Author: Andrea Herrera

I love you blogging. I really do…

…but, recently, I haven’t been as committed to this relationship as I should be.

I’ve been sneaking behind your back seeing someone else that I’ve missed. His first name is My, and his last name is Life (gasp).  Yes, he’s back in the picture. That scoundrel. Yes, he’s back putting thoughts into my head about what I could be doing rather than spending quantity quality time with you.

(sigh)

And, I do feel guilty about all of this, all this sneaking around at all hours of the day, the half written, pathetic excuses for posts with gimmicky titles in my drafts folder, and regrets about not thinking too much of you and how I should be spending more time with you when I’m with him.

Can’t you just hear my guilt? Can’t you?!?

While I’ve been unfaithful with My Life, I’ve been taking my daughter to the park more.

I’ve been taking pictures of random trees more.


I’ve been napping more, cooking more, sitting down in doing nothing. more.


I’ve been watching Dr. Phil while eating cheese and crackers more (gasp). I know. I know. You didn’t think I’d stoop to such a level. And, neither did I. Neither. did. I.I am telling you all this because I want you to know that all is well. All that My Life is teaching me right now is only good for us. We’ll be back to the way we once were in no time. Now, you will wait for me, right? (blink blink)Please circle: Yes   No   MaybeLove,
Jessica

Am I the only one having an affair with anything else besides blogging right now? What other interesting things, hobbies, activities are you indulging in right now (besides blogging, of course)?

When technology fails, blogging to-do lists must change

I have so few free hours in a day to myself, so I have learned to take the (free) time that I most often spend doing blogging related tasks very seriously .

I’ve learned that the best way that I can avoid spending too many hours on any particular task (i.e. tweeting, writing posts, or reading blogs) is by creating daily blogging “to-do” lists. Yes, as a mom even my hobbies must be resigned to a list.

It’s sad, but very necessary.

And I love crossing things off my lists, and then creating new lists, often long lists to have a “record” by which to measure my daily blogging productivity. It’s an obsession  of mine, a sad but necessary one that comes, I like to tell myself, with motherhood.

This week’s “to-do” list was particularly large. On that very long list of  things to do were small things like writing posts, editing posts, responding to comments, visiting  blogs, editing pictures writing emails, and large things like creating a header and taking the steps needed to officially change blogging platforms.

It was a lot to do, but, I figured that so long as I did everything in the order planned on my list, starting over the weekend and continuing at 6 AM sharp on Monday morning,  I could do it.

So on Sunday night, I went to bed ready, really ready for Monday to come so that I  could get down to continue the unfinished blogging business from the weekend.

And when Monday came, I was really ready. I woke up at 5 AM, showered, ate my  breakfast of champions: Oatmeal with Blueberries, and sat down in my office chair. Yes! “This feels right!” “I’m going to get so much done!”I thought to myself as I turned on my  computer.

I started by working on an overdue post on marriages post-children and then observed,  casually, that my computer only had a 10% charge. Now, this wouldn’t have been a  problem if my computer charger were in “good” condition, but it wasn’t, mostly as the result of it being Nya’s toy for one too many months. 

After weeks of having issues sustaining a charge, I had learned that to use my  charger, I had to twist, turn, blow on it, pray on it for it to work. And, I did all  this, this Monday morning, however, it didn’t work. It (the charger) died (officially pronounced at 7 AM. Yes, I kept at it for 2 hours) and so did my list of oh so
important blogging tasks.

By 7:30 AM, my 10% charge was depleted along with my hope to conquer some of my elephant  to-do list.

I was devastated. I felt as if the world were going to end.

I wanted to cry, and just be miserable the whole day, but I couldn’t. My daughter, who woke up around 8 AM, and my other, unwritten to-do list of laundry, dishes, and  errands wouldn’t let me.

In spite of my disappointment, I had to keep going.

And, keep going, I did.

Instead of editing pictures, tweeting, or editing posts during my daughter’s nap, I took a much needed catnap and managed to write this post by hand (i.e., with paper and pen) when I awoke.

And, I survived, survived much of my day (until my husband returned from work with his computer) without my beloved laptop, my blogging weapon of choice.

And, the sky didn’t fall because I couldn’t check things off my list.

Really.

While very stressed out yesterday morning at the thought of not being able to follow  through with my original plans, it all worked out in the end.

And through the experience, I learned something.

I learned how important it is in life to not allow what’s not working or what’s broken or what’s lost (and this could be anything, a relationship, a job, a charger) to overshadow the things that are. I was reminded of how important it is to be open to (and receptive of) changed plans, other options, and alternatives. 

My blogging to-do list is still long, but that’s OK. I know that I’ll conquer it in time.

