Friday, September 14, 2007

How Can I Be a Good Blogger and a Good Mother?

I have no time to blog. No time. Between the toddler and the 3-week-old, there's just NO TIME.

As I write this post, both of my guys are miraculously napping at the same time. I should also be napping, but I'm not. I won't go into why because I don't have time to write about it and actually there are more pressing issues for this post.

Here's the thing: I don't know how to be a good blogger and a good mother. I can't do both. It's just not possible. To be a good mother, I need to be present for my kids (i.e., not shooing Little Guy away from me while I'm at the computer or trying to distractedly breastfeed the baby while typing one-handed at the computer). To be a good blogger, I feel that I need to not only write posts but write posts that I am proud of (which I haven't had time to do since pre-pregnancy days) and also visit people who visit me and leave them comments. Ideally, I wouldn't just visit people now and then but I'd really get to know them through visiting regularly.

The reality is that I haven't really visited blogs with any regularity since I became pregnant and developed morning sickness. And I feel very guilty about it. And sad about it. I want to visit you. I want to get to know you better. I want to make real friends out there in cyberspace, but how when I can barely find the time to take care of myself and my two little ones? So I wonder: should I even continue to blog if I can't get out to visit and comment? Is that fair?

I have been grappling with this for months now. A few months back, I decided that I would just quite blogging and I stopped posting for a while but I missed writing so I started up again. I know I want to keep writing here, but what to do about the other stuff - the commenting?

I don't have any answers. I'm wondering what you think? Isn't that selfish of me? As I tell you that I most likely haven't been regularly by your blog in months, I'm asking you for advice and a comment. Sheesh.

But I'm going to be selfish because I need to know: How do you ladies find the time to not only write posts but also visit and comment on other people's blogs? And specifically, do you visit everyone who visits you? Do you just visit a few of your favorite blogs regardless of who visits your site? I need practical advice. I probably have about 15-30 minutes a day for blogging - seriously.


p.s. Did you know that I am part of the Holy Blogging Trinity? Yeah, according to Pierce Mattie Public Relations' website "Dooce, Amalah and Mommy off the Record are three big name bloggers with exceptional followings".

Who, moi? I think I practically choked on my twizzlers when I read that. And no, I did not use the sign-generator website to make it up.


Blogger Kyla said...

I mostly blog in the morning, after BubTar goes to school and before KayTar wakes. She's a late sleeper. I also get on at naptime, and after everyone is tucked away into bed, if Josh and I aren't spending time together or watching TV.

I read 66 blogs regularly (so saith my bloglines) and every few days (or at least on Saturday when I have more free time), I go through my current comment lists and backtrack all of the people I don't actively read and return the visit.

That said, I'd rather you keep posting and stop by sporadically than for you to stop altogether because you don't think you are being a good enough citizen. Everyone ebbs and flows in posting and commenting, you have a brand new baby! Cut yourself some slack. We love you. Don't leave us. ;)

4:14 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I would totally keep reading your blog even if you never ever visited me.

I think I'm just the opposite of you - I read and comment more than I blog (I also feel I don't have time for both.) I need that sense of community and I've always been more of an "observer?" I guess is how I'd put it. Plus, I've never really had that drive or need to write that a lot of bloggers describe.

So, anyway, what I'm really trying to say is please don't leave!

4:27 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Out of necessity, I've cut back on the number of blogs I read, I visit less frequently, and comment a lot less. I haven't looked at site meter in weeks.

Just do what you comfortbly can, nothing more.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

I write when I can and read/comment when I can. There's just no other way. Do my blogging relationships suffer for it? Yeah, probably. But I'd like to think that at least some people understand and cut me some slack.

And I'm cutting you some major slack, too. Do what you can. Forget the guilt.

All that obligation sucks the fun right out of the whole experience

Your kids need you more than you need to visit and comment on blogs and anyone who truly gives a crap about you will try to understand your predicament.


5:06 PM  
Blogger dawn224 said...

If you have 15-30 minute and you enjoy it then pick two days a week and the rest to comment - or whatever kind of arrangement seems like the right amount to you.

If it's not fun it's not worth it.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Erin - ExpectingExecutive said...

I like your blog. I have added to my Google reader. However, I don't expect bloggers to post every day. I know that some do and sometimes more than once per day. I, however, find "forced posts" (and I know when they are) irritating. I, too, only have so much time during my day and I feel a bit ripped off when I have to go through a slew of bad posts to get to the good ones.

I don't know where it came from...and I am late to this whole blogging thing...but I would love it if you posted when you were up to it. Once a week? Every 10 days? I will remain a fan regardless of your decision.

Take care of you...the rest of us will certainly fend for ourselves! LOL.

Many hugs...enjoy your weekend.


5:44 PM  
Blogger Blogversary said...

A good blogger tells the truth.

A good blogger understands the sometimes life happens away from the computer too.

Don't feel guilty. Read what you want for now.

Seriously, there is not reason to stress, because your children and sanity are way more important.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom said...

I agree with the others. I had to cut back on my posting. My goal is to do a minimum of two posts per week, preferably three. I try to post in the evening after the kids are in bed and limit my cruising and commenting to only once per week now.

