putting one dream on hold to focus on the unexpected one unfolding before my eyes

Three years ago I was very motivated to become a serious blogger. I went through the necessary steps to create a decent looking blog platform, I started networking with other bloggers by inviting them to write on my blog or asking to write on theirs, and more than anything, I tried to write on the blog nearly everyday to stay current and interesting to my readers. I loved to write and found the blog to be the perfect space for me to record my personal thoughts and feelings without having to feel tied down to book ideas that I knew wouldn't grow into fruition anytime soon.

The blog fulfilled a part of me that I didn't know needed attention...until one day it just didn't. I remember the day clearly. I was sitting at our desk in Peoria reviewing the comments from a recent blog post and checking how many people had viewed the blog the previous day when Mya came up to me with a brush tangled in her hair and tears in her eyes. At first I didn't even glance at her as she complained. I kept telling her, "Mommy will help you in one minute...one more minute." I think that minute turned to five minutes, until in what I can only imagine to be sheer desperation, Mya finally yelled out, "Mommy, I really need you." I turned and looked at her face and felt so ashamed of myself. I thought I was doing my best to juggle my interests and my responsibilities, but it was clear in one second that I didn't know how to best manage my time, and my kids were getting the short end of the stick. I immediately closed Blogger and vowed I would not check it for the rest of the day, and I didn't. I was tempted to...don't get me wrong, but I kept my word. That night I wrote in my personal journal the following: "Sometimes it's important to put one dream on hold to focus on the unexpected one unfolding before my eyes."

It was hard to put the blog aside because I kept thinking of all the work I had put into getting to the spot I was at, but eventually it grew easier to casually write and to not care so much about how many people were interested in my life. I didn't realize what an ego I was secretly building, and it's always hard to confront one's ego. I am always so impressed with the moms who blog regularly. I hardly have the chance to read anything these days, but when I get the chance, I just stand in awe of the amazing women (and men...I just don't follow many male bloggers) who have learned to juggle parenthood and blogging.

Randomly, Tim was on blogger the other night and was checking how many people looked at the blog the previous day. He asked me, "Do you remember when you used to have x-amount of people reading your words?" I nodded and replied, "Yeah, these days I hardly get any traffic." He asked me if it bothered me, and I answered that sometimes it did, but most times it didn't. I just don't have the time between being a mom from 6:30-7:30 and working from 7:30-10 to do more than I already do.

Right now the blog is not my dream. It is a dream of the past and if it's still around when I have time in the future, it will be my dream again. Right now, I write when I feel inspired. I have always tried to remain true to myself as a writer. I try and post pictures of my girls for friends and family around the country who I know love seeing them grow and develop. But right now, my girls are my unexpected dream. I cannot tell you how much I love being a mother. It is the best thing I have ever done with my life and probably because it challenges me every single minute of the day. Just this morning I had to use skills I learned in my family life classes at college to help my fighting girls reach an understanding far beyond their years, and I did it. Everyday I use my English degree as I read to my girls and help them comprehend the stories. And I use the knowledge I gained from my nutrition classes to help me and my girls make smart snack/meal choices each day. I guess my college dreams and education didn't go to waste (sometimes in the thick of things it certainly feels that way ;)).

My girls are helping me achieve dreams I didn't know I had. They instill a sense of courage in me that I've always lacked. They make me want to be a better woman and role model. They force me to assess the way I view things and really decide where I stand. They are my teachers now.

I'm sorry if I don't blog as often as I used to. If I had all the time in the world, I'd write daily. I have a lot on my mind (I know that's not surprising). I know that my audience has shrunk, and that's okay. It's okay because I know my words still reach and help a handful of people who love and think of me. I hope to be back more regularly, but with a fourth baby girl quickly approaching, I fear my writing opportunities will dwindle all together, but I will do my best to stay here for you and me because this blog really is for me in the end. Sometimes on my hardest days, I think of posts I've written in the past, and I find them, and they help me look up and hold on for one more day. It's amazing what keeping a record can do, especially if it is a record you are proud of.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley