When a new member joins the family, there are bound to be growing pains. The kids may think it’s fun at first to have someone new in the daily mix, but eventually the novelty wears thin as the day-to-day care of the new addition becomes a reality.
Being a mom to three kids, I’ve lived through the excitement and adjustment that comes when your family expands. I totally expected it, too. What I didn’t expect was that the same period of adjustment would happen when I started my blog last November. To my surprise, my kids were jealous.
Sure, at first they were very excited for me. They were even impressed that this old dog could learn a few new tricks.
Until this point it never occurred to them that I could even type, let alone use a computer.
Heck, I barely had time to brush my teeth raising three children with a variety of special needs and issues that needed daily attention. Never mind spending my time web surfing. Personal enrichment and satisfaction were not high on my to-do list.
My kids knew I had worked in an office before becoming a mom, but I think they thought of that as more of a suburban legend in the once-upon-a-time-the-old-gal-had-a-life vein.
Very quickly the awe and even pride my kids felt at watching me do something new was replaced with cries of, “when are you getting off our computer?”
The cries came the loudest from our daughter Lizzy, whose special needs have always included an extremely hard time with speech and language. Phrases such as “mommy, you sure like that computer,” started to grow into “mommy get off my computer now.”
Always thrilled whenever Lizzy can find her words, I would smile and tell her that it was great she was using her words so well, but we do not speak to people that way. Then I would go back to my blog.
Our oldest son, Tom knew something had really started to change a few weeks later. We were on our fifth attempt at taking the yearly Christmas picture when I uncharacteristically, threw in the towel.
“That’s it guys. It’s just going to be the year without a Christmas picture. It’s really no big deal.”
Then I started to sing that phrase to the tune of an old Christmas special I remembered as a kid.
Tom, newly 12 at the time, was not amused.
“But Mom, you always make the Christmas picture such a big deal.”
“I know honey, but why don’t we give ourselves a year off, it will be fine.”
Then I launched into another round of, “It was the year without a Christmas picture.”
His next statement took me completely by surprise.
“This is not like you… You are only doing this because of that blog… You want something to write about for next week.”
Honestly. At the time, I hadn’t thought about it, but he had a point. It would make a great story. I always knew that boy was brilliant.
Of course, the most heartbreaking reaction came from our youngest, Peter, who was five at the time my blog came into our lives. Since he was used to sharing me with Tom and Lizzy I didn’t think my new passion would really affect him. I was wrong.
“Mommy, I hurt my toe! I need a band-aid.”
I looked up from the computer and gave him my sweet mommy smile. I looked at his toe, which showed no signs of trauma and comforted him with a big, long, hug. Then I went back to the computer.
He asked for another band-aid.
I’m used to Peter’s need for band-aids, but I was in the middle of a great thought plus I had dinner to check. Surely, an unnecessary band-aid could wait a minute.
After several failed attempts to elicit my sympathy and attention, Peter had had enough.
“Mommy, I will see you later. I am going to the nurse!”
Yes, it’s been an adjustment this last year.
Things have changed. Or more accurately, I have changed.
I no longer use the family computer. I have my own. And, I have my own office too. Well, “office” may be stretching it a bit. It really is just a corner in our bedroom, but it’s all mine.
At first it was hard for everyone to realize that mom meant business about her “office” being off-limits. I’ve never made it a priority to have my own space. I was so happy being a mom, the space didn’t seem that important.
But this was different. Funny thing is, once I stood up for my right to have my own corner of the world, the kids, and even my husband, complied.
The one exception to the no one touches mommy’s computer is each Sunday when Joe edits my blog. Little did I know that when I married an editor 18 years ago his skills would become so handy.
The kids really didn’t know what to make of Joe and I working together and spending time on something other than them. All of sudden three people who were perfectly happy playing and not wanting anything to do with dear old mom and dad desperately needed us the minute Joe would start to work on my site.
Now they accept the few minutes Sunday evening when daddy edits mommy’s blog and no one can talk to us. They are also used to the silly exchanges that happen between Joe and I while he gently and ever so tactfully reviews my copy.
Last week was a perfect example.
“Kathy, do you really want to say you secretly read romance novels? It’s not really a secret.”
“Yes it is. I don’t like to publicly buy them. I won’t even take them out of the library. That’s secret.”
“Hmm, I don’t think that’s accurate. You should just say that you read romance novels.”
“No, no, don’t say that. I don’t want anyone to know I’m OK with it. Why can’t I just say I read them in secret? Is it really going to harm your journalistic integrity?”
“Yes, yes it is.”
With that I hear Tom laughing in the hallway.
