Life. As a SAHM. And other revelations.

August 11, 2011

I’ve had four days without my computer and let me tell you – it’s made me do some serious pondering. I have written post after post pouring out my heart why I wrote what I did on Monday. How I got from, “AAHHHHBLOGHERAHHHH!” as my roommate Alena would say, to bawling about how my writing was pointless. How it was because of BlogHer. Because of me. Because I’m lazy. Because I don’t have enough time. Because I have too much.

None of these actually posted. Partially because my iPhone is terrible to blog from, but also because none of what I wrote felt right. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on what had gone wrong. Here’s what I came up with:

At BlogHer, I listened to the women on each panel I was in speak about how much they juggled. Work, home, family, children, friends, meetings, PR, multiple blogs, campaigns. I felt more and more inadequate thinking of how there are days I don’t shower till noon. How I blog, the same as them, yet they are paid and therefore validated in spending the time and money to continue. How doing what they seem to do effortlessly would consume my entire day.

I spend 2-3 hours a day during the week and 1-2 on the weekends blogging/tweeting/etc. I refuse to let it be more than that without being paid, and even then not much more. I know many people who can balance this well, but I am not one of them. It could easily consume me.

Then there was the panel with an editor of a famous publication that basically asked us not to bother submitting our work to them unless we were big time bloggers. That was a huge blow. They didn’t outright say it, but it was there. They wanted numbers, followers, stats. They all nodded along at, “What about quality?” questions but it was fairly obvious all the quality in the world wasn’t going to get you published if your name didn’t end in Armstrong or Drummond. (exaggerating but close)

Coming home from BlogHer, this hit me like a ton of bricks. I had spent a lot of money to be there. My mom had flown out to watch Bella at a moments notice. My husband might had given the side eye to my new clothes/shoes/bag but he was gracious enough to not flip at the extra expense. I came home a disaster from lack of sleep and total overload to a clean home, happy child, supportive mom, and Sam having bought me a new stove as a surprise. All for me. Me that hadn’t helped pay for any of it.

Alone Monday, I melted down. I was a wreck that I had taken everyone’s time and money to fly out to California for (what I thought was) nothing. I felt, as unrealistic as this is, that I should have come home with either a way to make money starting the next day, or at least a fire for writing. And I had neither so what had I done? I’d made and met friends but that was not my primary reason for going. I loved them, I loved meeting them and strengthening bonds, but it was not the number one goal.

I poured my heart out to Sam last night, who listened to me sob about never being able to buy my own stove, how I was always using his money, how I felt so unsure at times that simply staying at home without contributing financially was the right thing, when so many other women did this but also pulled in an income by blogging. How much I adored it, but so did they – and they got paid to adore it.

Not understanding at first, he kindly asked, “Why would you want another stove, and have you thought of getting a part time job?”

::rocks in corner::

After I was able to really explain it better, he told me that I was being silly. While it certainly would be nice to see a paycheck for my writing, it wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t get one.

But I do know that this feeling of, “Why do I do this?” is going to continue to haunt me unless I give the monetary part a shot. So I had to really think about what that meant. I struggled with the fact that I would like to be paid for what I do – but I don’t want it to change this blog.

Really, wouldn’t it be disturbing to read Monday’s post and then have a sponsored, ultra peppy one the next day where I endorse lamp shades? Wouldn’t that be a huge jolt and turn off to read? I know this. It might work for some bloggers but I can’t pull it off. I love, love, love the freedom to come on and post when I want about my life.

So my decision is: This blog? Stays.

In the meantime, I’m starting to plan another blog that fulfills a passion I don’t often write about on here – and can be sponsored. But I’ll be ok with it. I’m excited. Inspired. I took what I learned at BlogHer and used it to think about how I could leave this blog alone, and still pull in some income. My second blog may not work. I may find I simply don’t have enough time without cutting into being a mom and wife and have to stop. But I’m giving it my all. I have to do this for me.

This one will be my place to emotionally vomit. And the other will be the place to share knowledge for something I have a real love for. I can freelance in my spare time during the week. On and off.

