Pro-Mom, Not Pro-Blogger

Pro-Mom, Not Pro-Blogger

our-family-christmas-photoI’m not sure that I knew what I was getting myself into. It all seems so very long ago when I first began setting up Keeper of the Home over two years ago. I don’t really remember what I thought blogging would be like… enjoyable, relatively simple, something I could do during the children’s naps, a great way to share what I’m passionate about and get to know other like-minded women, and even a way to earn some money doing something I love from home.

And you know, it is most of those things (well, quick and simple not so much). I love blogging, I really do. I love the people, the things I’ve learned, the opportunities it has presented me, the ways that I’ve been challenged and have grown.

There’s something I love so much more than blogging, though. My family. My precious children, 2 little ones back when I started and now we’re up to 3 with the addition of Johanna this summer. My incredible husband, who has been such an encourager and supporter of me throughout these years of big bloggy dreams. I really, really love my family.

We had a talk the other night, my hubby and I. We agreed that I’ve been stressed to the max, trying to sustain a constantly growing blog with growing responsibilities, care for my family, do all that needs to be done around the home, and support my husband (often caring for the children by myself from morning til night) through a particularly busy and demanding season of starting a new business. I am really struggling to maintain a professional-quality blog and all that it entails, while still being faithful to my more important priorities. I don’t want to continue to be so tired and burnt out, and he doesn’t want that for me either.

What makes it especially hard is that there seem to be many women out there who are managing to run busy blogs as well as busy households, and do it all with grace. I have seasons where I feel that I can do it to a degree and other seasons where it feels utterly overwhelming. I am asked so often in comments and by email how on earth I do all that I do. The simple truth is that it’s very, very hard and I am one tired woman.

You might be wondering if this is a good-bye post and I’ll put your questions to rest right now… no, I’m not going anywhere. Not quite yet, anyways.

I am making a change of pace, though. In the past several months, I’ve developed a growing vision for my blog and in a sense, a lot of ambition. Many things have been driving me to pursue more and bigger things with my site and as a blogger in general. I see other women doing it and I feel the need to keep up, to grow alongside of them, to continue improving my site and learning to do what I do in a more professional way.

I realized that something in me was starting to say, “My roles are not enough. I want more. I want to be somebody, do something, make something of myself.” I didn’t see it as being ugly at first, but now I do. It crept up slowly, little thoughts, little desires. Somehow it grew into a burden to maintain this career (because let’s face it, when blogging requires this much of you, it’s more than just a hobby), even though I knew it was at a cost to my most important of careers, that of being a mother, wife and homemaker.

A few weeks ago we were doing school time and my daughter needed to draw a picture of her mother doing something. I had warm fuzzy thoughts of her drawing me cooking or baking, something in the kitchen, where I spend so much of my time (and often with her by my side). Do you know what she drew? Mama at her computer. It still brings me to tears when I think of it.

I want my children’s childhood to be full of memories of a mama who was by their side, playing with them, laughing with them, reading to them, cooking with and for them. Not a mama with a face glued to a computer screen.

I’m tired of trying to be a pro-blogger. I just want to be a pro-mom.

I want all of my energy, creativity and passion to flow into my home and into my relationships with the most important people in my life, and not into some career that won’t mean a thing one day when I’m old and wishing I had spent more time with my children during these incredibly precious years that I can never get back.

So yes, I’m still blogging, but not at quite the breakneck speed of the past year or so. I’m toning things down. My book is the last big project that I will be tackling. No more major site changes. No pressure to be some spectacular blogger, who knows how to work social media and commands an impressive audience. Just me. A real mom, talking about things that matter to me. My subject matter won’t change, but perhaps the amount of time I put into some of my posts will. If I need to take a day off because my family just really needs me then I will, rather than force myself to burn the midnight oil because there just wasn’t time to blog during the day.

I don’t really know how it will affect my blog or my traffic. Truth be told, I’m not sure that I care anymore and there’s a real freedom in that. One day soon (nope, I’m not sure when), I will put all of this aside and put 100% of my energies into this precious family that God has given me and I won’t look back.

I’ll leave you with a quote that was brought to mind the other day as I was thinking through all of this, and being renewed in my passion for the glorious task that God has given me to care for my family and home, to support my husband and to love and train my children:

[W]hen people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge [at his work]. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean…. I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children [arithmetic], and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”
G.K. Chesterton (bold mine)

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  1. Stephanie, your post struck a chord with me, for sure! My blog is not even as well known or making any money, but I do have a good following and there is a part of me wondering if I need to keep it all going in case I do need to turn it into more. But I already am the sole provider of my home and as much as my husband is supportive and engaged, I still need to manage the goings on at home, even while I am away. It is a lot of pressure and I am not sure what I will end up doing.

    From one “how do you do it all?” to another 🙂
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Guest Posting at I’m an Organizing Junkie! =-.

  2. Dear Stephanie,

    You have a large readership (including the likes of me who lives in the UK) and your blog is excellent and yes, extremely impressive. But you are right to take note of the really important things in your life. And, equally importantly, you need to look after yourself. You are obviously a perfectionist and an incredibly high-achiever, but like many high-achievers you risk pushing yourself too hard. Take care of yourself,

    Love Mary.

  3. I know this has probably been a hard decision for you, but trust me it is one you will not regret. We only have our children for a short while before they are grown.(my oldest of 3 is now 14yrs old, I still can’t believe it. I only have a few more precious years with him. I get teary eyed just typing that!) We as moms have an enormous responsibility in training them in the Lord, which takes a lot commitment and time. This is a job/life style that I would not trade for anything else.

    Saying all that, I am glad your not going to stop blogging altogether. (Its all about balance.) I have really enjoyed your posts. Keep up the good work, you’re doing a great job!

    … now I’m going to get off the computer!!!

  4. Yes! Yes!!!!! I totally think this is the right thing to do. Even though I do read your blog every day, and enjoy it immensly, I have actually often felt guilty knowing how much it must take out of you to create all of this so that myself and others can benefit.

