She Says… Unplugged

I sit at a computer all day to do my job. I sit in front of a computer to blog. I sit in front of the computer to tweet. I sit in front of a computer to check out what people have pinned in Pinterest. I sit in front of a computer to watch videos on YouTube or catch up on a tv show we forgot to DVD. I sit in front of the computer to look up recipes for what to make for dinner. I sit in front of the computer to organize photos of Owen. I sit in front of the computer to shop for Christmas presents and order diapers.

Tuesday through Friday, I only get 3 hours a day to see Owen’s little face and touch his soft skin, kiss his chubby cheeks, feel his cold clammy hands on my arm, read the same books over and over again with his wriggly little body planted firmly in my lap. I’m not going to spend those precious hours in front of a computer screen. I close my computer when I finish working and usually don’t open it up until the next morning. Sure, I have to check my personal emails once in awhile (or else when would they get answered?) and I have to pay bills and things like that in the evenings sometimes, but generally, I unplug.

Similarly, on weekends, I just don’t want to can’t tear myself away from Owen to sit in front of the computer. So I am quiet on Twitter. I don’t blog. I am terrible at returning personal emails. I send calls to voicemail. I don’t check my Blackberry for work. I do my best to unplug, and just be. It’s not hard. In fact, once you start, you may not be able to stop.

It is amazing.

I don’t feel “pulled in a million directions” the way that so many working moms do. I don’t feel “torn” or “stressed” or like I “have to choose” between competing priorities. I’ve made my choice. It’s Owen. It’s family time. It’s playing in the leaves and strolling with coffees and finding new playgrounds and endless games of peekaboo and singing silly songs and rough-housing and throwing Owen up in the air until Schnitzel barks, telling us all to calm down. I don’t think I would feel that way if my computer was open, with my emails staring me in the face and begging me to sneak in work when I really want to be cuddling my baby. There’s plenty of time for that, starting bright and early Tuesday morning.

I go through phases of wanting and needing the internet and being anti-technology. Before I was pregnant I spent hours on Facebook and email keeping up with friends. When we were struggling to get pregnant I researched and researched and hung on every word I read. I “met” amazing women going through similar struggles and joined discussions and read and read and read until my eyes just about popped out of my head. When I was pregnant it was pretty much the same. When I was on maternity leave the internet sometimes felt like my only connection to a world outside of diapers and breastfeeding trouble and stressing about every little detail of every single day. But now I feel like I’ve hit a different point. Without meaning to, I feel myself pulling away.

I’ve been having trouble coming up with blog posts recently. And it’s not for lack of things to say, believe me. It’s because I just don’t want to sit in front of this screen any longer than I have to. There’s way too much amazingness in my life right now that I fear I will miss out on. And when that’s not going on, hey, I like to get the laundry folded and the toilets cleaned so that when the fun happens, I’m not thinking about that something else I need to be doing.

In a way I feel like I owe you an apology. My blog posts have been lacking recently. I’ve even toyed with the idea of stopping the blog altogether. But every time I think about doing that, two things stop me. First, I love to write. I mean, I love it. I had no idea how much I loved it until I started blogging. The words just come tumbling out and sometimes I wish I could sit all day and do nothing more than just write them down. Who knows, maybe I should be thinking about a career change. I would be in heaven just writing all day. There’s a passion there that isn’t satisfied by any other part of my life. So there’s that.

And then there’s you. You, my amazing readers, who have taught me, shared with me, picked me up, knocked me down a peg, congratulated me, thanked me, helped me along the way. You’ve become my friends. Part of my life. I can’t just close the door. For every nasty comment or cruel word I’ve received, there are 10 more emails from people saying that my blog has helped them in some way. That my story resonated with them. That they learned something. That they love just looking at our pictures. Whatever it is, I appreciate it. And it would make me sad to not have you in my life.

All of that to say that I’m going through a phase right now. An “I just want to spend every second breathing in my life right now, and not let it pass me by while I sit in front of a computer screen” phase.