I agree as well that comments or lack of comments by bloggers in no way influence whether I read their blogs. For me, it is about the content. I completely understand (as I think most parent bloggers do) that there is no way a blogger can check out all the sites of those who visit them and comment without it impacting their time with their family.

You do what you need to do. Loyal readers (like myself) will continue to check in no matter how frequent (or infrequent) you posts!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Here's the thing babe, you don't have to visit anyone else. I know I don't keep reading because of reciprocation. I mean, I know you come by when you can but you have one of those blogs I'd read anyway.

If you missed writing before, you know you'd miss it again. So why not just keep writing and give yourself permission not to read other blogs? Or turn off your comments if it helps alleviate some guilt. That's what some of the other big name bloggers (like you!) do, right?

I blog in the morning before the kiddos get up, a bit at lunch or if I'm stuck on a problem (for some reason thinking about something else unblocks me), and in the evening after the kids go to bed. I can only do that because my kids are old enough now to have set routines at 21 months & 3. I know when my kiddos were 3 weeks old it would have been very difficult.

And no, I don't visit everyone who visits me. I just can't. If someone new comes by, I usually try to stop by & say hello & check out the blog BUT I recently did a major Bloglines purge & I only add new feeds if I find a blog I absolutely love and can't live without. Some feelings may get hurt, but better some random blogger than my children.

6:42 PM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

When I started my blog, the Pie was nine months old. By that time, the naps are longer (and in sync), the early bedtime is in's a whole different world. Until then, you're entitled to a bit of a break from citizenship duties.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Trenting said...

Well I see you typed quite instead of quit.. A typo? I think not! :)

7:25 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

I blog when my husband is with the kids. Or lately, now that the baby is a little older, he goes in the jumperoo and I giggle with him and read blogs, comment... in the morning with my coffee. Becca is usually reading or playing.

I do not post as often but it is my "me" time :)

8:11 PM  
Blogger Tendrils said...

Unlike the rest of the commenters, I am NOT a morning person, so I blog/comment LATE at night.

The recent events inm y life have caused me to step back a bit from blogging, is way more important.

But, with that said, for a purely selfish reason....DON'T GO AWAY!!!!! *grin*

Keep're SO GOOD AT IT! Who cares about the comments! We know you've got your hands full!

:) Tendrils

8:56 PM  
Anonymous mel from freak parade said...

I understand where you are coming from. I started blogging a few years ago, and then life took over and I stopped. A few months ago I picked it back up again. Blogging is a huge time-sucking vortex. :)
I've just decided that I'll just do what I can. I try to post three times a week, but even that doesn't always happen. I have a small hand full of blogs I visit everyday....and many more I visit when I can. I only comment when I really have something to add to the conversation. Or finally drag myself out of lurking. :)
All of that to say...I understand where you are coming from. I think you should still keep writing. I always enjoy visiting, and I know I'm not the only one.

11:54 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

My approach to blogging and commenting is do it when you can. Blogging is something that, if I let myself, I can put huge amounts of pressure on myself about, and I've had to just stop doing that. I blog when I can and I comment when I can and I expect others do the same, you know?

5:50 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

There is an understandable ebb and flow. Forgive yourself, we'll always be here, childhood won't.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I'm struggling with the very same question as of late. Hence the reason I haven't been blogging or commenting much.

So I hear you, completely, and I want you to know that you shouldn't feel bad whatsoever about not having time to check in with all of us. So many of us are juggling it all the best we can, and there isn't time enough in the day to do everything.

Besides, with you being one of the top three bloggers, I figure you're off planning new ways to take over the blog world. ;-)

8:40 AM  
Blogger Nadine said...

I post when Tim is napping. I have NO idea if I can keep up regular posting when his little brother or sister is born in January.

I devided my blogroll into two sections, blogs I read almost every day and blogs I read weekly. Otherwise, I could just not keep up.

You should totally do what feels right for you. But I do have to say I enjoy your posts, and would miss you if you quit!

10:54 AM  
Blogger mommyto6babes said...

I think you do what you can...most people understand if your busy and don't comment. No one comments on mine and I don't care. I do it as a journal and I like to write albeit no very well.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous andi said...

I wrote about this very thing shortly after my second kid was born. Blogging should be a fun hobby, but it was stressing me out. We're all moms and we all certainly understand the amount of time mothering (especially with a baby) takes. I've had to let go of the guilt of not visiting everyone who visits me and of sometimes not posting or commenting when life gets in the way. Life is pretty crazy with a toddler and a baby. So, cut back on your blogging activities and enjoy the kids. Before we know it they will be old enough for us to actually have a life again (yippee!)

Oh, and you're in my feedreader. (Also, about the feedreader - I've cut back my subscriptions and have sorted blogs into "must-reads" and "other". I try to visit my must-reads and browse through others when I have time).

I always read you even if I don't comment and I completely understand if you don't comment on my site.

Hope you figure this all out. :)

5:35 PM  
Anonymous my minivan is faster than yours said...

What?! You're not reading my blog everyday?! Kidding, but on a serious note I've only been blogging less than four months and I'm already cutting back for various reasons.

