{MM} 9.9.13 Why I’m Not Quitting the Blog

Over the past 3 months, I’ve gone through periods of intense reflection–being away from technology has a way of doing that to you.

About the time I decided I needed to take the summer off, Sheryl Sandberg & others were making the headlines, making their voices known in the: “woman can have it all” discussion. I find the topic a bit well-worn, myself. But beyond that, it did get me thinking–why is it that we think we should “have it all”? And for that matter, what does “having it all” really mean?

I spent my 20’s as a working mom. Granted, it wasn’t full-time so I was able to be with my kids more than someone who is working 40, 50, or 60 hour weeks. And it was a great job, a career if that’s what I wanted. And then, all of sudden, things switched. No longer living a life of uncertainty, supporting a student-husband, I now got to be a full-time mom. You know, of the stay-at-home variety. So that’s been my reality for the past year or so, & in many ways, my life, my perceptions have shifted & sometimes I don’t know what to make of it.

During my time away from the online world, I thought about issues of working, being a mom, of “having it all.” I thought about blogging. I didn’t think about blogging (for long stretches). Mostly I just enjoyed life.

My sister asked me, one day in August, “So do you miss writing on your blog?”

It was a funny question, I thought, & my answer startled me: “Not really,” I said. And I was telling the truth.

Time away from technology allowed my brain to breath. The online world can be a vacuum–of time, emotional energy, & talents. And the rewards are often paltry.

Also, there had been something weighing on my mind, which is, if I took a step back (which I did over the summer), I realized that blogging in essence is rather presumptuous, & can be narcissistic.

Like, I think my life & thoughts, opinions are so interesting/important/funny, etc. that I think other people should tune in to what I have to say. Because truth is, I’m not sure I’m that person. I’m not sure that what I think, or what I have to say is any more important or interesting than the next person. And the “me, me,” look at me! culture that often pervades the blogosphere culture is something I find extremely off-putting. I’m not sure I want to be a part of that.

Also, am I food blogger (I can’t compete with the awesomeness of Angela or Dreena) or something else entirely, & further, does the world really need more recipes (from me, that is)?

Without blogging, tweeting, reading blogs, I spent the summer connected to people. My kids primarily, Joseph, & other family & friends. The kids & I drove to Washington state & spent the 5 weeks playing, exploring, camping, & being with lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, & grandparents. It was real.

Maybe it’s time to retire that part of my life, came the reoccurring thought.

I did have many, many aha! moments where I realized that my career for the time being, is absolutely about raising my kids to be responsible, smart, compassionate, honest & self-reliant. This takes time, lots of energy, & more than that, a present mind. I want to do it right & if you know me, once I set my mind to a goal, I charge forward.

Time goes quickly (my oldest is now 8), & there’s no going back in time. I don’t want regrets. I’ve had a taste of the career world, & it doesn’t hold a flame to the joy/growth/stretching/learning I personally experience as a mother. So raising my kids, along with being Joseph’s partner in life, are my priority.

I also am at the point in my life where I no longer feel comfortable sharing much about my kids’ lives. They’re getting older. I want to respect that. This blog has never been about my kids anyway, but it’s clear now that this is my pursuit, not theirs.

I admit, I often feel hesitant to share my personal stuff here, but I realize that writing authentically is about a certain amount of vulnerability. Even if it does sometimes make me squeamish at the the thought that the inner-workings of my brain are broadcast across the www, available to anyone at the click of a mouse.

While these thoughts were swirling around this summer, I got thoughtful emails from you, I continued to get new likes on my FB page, & people continued to comment on the blog (especially on this post–which is over 4 years old!).

I even met one of my long-time readers (Tiffany) at church & I thought you know, maybe there is a place for me. Maybe I need this. Clearly, I’m not in this for money, I’m not in it to show off how cool I am (I get plenty of reassurance on that front from Joseph), I’m not in it for the traffic or book deal, I’m in in because of you. I need you. Knowing that you read, helps me to formulate thoughts, share, learn, expose vulnerabilities, grow.

So, that friend, is why, I’m not quitting the blog.

I’m selfish. I need you. It’s that simple.

So what’s up next on the blog?

I have some exciting news to share, a post on how I perfected (finally!) homemade soymilk to taste like Silk, how we blew our summer budget by $2,000 & what we’re doing to dig ourselves out of it (selling stuff on ebay, making my own bread…), & why beans can be such finicky things (especially crockpot baked beans) or rather, what I discovered by trial & error about beans.

