Nov 25, 2012

THOUGHTS: Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

As many people, I have heard over and over again that I cannot have my cake and eat it too. I have thought about this a lot when it comes to life. Does that mean that we have to settle for less like the saying suggests?

When it comes to juggling life and blogging, I found some answers.
 Recently the very talented Rae from Made By Rae  wrote about how she fits it all in. 
I am really grateful for her honesty. She answered a lot of questions I have always had. I would read my favorite blogs and wonder how these women with small children could do it all. Make something gorgeous, take awesome pictures (with a small living room set in the park!), edit, write the blog post, handle advertising, giveaways, e-mails, comments, travel to blog events, host craft events, cook, clean and be a mom. Oh, and look put together also!

Rae was spot on when she said,  "the blog began demanding more of me ". I think sooner or later it happens to all of us. Again, I am going to quote Rae, "I began to feel a bit frustrated by my inability to keep up with the work of blogging. It wasn’t just writing blog posts, it was answering emails, trouble-shooting pattern download issues, and participating in blogger events, and on, and on…"

I remember feeling that way when my previous craft blog, Show, Tell, Share took off and we started to get a lot of hits and followers. It felt great to be finally noticed, to have invitations to participate in blogger events, to have companies seek us out to advertise.

Just like Rae though, I had to make a tough decision. I respect her choice of working part time on her blog and patterns, while her children are taken care of by a babysitter/preschool and even hiring others to help keep up with her site. It works well not just for her, but also for her husband and for her family.

I am grateful to know that she does not do it all herself. I used to think something was wrong with me. Why couldn't I do what others seemed to do effortlessly? Of course I knew that was not realistic, but it is different to know for sure versus wondering.

So, can we have our cake and it eat it too? I am starting to think that yes, it is possible. We just have to choose which cake we are going to eat. It is not an easy choice, sometimes it may even seem unfair. But it does not mean we have to settle for less. I strongly believe that the only way one can truly be happy if those around him are happy also. For a mother, that means her children, her husband, her family. I know that I cannot make my kids happy all the time - a lot depends on their own attitudes. But all of my action have a great influence on my family. It means giving up and sacrificing and serving those closest to us. I noticed that it is seems so much easier to serve and sacrifice for those not close to us. It is easier to give our time and attention to someone who needs us for a limited time or only occasionally. It is much harder to do the same, day after day, year after year for the same people. Still, greater happiness comes from knowing that you are doing what is right and trying your hardest to be the best mother and wife you can be than from following your own (let's just say it: selfish) ambitions or wants. They key is to find what works not just for yourself, but those around you also. Which is not going to be the same as Rae's or mine.

For me, the choice between making blogging a part time job or simply doing it for fun, with no expectations was...well, a bit rocky. It seems pretty silly now, since I have so many wise voices to rely on.  As long as I listen, I am not alone in making tough decisions.

Julie B. Beck, a woman I admire stated it well:

"Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. "

For me that means putting blogging in the background and only work on this new blog when I get a chance. It means that not all projects I make - no matter how great they turn out- will get posted. It means that I  choose to leave half written posts alone when one of my boys need something. It means turning off the sewing machine to play a game. It means not concerning myself with what others will want to read and see, but be more open and not afraid to be myself. 
It means keep changing my attitude. I am not perfect, but having a direction in life, having made a choice makes it easier to know what I am going to do when I hit crossroads or I am tempted by other distractions. 

I am happier than I used to be, because now I see things differently. Having your cake and eating it too does not mean you really get to do anything you want no matter how contradictory it is (like being a full time mom, homeschool, clean house and run a successful blog or business at the same time) without any negative consequences to yourself and others. That's simply not possible. 

The key here is simply choosing the right cake. Then you can eat it all without any regrets. Or a stomachache. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing about this Dora! I think it's a very important issue!!