I started blogging because I wanted to write more and see if maybe I could one day, in my wildest dreams, be a satirical/humor author on any level. With blogging I've actually been writing less than ever because of the time restraints to reciprocate. I am making changes based on that.

I have no idea how what I said could even possibly be helpful, but I just like to hear myself type.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Pumpkin said...

Listen lass, I can only reiterate what those other canny lassies have already said....

I read your blog because it's funny, interesting, touching, informative...basically it rocks. I don't read it so that you'll read mine or comment (that's kinda like buying a book only because you want the author to send you a letter y'know).

You need to give yourself a break, I know you're a nice person and don't want to upset anyone by being unable to visit their blog everyday, but let me tell you hun....anyone who gets upset over something like a freak!

You've got tons going on in the home babe and believe me when I say that remember this blogging thing is supposed to be fun for YOU too, and we will be here whether you post once a day or a month!

I think that covers

2:36 AM  
Blogger suburbancorrespondent said...

Um...are you trying to say that you haven't mastered one-handed typing yet? And this is your second baby? I find that I actually get more computer time when I'm nursing a baby, because what else can you do while you're sitting there nursing (I mean, if you're not sleeping or reading a book)? Now my youngest is a toddler, and she has this cute little trick of hanging off my forearms while I type, which should result in some never-seen-before repetitive stress injury.

Just fit it in when you can and chime in to the discussion when you feel like it. It's not like anyone's paying you or anything (or are they? And can I have some of the money, then?).

10:13 AM  
Blogger lildb said...

a) I won't bore you *again* about my blogging habits, particularly because they are wont to change at a moment's notice, but you know what I think (i.e., that you're fabulous and I love you muchly).

b) HOLY SHIT. no surprise, b/c I think of you as on par with those others, but -- to see it written by some random dude - ooh! *BEAMING*


10:12 PM  
Blogger Feener said...

keep blogging, who cares if you are being read or is all about writing to get things out !! that is how i feel. i don't read others just for comments. i read to realize I am not alone. please keep blogging !!! that is my vote

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Momish said...

I can so relate to this post. I too struggle with the balance and the guilt of not getting around as much as I should or want to. Posting is another issue, which I try not to force myself into writing just anything.

I try to stay true to the core blogs I have been reading for two years and feel very connected to, then scatter any time left over to visit those bloggers I am getting to know and wish I had more time to read and comment.

I isn't easy and I only have one kid! Keep blogging at your own pace. Sometimes I am grateful when bloggers don't post as much. It give me a chance to catch up!!!

8:53 AM  
Anonymous DaniGirl said...

This is my first visit to your blog, and an interesting post to arrive on. I'm wondering about this myself... currently, a significant proportion of my productive blog time comes from stolen moments at the office (shhhh!), and I'm seriously worried about the quantity and quality of my blogging when I go on maternity leave with my third boy this winter.

I think the others have it right, in theory: that the blog should only be about what you are able and willing to put into it. But in practice, I too feel guilty about the comments I don't leave, the commenters I don't follow, the opportunities to read great blogs that just slip away.

Hmm, not much in the way of help, but loads of commismeration from me. And, FWIW, I'll be back to visit you again!

9:32 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I wish I had an answer for you. I wonder how people do it myself. (And I only have ONE child. And he's five!)

I try to read a few blogs each day or a chunck of blogs every few days. I try to get through my blog roll at least once a week. And I try to visit anyone who's new to my blog as well. Weekends, were typically when I would catch up but with Sat and Sun soccer games, that's just not happening these days.

1:05 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

I'm sorry you're grappling with feeling guilty for not being able to visit and comment as much as you think you should. But I think you owe yourself a break. I don't think this should be "work", unless it actually is.

I blog when I can, and sometimes a few days go by -- that's just the way life is. It is enjoyable for me, and what I do in my "downtime" when there is any of that. Sometimes I tell the boys that I'm taking "5" and I read or write here, and since they're older and have their own ways of relaxing, or expressing themselves, they sort of get it.

I also have found that this outlet is extremely important to me, and it levels me out. So, carving out some time for it benefits all if I'm happy!

Anyway, you know I love it here!

2:54 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

I don't have any advice because I feel the same pressure! Only you blogged about it and I haven't (yet). My kid is a terrible sleeper, and his one nap and then late at night are the only times I have to read blogs. (Because, let's face it, oftentimes it's more time consuming to read blogs and comment than it is to just write on your own blog, but to be a good blog-izen, you have to comment, right?) I still think about taking a blogging break. Or cutting way back. I just can't bring myself to do it, but I know it would make me more sane if I spent precious naptime relaxing myself.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Shannon Nelson said...

I can't believe it took me this long to find that you linked back to my post! :)

The Holy Trinity--cute. I am a mom myself--of 4 little boys. Ask me where I find the time to write 7 blogs, work for a PR firm and tend to my kids...? I don't. lol. It's multi-tasking, something I believe all girls have as part of their DNA. :)

I'm glad you noticed I mentioned you. Kudos to you for being a mom and a blogger--and being good at both!

11:26 AM  

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