I’m Dropping a Major F-Bomb

Hot damn. My name is Mary, and it’s been almost a flipping year since the last time I published a post on this blog. I’m not making excuses for not writing, because I don’t need them. And I’m not apologizing for it either, as all of our lives go through a series of peaks and valleys … and sometimes in the valleys, well … we just don’t feel like fucking blogging.

And that’s what’s pretty much been the case with me. Between getting used to working full-time all over again (which I’ve been doing now for nearly 3 years), all of life’s regular ups and downs, and then … well, a serious change that is taking me completely out of my comfort zone and setting me off on a completely different course in life than I ever expected (more on that someday) — I just didn’t feel like fucking blogging.

But then earlier today after being in one of those very, very low valleys, all of a sudden I got the urge again. So here I am … fucking blogging. (OMG. It feels weird, yet strangely familiar, you guys.)

On that note, in the hopes of getting back into the habit of blogging again (mainly for therapeutic purposes), I’ll end this post with the three things that are keeping me going and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel these days (again, sorry for the cryptic shit), which all happen to start with the letter “F.”

Family — Without them I’d be an even bigger hot mess than I already am. They are my everything. The end.

Friends — Recently I learned who my true “people” are versus the ones who only like to come around when it’s all sunshine and fucking unicorns. The ones who have stuck by me honestly probably belong in the “Family” category.

Following my gut – My instincts have NEVER steered me wrong, and I know they won’t this time either. Shit’s about to get real, but something tells me life is also about to get sweeter than ever. Call it a gut feeling.

(If you actually took the time to read this post considering how long I’ve been absent from the blogosphere, thank you. I’m not sure in what capacity I’ll be coming back, but I’m sure as hell gonna try.)

 

I’ll Blog When I Damn Well Wanna Blog

No, you aren’t hallucinating, I’m actually writing a blog post for the first time in over a month. Yes, I know I’ve been totally slacking at filling your head will all sorts of inappropriate f-bombs lately — but I swear, I’ve had a totally good reason for being virtually non-existent.

As most of you already know, I started working full-time again as a Staff Writer for The Stir almost six months ago — and it’s the first full-time job I’ve had in over six years — since before my son was born. Sure, I freelanced the hell out of some shit for the past two years, so working “again” shouldn’t have come as any big shock — but when I freelanced, I wasn’t FULL-time. (I was also basically broke, but that’s neither here nor there.)

And while the past six months have definitely been a huge transition for me and my new working woman status has taken some getting used to, I’m happier and more fulfilled than I’ve been in a long time. I work for an insanely great company with co-workers who amaze me everyday with their wit, amazing writing skills, and down-to-earth-ness — and I think it’s safe to say that all of them will totally understand where I’m coming from when I say that if you’re a full-time writer, it’s kind of hard to go home and write some more at the end of the day.

I love this blog — I really do. It’s my baby. It got me thinking again. It got me sharing my life’s moments with someone other than myself. And most importantly, it got me writing and put me back on track to finding my identity in life.

But now that I’m feeling redefined, I also find myself having less and less extra time to sit down and blog as “The Mommyologist,” and I also find myself feeling a bit conflicted as to how this blog is supposed to evolve now that my son is getting older. And I KNOW there are plenty of other bloggers who are in the same boat as me and aren’t really sure how to proceed as they enter the next phase of their kids’ lives.

My son is 6-years-old now, and he’s such an amazing little individual. I repeat, he’s an INDIVIDUAL, and I’m starting to feel conflicted about sharing too much about him online. Sure, when he was little, it was harmless enough to talk about him shitting in First Class while sitting on an airplane in D.C. on the middle of a live runway. But now? I feel like I owe him a bit more privacy & respect — and he also knows how to read now, so I’d be mortified if he passed by the computer, saw a post, and found out he was the subject of blog fodder.

And let me venture back to the whole full-time job thing one more time. Now that I work what are pretty much considered to be “normal” business hours — when I’m not working, I want to be spending time with my little dude and doing fun things with him instead of blogging about all of the funny things he does. (Damage control note — I’m talking about my own, personal situation, not yours. I’m not insinuating that you are neglecting your child by blogging, so save any attacks or shitty words for another one of my posts, please.)