I wouldn’t change what happened during and after BlogHer for the world. It may have turned out different than I expected, but maybe that’s a good thing. It gave me a different perspective on what I do. And I’m so glad I went. If you are pondering it – GO. Go and be open to new experiences and ideas. Be ready to spend time with friends – just as much as in sessions. Love the connections. And I’ll see you there next year.

And for the panelists at BlogHer who told us smaller bloggers not to bother submitting our work to you – even if it wasn’t in so many words? Guess what? Writing is something I love, so I’m going to do it anyway and submit it anywhere I can. So my words to you?

::swirls around like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman::

Big mistake. Big. Huge.

46 Comments

  • Lindsey

    August 17, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I’m glad you decided to keep this blog going. I was sad to read earlier that you may shut it down. Your words are inspiring, and yes, they would be less inspiring if I had to read Swiffer reviews in between them.
    Sounds like you’re on the right track.

  • Veronica

    August 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    PREACH! That panel left me with such a bad taste in my mouth and I hear you on e v e r y t h i n g. good luck with the other endeavor. oh and why do you not like blogging from the iphone?

  • Guilty Squid

    August 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    This particular session seems to have impacted a lot of people.

    You know I don’t know big from Britney, and I hardly spend any time on it, because I’m too lazy to put the effort forth. So, I feel like I can’t come from a perspective that can offer much of an opinion.

    But I am going to say this to you: right here? Where you come forth with all the spunk you can muster and you write from your heart? That rules.

    (Even though I rarely comment. Because, learn to shut up, GS.)

  • Erika @NAMAmmaSTE

    August 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    We are so alike its almost eerie… I got on the exact same rollercoaster ride this week and came to a similar conclusion. I’ve been so busy in my own head I haven’t been online at all to touch my own blog or read anyone else’s.

    I have so much confidence in your ability to do whatever you put your mind to! <3

  • Branson

    August 12, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Sitting here clapping at my computer screen! Oky… not really. But I think your big revelation hits home with me as well, and I am excited about your new venture! Be sure to let us know where to go when it is up because your “fans” here are going to want to help it take off! We love you!

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Aw, thanks. I will! I can’t wait to get it all ready to go – I just want to make sure all my ducks are in a row. This blog has taught me a lot – things I would and wouldn’t do again.

  • Christi

    August 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    This is the first time I’ve ever read your blog. As I was reading, I kept thinking “Oh my gosh, ME TOO!” This sums up so many of my own thoughts and feelings about blogging, being a SAHM, and not bringing in any income. AND, I’m also thinking about starting a second blog, more in line with my educational and professional background, that might possibly be a way to earn a bit of money. It’s nice to read about someone whose experiences are so similar to mine. Thank you for sharing. Oh, and I think it’s wonderful that you have so many supportive people in your life. I do as well and feel blessed by it every day.

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you for sharing this with me! I sometimes feel as if maybe I’m one of the only SAHM’s that worries about money so often. As in – my end of it.

  • Alyssa

    August 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I am THRILLED you are keeping this blog alive and REAL.

  • Sara

    August 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve heard a lot about how some of the BlogHer sessions were kind of underwhelming and off-putting. Hopefully that makes you feel better… you weren’t the only one surprised by what you found in San Diego. I hope they get some different panelists next year because I will SEE YOU there!

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      Yay! And yes, that does make me feel better. Because I have read post after post about how wonderful everything was and it made me feel like perhaps I was a tad insane.

      Not that there weren’t wondering parts, but it just eclipsed those for the time being.

  • ashleyd

    August 12, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I love you, and your blog and I feel the same way about mine. Took the words out of my mouth and I wasn’t even at Blogher. Next year… we will just laugh at those A-holes together. Deal?

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Deal. And omg. Meeting you next year. Be still my heart.