“What if I say I guiltily read romance novels, can you live with that?”
“Yes, that will work.”
“You two are so cute when you do this” says a soon-to-be 13 year old Tom.
“Shouldn’t you be in bed now?” I say with a smile.
Writing my blog and finding my joy in writing has changed me in ways I never expected.Without even knowing I did it, I had misplaced a part of myself. I was so attuned to my children’s needs that I really let my own slide.
The truth is the real addition to our lives hasn’t been my blog at all.
The new addition to the family has been me. And that is probably one of the best gifts I could give not only myself, but my family too.
Author’s note: I published a blog post on Momster.com last December titled, “My kids are jealous of my blog.” This piece is another look at the same topic and includes some excerpts from last year’s post.
Coffee Lovin' Mom says
I get this too – mom are you putting that on your blog? Well that and the endless band-aid usage!
I usually write mine at night, once the kids are in bed. I can’t concentrate with the babies running amuck! : )
TyKes Mom says
My children are much younger than yours but I still go through this same thing. I can be doing a million things that take my attention off of them and they are fine, but the second I turn to my blog, they need Mommy. It is cute and sweet in its own way, but each morning I have found myself telling my 3 year old son that Mommy has to work now. It is a struggle, but I know that blogging makes me a better person and mother. It fills a need within me that has been there since before I can remember. Writing has always been my deepest passion and it went by the wayside when I became a mom. It feels good to fill that need. I hope my children recognize that when they are old enough to understand.
My husband sometimes gets jealous of my blog…but he reads it religiously and always tells me what he likes. My son just rolls his eyes.
Grumpy Grateful Mom says
Kathy, you always make me laugh. Your exchange with your husband sounds like a conversation I had with mine last week, “You wouldn’t really say that.” “Yes, I would!”
My 1-year-old makes it quite clear to me that I am not allowed to be on the computer while he’s awake. He likes to shut my laptop or press buttons. 🙂 How can I argue with that!
It’s always so great to read everyones comments. Yes, kids do not want to compete with anything, never mind a blog. But, I’m finding how important it is to have something outside of the children. Funny I had always known that, but I think starting my family later in life and having such a hard time having kids made it easy to forget! Thank you all for your great comments and support! Much love!!
Larri @ Seams Inspired says
LOVED this post! We are so kindred, sweet friend. ☺ My kids have used the same arguments against my blog, though often when they’ve done something cute, they’ll ask if I’m going to snap a picture and post it. In their minds, they are famous. LOL
I’m finding myself in my writing. This blog has been such a wonderful experience for me. Hope it remains that way for you too. Happy Monday, friend!
PS…Thanks for linking up with Monday Facts! ☺
Great post, I really enjoyed this piece, you did a good job! Hope it continues well for you.
What a great post. I didn’t blog when my kids were little, but can relate with you in regard to having changed as a result of it. I like the discipline of it. It keeps me from aimlessly turning around in circles.
Last week, my daughter went outside to play. When someone asked where I was, she told them I was on the computer and then she proceeded to say “She’s married to that thing!” LOL
I wasn’t even blogging, but I was involved in an event and had many people contacting me via facebook and e-mail. I do try and save the blogging till after their bedtime, I can’t think clearly till then anyway.
Just Another Mom of Twins says
Great post! My kiddies are too young to know right now which may be to my advantage as it will have just become a part of thier day to day lives….mom takes time to blog! It really is something that I do JUST FOR ME…well, that’s not totally accurate…they WILL enjoy reading it someday! 🙂
Have a great week!
Joy Page Manuel says
What a wonderful, HONEST post Kathy!!! LOVED IT!! It’s so true though, when you said that it was you who was added to the mix and not the blog per se. You let more of you show up, you let yourself listen to You more and now ppl are noticing. And when there’s more of You, more of You can love and be loved. Hugs to you, my friend!
Elisabeth Hirsch says
Wonderful post. I’ve feel like I’ve gone through this same thing since I started blogging last January.
This is my favorite line:
“The new addition to the family has been me. And that is probably one of the best gifts I could give not only myself, but my family too.”
Amber @JadeLouise Designs says
That is such an amazing article! I LOVE your little banter back and forth with the husband. Your son is right..very Cute! lol.
I’m starting to go through this same change as blogging is a new found enjoyment for me. I have always loved writing, but now it is different; it is a way to be the old me from before I was a mom. I love being a mom and I’m proud of being a mom; but I’m still here and sometimes it is very nice to remind myself of that.