Ok, enough rambling — here it is, folks. My life has changed, my priorities have changed, and while I’m not sure exactly what the future holds for The Mommyologist, I’ll leave you with one final statement:

“I’ll blog when I damn well wanna blog.”

(And those of you who are truly my friends will understand my feelings 100% and won’t have to question them, call me a sell-out, or tell me I’m making a huge mistake by not devoting every ounce of energy I have into cranking out posts for the sake of cranking out posts. BTW — I LOVE  and RESPECT those of you who truly “get it” so very much. Your support means more than you’ll ever know.)

 

Taking Time to Unplug Offline Doesn’t Make You a Slacker

OMG you guys…where the hell have the last six/seven weeks gone? Everything has been kind of a blur since I became a full-time working woman again at the very end of January — and yes, I’m well aware that I’ve neglected the shit out of this blog. I’m not going to offer any lame excuses, because I’m a firm believer in the idea that bloggers shouldn’t have to apologize for living their lives and having an existence offline (even though much of my offline existence is online too).

Instead of apologizing and begging you all to still love me even though I’m not around as much, let me just say that I’m happier than I’ve been in a LONG time, and I am still in total shock and awe that I was offered such an amazing opportunity. I know without a doubt that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life — and that’s something I’ve wanted to be able to say for quite some time now.

In case you were wondering, The Mommyologist is not going away or anything like that. I still plan on blogging — when I have something to say, when I have extra time, and when I damn well feel like it. Because that’s a luxury that we have as bloggers — we can’t do what we want, WHEN we want on our own blogs without judgement from others, right?

And if for some reason a week or so goes by and you haven’t heard from me, it’s probably because at the end of the work day after little dude goes to bed, I’ve decided to unplug and soak in a nice, hot bath with a glass of wine and my thoughts. Because every gal knows that there’s nothing quite like a little tub time at the end of the day.

 

 

Seriously — how amazing is that bathroom? Wouldn’t you do the same thing as me and opt out of sitting on the couch with your laptop some nights to be able to spend a little kid-free quiet time in there?

Yeah — me too. (And no — that’s not my bathroom). Duh.

This is MY sanctuary:

 

 

What the hell kinda shit is that? Ok — so now you obviously know that I was lying about spending any sort of relaxing time in there at night with a glass of wine instead of blogging. I am still having wine most nights, but not in that tub. We’ve lived in this house for five damn years and I think I’ve been in that tub twice. Cuz I got fired from my own bathroom a long time ago.

But even though I may not get any worthwhile tub time to really unplug — working full-time has taught me that it’s ok to put down the laptop at night and just chill out on the couch and relax. And I figure that my true online friends will totally understand that there’s a time and a place for everything, and sometimes you have to shift things around and re-prioritize.

And for the first time in a long time, I feel like I finally have things in the right order. And that feels good.

And for any of you who have struggled with whether it’s ok to take time for yourself and unplug a bit and do what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it, the answer is yes, it’s ok. You are not a slacker for putting your personal needs first. The end.

 

Image via ChalonHandmade/Flickr

 

10 Tips For How To Survive Two Years Of Blogging

Yesterday was a very big day for me, as I turned two-years old! Well…at least my blog did. Although I think that I look pretty damn good for 34 if I do say so myself. Not that I’m conceited or anything.

October 23rd, 2011 was the two-year anniversary of the day I published my very first post on The Mommyologist. Would you guys believe that I got the idea for this blog AND started it the very same day?

Yeah…I’m not a planner. I’m more of a spontaneous kind of gal, and I tend to do things when they just “feel right,” or some shit like that. I’m about as far away from Type-A as a person can get. I more like Type-Z or something. And I dig it.

The past two years have been somewhat of a whirlwind, and I won’t sit here and lie and tell you that my journey has been an easy one, or that I haven’t had days where I wondered why in the hell I’m doing this or what my end goal with The Mommyologist is.

The truth is that I really don’t know where I’m going…but I’m definitely on my way.

If you are curious as to how I survived two years of blogging without losing my mind or throwing in the towel, I’ve put together a list of do’s and don’t's for you as far as what I’ve learned about the whole blogging gig.