I wish I was one of those types who could say: I’ll post every Monday & Thursday & Friday, but I’m not. I guess that’s why I love this blog so much. I will continue to post {MM} every Monday, but beyond that, who knows? I’ll post when I post.

Until next time, here are a few links I thought you might like:

♥ this post on cellulite: it’s normal! okay?!

♥ this combo of fruits, veggies, & greens by Gena

these (by Joy) are so pretty.
I’m sure easily made gf & veganized–
use gf pie crust, earth balance, & egg replacer.
Again, so pretty, & perfect for fall.

♥ a weirdly funny (actually, I thought hilarious) song about foxes,
watch it.

♥ I’m going to copy MJ’s fall bucket list.
She is so cool.

 ♥ Back-to-School food–vegan-style
40+ ideas for whole-foods breakfasts
&
10 recipes for school lunches + tips 

I’m glad to be back. You’re awesome, & you know I love ya.

 

 

 

 

 


Comments


  1. Kristen
    on September 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm said:

    Janae! I am sooo glad you are back! I have missed you all summer. I am also glad to hear you aren’t quitting the blog. I really enjoy reading what you have to say. You uplift, encourage and inspire. You are needed here. 🙂

  2. Alanna
    on September 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm said:

    I’m super glad you’re back Janae! Not gonna lie–I clicked over several times to check and see if you’d returned, even when feedly told me otherwise. 🙂
    I love your thoughts on a technology free summer and can relate to many of your sentiments.
    I’m glad you’ve resolved to continue. Welcome back!

  3. Hannah
    on September 11, 2013 at 9:00 am said:

    I kind of wondered where you had gone to. Welcome back! I’m glad you had such a wonderful summer with your kids and family. I too had to step back and consider my blogging life. I know some people who are very dedicated and put a new blog up each day and I am impressed with those people. It’s just not for me. I write when I am inspired to write and it’s not something I do everyday. I am a homemaker, a homeschooler, a mother to young children and they are my first priority and, like you, there are days when I don’t even think about the computer or my blog…and that is healthy!

    Have a great day, Janae!

  4. Elizabeth
    on September 10, 2013 at 9:34 pm said:

    Yeah!!! You’re back. 🙂 I love reading your thoughts.

  5. lfwfv
    on September 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm said:

    So glad you’re back! I’ve thought of you and your lovely family often this summer. I’m glad you enjoyed truly “living life” with them these past months.

    I love your authenticity, the glimpses you give us into your family’s life, and the lessons you’ve shared with us in the areas of food, body, and money so far. I love that you’re willing to change your views in these areas as time, wisdom and life experience dictate, and that you are willing to share your thoughts (and struggles) with us.

    Looking forward to checking out some of the links you posted in the next few days…

  6. Aubree
    on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm said:

    So happy you are back! I’ve had the same thoughts about blogging too so thanks for sharing!

  7. bitt
    on September 10, 2013 at 9:23 am said:

    I was so excited to see a post from you! I had just clicked on your blog the other day and hoped maybe there was an update that my reader missed.

    I understand what you mean about blogging having the potential to be narcissistic. Just because some bloggers are, it doesn’t mean you are. You never once struck me that way.

    Glad you are back!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 10, 2013 at 11:38 am said:

      Thank you! I’m glad to be back, & glad to have you as a reader.

  8. Ricki
    on September 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm said:

    Welcome back, Janae! I’m so glad you enjoyed the summer and found time to spend it with people you love. I could see how it would be difficult to come back! But we all missed you and are glad you’re here. 🙂

    And while I know what you mean about the “look at me!” culture, I think that attitude permeates our entire culture these days, not just blogging! It’s not a matter of thinking one is more important than others, or “so” important, but just someone who wants to share–and about whom others are interested. It’s weird, because I don’t think of it as sharing with “strangers” (who wouldn’t care one whit about me, of course)–it’s more that my blog readers, and other bloggers, are people I’ve come to know and care about, so I want to exchange views, recipes, ideas, etc with them. Just like you. 🙂

    Looking forward to more from you in the coming months! xo

    • Janae Wise
      on September 10, 2013 at 11:37 am said:

      Thank you Ricki, dear.

      I LOVE your attitude about blogging being about sharing, & this is exactly what I strive to do. I agree, the self-centered mindset is not just blogging, it’s a cultural plague & again, you’re totally right about blogging (the good stuff) being about giving & sharing. This is why I LOVE your blog so much. You are so generous with your praise, time, & in helping others. I wish you all the success with your new book & future endeavors. If anyone deserves it, you do, my dear!

      & thanks for all the positive vibes. It keeps me going.