***

Anyone else have a blogging to-so list? Has failed technology stood in a way of you accomplishing things on that list? 

***

Oh, and until my new charger gets here (and because I refuse to use my smart phone), I’ll be mostly “out-of-commission” during the day. Still, feel free to contact me by email or twitter or through a comment. I’ll be sure to respond as soon as I can.

An experiment in doing it all (I’m a stay at home mom, again)

Before motherhood, I had read much about how to balance it all, or the marriage, children, job, and sexy figure. “It will be tough,” they often said, “but, you can do it. It can be done.”

I guess in choosing to take on “it all,” you could say that I believed them, or the voices that said it could be done.

The stakes, it seemed, of not believing, or not being able to balance it all as a woman in the 21st century appeared too high. So, I gave “it all” a try. I worked a full time job, breastfed, rocked, and burped a child, exercised every other day of the week, and remained married, all evidence that it all was possible.Image result for stay at home mom

“Yes! I did it,” I told myself in the first few weeks of my project of “it all.” “I did it all.”

(sigh)

When times got tough, I stuck it out, convinced that was what any woman who wanted it all would (and should) do. I found “strength” in the images of those celebrity moms who managed it all so easily.

The wrench in my plans of continuing to do it all came soon after my proclamation of “success.”

Fatigue.

I was tired, dead tired.

Doing it all, as I assumed everyone else was doing it, was exhausting. I couldn’t think straight. My skin seemed to show premature signs of aging. I found another gray hair. I sometimes forgot my keys atop my car when taking trips with Nya to Target. Oh, and doing it all was also expensive, what with childcare, convenient foods to save time, and creams to mask those aging eyes.

Despite these inconvenient truths of doing it all, I wanted to continue to prove to myself that if anyone could it, I could. I wanted to set an example for my daughters (and sons). I wanted to know that on my grave someone could engrave “She was the woman who did it all!”

So, I went on until I could no longer fool myself into believing that everything was ok beneath my picture of “having it all.”

No longer fooled, I changed my mind about having it all and gave a big part of my picture of “it all” up, namely my job.

So, I write this in the same place that I started this job as a stay at home mom with a renewed sense of what having it all really means. (sigh)

My statement on being a stay at home mom

It’s one question that used to make me sweat profusely and get all hot and bothered. Asked with an ease and nonchalance, “So, what are you doing now?” The one doing the asking, of course, is employed, my age, and interested in knowing my career status. “What are you doing now?”

(sigh)

For some reason, even writing it out makes me cringe.Image result for My statement on being a stay at home mom

While perfectly OK with being a stay-at-home mom on most days, whenever asked about my career status (or lack thereof) I once got defensive, very defensive. No. I didn’t sound defensive or even look it. I just felt it (or defensive.)

“I’m raising my daughter!” There, is that what you wanted to hear?!? (deep breath)

Of course not.

To most of my twenty-something, college graduate peers on the up-and-up in their careers, the thought of leaving a job to stay home with a child is mostly unfathomable.

I know because I once thought my current life circumstance unfathomable for any woman of “promise.” So, my old thoughts on the matter drove my insecurity in twenty-something settings. If attending a friend’s engagement party, I would wonder, “Will they ask what I do for a living?” “Will there be an awkward silence when I respond honestly.” “Will they somehow think less of me for choosing this path?”

And, there would always be an awkward silence, then tripping over words to cover the silence, words about “daycare being expensive” or something else about it being good that we’re able to afford all that we have on one income or “good for you!”

****
Making the decision to be a stay at home mom is tough and was tough for me. Most women, myself included, don’t as young girls, imagine that they will grow up to wipe their children’s butts all day and have to schedule in “lunch times.”  Most women, no, most human beings who have worked in their life find earning an income and receiving favorable performance reviews empowering.

But many women do choose, in becoming mothers, to become stay at home moms, not because they can’t do anything else or because their husband’s put them up to it, but because they’ve decided that they’d rather stay home. And, there’s nothing wrong with that or with mothers who choose to go to work each day. It’s their choice. Both realities are tough and come with their share of sacrifices. Trust me, I know.

In becoming a stay at home mom, I’ve learned these truths, and it is these truths that I’d most like to get stamped on a card or maybe even a flyer that I can then give to anyone who asks what I am doing now. I’m doing what I think is best for me and my family right now. Please, don’t judge me for that.

This is supposed to be a rant from a stay at home mom feeling misunderstood or unappreciated, but it may appear that way and for that, I apologize.

Moms who work inside and outside of the home for pay or not, what do you wish to tell the world about your lived reality as a “working” woman? Please use the comment field to speak your mind to the world.