So please forgive me if I don’t blog every day for a little while. I’m here. Just watching my son’s long eyelashes flutter while he sleeps. Laughing at the way he shouts out new words every day. Holding his tiny wrist as we go for walks. Building with blocks and playing on playgrounds and reading books. Trying not to be in front of a computer screen.

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15 responses to “She Says… Unplugged

  1. No. I DEMAND DAILY UPDATES. Preferably with pictures of oatmeal.

    Oh wait. I forgot that I prefer quality over quantity. 🙂

    I literally can’t do computer stuff when my kid is around. She knows which button turns off the wifi and she’s not afraid to use it.

  2. I LOVE THIS POST … and have been feeling the same way for a long time. And you are a FABULOUS writer so whatever/whenever … we’ll be here to read. Enjoy the break … and know you’re NOT alone.

  3. I have a cousin who I constantly on Facebook posting pictures, videos and status updates having to do with her 1 year-old daughter. I wonder when she decides to “just be,” and spend quality time away from tehnology. There’s no need to apologize to anyone. You’re making sacrifices for what’s really important.

  4. Sounds to me like your priorities are right where they should be. I mean, Twitter is great and all, but it’s not nearly as cute as Owen. 😉 I do need you to stick around, though… you’re the only other blogger I read whose kid seems to have the same ear/asthma/allergy issues that Ryan has (we just found out last week that he is allergic to egg whites… oy vey. Got an appointment with an allergist to do a full work-up, finally). So I need your wisdom. And to be reminded that my kid isn’t the only one battling this stuff constantly. Please and thank you.

  5. I love this 🙂 I’m trying to learn how to be more intentional with my computer time – so I am not just aimlessly staring at things and not being productive. I do feel overwhelmed by it at times!

  6. There is no need to apologize for wanting to live in the moment. You have your priorities right where they need to be and you are a better mom just for that. We don’t need daily updates, although I do love reading them 🙂

  7. I have a one year old and am amazed you can find the time to share with us! I don’t know how you do it all! No need for daily updates, write when ever you can or when you have something to share! I love ready your blog, you have made me cry, laugh, and smile (lots) and Owen is adorable!!!!

  8. NO need to apologize at all. I love reading whatever/whenever you write.
    Being in the moment is the best gift we can give ourselves every single day.

  9. Good for you!! Maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m having similar feelings of technology overload.

  10. rock on kate. we will look for you when you do post, enjoy your time 🙂

  11. You are in such a good place right now–why apologize? Enjoy every moment. From a selfish perspective, I don’t want you to give up blogging altogether–I am amongst the many whom your blog has helped tremendously–but I think we will all understand if you took a little break, and posted less frequently!

  12. Pingback: LIVE YOUR DREAMS « Let There Be Light

  13. I am all for it, Kate — enjoy what amazing moments are happening. For as much as all of us like to be let in on the latest with you, Owen, Ben, and Schnitzel — it is yours to enjoy after all. soak it all up, all of it! Lord knows I am all for getting rid of more social media that pulls everyone away from real life. 🙂

  14. Kate you have every right to want to spend every spare miniute with Owen and Ben. It’s lovey that you think of us but life goes so quickly that you must stop and “be” otherwise what is the point? I’m not going to lie your blog has been a lifeline to most of us, especially me who found out 3 days ago that I was pregnant (I can assure you that this is the start of me not thinking about work and not answering my emails, and no guilt here, I’m in heaven, and “pea” hasnt even been born yet!)
    So please, enjoy the family you and Ben spent so long trying to create, and if/when you want update us, we’ll all be here! Well after the washing, and the cooking, and the late night work emails, and feeding the pets…lol
    Big hugs, and turn the computer off! X

  15. Oh No, I hope you don’t quit blogging! It’s your blog that helped me pull through when I was feeling so down when month after month I kept getting my periods. And till today I still see that video that brings tears as am so happy for u guyz to finally get a positive!

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