    This is precisely why I have never wanted to start a blog of my own. I saw how much it would take from my family.

    I suspected this was going to come someday. I am SO glad that you have realized this yourself, I saw it but didn’t know what to say.

    I totally encourage you to do whatever it takes to make sure that your priorities are correct. I would totally, completely, 100% understand if you needed to stop blogging altogether. I will be praying for you.

  5. Stephanie,
    Thank you so much for writing your post. I too am the mom of small children, and I want you to know that there are many of us standing in solidarity with you. We are intelligent, educated, capable and gifted women, and we have chosen to sanctify our abilities and gifts in the service of our families. Don’t worry, the day will come when we can all haul our toddler-encrusted laptops and change the world and share all those brilliant ideas! But until then, our homes are our holy places, and the love of our children and husband our greatest reward.

    See you online in a few ten years,

  6. I totally understand how you feel. I felt the same way last year, and my blog was simply a personal blog, not a professional one in any way. I had to give it up for a while but I finally feel like I’m ready to take it on again, but family totally comes first. I love the quote by GK Chesterton. Blessings to you and yours
    .-= Jacqueline´s last blog ..Like my new look? =-.

  7. Girl, I’m right there with you. I recently have come to the same conclusions! Maybe it has something to do with having a new little one to care for, we see how quickly they do grow. I’ve been trying to do to much and blog to often. I have a lot of great ideas for my blog and grandiose projects, but my family is more important! But my heart is unsettled and my home a mess, my children crabby, and my husband has to come home to it all. So yup – I’m taking 2 weeks off for Christmas, then slowing it down for the new year! I’m a stay at home mom, I don’t wanna be a work at home mom!

    Good for you for realizing when changes need to be made!

  8. Stephanie:
    I’ve enjoyed your blog over the last year and 1/2. I enjoy simple posts about life, family, simply living, and cooking…Post when you can, I’ll always be back to check. You will never go wrong putting God and family into the right priorities. It is hard to balance. And, God has a way of bringing us back into ‘line’ when we need it. At least you were listening!

  9. Thank you for your honesty Stephanie. It is hard to remember that God makes us each differently to handle different things. Something I often struggle with as well.

  10. Good for you! The same type of thing happened to me last year and I just had to stop blogging, it was taking too much time and too much focus and energy. I’ve recently started blogging again but it’s a lot different, site trackers and entering carnivals aren’t priority, sharing and having a creative outlet is why I blog now but I so enjoy the freedom of not being strapped down to blogging. It was hard to let go but am thankful that God opened my eyes to how things really were and had me let go. So much freedom.

    Congrats 🙂
    .-= Lindsie´s last blog ..DPP: December 13 =-.

  11. Every child needs a pro-mom, and you have 3 blessed children. You will never regret this decision. The days of toddler talk, sticky fingers, and spilled milk will, one day, be gone forever and you will be wondering where they went. Time goes by so quickly and you will be left with only memories of those sweet little faces, cute things they said, and hugs they gave you. I know. My “babies” are 28 and 26 now. I was a full time mom, and I have no regrets with our decision for me to be home with our girls through high school. School brings it’s own needs for mothering…programs, parties, and that all important time at the end of the school day when they need to tell you the good and the bad that happened…very teachable moments! My daughter works in a Christian school and says there is a shortage of stay-at-home moms to volunteer.

    I have so enjoyed your very professional and informative blog. But, I rejoice with you in your decision. To everything there is a season…

  12. I read that very same quote last night as I was getting ready for bed. I blog, but to the same level as you have been. Even the stuff I do, small as it is, takes time. I can only imagine the amount of time a blog like yours has been. I have really enjoyed reading it and hope to see you continue to blog, even if it is at a much slower and more casual pace.

    The quote you wrote was also a reminder for me of the important role I have as the mother in my family. I am a full time student as well as the wife to a wonderful man and the mother of 3 amazing young children. I do not feel called to give up my studies or even slow them down because I find that keeping myself so mentally stimulated is actually very good for me. However, it does mean I have less time with my children, but I try to make that time the best time possible. In some families, and this was the case in mine, there is a ton of time with the parent right there but the time is of poor quality. It is not only important to be there for your family but to give your best to your family even if that best isn’t as much time the quality of the time more than makes up for it.

    As much as I would hate to see this blog disappear completely, I can completely understand if that is what you feel is best for you and your family. Enjoy your children and bake lots of cookies!
    .-= Cassidy´s last blog ..Joint Injection =-.

  13. Truth be told, sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with your many posts! I’m a busy woman and have wondered how you were able to write them all (writing surely takes more time than reading). We will all still be here, no matter how many posts appear a week.
    You might even give some of us a break!

  14. As much as I love your blog, the reason I love it is because I feel you have the same priorities as me and I can be encouraged and strengthened by your life. Your choice to keep your family your main focus is absolutely the right one. These moments we have with our children are fleeting, and we’ll never have again. I know the Lord wants us to pour our lives out to encourage other women, but not at the expense of our family (or our own sanity and health!) It’s good for us to see that you don’t have 36 hours in your day either, and that you, like us, sometimes just have to choose between the good things in life, and that which is great. Whether you post once a month, or 3 days in a row, I look forward to reading how you choose to continually follow Him.
    .-= Lee´s last blog ..The Truth: Love One Another =-.

  15. Good for you! I think it’s brave to step up and choose your family. I think it’s hard when you perceive that a lot of people are “relying” on you. But your family needs you more. There will always be another resource we can find if we need help with natural living, etc., but you are the only mother and wife your family has. So, I am very happy for you!

  16. Thank you for this post! As Jesus once told Martha, “Mary has chosen what is greater.” You have chosen what is greater in God’s eyes. I had been toying with the idea of having a blog – but am feeling the Lord say that it’s not beneficial to me right now. This post helped confirm that further! Thank you!

