cutting back

As I’ve mentioned more than once recently, going back to work has been harder than I ever anticipated it being. I am now on my 4th week back at work (yes, I’m counting) and it still hasn’t gotten any easier. My life was much more simple when I was spending all my time with my baby, although it still wasn’t easy those 12 weeks. Now, with work thrown into the mix, I go from working 8 hours a day at my actual job and come home to my other job – being a mom + wife.

Those 2 jobs take up ALL of my time. Literally. There are days when the only time I have to relax is when MacKenna is sleeping in my arms after dinner. And while I cherish that time with her, it doesn’t give my a lot of time to get much else done. I’ve been feeling totally stressed out and completely overwhelmed. Those 2 things combined do not add up well and typically lead to depression, given my family history.

I’ve really had to start looking at what things are most important in my life. By far, the most important things are my 2 M’s – Matt + MacKenna. I want to spend as much time with both of them as I can, because they are the 2 things that make me happiest in life.

Next, of course, is work. I’m still wishing I could be a stay-at-home mom, but again, it’s just not financially possible. I have to work so that has to be high on my list of priorities. And next month (February) is a very busy time at work with 2 field trips, Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart, planning + practicing for our PE assembly, and coaching after school sports. The breaks I do get during the day need to be spent getting things done in preparation for all those things.

And of course, my health also ranks high as a priority – mental + physical. Luckily, those 2 things go hand-in-hand. I need to spend the time exercising and eating well so I can stay mentally healthy. It’s my stress relief and I’m definitely not willing to sacrifice that, even if it does cut into my sleep time and a little time I would get to spend with my family.

Unfortunately, something I do need to sacrifice is blogging. I just don’t have the time I used to have to be able to blog 5 days a week. I’m not saying I won’t be blogging at all anymore, but I will be cutting back significantly. If I get the chance to blog and have something to say, believe me, I will definitely be writing about it. But, for now, I just don’t have the time to come up with a topic, organize my thoughts, write it all out, take + edit pictures, etc. It’s leaving me stressed out to the max and I can’t continue to break down every night because I didn’t get a post up.

**Side note: I had this post written last night and my Live Writer crashed on me, which spiraled me into a complete meltdown. Point taken, self. I need to cut back.**

I will continue giving you MacKenna + Body After Bump updates, but they’ll both be once a month now. I want to still do WIAW, but it might not happen every week. I still have lots of things to say and share, but as much as I love my blog + all my readers/friends, I just simply don’t have the time… right now.

Maybe once I figure this whole “working mom” thing out or find a way I can work from home (unlikely), I can continue blogging like I used to. But, until those things happen or we hit summer (is it May 24th yet?), blogging has to be low on the priority list. I’ll miss the few comments in my inbox every day, but I know this is what I need to do to stay sane.

I love you all and hope you understand! <3

Edited to add: I will be posting M’s weekly pictures in the Baby Girl tab, so you can check them out each week. They might not be up on Tuesday, but I promise they’ll be in there!

  • of course we understand, kristen! you have A LOT on your plate, and blogging is supposed to be fun! i have always promised myself that once i start stressing out about my blog, is the time when i need to cut back. i’m glad you’re being proactive and doing what you need! :)
    sarah @ sarah learns recently posted..planning

    • Kristen

      Thanks Sarah! Blogging is still fun for me, but it’s something I don’t NEED to do.

  • Being a working mom is so super stressful. No need to put extra pressure on yourself. Blog when you feel like it and enjoy your little one. :)
    Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength recently posted..Things I Wish I Had Known About Being a Mom

    • Kristen

      Thanks! It’s always nice to know there are other folks in my boat!

  • OF COURSE! I feel you girl-I don’t even have a baby, and I’m finding myself stressed out with just planning a wedding, teaching, and starting my masters!
    Melissa recently posted..Extra! Extra!

    • Kristen

      Oh girl, you are BUSY now! Matt + I were talking about everything you must be doing now. We had a year and a half to plan for our wedding – luckily, some of the stuff is planned for you, but I can’t even imagine how stressed you much be! We are SO excited for you 2!

  • I totally understand! I had trouble blogging before I got pregnant. Now I’m blogging more until baby PR comes, because I KNOW it won’t happen once he/she arrives.
    Carlee recently posted..Great Treadmill Run

    • Kristen

      Ha, smart! Babies definitely keep you busy! We had high expectations of all the things I’d get done while on maternity leave – HA! Don’t plan on doing anything but just caring for your baby! Just a heads up!