Ok, I feel like I need some sort of disclosure here…

*Please note that all opinions expressed in these tips are purely my own, and may or may not apply to you and your philosophies on blogging. This is only advice, not a “how-to” guide to blogging or anything remotely similar to that. This is a list of what worked for me, so don’t go all postal on my ass if you read this and decide to quit blogging. And please forgive me for deviating from my humorous tone for this particular list. Some things have to just get said without being funny.

 

How To Survive Two Years of Blogging and Still Want To Keep Doing It

 

1. DO know your mission and your brand and DO NOT try to be somebody else. Quit worrying about what other bloggers are doing with their blogs and focus on what YOU are doing with YOUR blog. People will return to your blog because you are unique and different from everyone else, which is what you want to strive to be every day.

2. DO NOT let the success of other bloggers intimidate you or make you feel like you are doing something wrong, or that you or your blog “just aren’t good enough.” That is NOT TRUE. There will ALWAYS be someone who gets more opportunities than you and is more well known than you are. But remember that they are not YOU, and you are special and worthy and have SO MUCH to offer people with your blog. And remember that there are plenty of bloggers who look at YOU as “that blogger” who they’d love to be like someday.

3. DO let yourself be motivated by people instead of being motivated by money and numbers. The minute I take my focus away from striving to help women and make them laugh and shift it to trying to make my paycheck bigger each month, I find myself losing my voice. This also happens to me when I get too caught up in my numbers and worry about how many followers and subscribers I have, etc. I actually only check my stats now about once a month, and money is not a reason for why I hit the publish button on my posts every week. I get paid when someone leaves me a comment, or sends me an email or tweet telling me that they read something I wrote and it inspired them to get out of bed, take a shower, put on a cute outfit and makeup, and rock their Mom Sexy that day. You just can’t put a price on helping other women remember their worth.

4. DO NOT get upset or worry if there are people who don’t like you. It’s OKAY if not everyone likes you. Always remember that you can’t please everyone, and imagine just how boring life would be if everyone liked you. Think about some of the people you most admire in blogging, or just in general, as far as being successful goes. Now take a good look at that person and think hard. Does everyone like him/her? I didn’t think so. Not everyone is going to agree with what you’ve got to say…and that is OK. Haters are a good thing.

5. DO the best you can with your blog each week, and let that be good enough for you. Remember that it is OK to have a life outside of your computer. What on earth would you blog about if you didn’t? There are some weeks when I post three times, others where I only post once. And I’m OK with that. I do the best I can when I can do it, and that is good enough for me. We have enough guilt in our lives and should not put any more on ourselves. Stop being your own worst enemy, and remember that YOU are in control of your blog. YOU say when and how often you post, and the only person who can give you a hard time about it is yourself. QUIT beating yourself up for having a LIFE.

6. DO step out of your comfort zone as often as you can if you want to continue to learn and grow with your blog. Yes, you will be nervous, but that’s the whole idea. The first time I ever interviewed a celebrity, I was nervous. The first time I ever went on the radio, I was nervous. The first vlog I ever recorded, I was nervous. The first TV segment I was featured on, I was nervous. But you know what? EVERYONE who has ever done any of those things for the very first time was nervous. If you don’t get over your nerves and try new things, you’ll never get used to doing them. Take that leap!

7. DO NOT let anyone undermine your success or your blog in any way. Sadly, there are people who either don’t want to be happy for you, or just don’t get the whole blogging thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “How did you get invited to that?”, or “How can blogging be a job?”, etc. Instead of letting those people get under my skin and make me question my self-worth, I instead choose to focus my energy on people in my life who support my blogging journey, because there are plenty of them. THOSE people deserve my time…not those “other” folks.

8. DO realize that it’s OK to say no to people. You know how precious your time is, and you know that there is only so much that you can put on your plate at any given point during the day. You DO NOT have to post something because someone sent you a really nice email and wants you to promote their shit for free. You DO NOT have to accept every single product that is offered to you for a review/giveaway just because the person addressed you by your first name and told you how much they love your blog. (NEWS FLASH: They “loved” about 100 other blogs that day too). And you DO NOT have to cater to each and every single request from each and every single person in your life each and every single day. You are only one person, and there are only so many hours in a day. LEARN TO SAY “NO” and be alright with it.