  17. Good for you! The reasons you feel the need to slow down your blog are the exact reasons I fell in love w/ it in the first place!!! I’m proud of you for making this decision and know you will be so blessed for it! 🙂

  18. I think your blog is wonderful. I hope you keep writing. You don’t need to be fancy or do all this complicated blogging stuff. Just your thoughts and ideas are more than enough! I’d read your blog if it was just a simple post. I read your blog for the information and ideas that you share. The technology and “pretty” stuff is just extra. Merry Christmas and thank you so much for all your hard work.

  19. I think that you are making a great choice. I will anxiously await new posts but your children, husband, and home are your greatest earthly blessings. Have a wonderful Christmas season!

  20. Amen Sistah!!! Good for you girl. It’s all bout priorities and our families are the top. so… why am I standing at the computer right now while my kids are running around me? Ok, I need to get off, but it’s so fun to read blogs! LOL! I had to reprioritize my blog recently and realize it wasn’t about what everyone else was doing, but just about blogging my life as it is. God bless you!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..It’s been Good =-.

  21. Been there, done that. You will not regret your decision. I used to design and sew children’s custom boutique clothing in my “spare” time. But there came a point where I no longer had my own “spare” time to give. Instead I gave of my families time together. I spent every night and week-end sewing. Sometimes until 4 in the morning. I turned my husband and myself into single parents living under the same roof. I still can’t believe I let it happen, that I did that to us. For a little extra money? For the need to have something of my own to be proud of? I was so on the wrong track. I’ve been getting my focus back to what’s really important, God and family and blogs like yours have really helped me do that. So thank you for blogging, but even more, for making the hard/easy decision to make your family #1. I respect you even more for doing that.

  22. I, too have 3 children, and when #2 arrived, within the first month I quit several big things that I had been involved in because I realized very quickly that the more children you have, the more time it takes to parent. When #3 arrived, I pared down to just one or two activities that allowed me not to become a totally child-centered person and so my girls could see me serving others beside themselves (this is important because it teaches THEM to serve others – which is an important concept in parenting, too!). I would think less of you if you sacrificed your family for other things. Good call on your part! (Oh, and I highly doubt ANY of the other bloggers are doing it as well as it appears through the computer screen – they only have 24 hours, too, and something has to give. You just aren’t able to see what it is that is suffering).

    The Bible reminds us that there are seasons in life. A time will come when the house is all too quiet and you will be looking for things to do. And you will have amassed a huge amount of wisdom getting to that point!
    Your husband and children will rise up and bless you! (Prov. 31:28)
    .-= Amy blogs @ River Rock Cottage´s last blog ..Holiday Hospitality For Drop-In Visitors =-.

  23. I could have written this. All weekend long I was thinking of shutting down for good. . . Still not sure. But maybe, I’ll make adjustments and find balance instead. Just not sure. I have to come back and re-read this and add it into my inner monologue over the entire situation.

    Thank you for posting!

  24. The impression that so many women run a large blog and also maintain work/family balance is one of those myths we need to run from, isn’t it? . It’s not possible to have it all…even if the appearance is such. Any blogger with a sizeable readership has felt that tug.
    Your precious heart speaks volumes here and I am right there with you.
    It’s such a dichotomy. Our blog grows, our desire is to encourage women with their home and yet we know that in order to do that we need to step away from the computer and the multitude of “if only’s.”
    I know what my blog/speaking schedule “could be,” but the reality is that it’s not quite my season yet, nor yours. The Lord is going to honor your priorities and it will come back 100 fold. 🙂 I’m a big farther on in my journey as I have teens down to a 6 year old, but I’ve never regretted putting them first. 🙂
    Still looking forward to meeting you at Blissdom. 🙂

    Love Chesterton…one of my fav’s.
    .-= Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam´s last blog ..Creative Christmas Decorating Ideas =-.

  25. Being a Mom is a wonderful job, but it takes time, time, time. My children(7 and one on the way) have often asked me why I don’t start a blog. I love reading other blogs and learn a lot rom many of them and find encouragement from many of the, but even reading them can take a lot of precious time from my family. It is always good to step back and reassess your situation, whatever it is, and re-prioritize. Don’t feel guilty, but glad.God has given us these blessings called children and we need to raise them for His glory.



  26. Your post captures so simply and eloquently and honestly the struggle so many of us have. I tend to handle my frustrations and anxiety about these kinds of things using satire, snarkiness, and cynicism — looking for a form of comedic relief to it all, I guess. But here in this post, you have captured everything so beautifully. Many kudos for you for understanding exactly what the priority needs to be for you and your family, and for exercising the courage to do it. Rest assured I will remain a loyal reader, no matter when or how often you post. 🙂

  27. Oh, Stephanie. Stephanie.

    I’m so glad to read this. Did you get inside my head and heart and write out my very own thoughts? No? Are you *sure*? 🙂

    We absolutely must, MUST push away the desire, the ambition to be something “special”. To receive the world’s accolades. You’re doing a good thing here with your blog. But the bigger it gets the harder it will be to put brakes on and focus on what really matters.

    I, too, do not want to look back ten years from now and realize that I threw away precious moment of time with my children.

    To be honest, I have used you (and some others) as comparisons. (I know, my bad.) “If *she* does all this (and seems to do it well), shouldn’t *I* be able to do it all, too?”

    Bottom line: It doesn’t matter what someone else is doing. If *I’m* not able to give my full focus to what really matters with blogging on my plate…it’s got to go. No matter how much it hurts.

    So, I did. I walked away from something that I loved doing because it was eating way to much of my time…and my heart.

    Anyway. Fight the good fight, woman. Keep looking to the Father for your worth.


  28. Stephanie, We all struggle with idols/pride somewhere in our lives and, at least for me, it’s almost a daily struggle to try and keep God’s priorities for my day, my priorities for my day. I have learned so much from your website and I will miss your input on how to live each day more healthily, but I know that God has His priorities for your life, time, talents that will bring all glory to Him. Remember, we are set apart from sin and set aside for His purpose. I will miss you when it’s time to completely stop.

  29. Great post I loved reading it. Clapping for you as I am a fairly new to blogging and I can relate to all that your saying. I want to be a pro mom too not a pro blogger.