  • I think thats the smartest thing you can do. As I pregnant working girl, I found it amazing how often you were able to blog so I totally understand where you are coming from. We will all be here to keep reading no matter how regularly you post!
    Lizzy recently posted..My Pregnant Running Routine

    • Kristen

      It was easy when I was at home. Now that I’m back at work, I have to put work first (unfortunately). And it’s just a busy time of year for us at school, so I realized it just wasn’t going to happen.

  • Amy

    Hang in there. Good reflection on your part can only lead to happy & successful times to come. We will be reading when you post!
    Amy recently posted..Winter Warrior-ing

    • Kristen

      Thanks!

  • It’s great that you realized that you can cut back in some way. Do what you need to do to stay sane. Change is difficult especially so many big changes in a row (being preg, having a newborn, working again). Good luck! I’ll be reading even if its just a few posts a month. There are no rules to blogging :) I hope you’re feeling better today. New week= fresh start!

    • Kristen

      Thanks! Yes, much better! Change is hard, but I’m dealing with it!

  • I’m so happy you’ve come to this realization. Not that we won’t miss you but your sanity is more important than anything. Whenever I start to feel the pressure of “I need to blog,” I remind myself — it’s just a hobby. It’s one I love, but it’s still just a hobby. And that is a very freeing feeling. I just remind myself why I blog in the first place — to help me remember important moments, the silly moments and just the things I never want to forget. It removes the pressure of coming up with new topics all the time and allows me to just blog about the “fun” stuff.

    You’ll figure out a system. It might take a while. But you will. Until then, do what you need to do to keep your sanity! Good luck!
    Jackie @ MomJovi recently posted..It’s My Birthday and I’ll Drink if I Want To

    • Kristen

      I LOVE reading your blog! E. is so adorable! It’s nice to know there is another working mom out there who understands!

  • Good for you :) As you can see from how often I post (not often at all!), I always wondered how the bloggers I read do it all…like you said – think of something to write about each day, take pics, write it, etc… I barely have time to make the comments I want to (which is why I don’t often comment, but I do read, and still will! :))
    Jill recently posted..Oh My Buddies

    • Kristen

      I feel so bad that I can’t comment on blogs as much as I used to! I read them from my phone while nursing and it’s just too hard to comment, so I barely comment anymore. It’s definitely hard to keep up with life!

  • Julia

    This makes total sense to me. I don’t have kids or a blog but I know I’d feel the same way as you do now if I was in your situation. I’m glad that you figured out a way to make your life a little easier. Good for you! I support you in whatever is best for you and your family! Also, thank you for writing this post. It’s nice hear others are stressed too and how they learn to cope with it–good lesson for us all!

    • Kristen

      Thanks! Just trying to keep it real…

  • Totally understandable!! Good luck with everything, I’ll still peek in from time to time to see sweet Mac!
    Kaci recently posted..Bump Watch ~ Week 36

    • Kristen

      Thanks! :)

  • Kristen’s Mom and M’s Gigi

    Being a working Mom is so stressful! It really doesn’t matter what age your kids are — it’s just hard trying to fit it all in! You are SO doing the right thing – blogging is an easy thing to cut out! (Unfortunately, you have me hooked now, so I’m reading a bunch of the blogs that you told me about. Even reading them is time consuming! I can’t even imagine trying to come up with something to write that someone might find interesting!) Love on that sweet baby and wonderful husband that you have — they definitely are the most important things in your life right now! I’m glad you figured it out before you had a total meltdown. You’re my baby, and I still want to take care of you and make sure you are alright!

    • Kristen

      Love you Mama! :)

  • Dana

    Good for you for realizing that you need more time for yourself and your family! I love your blog and look forward to the days you do write, I’m sure it will be as wonderful as ever.

    • Kristen

      Thanks! And thank you for reading it! :)

  • Kathleen

    Thank you for the insights, tips and entertainment that your blog has provided me since I discovered it a few months ago. I especially have you to thank for recommending the Susan McCutcheon book on the Bradley Method which I read and found to be enormously helpful. You are to be commended for the time that you devote to every aspect of your life, it doesn’t seem like you ever waste one minute! Best of luck and I’ll look forward to your posts whenever you have time. I hope that one day you can become a stay-at-home Mom. I had to wait almost three years, but it has been worth the wait and I love being home with my two children even though we’ve had to sacrifice a lot. Maybe a door you haven’t thought of will open some day!

    • Kristen

      Aw, thank you for your sweet words! I hope the door opens also, but I right now, dwelling on it isn’t helping me either!