  9. Gena
    on September 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm said:

    While I’m always delighted to see a blog post from you, I also always understand your need to focus on your personal life. I love writing blog posts that bare my soul, but this summer I was so submerged in more urgent work and life stuff that I had to write much more culinary, how to, impersonal posts. It was fine. Maybe not how I’d love to blog if I had all the time in the world, but I know where blogging fits in my life and I don’t push it.

    We all understand that blogging ebbs and flows for you. With four children, any time you get to yourself must be very precious indeed, and none of your readers expect to get our hands on them all. We’re always here, waiting for your next post when the time feels right. <3

    • Janae Wise
      on September 10, 2013 at 11:33 am said:

      “I was so submerged in more urgent work and life stuff that I had to write much more culinary.”

      That’s exciting! You’ve been creating some great stuff, I’m looking forward to seeing what this next chapter in your life brings.

      “but I know where blogging fits in my life and I don’t push it.”

      You’re definitely one of those bloggers who respects boundaries. I admire that.

      “We all understand that blogging ebbs and flows for you.”

      Thank you. I guess sometimes I’m guilty of super-momitis. Sure, I have four kids, but why can’t I make time for ____, ____, or ___? I tell myself. It’s silly. I think we’re all prone to this mindset, no matter if there are kids in the picture or not–just a product of modern living, I think.

      Always a breath of fresh air to hear from you Gena. ox

  10. Emily
    on September 9, 2013 at 3:20 pm said:

    I’m so glad you’re coming back (at least sometimes!). Your blog is one of my favorites, I think because your writing is so vulnerable and authentic and thoughtful. I appreciate the glimpses into your life that you do share, especially those about career, family, balance, transitions, and hope. Your voice is just as needed–and far fresher, I would argue–as those like Sheryl Sandberg’s. Thanks for continuing to challenge me on issues like body image and success and marriage. xoxo

    • Janae Wise
      on September 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm said:

      A huge hug to you, Emily! You made my day. ox

  11. Joy | Frock Files
    on September 9, 2013 at 11:17 am said:

    Welcome back, Janae! I’ve missed you and your posts. These are all things that I think about a lot too — why am I doing this? What’s important to me as a person, not just me as a blogger? Is this my career? Is it okay that, like today, I take several hours of my day to clean, cook, and drive into the city to deliver dinner to a late-working James? We talk about this a lot, and what James always reminds me is this: we all have to create our own happiness, which may come in shapes and sizes and methods no one else is accustomed to. And that’s okay, because it’s YOURS. I’m just happy that you’ll be here, that we’ll hear from you when we hear from you. Because you always have interesting and thoughtful things to share.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm said:

      Hi Joy, & thank you! The thing I love about you is you’re handcrafting your career. If I weren’t married w/ 4 kids & lived in Boston (did you know before Joseph & I met I planned to move to Boston to live? Just seemed like my kinda place–bookish w/ style) I’d do exactly what you’re doing. That’s amazing that you took time out of your day to do a sweet thing for James. That’s what it’s all about! Relationships. Giving & being surprised when you receive back more than you gave. It’s a beautiful thing. I love all the thoughts about making life, YOURS. & thanks for the kind words–ox

  12. April
    on September 9, 2013 at 10:18 am said:

    You know I am so glad to have you back!! Looking forward to those posts you mentioned! I esp. love that you are talking about money, debt, frugality, etc. I really need that and need to read that right now! Thank you for blogging!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 9, 2013 at 10:22 am said:

      Thank you April! The frugality thing, it is a CONSTANT battle (internally), isn’t it, & I know how important it is to get encouragement to “keep on truckin’.” Thanks for your encouragement, you are a dear reader. ox

      • April
        on September 9, 2013 at 10:23 am said:

        We charge *everything* to our discover (but pay it off completely each month). So that is the way we keep track of spending….this summer it has been very low bills-the lowest in about a year actually-and most of it is because of our garden giving us (basically) free food! But yes, *constant* struggle!

  13. Joya
    on September 9, 2013 at 10:13 am said:

    Yay! Glad you’re back! I’m glad you decided to keep blogging. I think you share so much by doing this and I know alot of people have learned and gained encouragement from you. I don’t think it’s selfish at all. It’s kind of like sitting down for tea with a good friend – there are other things you could be doing but it’s a kind of investment.
    Anyway, good to hear from you!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 9, 2013 at 10:17 am said:

      Thank you Joya! You’re actually one of the readers I think of when I think of continuing to blog. I feel invested in it because of you & others who contribute & comment. I love the idea of having tea with a friend. I certainly consider you a friend. Such a lovely thought.