    Again I love reading this post, very well said.

    .-= Sandy @ The Mommys Place´s last blog ..Christmas Gifts Crafting =-.

  30. I just found your sight today from “HappyHousewife”s tweet. Good post, very important reminder of what really matters. Thank you.

  31. I want my children’s childhood to be full of memories of a mama who was by their side, playing with them, laughing with them, reading to them, cooking with and for them. Not a mama with a face glued to a computer screen.

    Exactly where I’m at too. Thanks for a great post.
    .-= Amy Andrews´s last blog ..Because the dam will break =-.

  32. Stephanie! I have such high regard for the courage and wisdom you’ve demonstrated to make a hard decision. You are in good company, my friend =) We’ve all been there/should be there/will be there someday. I reached this point several months ago, and haven’t looked back (though I didn’t have nearly as large a blog ha!) It’s amazing how freeing it is not to worry about posting every day or keeping my readers coming back. If I get to it, great. If not, no big deal. That’s a great place to be at (for me) right now.

    Your blog has been of great help and encouragement to me for a long time. Today is no different. What a sweet, sweet post.

    Merry Christmas!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..I am here to meet your needs =-.

  33. Stephanie,

    I’m so encouraged by your post. This is something that I have been struggling with on a daily basis for the past 2 years at least. It’s so encouraging to know that you’re a “real” mom who can’t do it all, just like me! I have had to stop (or cut down significantly) those “fun” things in my life to make room for the most important things. (I really don’t even have time to read blogs, but yours is one of the very few I frequent most often.) I’ve found most of my comfort and hope not in identifying with those other moms who don’t do everything perfectly, but rather in the Word of God.

    Be encouraged by one of the most heart-hitting verses I’ve found on this particular topic–2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

    May the Lord meet you in amazing ways as you seek to spend time doing those things that will last for eternity!

    Thanks again,

  34. Good for you, Stephanie! It’s not easy to keep our priorities straight (I’m a full-time working mom who’s SO hoping to finally be a full-time stay-at-home mom come March when my next child is born) but you’ve got it right. While we ladies who grew up in the 70s/80s/90s will probably always struggle with our ambitious desires and a nagging sense we can do it all (somehow!), it’s a lovely thing to learn to let go and just do what matters most – to love God, our husbands, and our children, then see what else we actually have time/energy/desire to pursue. Whenever you decide to leave this all behind, you will be missed but (hopefully) cheered on by your many dedicated readers!

  35. For selfish reasons hope you don’t stop blogging, I get so much from your posts and more importantly your example! However, I understand your dilemma. Nothing should come in the way of our family.

    Stay true to yourself. I personally don’t expect to see you post everyday, honestly I don’t have any expectation of other bloggers. I read your blog because you are another Christian, women, mother and wife. It is nice to know that others have similar goals and values.

    God Bless you on this journey!

  36. Hi there,
    I am the momma of 6 blessings so far and have been bloggin for a little over 1 yr.
    I have slowed way down in my postings and its content. I have 20-30 minutes of time to read blogs or post each day.
    I love go see what my blog friends are up to! I feel a connection to those peoples blogs I go….they also come to mine!
    My blog is a scrapebook for my family and a way to share my love of motherhood and being a wife!

    Blessings to you~
    Got to go the kiddos want me to read them a story~

    .-= Fruitful Harvest´s last blog ..Name That Bunny~ =-.

  37. you are doing exactly what you need to (evaluating your computer time versus your family time)! i am proud of you for doing what is necessary to put your energy in to the #1 calling in your life (being a mom and wife). one day your littles will be grown and you will have more than enough time to blog. the time you have now is precious and fleeting, so soak it up and don’t feel bad if you can’t blog every day. way to go!
    .-= April´s last blog ..Pregnancy :: weeks 33 & 34 =-.

  38. I also had large readership of a blog/website and it was causing great stress in my life and my home and time with my daughter and husband were lacking. I took my blog down a few months ago and the words my daughter said to me brought me to tears. She said “Mommy isn’t going to be sad anymore!”

    The past few months I have had great happiness and peace that I haven’t felt in years to this degree. I had been blogging for almost 3 years, so it was quite a change for me. I have to say I’m finally able to be the Mom I wanted to be. I’m not stressed, the day is ours and we are going to add to our family soon. I chose my family and I don’t regret it! 🙂

  39. This post is amazing.
    I will be re-reading it often for perspective.
    We have three children very close in ages to your children.

    Thank you for eloquently sharing this.
    Blessings to you!

    Ann Marie

  40. Oh, this just warms my heart! To see you choosing to stand for what you feel to be most important, even admist the normalcy of so many women choosing to invest deeply in their blog!
    Thanks for being committed to the Lord first. You were a wonderful example to me today!

  41. Through my tears, let me just tell you that I read this post early this morning and immediately turned the computer off. I got SO MUCH done in my home and was HAPPY doing it. Those women who can do it all? They can’t. Period. Something’s missing, but we don’t always see what it is in their writing.

    Thank you for writing this. I’m going to work on compartmentalizing and scaling down my blogging efforts, too. Really try to write fewer posts that are definitely worth reading.
    .-= Amy @ Finer Things´s last blog ..Prepare Your Inner Stable =-.

  42. Someone “re-tweeted” this and I came to your blog for the first time. It is a great message that needs to get out there. Good for you!! This wife/mom thing is such an amazing opportunity and we so often muck it up with all of the extras. I am now going to follow you on twitter and subscribe through google. Not that you care 🙂 J/K!
    .-= becky @ our sweet peas´s last blog ..The Photo Shoot of 2009 =-.