  • I will look forward to more updates on MacKenna and your monthly progress. At this point in your life, you need less stress (not more) so do whatever you need to do! I would pick running over blogging any day…..
    susan recently posted..Sunday Wrap Up

    • Kristen

      I will try to keep you updated on M besides just monthly posts since she is my life now!

  • Hi Kristen, Being a working mom is super hard and super stressful. I can totally relate. My son is 17 months on the 28th and it’s still hard to manage fulltime work, baby, husband and home. Hang in there. I’m not gonna say it gets easier because for me it hasn’t. I struggle everyday…it’s a challenge. You will eventually get a routine and the thought of juggling life and work won’t hang over you everyday like it does now.. Take it easy. -Heidi

    • Kristen

      I definitely don’t expect it to get easier, and it just make me wonder how people manage to work with 2 kids! I’m still adjusting and hoping that cutting some things out will help!

  • Sarah Beth

    “I’ve been feeling totally stressed out and completely overwhelmed. Those 2 things combined do not add up well and typically lead to depression, given my family history.”

    This totally spoke to me. I, like you, am a (kindergarten) teacher and expecting my first child Feb. 20th. My husband teaches as well and assured me I could stay home but now he is starting to change his mind even though financially we could do it. At 36 weeks pregnant I have reached a level of stress I didn’t know was possible and find myself already depressed (it runs in my family as well and I’ve been diagnosed with it) and actually DREADING my new role as wife, mother, and teacher. Good luck to you and do everything you need to do to stay healthy. Your daughter is adorable and she is lucky to have you as her mom.

    • Kristen

      Don’t dread it, especially during your pregnancy. Enjoy that time you have with your husband now. Change is going to happen regardless if you want it to or not. But, I love my baby more than anything in the world and I wouldn’t trade being a mother ever. It’s by far the best thing I’ve ever done!

  • don’t feel bad about stepping back on blogging at all–as much as i love your posts, i think you’re making the right decision for you and your 2 M’s!! and that’s a great thing! :) now we just need to find a time to get together in person to catch up!
    natalie (the sweets life) recently posted..Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

    • Kristen

      YES! We will definitely find a time to get together again, whether it’s dinner or going for a run or something!

  • Jen

    Hugs Kristen! I can’t imagine how hard being a working mom is! :( I think it’s so smart to focus your extra time on M+M right now instead of the blog. Though I’ll miss you! Please still play on twitter! ;)
    Jen recently posted..Never would I ever…

    • Kristen

      No worries – I’ll still be on Twitter. That’s something I can easily do while nursing! :)

  • Good for you!!!

    I used to be a regular blogger under a different name/blog (back about 7 years ago!) and thought I’d like to do it again. Well thinking you want to do it and doing it are SO different. It wasn’t worth it to me!
    Katie @ cooklaughmove recently posted..New Years Eve 2011

    • Kristen

      Blogs take a lot more work than people realize. I wish I had more time to do more upkeep on my blog, but that’s not possible either!

  • Natalie

    I love your blog and loved this last post. Thank you for your honesty and always keeping it real. I am not a blogger, but am 31 weeks pregnant, a runner, racer, swimmer, I work and volunteer. I also need exercise and a healthy lifestyle and balance to keep stress and depression at bay. I have already been thinking some things are just going to have to give, but my husband, future baby, dogs, training and work are my priorities. Thank you for not making me feel alone in my worries and concern. I will keep checking in! Good luck with everything!

    • Kristen

      Babies change your life. What is normal now definitely will be different in 9 weeks! I don’t regret it for a second though! It might be stressful, but I’d much rather be busy than bored!

  • So happy that you are able to recognize that you need a break. Blogging is something that you should enjoy and not something that should add more stress to your life. As a working mom of two (who also tries to juggle two blogs), I have also been at my breaking point and had to take a step back. Good think the blogging community understands and is willing to support you! Enjoy your husband, your baby and the time you have together. Whenever you find time to blog, your readers will still be here.
    Stephanie @ Food and Fitness 4 Real recently posted..Dinner and Dessert at Rise No. 1

    • Kristen

      I love this community for the support alone. Of all the comments I received on this post, only 2 were from people I know in real life, and one of them is my mom!

  • Kristen, you should be so proud of yourself for making this decision. Even though I love reading your blog, you always need to do what is best for you and your family. Your readers will still be here whenever you have the opportunity to blog! :)
    Danica @ It’s Progression Not Perfection recently posted..Maybe I Shouldn’t Do What I Should.

  • Lee

    Completely understandable. I’m always shocked when new moms find the time to blog every day!
    Lee recently posted..Two More