She sat on my couch and vented. She described her family’s nightly routine. Kids bathed, diapers changed, a book and a good night kiss. But as soon as her hubby helped her put the kids to bed, he flew to his computer to play his game.
It didn’t matter that she occasionally wanted to talk to her husband or watch a movie together.
She called the game ‘his mistress.’
He’s a good man. If she asked him to sit with her, he would. But she could feel the tension. His heart vied for the game. She had become his second love.
I listened. Identifying.
But not with her plight…with his. I’d been having an adulterous affair too…with my blog.
How will I promote my giveaway? How can I get more email subscriptions? When will one of my posts ‘go viral’?
My blog had become my first love. And if I am honest, most days it still is.
And it’s hurting my family. It’s hurting my relationship with God. And it’s robbing me of living in the present moment.
I know I’m called to write – called to blog. But I’m also called to be a mother and a wife. Because I’m called to do both, I’m also called to figure out how to balance my offline life with my online one.
And I’m a mess, because it is messy.
Blogging on the side IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Your blog will overtake your life if you let it, but on the flip side, your life will overtake your blog. Neither is productive or healthy.
For years, I poured myself into my family while ignoring my own desires to write. Like a starved lion, my soul started to rage. Recently, that lion broke out of confinement. For an entire week I decided to ignore most of my responsibilities and blog unabashedly. Sure, it felt good. But it isn’t where I want to land.
I need a balance. We all do.
I don’t want my children’s memories to be filled with visions of mommy always on the computer.
Just a second, mommy needs to post something on Facebook. Hold on, I’m almost done editing this image.
I also don’t want be an empty nester whose looks around her child-less home and regret not retaining my identity.
It’s a battle. This balancing thing.
At the end of my “vacation from real life” (aka ignoring my children and blogging all day long) I was on my elliptical listening to the recent Allume blog conference, keynote speaker Tim Willard.
He described the island of Iceland. This island sits where the Eurasian and American tectonic plates meet. As the plates shift, every year Iceland is pulled a few centimeters apart. When the tectonic plates rub, the volcanoes on Iceland erupt, cool and form new land. Because of this, Iceland also grows about 5cms every year.
The very thing that causes the landmass to rip is the very thing that causes it to grow.
My desire to blog and my desire to be a present mother and wife rip my soul in two. I am on two tectonic plates. Blog and family.
I’ve throw myself into figuring out a way to balance my blog life with my family life with schedules, avoidance, and sheer willpower. All the while, I’ve forgotten one thing: Jesus.
All along I’ve been fighting the wrong fight. My blog and my family life are at odds because I’ve elevated BOTH of them to the wrongful position.
Not only had my blog become my first love, but in many ways so had my family. Jesus has been a close third.
I’ve been confused, because serving my family and writing about matters of faith look holy. And they are when put in their proper place. But somewhere I’ve gotten out of whack.
The Bible says that we cannot serve two masters. If we do we will love one and hate the other. We cannot serve our blog and our family at the same time. We will love one and hate the other. So what is a blogger/wife/mom to do?
It’s simple and yet not so simple. Serve Jesus. He is our only master.
Jesus is the magma that flows out of the volcanoes of life and forms NEW land – connecting the fragments created by the pulling tectonic plates in our lives. Only he can give us the balance we need.
When he says blog. We blog. When he says sit and color with your children. We color. When he says snuggle with your husband. We do that.
And the only way that we will be able to hear his voice is through remaining in him via spending time in the Bible, prayer and praise.
It’s a daily thing. It’s hard. There is no easy way out. If it were, everyone would successfully blogging on the side. If it’s easy, you’re not doing it right. If you’re not being ripped apart, you’re not growing.
So, if you are like me; realizing that you’ve placed your blog (or even your family) in the wrongful position in your life, the good news is that you can change. And you don’t have to do it alone. You can pray right now and ask Jesus to help you put everything in its rightful place in your life.
And I’m going to do that. Right now.