  43. Wow! How refreshing to see someone who’s sentiments mirror mine exactly! I just had one of those talks with my hubby too, and I finally saw the light! True, I try my very best to only be on the computer during naptimes, but what if I got my housework done during naptimes, then I could have the rest of the day to actually be a “pro-mom” like you say. Quality time spent with my precious children instead of “Leave mommy alone, she’s got to get the housework done and dinner made.” I am so determined to be that woman that, like you, I don’t know what will become of my blog, and I’m not so sure that I care. I took a drastic step to ward off the temptation to slip back into that mode of too-high ambitions for my blog: I asked my husband to put a password on the computer. I can’t even use the computer whatsoever when he’s not home. I thought I’d hate it and that it would be a tough pill to swallow, but you know what? I love it! It is absolute freedom! Freedom to be the wife and mother I’d always dreamed of being, but just didn’t quite have the time to be. Thank you for sharing your heart! What an encouragement!
    .-= MaryEllen´s last blog ..Kellogg’s Printable Coupon: Buy One Get One Free =-.

  44. Interestingly, I am drawn to blogs that are simpler and even have fewer readers… I think they feel more personable. I thought you were doing a fabulous job even before some of the site changes/ forum. I hope you’ll be able to stay true to who you are at the core and your own passions and not worry about what others are up to.

  45. Good for you, Stephanie! I’m right there with you, and I know exactly how you feel. This “pro blogging” thing can be exhausting, and it can put us in a corner we never intended. Even if we started with good intentions (bring in extra income for the family), it can go down a road we never intended if we’re not hyper vigilant (a bustling career).

    You make the blogosphere a brighter place. Yours is one of my favorites. Thank you for your honesty here. 🙂
    .-= Tsh´s last blog ..Big Trips with Little Kids: Yes, it can be done =-.

  46. Amen, sister!

    You are so right in what you say in this post; thank you so much for it! It’s humble, true, and you will not regret this decision!

    As a faithful reader who has learned so much through your blog (and been so encouraged in my walk with the Lord), I want thank you for what you’ve shared here. Regardless of what you decide to do in the future with your blog, what you’ve already written remains to teach, guide, and encourage those who find it. You’ve done so much here – no need to necessarily do more. Family comes first, and I greatly respect your honesty with your readers today and your decision to slow down. We all should do that! 🙂

  47. Dear Stephanie ~ I so totally agree with you…God will give you EXACTLY what you need to be a wonderful wife and mother…THAT is your FIRST calling and it doesn’t end when the children are not toddlers anymore…NO…it continues on and even gets more intense and time consuming (really) in the teen years. Set yourself some guidlines and stick to it…keep it all in its proper perspective. God is honoured when we do so…day by day…for HIS GLORY!

    May God bless you…
    In Him,

  48. This is beautiful. Your children will be grateful for this decision. Difficult as it was to come to, you know it’s the right one. It’s wonderful to see someone else struggle with the same insidious problems and come to a similar conclusion. May God bless you.

  49. Stephanie,

    What keeps me reading you is not the bells and whistles on your blog (though your blog is lovely!), or the frequency of your posts, or a misguided idea that you have it all together, and my life will be perfect if I do everything just like you. No, what keeps me coming back here is your content, and the heart that comes through your writing. I have learned so much from your blog, and I appreciate that you recognize that you are just a vessel. You are using the knowledge you have been given to help teach and encourage other women, and that is refreshing in the land of blogs. I applaud your putting your family first, and I will pray for you as you try to find more balance in your life.
    .-= April L.´s last blog ..Harmony =-.

  50. I love the YOU that I have come to know from reading your blog for the past year and a half. I don’t think you have anything to worry about! You are right to put your family first. You and your family will certainly be blessed by doing so.

  51. Let me just say as the mom of a 12 & 15 yo who spent the last ten years with my face in the computer selling on ebay…you won’t regret your decision. What I regret is not making the very one you’re making. I chose to keep forging ahead to try to make extra money for the family. Money that now just isn’t worth to me what the time lost is. And unfortunately I can’t go back. I have to live with my regrets now. So I just wanted to say from having been there and heard my children say “mom’s on the computer AGAIN”…I’m very proud of you for seeing it before it was too late.

  52. I applaud you for keeping your priorities in order – your post brought tears to my eyes. It’s hard to keep sight of the “best” in the midst of all of the “good” and I commend you for doing so. Bless you Stephanie – your family will be blessed by your decision and you will walk in freedom! I look forward to reading more of your blog when you have the extra time 🙂

    GREAT Chesterton quote… one of my favorite authors…

  53. I spent the morning playing Monopoly & reading stories, dared my dh to bake pumpkin muffins (they were so yummy they disappeared in 10 mins!) and not sure what I did with the afternoon besides bathing kiddos, and did puzzles with the dc tonight, listened to ‘daddy’ reading the Tanakh and skyped our eldest dd about her upcoming wedding and ….was wondering why I don’t have more of these wonderful days? These relationships are priceless. You are wise to keep them priority (no matter how old your dc grow).
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..This Little Light of Mine =-.

  54. One of my favorite posts. I have so enjoyed your blog over the last year. I was in the process of learning and making many health changes when I found your site and continue to appreciate your hard work. But, I too, had my 3rd little baby this summer, and each day remind myself of the importance of my role as wife and mom. I’ll keep reading your blog whether is is once a month or once a day. Thanks.
    .-= Jodi´s last blog ..Family Of Five =-.

  55. I am so glad to read this from you. I just started a blog with similar dreams as you had (keeping up with my family and logging our journey). Thanks for the earnest and gentle reminder about what truly matters. God bless you and your sweet family!

  56. We do compare, we women, don’t we? You and I are certainly alike in that (worrying about stats…), and I noticed that this was published at 3:00 a.m. Was it really? People ask me “How I do it all?” and I always say with an eye-roll and the internal knowledge that it’s hurting my family, “I don’t sleep.” And yet – here I am, reading through the #savvyblogging thread and clicking on articles before I write my own! Hmph. I do so enjoy this online thing, but it is an awfully difficult balance. I don’t think there are ANY mom-bloggers who are super successful and are happy with the balance. If they are, they certainly aren’t homeschooling YOUNG children. Let’s keep each other accountable on this and stop working so hard at the screen (or even the kitchen counter) until we’ve thought of our children’s best interests. I’m hoping reading this post is a(nother) turning point to convince me of my own words. I’m guessing my kids would draw me at the computer, too, unfortunately, and I’m saddened by that as you were.