9. DO NOT throw a hissy fit and assume that you’ve failed the first time you hit a valley in blogging. Blogging is a series of peaks and valleys, and my entire two-year adventure has been a total up-and-down whirlwind. There are times when I really feel like I’m rockin’ and rollin’ and have an incredible groove going on, and then there are other times where I feel like I’m totally out of the loop and wonder how on earth I’m going to keep moving forward and grow my blog any further. Ride the peaks when you have them, and gather the strength to climb out of the valleys when you find yourself at the bottom of those. The only person who can declare that your blog has “failed” is YOU.

10. DO develop relationships and friendships with other bloggers and people in the social media space, and DO NOT be afraid to ask them for help or inspiration when you need it. I would never be where I am if there had not been people willing to answer my questions and show me the ropes along the way, and I strive to give that back to others whenever I can. I won’t lie…there are people out there who are “non-sharers” and are afraid that they’ll let out the freakin’ blogging secret of the century by answering a question from another blogger. If you encounter a non-sharer, just move on and ask someone else. There is ALWAYS someone who is willing to help. (For the record, I am one of those people, so you can always feel free to email me if you have questions. I will do my best to answer them without sounding like an asshole).

 

Stay tuned for next year’s survival post on my THREE year anniversary. Yes, I plan on making it that far.

 

Today is The Mommyologist’s Two Year Blogoversary!

Holy SHIZ.

Two years ago today, I got a wild hair up my ass and started this blog. I thought it would be funny. I figured it would give me something to do in between trips to the library and afternoon naps. And I thought that maybe it would let me use my “adult” brain a tiny bit.

While The Mommyologist has definitely done all of those things for me, it’s gone above and beyond and given me SO much more than I ever expected. It HAS GIVEN ME MY IDENTITY AND MY MOM SEXY BACK.

To celebrate the roller coaster ride I’ve been on for the past two years, I’m re-publishing the very first post that I ever wrote on this blog. And I’m proud to say that I have held true to every word I wrote in those first initial paragraphs. I knew who I was then…and I know it even more now.

Without further ado, I bring you my very first blog post EVER.

 

The Mommyologist Has Arrived – first published October 23rd, 2009

 

Need a little comic relief during your chaotic day as a personal concierge to however many children you have? Yeah, ME too!

I decided to start this blog after having an epiphany while sitting in a booth having lunch at a local pizza restaurant. For about the hundreth time, my son looked at me as soon as our food arrived and announced that he “needed to go pee-pee.” I scooped him up, along with my purse and headed to the ladies room. After I let him do his business and washed both of our hands to appease the germophobe that I’ve become, I took him back to our booth only to find the bus-girl clearing our table…AGAIN. I told her that we were not done eating lunch, that we were in the restroom, and that this happens to me every time we go out. You would think that the matchbox cars stuck to the ball of pizza dough that they give the kids to play with would have tipped her off that we had not left the restaurant.

At any rate, as I sat there thinking about how many times this has happened to me, I realized that this has probably happened to every other Mom in America. Thus, The Mommyologist was born. This is a place where you can take a few minutes out of your day to have a laugh about the roller coaster ride that is motherhood. I will tell it like it is with no sugar-coating, and hope that I will help other moms define the new “normal” that comes with being a mother. It is the most wonderful, but also the most difficult journey of your life. I know I wouldn’t trade it for anything…not even to make it through a whole lunch without worrying that the bus-girl is going to throw away my food.

 

Want to know how I survived two years of blogging and still somehow have my sanity? Come back and visit me tomorrow to find out.

 

I Think I Need a Hall Pass

Ok everyone…I’m not afraid to admit it…I really think that I need a Hall Pass. And no, I’m not talking about needing a Hall Pass from being married (though believe me, there are days when I have definitely had that thought). Nope…I need a different kind of Hall Pass, and I’m fairly certain that some of you do too.

Last year, I wrote a post about bloggers apologizing for making their careers, family, and their offline lives a priority instead of staying up until three in the morning returning every last tweet, every last email, and replying to every last comment. After seeing a growing trend in people apologizing for living their lives, I really felt it was necessary to put it out there that as a community of women who are supposed to support each other, we really need to give each other the benefit of the doubt before assuming that other bloggers are ignoring us, or don’t have time for us.

