This guest post is a reminder to keep your family first…
“She sat on my couch and vented. She described her family’s nightly routine. Kids bathed, diapers changed, a book and a good night kiss. But as soon as her hubby helped her put the kids to bed, he flew to his computer to play his game. He’s a good man. If she asked him to sit with her, he would. But she could feel the tension. His heart vied for the game. She had become his second love.”
I listened. Identifying.
But not with her plight…with his. I’d been doing the same thing…with my blog.
How will I promote my giveaway? How can I get more email subscriptions? When will one of my posts ‘go viral’?
My blog had become my first love. And if I am honest, most days it still is. And it’s hurting my family. It’s hurting my relationship with God. And it’s robbing me of living in the present moment. I know I’m called to write – called to blog. But I’m also called to be a mother and a wife. Because I’m called to do both, I’m also called to figure out how to balance my offline life with my online one.
And I’m a mess, because it is messy. Blogging on the side IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Your blog will overtake your life if you let it, but on the flip side, your life will overtake your blog. Neither is productive or healthy.
For years, I poured myself into my family while ignoring my own desires to write. Like a starved lion, my soul started to rage. Recently, that lion broke out of confinement. For an entire week I decided to ignore most of my responsibilities and blog unabashedly. Sure, it felt good. But it isn’t where I want to land.
I need a balance. We all do. I don’t want my children’s memories to be filled with visions of mommy always on the computer. Just a second, mommy needs to post something on Facebook. Hold on, I’m almost done editing this image. I also don’t want be an empty nester whose looks around her child-less home and regret not retaining my identity.
It’s a battle. This balancing thing.
At the end of my “vacation from real life” (aka ignoring my children and blogging all day long) I was on my elliptical listening to the recent Allume blog conference, keynote speaker Tim Willard. He described the island of Iceland. This island sits where the Eurasian and American tectonic plates meet. As the plates shift, every year Iceland is pulled a few centimeters apart. When the tectonic plates rub, the volcanoes on Iceland erupt, cool and form new land. Because of this, Iceland also grows about 5cms every year. The very thing that causes the landmass to rip is the very thing that causes it to grow.
My desire to blog and my desire to be a present mother and wife rip my soul in two. I am on two tectonic plates. Blog and family. I’ve throw myself into figuring out a way to balance my blog life with my family life with schedules, avoidance, and sheer willpower. All the while, I’ve forgotten one thing: Jesus. All along I’ve been fighting the wrong fight. My blog and my family life are at odds because I’ve elevated BOTH of them to the wrongful position.
Not only had my blog become my first love, but in many ways so had my family. Jesus has been a close third. I’ve been confused, because serving my family and writing about matters of faith look holy. And they are when put in their proper place. But somewhere I’ve gotten out of whack. The Bible says that we cannot serve two masters. If we do we will love one and hate the other. We cannot serve our blog and our family at the same time. It’s simple and yet not so simple. Serve Jesus. Only he can give us the balance we need. When he says blog. We blog. When he says sit and color with your children. We color. When he says snuggle with your husband. We do that. And the only way that we will be able to hear his voice is through remaining in him via spending time in the Bible, prayer and praise.. So what is a blogger/wife/mom to do?
It is possible to find balance. Set aside certain hours in a day. Realize when your ‘real life’ is needing you and when your ‘online life’ is needing you and learn to prioritize. Make the time with your family count- instead of putting in 50%, put in 100% when you are with them. Quality matters. Give them your full attention. Also, be realistic. If this is your job, you need to treat it like a job. If it is your hobby, treat it like a hobby.
It’s a daily thing. It’s hard. So, if you are like me; realizing that you’ve placed your blog (or even your family) in the wrongful position in your life, the good news is that you can change. Pray about it and find the balance that is going to work for you.
And I’m going to do that. Right now.
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Thanks for this guest post from Elaine at Super Radical Christian Writer Chick. “I am a certified Jesus Freak who loves to write.” She’s released two non-fiction books, Jesus Blogger (available with newsletter sign up here) and Thriving the First Days of Becoming Mommy (available on Amazon.com). She’s currently in talks with an agent for her first novel, a story about three women whose lives are completely upturned by God’s own plans — a reflection of her own life. Elaine imagined she’d be in New York City by now, walking with a Starbucks in her hand wearing Gucci…instead she’s trucking up and down the stairs in a house in the suburbs of Austin with six young children wearing yoga pants. But as always, God’s ways are higher than her own!