    (Just stick around on Twitter, okay, you’re such a joy to converse with!)
    🙂 Katie
    .-= Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship´s last blog ..Monday Mission: Decrease Holiday Disposables =-.

  57. As I was reading your post I was thinking about Titus 2. While I consider your blog to be informative and enjoyable and professional, I think that for moms like us (I have two young boys) the best thing is to be listening and learning from older, wiser women. (Incidentally, I have found it extremely difficult to even find people like this sometimes–all you mature women out there, please step forward, you’re in demand!.) Sometimes it gets so tempting to try something new or jump into an unnecessary project, I know exactly how you feel. But you will find wonderful freedom in doing fewer “outside” things in order to do more with your family.
    You will probably still get that “restless” feeling once in a while (I know I do!) that makes you want to go take a class or learn a new language or start a business or Something! I have found the best way to deal with this temptation is to give myself a project centered on God’s Word. Either memorization or a simple study, it helps to channel some of that energy. And the more saturated you are with God’s Word the better you will be able to serve your family.

  58. Thank you, Stephanie! I had tears in my eyes as I finished reading your post. I’ve been thinking about my blog, too. I’m not big-time at all, but I’m trying to decide where to take it. As I read your post, I was reminded that I don’t want my children to grow up and always remember Mom on the computer. I’m trying to make prayerful decisions. Thanks so much for sharing your heart, and as long as you’re here, I’m not going anywhere. I’m so inspired by your blog!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Planning for A Joy-Filled 2010: Priorities =-.

  59. Tears sprang to my eyes when I read about the picture your daughter drew, for I knew my girls would draw the same thing. Stephanie, as others have said, I feel you absolutely opened my heart and read my thoughts about where I am in all of this. I’m tired, tired, tired. Would you believe next month will be my FOURTH anniversary of blogging? I don’t want to try to be Pro Blogger anymore. I can’t tell you how often in the past 18 months I’ve been *this close* to walking away from it all. You know what? Next year might be the year I do just that.

    I think in some ways this post must have been risky for you to share. Thank you for taking the risk. I am unspeakable encouraged by you sharing your heart in this way.
    .-= Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog ..since you’ve been meaning to anyway . . . =-.

  60. @Megan@SortaCrunchy, Bless you, Megan. Always right to the heart, my friend. I know you’re tired, I could tell. Give yourself some space, Mama (hmm, I think you’ve given me that sage advice before :).

    Yes, it was a little risky to post. I wasn’t sure how it would be received. But hubby and I talked about it and he felt that I should go ahead and post it if I truly felt that it was where I was at and what I needed to communicate. I’m so glad I did! *Hugs*

  61. Amen and Amen! I felt the stress last year and slowly backed away from blogging. It was dangerous and risky, because I own a design business too…but I have not really regretted it, and I dare say that anyone has missed my posts.

    It was fun for a season, but once it became a “job”, something I felt I had to do — I was spending far too much time on it and my family got the leftovers. I just didn’t want to live like that anymore.

    Kudos to you for realizing this – and I’m sure that some of the other moms will admit to feeling the same way.
    .-= Karen Lewis´s last blog ..A lesson on Socialism =-.

  62. So well put, Stephanie!

    I haven’t been blogging as long and don’t have nearly the readership, but since my newest little one came along this fall I’ve cut way back in my blogging – I feel like I still have so many thoughts I want to share and 50 blog post ideas floating through my head on any given day, but I’m not willing to make the time right now to get them all out on a regularly scheduled basis like I used to be able to do. Maybe when I’m getting a bit more sleep. I think our babies are pretty close in age – I used to blog after bedtime, but right now this mama needs to go to bed just as soon as she has a few minutes to unwind after the babies are in bed.

    Take care,
    .-= Steph @ Problem Solvin Mom´s last blog ..Mail Time! Make your own mailbox… =-.

  63. Thank you for a great post. I struggle with the same thing although I don’t blog…I prioritize so many silly things above spending time with my precious children and then at the end of the day wonder where my time with them has gone. You are a great encouragement to me because you share my values and passions, so I am thankful for the time you do spend on your blog. But, I would love it still to just hear what you’re thinking about- nothing fancy. Your posts seem to be about something I am currently considering or something I appreciate considering and you definitely help me to be a better homemaker, wife, and mommy. You are a blessing!

  64. Amen Stephanie! What you are choosing to do is really going to bless you and your family in so many ways. I can’t speak for everyone but from what it shows in your comments we will miss your posts. However, I think we all understand and praise you for putting family first. May God continue to bless you!

  65. Oh, you are speaking to my heart tonight. I’ve been feeling exactly like this–for months now–I get caught up in the excitement, the ambition, the growth. But then when I take a break I just LOVE being with my kids, taking care of my family, and ignoring the computer. I’ve been so torn about what place to put my blog in. I need to take some time over the holidays (between kids and visitors) to reflect and make decisions.

    Thank you for being so open and honest.

  66. I am sure this was not an easy decision for you and thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. Your blog is fabulous and very helpful, and you have to do what is right and good for yourself and family. Take care and know you made a very wise choice. Hang in there!

  67. I know it’s not easy, as I have started blogging since I began reading yours. I don’t have your following, obviously, but it’s starting to take more of my time (my daughter sleeps and my son is in my arms as I type). I struggle with the feeling of needing to do and be more all the time. I am jusy hoping that in a year or so I will put a lot of that energy into serving others locally (shelters and church and such) and bring my kids to teach them to serve, too. It seems a better pursuit if only because you can involve your children too. But I wish you the best, whenever you decide to stop. Sometimes I wish I had that courage but I have always had the drive to multi-task to the max (one reason I want a lot of kids). 🙂
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Ways to Save Money Around the House =-.

