When I started blogging, every online activity and experience was exciting! I loved the giveaways, networking, comments, and couldn’t imagine why other women talked about quitting, shutting down their social media sites, and leaving the blogosphere behind.
Fast forward a few years, and I understand.
Blogging and writing take work, time, and effort. It’s easy to get sucked into the abyss of online space, later trying to figure out where the day went. It’s also easy to compare your site to another, wondering if you’re having any sort of impact whatsoever.
And while you’re wondering if you’re having any sort of impact, you may feel as though you’re letting down your family and children, especially if you’re a homeschool mama.
I’ve been there. I’ve felt the exhaustion of wondering how I would contribute to a group giveaway, follow-up with a network, and complete a project that had swirled around in my thoughts for so long that I can barely remember the original intent.
I told my husband that I was going to take a break for a year. He laughed.
Why? Because he knows there’s a reason why I started blogging, and it had nothing to do with giveaways, e-book projects, stats, website design, or following any of the rules of blogging.
He knows I started because I want to build community, and I hate the idea of other women feeling that they’re going about this mothering thing alone.
Last year I took an online break. I even questioned if I should continue blogging. During this time, I finally read Balanced, an e-book written by my friend Tricia. I highlighted so many passages, that I immediately told my other blogging friends that they needed to get it ASAP. (If you have Tricia’s e-book, I also suggest looking at the accompanying workbook).
When I took the break, I was weary. I love writing and have written since I could successfully use my mom’s typewriter. I think my earliest formal piece was the household newsletter when I was eight-years-old.
As the years went on, I filled notebooks with stories, journaled, and loved feeling creative. Most people who know me think I’m an extrovert. While I can chat and talk with folks in a small group setting, large crowds overwhelm me, and asking me to speak in front of a group will leave me mentally huddled in a corner. I’ve come a long way since my childhood! Back then, I was the painfully shy, awkward girl who most of the other kids bullied.
Social situations frightened me, but writing helped me to process things and to make sense of the world. And as an adult, writing continues to help me work through thoughts and unravel emotions. After I read my Bible, hear a sermon, etc. I look forward to writing what’s on my heart. It helps bring everything together.
During my break, I quickly realized that writing/blogging isn’t the issue–social media and other blogging expectations are.
I love using social media as a tool to connect with my readers, but I was shocked to realize how noisy my mind had become, and I could trace the majority of it to my personal FB. I didn’t even see my favorite pages and blogs anymore, but rather a bunch of advertisements and meaningless visual overload.
So I stepped away and gave it to God. If I needed to quit altogether, I would. I wasn’t going to sacrifice my family on the altar of trying to meet expectations that didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
During the break, the very things that were laid on my heart rose to the surface. I watched a young mom cry out during a small prayer circle. She felt alone and was struggling with depression. I read an e-mail from a mom who felt completely isolated. And another e-mail from a woman who felt that she’s a failure and can’t homeschool her son with ADHD.
And that got me.
We’re all in different seasons of life. If you believe that you’re being led to stop blogging and writing about the things you love, by all means, DO! Stop! Immediately! But if you’re on the fence, take a step back to see what’s really going on.
As my friend Tricia wrote a couple of times in her e-book, “God will never lead you to something that will take away from your family.”
I love reading books and listening to message from older women who’ve mothered their children and made it through the “trench years.” I’m thankful that these ladies wrote their experiences to share with us who often wonder if we’re doing a good job.
I’m also thankful for the ladies who are still running the race, who are there to say, “I’m right here with you! You’re not alone! Let’s do this together!”
To the mom homeschooling a special needs child, I get it! I understand the tears from the rough days and celebrating the successes of the good.
To the mom struggling with postpartum depression or who feels overwhelmed, I understand the guilt you may feel and the fear of what people may think when you ask for help.
To the mom trying natural remedies for the first time, I remember the intimidation but also the excitement of seeing that herbs do work!
To the mom who often wonders if she’s mothering her little ones correctly, I think every mom can understand!
Why will I keep writing?
Because I can’t get these burdens off of my heart. So that the moms who are in this same season know they aren’t alone—you’re not running this race by yourself. Moms who are just joining in this season of children have someone who’s been there, cheering them along as they find their own footing.
And of course the ministries! I love spreading awareness of special needs orphans, raising funds for their Forever Families, and hopefully see them adopted! The folks being Gospel for Asia, Compassion, The Seed Company, and more, use our voices to help spread their messages.
So that my children get to hear about other families like us, they learn of the needs of children from around the world, and realize we are very blessed. And I’ve created a virtual scrapbook of our family’s adventures!
Plus, I need the encouragement, too. You know how pastors will stop in the middle of a sermon and say, “I’m preaching to myself, too”? That’s how I feel about my writing. Many times what I share with you are my own struggles, trusting that God is working it out. A couple of weeks ago, I read an article, but I didn’t take note of the author until I realized that I recognized the words! I wrote it two years ago, and it was just what I needed to read now!
Will I ever meet the unwritten guidelines or follow the same path as many “bigger bloggers”? Probably not.
And that’s OK.
To the blogger who feels weary, go ahead and take a step back—what’s really pulling you down? Do you need to stop blogging altogether? Or have you simply forgotten your purpose?
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