I always enjoy your writings; and I wanted to let you know you just received an award from my blog
I'm NOT a VOLCANO! says
Oh my gosh, I absolutely LOVE this!!!! I’m lucky that my kids are so close together, none of them remember ever being alone, so they’ve never had a chance to be jealous of a new sibling. In fact, they’ve always been really excited and helpful….however, I do remember, though, the jealousy that bubbled up when I began my blog…and that still bubbles up on occasion.
Sadly, it’s my husband’s jealousy, not my kids. (I think my kids feel secure because I have a little net book I blog on, and that can be wherever they are, so they don’t feel alone.)
LOL. great post. Here from VB. Love you as usual.
An Irish Italian Blessing says
What an awesome story! I love that you found something just for YOU and something that you get to do with your husband! I think it’s a great way to express yourself and take some time away from being a “Mom” to be “Kathy” This post made me smile 🙂
That was a great story. It’s nice to take time for yourself.
Thank you for stopping by AND for your gracious comment!
I think it’s great that you and your husband work on your blog together…sweet bonding time!
kathy, i’m so glad you have your writing. i know how important it is to have something solely for you. it is wonderful you and your husband work on it together! i love that. sometimes i will read my posts to steve instead of him reading them.
your writing is wonderful and your stories are inspiring.
sending lots of tuesday love <3
I just love this, Kathy! You are the new addition! I wish I had learned to do that before the six of mine were grown…learned to take a little time for myself.
I love it that you work on your blog with your hubby. That is so sweet. He’s just making sure your blog has journalistic integrity! LOL!
Nate and Kate’s Mom, I love that your daughter said you were married to your blog!!! That is great! And, yes Erin, my husband works very hard to keep my journalistic intregity intact!!! Lol!
I can never thank you all enough for the great feedback and comments! Reading everyones post it makes me even sadder that it took me so long to carve out my own space, it really is so important to us as parents and people!! Much love to you all!!
Megan (Best of Fates) says
It’s so fabulous that you’ve carved out a you-time and space from your kids and life and how great that your husband is so supportive!
Amberr Meadows says
My 5-yr-old is jealous of my blog and the computer. She often asks things like, “May I have some attention, please?” (As if I haven’t spent every day and night catering to her every whim, want, and need). We parents deserve our little corner of the world, because one day when our little cuties grow up, we’re going to need a life. 🙂
P.S. I didn’t marry an editor, but I got one just as good–a computer technician. Woo hoo!
I know my children aren’t thrilled with my blog at all. In fact, often times my six year old will say stuff like “you know you aren’t being a SuperMom when you spend all your time at the computer.” Ouch!! She is right, I’m afraid. But, writing is very therapeutic for me and it gives me an opportunity to socialize with other moms who know how hard it sometimes is to be a mom. A blessing for sure…but not always easy.
I think it’s so sweet that your husband edits your blog for you. I know I personally enjoy reading all of your adventures. 🙂
Ashley Haupt says
AND… now I am thankful my kids aren’t old enough to know that I blog about them, lol! I surely enjoyed this. It’s true; it does bring back a piece of us, doesn’t it? I also think that it helps me to enjoy my kids more as I find ways to write about our days together. Blessings to you!
Michael Ann says
Looks like you struck a chord with most of us blogging moms! Oh yes, this sounds like my life too. I LOVE how you closed this out, that you DO have someone new in your family–YOU!!! That is what is most important. It’s good for the kids to know they are not the center of the universe and to respect YOUR time, and you will always be there to give them what they need.
SoMo Mom says
Good for you! And good for you for doing it guilt-free! Great post!
Amber and Rosann, you both had me cracking up with your kids comments. Rosann, I think it’s hysterial that your daughter said you are not being a Super Mom when you are blogging!!
Also, like a lot of you have said, my kids love that I write about them too! I will also add that my oldest is my best PR agent as he always tells people about my blog!! But, I guess when you boil it down, we are moms and those babies want us, when they want us!! I’m learning the trick of giving myself something so I have something to offer my three handprints!!! As always, thanks for the great comments! Much love to you all!!
Since I work from home now (on the computer) and spend time working on my blog, the kids are starting to really dislike the computer in totality. DS has even stopped playing on his, and the other day I found my desk chair in the closet and my headphones in the dryer. A hint, perhaps?
Adventures With Tuco says
Here, here for mom taking the time to do something for herself! I truly believe that mom is a better mom when she fosters her own interests as well as the kid’s. Good for you!
Very, very funny! I finally have found a few minutes to catch up on your blog. You made my day! (Did you really compare yourself to “an old dog?”)
Jenn your comment had me in stiches!! Yes, I would agree with you they are proably trying to tell you something, they are being subtle though!!! Lol!! It is not easy being a mom!!