  68. Thank you, Stephanie. We don’t know each other, and yet I am so proud of you for taking a stand for your blessed priority of being a wife and mother. Too many women are giving in to the constant pressure that society (and other Christians) place on us to be career-oriented. It is a battle we need to constantly be concious of and engaged in. You’ve blessed me so much in the last year that I’ve been reading your blog, but what will be a greater blessing will be the investment you make in your precious children for the Kingdom. God will certainly bless your decision since you’ve kept Him at the center of it!

  69. Wow – a few of your comments really struck me. I can see my kids drawing me glued to the computer screen too. I’ve been trying to turn the computer off during the day.
    I did wonder how you were managing sometimes and am glad you were able to sort through and find your priorities. Our tasks as wives and mothers are very great and it is a huge responsibility!
    I do see you have a talent though and if put in the right perspective and used at the right time it is very God glorifying. It always comes down to the “why” am I doing this.
    Take care!
    .-= Suzanne´s last blog ..Elise Doll and a Giveaway! =-.

  70. Way to go! You have made a wonderful discovery, and a great choice. You have a wonderful family and we are thankful you share them with us, but they are the inspiration and focus of your life, not us.

    I have struggled with the “comment addiction” of blogging. I’ve been blogging for over 7 years now. I finally had to let it go (about 3 years ago) and have since archived and privatized many of my posts. Now it’s back to just being my family photo journal. 🙂

    I pray that God will continue to use you to encourage more and more moms to dohealthy things for their families… but more-over that God will bless you with a healthy lifestyle for your own home, a lifestyle that centers around your heart for your family and the way God uses that heart.

  71. Good Girl, Stephanie. Everyone needs to step back and reevaluate, and thereby gain perspective routinely. Balance and moderation in all things. I love your blog, and support your maybe fewer posts or once a week posts or something decision. The New Year coming, this is an excellent way to get back on track. You are a blessing to many, but you are right, your kids and hubby need to be first.

  72. just found your blog three days ago,from something a friend posted on facebook, I never ever read blogs, but yours got my attention, and I have read it three days in a row, and then I see this post! God brought your blog to my attention for a reason, I too, struggle with this very thing, yet its not blogging, its my own little business of refinishing furniture. I make great money, I have fun doing it, I look forward to it, I feel great acommplishment from it, I love getting compliments from others.(which is truly meaningless, because really our feeling of worth should be completely from Jesus, because of Him, not because of what we have done, or what we can accomplish)
    I do miss just being a mom, no other pressure taking my attention away from my kids and husband. I have slowed down these past three months, and have been enjoying it. I am too playing with the idea of just quitting it altogether, its very hard to let go of something I enjoy and make good money at!! But then again, I only have this short time with my kids, and when I grow old, I too, don’t want them to remember me spending my time painting, but being a good mom. Lord, please help us all to find balance!!! Please lead us in the path You want us to take!!
    .-= painter´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  73. I could have written this post. Well, perhaps not as eloquently, but you wove together the very words that have been my heart for some time now. You put into the words I’ve written posts entitled “The grass is always greener on the other blog” and “Burnt to a crisp” because I’m trying to be an uber blogger when really, what I want to be is a child of God, loving wife, and a good mom.

    As I recently wrote, blogging is a gift to women in many, many ways. It can also become an extension of Christ, a true ministry where we reach out to one another, but it quickly loses its virtue when it makes us feel unworthy. This is what I sometimes struggle with. Too often I might find myself thinking, “Well if this mom of [insert number larger than the three kids I have] can find time to blog, then I certainly should be able to.” So I push myself and what is supposed to be a source of enjoyment and encouragement as well as a means of growing spiritually quickly starts to feel like a burden.

    I, too, am cutting back on blogging as well as reading others’ blogs (even though they’re often a great source of enjoyment). While writing itself is not a source of stress for me, worrying about writing for an audience in Blogville, thinking I was disappointing my followers with a lack of posts, and/or spending too much time reading other blogs can become a source of anxiety and angst.

    That’s why I, too, plan on maintaining my more laid-back approach to blogging even after our life slows down. I also am scheduling regular Internet fasts – usually on Sundays as well as longer fasts throughout the year. Your post has offered much encouragement – thank you for your honesty and humility.

    This season of Advent is such a wonderful reminder to prepare our hearts and our homes for Christ and to be present for our family. I want time to do just that.

    Signing off… God bless!

  74. Stephanie, I applaude you for making the decision to slow down! I recently did the same thing. I was working from home from the time my son was 2, and while I spent way more time with him than mothers who work outside the home, I still felt like my focus was not where it should be. When I was playing with my son, my mind was still on business matters. I couldn’t sleep at night for thinking about it all. I got more and more stessed every day. Eventually, I had a little breakdown, or really a breakthrough, and made the decision to put the business on hold for a while. Since I have, I’ve learned that no matter what I do, I still have stress and problems, but now that I’m focusing on my family, I have problems that I’m happy to confront, knowing that finding solutions will improve our lives, and not just make me more money. I am so happy I made this decision, and I know you will be too! Never be afraid to put your family first!

  75. I agree with you. Your family is the priority in your life and your other roles come as “amendments” to that. Funny that you should write this. I had the same ephiphany a year ago when I gave up my own online business, because I realized the toll it was taking on my kids and my husband. While I do miss some of the excitement of writing for an online audience, I so much more enjoy the happy and healthy children I have and the happy and content husband that continues to support all of my ambitions. Peace and blessings to you and your family.

  76. I just loved this whole post! Thank you for this. You just have no idea how much you just helped me….”please don’t keep going this way” is what God said to me through YOU!
    I love hearing God through other and I look forward to not hearing Him as often through you….gives others a chance! LOL
    Blessings on you and yours….and thank you. It’s good to get your priorities straight isn’t it?

  77. B U M M E R!! Okay, now that I got that out of the way…good for you!! I love your blog and have a few choice ones I follow, yours being on top. I admire you for putting it all out there. Good luck and i will still keep checking in. Less frequently is fine with me and I guess we will have to make sure we have any published books in case we need something to look back at. I LOVE YOUR BLOG and I am so glad you love your family so too!! You are a great mom and wife, Kristy

  78. I’ve been thinking about your post since yesterday, Stephanie. Clearly so many mamas identify with what you’re saying here, and I really admire your courage for putting it all out there so openly. That connection is what is so powerful about the blogosphere.

