!

6:26 AM  

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