      Please do not run in the other direction when I gallop towards you. In a non-stalkerish way. <3

  • molly

    August 12, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I think you are doing the right thing in thinking things over. You’ve got a plan now and if it can bring in some extra cash and make you feel better about yourself and your writing in the process, then who cares what anyone else thinks! Good for you, Diana!

    p.s. I was in that session. It was not good for my confidence either 🙁

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      Right? The BlogHer lady and the other person (tech blogger?) were great. But the 2 from the magazine? :/ I left feeling like they’d smacked me with a ton of bricks.

  • Alison

    August 12, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Don’t listen to what the panelists people said. I think that if anyone of them read your blog, they would be crazy not to give it a shot. I’m glad you are keeping your blog, because I know how much you love to write. Also, I think having two stoves would be sweet. Just saying… 🙂 Love you

  • stephanie

    August 12, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I.love.you!

    you inspire me so without you, there kinda is no me.

    you complete me.

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      <3 As I read this?

      My pinkie went to my mouth.

      True story.

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    August 12, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Coming home after a hugebusycrazyOMGheadexplosion weekend can be really difficult. On Monday, you were tired and overwhelmed. You learned a lot and you needed time to digest it all. Yeah, I can see how you wound up feeling discouraged! I am SOOOO glad you are keeping this blog though. This blog I love.

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      How I wish you were at BlogHer so I could have squeezed your adorable head off.

  • Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama

    August 12, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I love your honesty and I can soooo identify! I’m so glad to hear that you are excited about taking on a new challenge that will hopefully help you experience the best of all worlds.

    I’m now following you on GFC, Twitter, and FB. So glad that Eve @ Beautiful Spit Up pointed me your way!

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      I’m glad she did too! I’m hoping it will work, if it doesn’t at least I tried, that was what I needed to do.

      I’ve heard of you from several of my blogging friends so I need to pop over to your place and look around.

      Good things from them 🙂

  • Kristin @ What She Said

    August 12, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I hate to say this because BlogHer has been an awesome resource for me and I’m now a part of their publishing network, but everything you said you experienced at the conference? Is the main reason why I’m scared to go. I’m afraid I’ll leave feeling overwhelmed and letdown instead of excited and motivated.

    That said, good for you for not giving up and for branching out and trying new endeavors! And as a working mom, I can tell you that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side and there’s even less time to balance blogging and family time. Unless you’re able to make a career out of writing and/or blogging, that is.

    And wouldn’t that be nice? 😉

    1. Kristin @ What She Said

      August 12, 2011 at 7:48 am

      P.S. And those panelists? The close-minded ones who want quantity over quality? Have they forgotten that Dooce and Pioneer Woman and other “big” bloggers were once small potatoes too? To those folks I would say, you can’t exactly discover fresh talent if you’re not willing to give it a shot. And frankly? That’s your loss.

      Also, I’m not usually in the habit of replying to my own comments. Swearsies. 🙂

      1. Diana

        August 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm

        Go. Really – go. It was worth it. It just took so long to sort it all out. It’s different than I expected it to be. But in many ways that was a good thing. It made me step outside that, “I blog, everyone wants to read me” box and take a hard look at myself and my work.

        And I love self replying commenters.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers

    August 12, 2011 at 7:36 am

    I can only imagine how many feel exactly the same way you do. I’m proud of you for taking it into your own hands and doing something about it!

  • Eve {beautiful spit up}

    August 12, 2011 at 7:27 am

    What an amazing post! You clearly have a talent for writing and if I had any money to spare, I’d totally pay you to keep at it! This was my first time to your blog and I’ll be back for sure. I’m your newest subscriber and I think you rock. I feel exactly the same way as you about my writing. I write what I want and I very rarely get paid. But I do it anyway because I love it. It’s like free therapy! Keep on keeping on sister, because you are fabulous!

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      THANK YOU. That was such a great comment – I’m heading over to your blog as well to peek at it. Anything entitled beautiful spit up deserves a good look at that was an oxymoron in this house. :p

  • Tracy

    August 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Well, you already know how I feel about this all, but SNORT to Sam’s initial comment about the stove and part time job. Sounds like so many conversations I have around these parts.