Thank you all so much!! I really love reading your comments and it’s so nice to know I’m not alone!! Much love to you all!!
I'm NOT a VOLCANO! says
hey! I left you a “challenge” on my blog! Please come accept it!
Becky Jane says
I especially related to the part where your kids not wanting anything to do with dear old mom and dad. My kids acted like i didn’t even exist until they found out I had other interests that didn’t revolve around them…now, they actually treat me like part of the family…well, most of the time!
Mommy LaDy Club says
You really do receive respect when you demand it, huh;) I never blogged when I was a step-mom, which in hindsight is good, because I would have written things that I would regret now. I always felt like no one had any respect for stay at home Moms and especially step-moms. You know how you’d get that question from everyone, “What do you do?”, and I’d answer, “I raise my 4 step-daughters”, and then they’d turn to someone else.
The blogging world for Moms is like a life line! I so enjoyed reading this post and hearing that you are the new addition to your family. You do have to feel good about yourself to be a good Mom;)
Spilled Milkshake says
I really enjoyed this. My kids don’t seem to mind too much that I blog, but I took over the family computer and that bothers them lol. Oh well, I bought it!
I really enjoyed reading this!! Love you!
OMG Kathy…I am so cracking up! My kids are in constant need of a band aid when I’m blogging too!
Secret romance novels…I love it! Mine are a secret too. They’re under the “How to be a better mom” book in the bathroom.
I too, realized I had lost a little bit of me when i started my blog in March. It’s sort of hard to explain that to kids who think you live only to feed them and wipe their little butts 🙂
Tracy @ Mama-press says
I can completely relate to this. Starting my website http://www.mama-press.com has fulfilled a need of mine. I contemplated getting my masters or returning to work full-time. However, the thing that was lacking in my life was filled with starting my site. I think blogging can be so good for women, moms in particular.
T Jones says
I love this! My children are much older than yours 16-25 and most don’t live at home anymore, but still they seem just a wee bit jealous of the time I spend on my blog.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It’s much appreciated.
Columba Lisa says
Clever post! It’s so easy to let our interests slide. I still feel guilty about taking time to blog. Lately it’s been very minimal; but it’s good for the kids to learn that Mom is a person with legit needs too!
It just shows why we continue blogging when we are all SO busy…it is those benefits it gives us and those changes it makes for us.
I love my blog time too. It makes me think of the phone as soon as I pick up the phone children come out of the woodwork around here.
Roxi Santiago says
I totally get your point. I know my son can’t understand much yet aside from funny faces, colorful toys, and songs I sing to him, but he yells/blabbers at me whenever I am on the computer and he’s on the rocker.
I can hardly finish a sentence because his yelling gets louder until I look at him then he stops and giggles. Good thing he’s adorable and he’s my son. 😀
I am forwarding this award to you. Have a great day!
What with online classes and blogging and that temptress, which is Facebook, my kids think the computer is glued to my lap. I have to consciously make myself get off so that I can, not only renew circulation to my feet, but also to prove that my life does not revolve around my laptop. Although, I do love it so! Girl, I totally get this!
“The truth is the real addition to our lives hasn’t been my blog at all. The new addition to the family has been me. And that is probably one of the best gifts I could give not only myself, but my family too.”
I totally get it!
Good for you for sticking up for your right to have, as you say, your own corner of the world. Having started a blog myself recently in order to have an outlet and a place to express myself, I can attest to the fact that the blog really is an important thing. I am glad you were able to put yourself first, and it seems as though your kids have adjusted well to you having a blog. It is always difficult when our lives require transitions, especially for kids, but this was a positive transition in that it gave you some me time. Thank goodness, too, because I really enjoy reading it!
Good for you for finding something that is all.for.you
Susie B. Homemaker says
This is an awesome post about being a mommy blogger! My kids have adapted as well to seeing me spend more time on the computer over the last year. And they know now that it’s actually ‘work’ and mommy’s not just sitting in front of the computer. lol I’m sharing this on Twitter. 🙂
Val Curtis says
I hear ya! Isn’t it nice to have a place to complete a thought…a sentence? 🙂 XO
I can really relate to this!! My kids don’t know quite what to make of it. They just know I spend a lot of time on my computer. I started mine as a way to make money. So, technically, it’s my “Job”. And they think I’m always just “playing” instead of spending time with them. So, yeah. . . I completely understand!
aks@jealousy control says
I love the peoples like you who share the practical experiences day to day life. How to control jealousy is some how mistic from people to people but i rather appreciate you. wishing you all the success