Taking a step back to look after myself

I might as well just get straight to the point, I’ve decided today that I’m going to have a little break from my blog. Right from the moment I started Squished Blueberries, only 4 months ago, I fell in love with blogging. As is the case with everything I fall in love with, I threw myself into it headfirst, and I’m so glad that I did. Scrolling back through the archives now, I adore every post, each title is a memory that brings a smile to my face. I don’t think I need to explain how amazing it is to have so many photos and videos of the kids which would never otherwise have been taken, and finally I can at least do their beautiful faces some sort of justice when I pick up the camera after taking a little time to learn about photography. Even in only 4 months, this blog has brought me a lot of happiness.

But for a while now I’ve known that somethings not quite right, I don’t feel quite like myself anymore. I can’t explain it, I’m just not me. I’m turning into a shouty mum more often than I’d like, I have nowhere near as much patience as I used to, I’m letting the thought of mess and mayhem stop me from doing crafts and activities with the kids, and I’m getting too anxious to take the kids out by myself most of the time. It can easily be explained away by the fact that I’m doing a hard job, I have 3 children at home with me, 5 days a week with no childcare for any of them whatsoever. It’s hard. Of course it’s hard, it’s never going to be easy. But normally I would cope with it all a lot better.

It’s really hard for me to admit to not coping amazingly well 100 percent of the time, because I worry that it invites people to call into question our parenting choices. And to be honest, yes my life probably would be a lot easier if I sent Mabel to school, Greta to preschool and put Ernie into a strict routine. But to do all of that would involve a lot of tears and just wouldn’t be the gentle approach that we like to take with our children. Greta may go to preschool in time when she’s ready and hopefully Ernie will fall into his own routine in the next few months, but I’m not going to force it so that I can give myself a break because that doesn’t feel right. The situation isn’t going to change any time soon, so I need to get myself back into a more positive mindset to be able to deal with everything that a day with three children under five can throw at me and still get up excited to do it all again the next day.

So where does blogging come into it? Well blogging isn’t making me feel bad, it’s just taking up a lot of my time. I love it so much that after the kids, I’m making it my number one priority and I’m putting it before even myself. Every evening instead of winding down after a busy day, I’m cramming in as much blogging as I can. Instead of going to bed at a reasonable time so I can recharge my batteries ready for the morning, I’m staying up as long as it takes to finish a post. During the day instead of being mindful when I’m with the kids, I’m checking social media and replying to emails. At the weekends when Carl takes the kids out for a couple of hours, instead of taking that time for myself I use it to work on the blog. And even after all that, I’m not exactly lighting up the Internet with my blog posts about a new garden slide or videos of my kids making a mess with sudo cream, because it’s not easy to be creative when you’re feeling tired and frazzled.

I know what I need to do to feel like myself again, it sounds cheesy but I need to nuture myself. I need to eat healthily, drink more water, take my vitamins, sleep longer, do yoga, meditate, run…. Do all the things that make me feel better so that I can be the best Mummy I can be. At the moment, blogging needs to take a back seat so that I can give myself the time to do all these things. Hopefully I can fit blogging in there again soon, because although it’s of little interest to anyone else, I do love recording our memories in words, pictures and video, and the reason that I have let it take over my life so much is that I love it, and I want to keep these memories for my children in the future. But at the moment I need to get back to basics and just concentrate on looking after myself for a while.

So for at least the next four weeks I am going to be posting only once a week. That will be my ‘This Little Big Life’ post on a Friday morning and it’s where I will be sharing little bits of our weekends. I won’t be able to stop myself taking pictures of the kids, so Instagram will probably be the best place to find me at other times, and my email is always open if anyone fancies a chat. Other than that, I will be taking a step back on all my social media and using it as a chance to reevaluate how I’m using them. I’ll be trying to find a balance between my blog and my life, which will be hard because I tend to be an all or nothing person, and if you’re a blogger then you know that there is no way that anyone could ever possibly do it all, even if it was your full time job.

I will be back at some point, hopefully feeling more like myself and definitely putting less pressure on myself but still loving recording our memories and sharing our life with you guys.

 

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14 Comments

  1. June 14, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    Ah lovely I hope you are ok. Only you know what is best for your family and you sound like you are doing a great job.

    Blogging is so time consuming and iv recently come to the realisation that I simply don’t have the time at the moment to grow my blog which makes me sad but ultimately my girls have to come first.

    Look after yourself and I’m looking forward to reading your Friday posts. Xx
    Natalie recently posted…Watching the world go by…My Profile

    • Louise
      June 18, 2016 / 5:33 pm

      Thanks Natalie. I know what you mean, when you love something it is hard when you realise you don’t have the time to work on it as hard as you want to. I love your blog, I will be reading and I don’t care how many twitter followers or page views you have. I suppose what I mean is, blogging is about connections not numbers, and that’s what I need to remember xx

  2. June 14, 2016 / 8:28 pm

    Blogging is stressful, I’m an all or nothing person too, sometimes we are so busy living life through a lens we aren’t actually living, stepping back to take the perfect shot rather than getting stuck in. Full of ideas! Burning out too fast and wanting to do it all and do it all perfectly. One post a week is still blogging….. And I for one will be reading
    It’s not like a job, where you get out the house, you’re living, breathing,writing motherhood and image, it’s hard to see where family, blog, children end and you begin….. I took 18 months off and my blog was still here when I got back…. Relax, find something completely off the wall just for YOU… or sit in your pjs and watch trashy tv.