Because nine times out of ten, that is not the case. It’s just that sometimes I think we all forget that bloggers have real lives outside of the ones we see on the computer screen. And as much as we all love and respect our online friends, we need to make sure that our real life “tribe” doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

I know that I’ve been guilty on more than one occasion of saying one of these statements to my son:

 

“Not now honey…mommy needs to finish up this post.”

“Just a few more minutes honey…mommy needs to send this email before we go to the park.”

“Listen sweetie…if mommy doesn’t work, then mommy won’t be able to buy you toys when we go on vacation next month.”

 

And don’t even get me started on how many Saturdays I’ve sacrificed doing something fun with my husband and son because I need to get caught up on work.

Ok, back to that Hall Pass. I don’t know about you, but summer is pretty much kicking my ass…and my motivation. After an incredibly grueling winter in the Northeast, we are finally having good weather, and I’ve FINALLY been able to have some good old fashioned fun with my family.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my son to Pittsburgh for an entire week to visit family. I was born there, and a lot of my family still lives there, and somehow it always feels like coming home whenever the plane lands in “The ‘Burgh.”  And while I do have THREE freelance gigs to keep up with that pretty much add up to a full time work-at-home job, I made the decision to take the week off and just enjoy my time there. And it was wonderful.

We went to the lake. We went to the pool. We went to Kennywood Park (the best amusement park EVER), where I had fond memories of going as a kid. And hearing little dude yell, “That was awesome! Let’s do it again!” after riding the Log Jammer was one of the sweetest sounds my ears have ever heard.

Fast forward to a week later, when I returned to Connecticut, and found myself with an entire week of missed work to catch up on, piled on top of the standard work that I STILL had to do that week. Basically, that combination equaled me being incredibly behind on everything…especially paying attention to my wonderful Mommyologist followers. And then the thought of being labeled as a “blog slacker” started to give me the sweats and get me all stressed out.

And this is officially where the Hall Pass comes in. At least for the rest of the summer, I think that each and every blogger deserves a Hall Pass from having to explain themselves should they go missing in action for a little while. Because it’s OKAY to go to the beach with your family. It’s OKAY to get a babysitter and spend an entire Sunday afternoon shopping and having lunch with your husband instead of sitting in front of your laptop returning emails. And it’s OKAY to enjoy a much needed break from the online world. You shouldn’t have to give any sort of excuse or explanation for LIVING YOUR LIFE.

That being said…who else needs a Hall Pass?

Ok, enough of running my mouth. I’m off to sit on the couch with my son and enjoy a cup of coffee…WITHOUT my laptop or Iphone anywhere in sight.

 

(One more thing, I realize that this post was not written in my traditional humorous style. But sometimes you have to just say shit without it being funny. And I also decided to link it up with Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out meme, so if you have something to get off your chest, go ahead and write to your heart’s content and then link up with her every Wednesday).

 

 

The Untyped Comment

This morning, I read a blog post that got to my heart. And yes, I know that this post is completely out of character for me, as I like to primarily stick to humor on The Mommyologist, but this is something that needs to be said, and I feel that it’s something bloggers need to hear. Plus, it’s my friend Shell’s one year anniversary of her Pour Your Heart Out link up, and I’d be a shitty friend if I didn’t participate.

Back to that blog post that I read not even thirty minutes ago…but still can’t get out of my head.

As I read this particular post, I found myself nodding my head the whole way through reading it. I found myself taking deep breaths in and out and feeling validated after hearing this woman’s experiences. And I found myself wanting to reach through my computer and hug this woman, simply because SHE GETS IT.

I won’t go into any of the reasons why, but I just could not leave a comment on this amazing post today. But even though I did not comment, that post potentially changed my life. It resonated with me. It made me feel like I’m worth it. It gave me a little bit of peace. And I cannot thank this blogger who I shall not name enough for writing it.

Too often as bloggers, we let the number of comments we receive on a post determine whether or not we think the post was good, or whether or not anyone enjoyed it. And after my experience this morning, I feel the need to tell bloggers everywhere to keep on writing from their hearts…because you NEVER know who is silently reading along and feeling less isolated because you were brave enough to hit the publish button.

Be grateful for the untyped comment. Because the untyped comments are the most important ones you will ever receive.

You ARE making a difference. NEVER question that.