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      Poor guy. He was so lost, looking at me bawling and trying to understand if I didn’t like the stove he bought, or I didn’t want to be at home, or what on earth was wrong.

  • Desi

    August 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    You should put everything you’ve got into your dream. I’m in total support…especially after you threw in the line from pretty woman 😉

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      Right? My favorite part in almost any movie is that.

  • Tiffany

    August 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I wanted to tell you, Cindy posted this on Facebook and I came over to read your post. LOVE this.
    I am considering going to Blissdom next year to try out my first conference. I liked seeing the real side of these conferences, the way you put it. I feel the same way about changing my blog. I would not want to change it by adding crazy food sponsored ads, purses or whatever else I decided to promote.
    You go girl on starting another one!
    And you send them your work, you rock!

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      I am pondering Blissdom as well – let’s keep in touch so we might be able to meet up there!

      It’s hard to find the tone of your blog. It’s also hard to keep it that way when it begins to become a part of you. I’m so glad someone else feels the same way.

  • cathy

    August 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    <3

  • Suz @ Suz’s Treats

    August 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Yay for not giving up! I’d been hoping & praying I’d see a post like this from you!
    Yay too for your laptop arriving ~ I watched them pack it & thought it looked ok, but you never know.
    Go grab some of my BlogHer photos from FB if you need to remember our fun times! Much love & positive new blog vibes!

  • Calley

    August 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I have been doing this since 2007 and I still have a full-time job to pay my bills. My blog is my place to share and educate. I hope that all of my posts share in my mission no matter is they are sponsored posts or ramblings on a busy mom. My blog and networking have led to my current job and some other fabulous opportunities in which I do get paid for – but my blog is not how I make my money. Does that make since? Good luck – find your passion and stick to it. If writing is what you like – write about what you like! BlogHer can be a bit overwhelming – even for me! I’m still a small fish in a big pond! It was great to meet you last week!

    1. Diana

      August 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      You? Are PHENOMENAL at what you do. How you balance both. I am not. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t pull off what you do on this blog. It just garners no interest. And then I end up unhappy and resentful, and no one wins. I had to come up with a solution and hopefully merge them in many ways.

      I loved meeting you. Once again, Haute Green was, hands down, the best put together party at BlogHer. It was you guys that inspired me to come home and think about what I wanted to do on here.

  • Alena

    August 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I think we all go into big things like BlogHer with different expectations. With a different desire. I wanted to feel a sense of reason for publicly opening our lives. Beyond just the fact I love writing it out. And I got it. But it didn’t have much to do with making money (sorta shocking actually) but more from the community and bonds that I’ve formed through the blog. I knew I had made relationships and friendships…but something about hugging the people who support you and offer words to get you through the day makes such a difference. There was something about feeling the love {where is the love, the love, the love} that made me feel so very validated. I hope you felt it. I hope that you experienced that as well as all the other revelations. Because I love you!

    1. Diana

      August 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      I did. I so did feel that, but it was shadowed by the other feelings once I came home. You know? It was just SO MUCH that it eclipsed all the fun stuff.

      I want to do a post that is totally pro-BlogHer. Because I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Only next year I’d focus again on the friends just as much as the sessions.

      And I love you too. And your sayings. <3

  • Noelle

    August 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Love this. Love you. Love Pretty Woman. Heck, I even Love new appliances. =)

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      This cracked me up. <3

  • Katrina

    August 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    YAY!!! I’m so glad this blog is staying the way it is and I’m very excited for you’re new venture! I can’t wait to see what it is all about. Please know that I am here cheering you on and will help with anything I can – even if it’s just giving you another follower to build up your base 🙂

  • Cindy @ b.kate designs

    August 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Just had to tell you, THIS.IS.WHY.I.LOVE.YOU. That is all, oh yes, and Submit your stuff, to them even…

    1. Diana

      August 12, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Oh I will. And they’ll be like ?? “Thought we told this chick to leave us alone?” lol

  • Good Girl Gone Green

    August 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    You go girl! i can’t wait to see your new blog! And I will be seeing you in NYC for blogher’12…exciting!

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