    At the same time, I think the reason you want to feel like a Somebody is, because, you ARE a Somebody. God made you to feel that way (w/o the other stuff we often add to the mix); He made you with passions, gifts, AND with the desire to share those with others. And His hand has been with you, giving success to this space.

    Of course none of that should come above your family. And I’ve often read your posts, especially since your newest addition, and thought that you should scale back a bit (at least I know I would need to in your shoes!). But you do have something really unique and valuable to share.

    Maybe now is just not the right season to share it; or maybe it is. I’ve no doubt that God will show you, and give you courage to follow the guidance He gives.

    Personally, I would not have any problems with my kids drawing me in front of the computer. This is where I do some of my work! This is where I write, craft, learn, and use my unique talents for the benefit of others. In all these things I am setting an example for my children in so many ways.

    Now, if that is out of balance, then yes it’s a problem. But in balance, it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

    Praying that you’ll know the right way to head,

    .-= steadymom´s last blog ..My New Priority: Moms’ 30-Minute Blog Challenge =-.

  79. Yes, this is my heart – in fact, I could’ve written this!

    I have toned things down on my own blog too, because I was feeling that pressure to keep up with everyone else. My blog still isn’t huge, but I have lovely, faithful friends who visit and leave me encouragement regularly. That is what God has blessed me with and that is what I want to be content with. I may be Super Mom (*wink*), but I am not all powerful. There is no way I could continue to build my blog AND home school AND train my children AND keep house AND be there for my husband AND everything else in between. Building a blog takes quite a bit of time. More than many of us are willing to admit, I think.

    Unfortunately, something I have come to learn is, no matter how many followers/subscribers we gain, it will never be enough. We will always want more and we will always have in our head that they have expectations of us to write miraculous content

    I’ve learned, it’s just not possible. It’s difficult to write more content then you’re living out.

    I am also finding that the longer I stay away from reading and writing blog posts, the more ideas I come up with for writing. In that case, I jot them down in a notebook for when I can sit down to write my thoughts out. I do that rather than staring at a computer screen, waiting for inspiration to smack me in the face so I can write something awesome.

    I haven’t perfected that technique yet, but it’s better than it used to be.

    So, good for you and thank you for sharing your heart because it speaks to many women–including me. 🙂
    .-= Christin´s last blog ..{A Homemade Christmas} Framed Photography =-.

  80. I have recently been thinking over the same things as I realized I was allowing computer/blogging time to take priority while important things in the home were being left untended. I have had to reevaluate my priorities and set a more reasonable schedule for myself. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..Cooking Up a Storm =-.

  81. Go you! This is the reason I quite blogging. I love it, but it takes way too much time that I just don’t have with three kids 2 and under!

  82. Stephanie – Our Lord works in wondrous ways! This confirmed niggling thoughts I was having about blogging, where I was going to go with it (I haven’t gone far!) and what God’s will was for that. This post helped support all those thoughts. Thank you! This post is much needed in the mom-blog world. May the Lord bless you and your family.
    .-= Kimarie @ Cardamom’s Pod´s last blog ..Wooden Toys Giveaway =-.

  83. Thanks for the keeping it so real here, you have touched my heart. I just put up an announcement on my blog that there will only be reruns while I bake cookies and fudge with my kiddos!

    I will be back…but I will have a different outlook! Have a blessed and fruitful Christmas Season! Kim
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..Cookie Tuesday =-.

  84. Thank you so much for this post. So many of us moms feel the pressure to have a perfect home, perfect children, the perfect marriage AND have a career as well (and as you pointed out, blogging can become as demanding as an outside-the-home career!). As one of your readers who used to visit your blog and wonder how in the world you were keeping up with everything, I fully support your decision to back off and give yourself a break!

    You seem to be a fantastic mom, wife, housekeeper and woman of God and giving yourself time to focus and develop those roles can only mean good things for you and your family. I really believe that all women need to examine their “to-do” lists and decide what needs to be a priority and what needs to change.

    Your honesty is so refreshing – so many moms are afraid to admit that their daily lives are less than picture-perfect . Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU and may God bless you and your family this Christmas season!

  85. Excellence!
    I read this post with awe. Refocusing is hard when we feel we are getting kudos from strangers.
    Thank you for a glimpse to real life as a woman, mom and wife!
    .-= AnneofAlamo´s last blog ..Finished! =-.

  86. Stephanie, you are making a wise choice, one you will NOT regret. I have shared your weariness with the pace of the women’s blogosphere and–after doing it for over four years–only just now feel that I’ve learned how to strike some balance. As someone who has wrestled with the same questions, I urge you to keep asking them, and keep focused on what is most important. Ambition and creativity can be lovely things, and they will always be here for you to develop in a different life season–but your little ones will be little for SUCH a short time!

  87. Wow. I wonder if my kids would draw me at my computer??? It’s where I gravitate when they’re playing and I’m bored. It feels “better” than turning on the t.v. but is it???

    Wow. Thank you for this post.

  88. I’m so glad I read this because I can definitely relate. I have been having the same feelins recently of really needing to bring my focus back to my family. I want to be completely devoted MOM, with blogging on the side and not the other way around, KWIM? BLessings to you and your family!
    .-= Crystal Brothers´s last blog ..Some thoughts 🙂 =-.

  89. Amen! Sing it sister! I believe I’m on a similar path – growing blog, growing interest in becoming the ‘major-blogger-who-social-networks-like-crazy-and-gets-my-stuff-out-there’.

    I laughed, then nearly cried as I considered what my children would draw if they’d draw me. I’m afraid it would be the same. (except with furrowed brow and possibly grunting ‘5 more minutes!’) Sad.

    I can do better. For my children, husband and God, I can do better. The decision I make now may impact generations – my grandchildren may have very different parents based on what I choose.

    Time for a priority check. Thanks for this honest and challenging post.


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