    • Louise
      June 18, 2016 / 5:36 pm

      Totally. I was stressing myself out because I had a head full of ideas and felt like I had to do everything right now and ended up doing nothing very well and feeling bad about it. I’m in a much better place now I’ve stepped back and took the pressure off of myself. I still have lots of ideas but I’m writing them all down I know that they can wait until I have the time to give them my proper attention xx

  3. June 15, 2016 / 7:31 am

    I think most of us underestimated what a time consuming hobby blogging is when we started out. I hope the break leaves you feeling refreshed and back to yourself again – I’m sure it will.

    For what it’s worth, I was feeling really down on my blog before the holiday, and despite intending to have scheduled posts ready to go out while we were away I just couldn’t find the time or the motivation to do them, so I ended up having a complete blog break, with only a few instagram pictures posted during that time. Sure, the stats have all taken a massive knock, but I’ve come back feeling much more positive about things. I think time to look after yourself is so important, but the most difficult thing is recognising when you’re not doing that, so the hardest bit is already done.

    Once a week is more than enough to keep your toes in the water – I’ll still be reading, and I’m sure no-one else is going anywhere either.
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…Postcards from TuscanyMy Profile

    • Louise
      June 18, 2016 / 5:40 pm

      Thank you Katy. It’s amazing the pressure that we put on ourselves isn’t it? I just wasn’t enjoying it as much anymore, it felt like a job and I don’t want a job I want a hobby. I’ve recognised that before I can be good at anything… motherhood, blogging, photography, cooking, I need to really look after myself and be in a good place. So that’s what I’m trying to do xx

  4. June 15, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    I am like you an all or nothing type of person and before my holiday I felt like blogging was taking over my life and I was spreading myself too thinly. While I was away it was lovely to have the pressure of a bit and I don’t spend the time blogging like I did.

    I think when you start there is just so much to learn and to do and the list never ends and just gets longer. In fact I don’t think its any different when you have been blogging for years either.

    I agree with Katy’s comment that the hardest bit is done. You take the time you need and we will all be here to support you.

    Keep smiling and enjoy the time with your beautiful family x
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…My Girls…JuneMy Profile

    • Louise
      June 18, 2016 / 5:44 pm

      Thank you Laura, you have done so much with your blog in such a short time, I honestly feel like I could never keep up with you. You are so right, as a new blogger the list only ever gets longer. This little break has already made me realise though that I don’t have to do everything and if I try I’ll end up being good at nothing. When I come back I think I’ll have a much clearer picture of what I want to do with my blog (and what I don’t) xx

  5. June 15, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    You totally have to do what you need to do. Once a week is still a commitment. Total respect you for taking a step back. We started at about the same point and I think I am getting to a similar point as you are too. Realisation that life shouldn’t revolve around the blog. You have given us some brilliant blogs over the past few months and I’ll look forward to Friday’s for this little big life. Look after yourself and your gorgeous children x
    Karen recently posted…A Brand New Day 12My Profile

    • Louise
      June 18, 2016 / 5:45 pm

      Thank you Karen. It can easily take over your life and I certainly got to a point where it was getting silly. It’s all about striking that balance, hopefully I’ll work out how to do it! xx

  6. June 15, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Sounds like a good plan – I’ve always wondered how you managed to get so much blogging done with three kids when I manage a fraction of the amount with just the one! Never, ever feel that you HAVE to stick with This Little Big Life, though; I’m enjoying running it with you but it’s just for fun, not pressure. 🙂
    Sarah Rooftops recently posted…What I’ve Been Reading RecentlyMy Profile

    • Louise
      June 18, 2016 / 5:46 pm

      Thank you Sarah. I don’t think I could stop blogging completely! I’m really enjoying This Little Big Life but I will of course let you know if it gets too much xx

  7. June 20, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    It’s so easy to let blogging take over your life and I think it is important to take that step back and redefine the boundaries, to know what you want and focus on the things that are really important to you. Once a week sounds like a good posting schedule to aim for – to keep that balance between keeping the blog going and making time for yourself as well. Hope that you feel much better for taking that step back x

  8. June 26, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    I was nodding along in agreement to this as I was reading it. You totally need to take the time to make yourself feel better. Blogging can always wait, it will always be here. That said, you said that nobody else was interested – but I am. I don’t read your blog as often as I’d like to, but that’s only because my time for reading blogs is limited. I really enjoy your blog and will continue to follow it when you do post. I also need to take a back step and find some time for myself, but I’ve let it go too far – you’re so right to do it at this stage. I’ve got to a point where I have no idea how to step back anymore and I wish I’d never let it get that far, I miss being me.
    Nat.x
    Plutonium Sox recently posted…I don’t agree with your opinionMy Profile

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