As we end one year and begin another, I can’t help but to reflect on this past year. I became a mother of two juggling children, the house and my blog, all of which required more time than I gave them. Throughout the year, after putting the children to bed, I would start the same conversation over and over again with my husband. The conversation would always begin with, “I’m half-a$$ing all of my jobs: my children, the house, my blog.” Every conversation would end knowing that I had to cut back on something, and I would cry myself to sleep mulling over the tough decisions.
I had to reprioritize.
My children deserved a more attentive mom and not a mom that stuck them in front of a television all day. My family needed a more balanced home life where the house would be clean and there was healthy foods in the fridge (not a house that had 5 loads of laundry to fold and pizza night… again).
My blog, my passion, my outlet: YOU needed desperate attention and not the neglect and scarce posting compared to years past.
I felt like I was letting everyone down.
I tried brainstorming every possibility to maximize my time and love. But, try as I might, my heart kept pulling in the direction of my children. I’m a mother and they come first (well, my husband comes first, but they are a VERY close second). The kitchen sink can stay dirty for one more day and my blog can wait another week. I will NEVER get the time back with my children and will NEVER get a second chance to be there for them in this moment. The dishes and dust can always wait and I’ve learned that my toddler LOVES to clean as much as I do, so that’s a job we can do together! And the business is what I make it and right now it’s time for me to pull back a little. The blog is the thing I continue for me and we all know mommies need their “me time.” But, right now, I need to love on my children.
When I prioritized my blog over my children, there were months of constant tantrums from Liam. I read books about toddlers and tried my best to balance everything going that was going on.
Then, one day I took away the iPad and the television and prioritized quality time with my children. We got out of the house. We went on adventures! It only took two days and everything changed. It was all a matter of companionship. Their entire way of living, behavior and smiles are a reflection of how much they feel loved. Their attention shifted from the mindless electronic babysitter to quality time with mommy. The more I played cars with Liam or made funny faces in the mirror with Hayden, the more they smiled and giggled. They felt loved.
Since making the big decision to be a mom over all of my other jobs, my children have blossomed with smiles. Now, after I put the children to bed at night, I smile and remember all of the fun times we had that day. There’s no more crying myself to sleep; it’s all smiles. I’m grateful to be a stay-at-home mom and that’s what I plan to do more of. When I’m at home, I’m AT home. We’re playing, we’re baking, we’re taking pictures (yes, Liam has his very own camera now) and we’re loving each other. This is the time. This is the year. This is my priority.
This is not to say that I am abandoning the house or the blog. Not one bit. You’ll be happy to know that my house is still cleaned on a regular basis (why didn’t anyone ever tell me how much pee would make it outside of the toilet with a boy?) and I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes changes to the blog. There are exciting things ahead and I’m tickled to share them with you!
Until then, know this: I have made the big monetary decision to conclude almost all of my ambassadorships and sponsorships (the things that help pay the bills, allowing me to continue to bring you great things!). I want the new year to be all about the quality and passion. I want to share things with you that I truly want to share. I want you to be excited about seeing what’s new on Chocolate & Carrots. I want to be your friend, be part of your community and love life together.
Stay tuned because 2016 is going to be filled with great things!
I love seeing blog post like these but I hate it at the same time. I love that you are realizing what is important and putting your family first but im sad because you feel like your have to choose between it all. more and more bloggers are putting family first and that is what you should be doing! I hate to see blogger saying “sorry for the 3 day break” None of us readers care that you spent 3 days away from the blog with your family! you should be doing that because thats what all of your readers did too! Im not really sure the point of this comment except to say good for you. You are so lucky to be a sahm. I would kill to be in your shoes and have this decision to make. Instead I am gone 12 hours a day with a full work week outside the home and a 3 hour daily commute. I only get to see my baby 1.5 hours in the evening. I know it wont last forever and my husband will be out of school soon but enjoy the time you have with them. xoxo
Bravo mama! And the pictures are GORGEOUS!
Beautifully written!! I have that same daily struggle, it’s a constant battle. Looking forward to what’s ahead for you in 2016!!
As someone who chose work over family when my kids were really little, but shifted my priorities just in time, I promise you you will never regret the decision to put them first. It’s cliche, but I’m looking at about 5 more years with my oldest at home, and time is more precious than ever. Savor it, just like you are!
(Also, prioritize you… go to bed at a decent hour instead of trying to cram all that work into when they are a sleep. You won’t regret that either. It can all wait!)
I could have written this post. I have had the same conversation with my husband many times. And it’s SO SO SO true that all our kids want from us is quality time. When it’s all hitting the fan, I know it’s time to drop what I’m trying to get done and just hang out and play with the kids. I’m so proud and impressed (and inspired!) by your decision to drop sponsored work. Happy New Year 🙂
I have struggled with this for years, and still do at times. When I had Micah I definitely had to reprioritize and pull back on blogging. A couple years later I’m feeling more balanced and happy. That feeling of not doing a good job at all your jobs is not a good feeling, and I’m proud of you for recognizing it. I know things changed for me when I recognize and shift, always such a work in progress. Hang in there mama and follow your gut & heart. xo
You only get this chance once to watch them grow and spend as much time as you can with them. Enjoy every minute of it because then they start school and schedules entirely change. Good for you for choosing the balance that works best for you and your family!
I love this so much. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for you! <3
You are one amazing mom and person! I think this is something we all struggle with and I’ve really been feeling the pressure to “do it all” and do it all WELL over the last few months. And honestly, that clearly isn’t possible. I really admire you for figuring out what works best for you and your family.
And I adore the family photos. I can’t wait to meet and hug all of you!!!
I am so proud of you friend! You will never regret this decision and I know your story will inspire so many other moms (myself included!!) to be more present with their little ones. I am so happy for you an excited to see what 2016 brings for you!
Love! And ditto on all the other comments!
Go Caroline! This sounds like a great plan. I encountered similar struggles when the kids were little. While I was a little OCD with my cleanliness standards, I did learn that my boys (including my sweet hubby) did not care! They’d rather have big furry pets… than perfect baseboards… Or a floor, sofa, walls, whatever that can handle dirt, spills, hand prints, etc. For my sanity, I changed… In 4 -6 years, I will redo our house to my liking as it will be “my turn.” For now, I will continue to love having the house, with lots of bumps and bruises, where kids can have fun and play.
Thanks for sharing! I have had those same conversations with my husband. I have learned to give some things up and it has been SO great! Happy New Year to you! I wish we could get together for play dates:) xo