working from home
Now that I’ve been a “mommy blogger” (can’t decide whether I find that term offensive or not) for over a month I’m finding out that it’s actually quite difficult to blog and take care of a baby. As I type now my son is napping on me – I tried to bring him upstairs but he started to wake up and search around for my nipple, so I put him back on the boob. I’m now typing with my arm awkwardly above his head. It’s not comfortable, and it doesn’t help that the space bar on my stupid computer sticks so I keep having to backspace to fix words running together.
People often ask me when I find time to blog. Nap time is pretty much the only time, unless a grandparent comes down to watch LM. And when I write during nap time, or even when someone is here to watch him for a short period, it always feels like a race against the clock. How much can I get done before he needs me again? How fast can I type? How long can I make this blog? And forget about making sure it’s any good. When I read my blog posts over later I feel like they read as stream of consciousness ramblings rather then well-thought out essays.
And then I read other mommy blogs and can’t help but feel inferior. I find everyone else’s funnier, more insightful, more polished than mine. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t be objective about my own work or because my blog does, in fact, suck.
There’s also the issue of the other freelancing work I’m trying to do. I have one regular gig that pays, although it’s not exactly something that’s going to be moving my journalism career forward. Then there is blogging for The Huffington Post, which is awesome although it doesn’t pay. Then there is trying to get published on a myriad of other sites, which often involves a lot of networking and on spec work. I like writing for the sake of writing, but it’s frustrating when I feel like I can never catch a break. I got a personal email from an editor at The New York Times who liked my “Lost Pregnancy” story and apologized because she already had a piece to run for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. So if I had sent it in earlier I would have had a story in The New York effing Times? What a missed opportunity.
So this blog sometimes ends up taking a back seat to other pursuits. It’s hard to come up with things to write about every other day or so, and actually craft a good piece of writing. I try to read everything I can on every popular parenting site, and it’s exhausting. There is so much chatter it’s really hard to cut through it all and actually say something new and different. My foggy brain tries and tries, and I do feel like I have a unique perspective because of everything I’ve gone through, but I feel like I just keep coming up short. Am I being too hard on myself?
My mind makes lists and lists of things I want to do, but I have such limited time that I can’t seem to make a dent in it. Activities that are even supposed to be downtime, like looking through catalogs or watching TV, turn into chores: Look at that giant pile of catalogs on the coffee table! We’re up to 90 percent full on our DVR!
I know this is what the internet likes to call a “first-world problem.” I know that I’m lucky to be home taking care of my son. But the adult part of my brain wants to work, wants to accomplish something for myself. No, I don’t want to go to work in office. No, I don’t want to put my son in day care. But I would like a block of uninterrupted time for writing and polishing and networking and maybe one day publishing something of value.
So please continue to check my blog. I will do my best to keep the posts coming, but cut me a little slack – after all half the time I’m writing with a kid attached to my boob. Please comment or share my stuff if you like it. And if you’re a fellow mommy blogger, please tell me I’m not alone in feeling this way.
Thanks for reading!