Sunday, December 22, 2013

Am I still blogging? Not sure.

Am I still blogging?  Not sure. It’s been five long weeks since my last post. An unprecedented duration. I used to go 10 days and then start a blog post with an apology for the long absence.  But it’s been five. weeks.

No, I did not lose my computer or opposable thumbs.  I got a job. And now, instead of pondering blog-worthy topics in the shower (my prime pondering place), I am mentally checking off lists of work-related items and outlining future memos. 

In all my gearing up to go back to work I had been mentally bracing myself for the kids-to-workplace transition, figuring out how keep quality time with the kids while still making a good impression in my new job; how to keep work stress away from the family and family time sacred.  Working out a way to still have lunch with them every day. And I think I’m doing a bang-up job on that front. I've been patting myself on the shoulder for the elusive "balance" I'm managing to strike.

I come home from work and relish the hell out of my little’ins. It’s funny, that hour between coming home from work and dinner I have more patience for their difficulties and more utter adoration for their charms than I probably had all day when I was home with them.

You’ll either relate to that statement or think I’m awful for saying it.  But, it’s true.  It’s not just the trite “it’s the quality not the quantity” cliché working moms tell themselves to feel better. It’s how I feel.  I come home from work and see their enthusiastic and loving “HI MOMMMY!!!” faces and it’s the highlight of my day. They seem even more youthful and miraculous to me, and I drink them in.  In a way that I don’t know if I did when I was home all day, preoccupied with planning meals, calming tantrums, and, yes, watching the clock (when will he finally nap?  When will their father come home?).

But even though it rarely felt like it, I had more time in my day for my own thoughts when I was home with th kids. My own musings, my own observations.  Sure, it’s self indulgent and not “productive” in the way that my current work-related thoughts are.  But I got to chew on ideas and develop them.  I worked them out on these blog-posts and shared them with a community. It made me feel interested and connected, and occasionally proud.

Now. No time for that. Not yet anyway, when I’m in overdrive trying to fit in and prove my worth in a more traditional work setting. When I find myself at the end of the day with some pondering time, I’m tired, uninspired and if there’s room to do some thinking I drift into the giant mound of work issues – my new intellectual center.

I didn’t expect this to go away so completely so quickly – my voice. My creative outlet.

I once wrote (let’s ignore the obnoxiousness of quoting myself for a moment) that “balancing work and family and relationships is often a zero-sum game. It's a big mushy ball of meals to cook, bills to pay, dishes to clean and children raise into people you hope will not be psychopaths. So, unless you have gobs of money to throw at maids, cooks and nannies, if you "lean in" to one thing, another one of those things is going to pop out the other end and demand attention.”

I just didn’t think the thing which would “pop out and need attention” would be me.

_________

P.S. I had time to write this and think this because I am on vacation, and, just as crucially, nursing a cold, which allows me to close the door for moment.  I know I’ll find a new balance and some space once I settle into work more, get “up the curve” and find my rhythm.  Hopefully you’ll still be reading by the time that happens…


20 comments:

  1. I very much hope you continue to post as I very much enjoy your posts. But good luck with your transition!

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    1. Thanks Robin! I'm thinking about taking a little blog-cation so that when I return I can actually write posts people, like you, might enjoy! : )

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  2. You'll make it Kim. And we'll still be here - at least I, for one, will!

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    1. Thanks Phil. And thanks for helping me think through this a bit more!

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  3. Kim, I greatly enjoy your blog and have learned a lot from your awesome posts , not mentioning hte faact that your blog got me started to write for World Moms Blog. If you find the time, please continue blogging. Even if it's every few weeks. Please! I'll read every post!

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    1. thanks Olga! It warmed my heart to read your comment! And, I think I will just set more realistic goals for my posting frequency from no on! : )

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  4. Just to let you know - I miss mamamzungu - hope you will still keep writing.

    Love,

    MOM

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  5. Kim.. Oh Kim... How we are on the same page... My move back to the US has taken its tole on my creative expression. I knew that there would be a decline in my quality of life by moving away from the tight community that expat living encourages, and I knew I would feel the pangs of losing my "life team" (nanny, house help), I just didn't realize that the result would be me not having any time or mental capacity left for me. I am on vacation now as well, and one of my goals is to figure out how to make this life work a little better. I will confess, I was peeking at flights out, but I figure I'd better give this American life a chance before I flee again. :-)

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    1. I can't imagine how jarring that transition must be Erin! The loss of the "life team" (now my new favorite expression!) alone has to be rough. Hopefully we will both find our stride... : )

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  6. As an American mom in Kenya, I really love reading your blog, and I hope it continues! Best of luck with the transition!

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    1. Thanks MamaMgeni!! Glad to find you and thanks for commenting. I'm going over to check out your blog now...

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  7. Kim, I'm glad that you have a job and that you experience what I experienced when I was working mum: this quality over quantity is something that can be so refreshing for our relationship with our kids ;-) I am "only" working part-time (but I'm doing three jobs at the same time and do volunteer work too), but I really like having more than one "task". - I think that once you'll have found the "new rythm", you'll find your creative moments again. You'll maybe find a way to combine your work and your blogging? Take your time. I'll be here, waiting for your next post :-)

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    1. Thanks so much! It's nice to know other people relate to what I'm going through and I do truly have faith that I'll find my rhythm again and space for writing. Nice to know also that people won't have forgotten me by the time that happens... ; )

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  8. I'm glad you post whenever you have time. I always come away with something worth considering. Thank you!

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