July 21, 2010

Got a light?

I have connected with so many wonderful writers on Twitter! And the best way to connect with people has proven to be Wine Party (#wineparty), hosted by the one and only Kit at The Year of Blogging Dangerously. Every Friday night @ 9PM EST, people grab a drink and get online for a virtual Happy Hour. It is a lot of fun.

And that's how I met Ericka. I knew of her. Her blog, alabaster cow is extremely popular, and had been recommended to me by many friends. She is also co-founder of the new women's writing community, The Red Dress Club, of which I am a proud member.

So I am all kinds of excited to have her guest post on my own little blog. She's got a fantastic message to share. So I will shut up now, and allow you to enjoy, "Got a light?"

When Elizabeth first told me she’d like me to guest post about finding balance in my life in order to keep up a somewhat successful blog, a blossoming writing career (snort!) and to raise a loving family all while staying sane, I was holed up in my pantry reading my email by match light while my daughter was bouncing on the couch covered in finger paint and the dogs were pissing their names into the living room rug.

Okay, not really, but I was seriously wondering how anyone ever mistook me for being a balanced human being. That’s when I realized I talk a big game on my blog.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have the following going for me:

  • Two days a week I work on my novel manuscript while my mom watches Ava.
  • Saturday nights I spend with my husband on our weekly date.
  • I loosely schedule Ava’s day so she’s properly clothed, bathed, fed, has her vitamin, has her teeth brushed and is of course, loved.

And now for reality:

  • I listlessly surf the web while pretending to write and wondering what my daughter is doing.
  • Matthew and I go out to eat at a restaurant only to return home and collapse into an exhaustive heap while pretending to watch a movie.
  • I pretend to follow Ava’s schedule although I’m pretty okay with just loving her and getting at least two other things from the list done.

But seriously, the truth lies somewhere in between. There are some days where I’m batting a thousand. And there are others where I’m checking my email from my pantry. The only things I know are the following (in no particular order because these are plates I’m constantly spinning all at one time): love is number one. If I’m neglecting to put my all in loving my child or my husband, I hit the brakes immediately.The blog doesn’t matter, my writing doesn’t matter if the people in my life aren’t feeling loved and respected. Secondly, “me time” is on my to-do list. I never feel guilty about taking a break from being “mommy” and “wife” to just be “Ericka.” I was “Ericka” for a good twenty-two years before wearing these other titles and being me is something I do best. Thirdly, keep open lines of communication with my husband and ALWAYS remember he is my partner, not just the dude who has a hard time finding the laundry basket and rinsing his plate. And lastly, make sure that little girl will one day be proud of me.

So I’m not super mom. I’m not the published author I play in my head. I’m just a woman who is trying to find a little peace in her life.

And if all else fails, I have plenty of matches.


  1. ahaha! love this post especially the comparing what should be done and the reality of a writer's life...Now, I'm heading over to alabaster cow to get my gin with a heaping side of crazy ;)

  2. @ Ericka - Thank YOU! I love this post. But while I was jealous of Jenn for her son's sleep schedule, I am jealous of you for the two days of help. Especially on this day, when the awesome babysitter I thought I had found backed out. LOL

    @ Karla - Our reality is always a little different than our vision of our writing life, isn't it? If you're not already following Ericka - be sure you do. Her blog is great!

  3. Elizabeth you are too kind! And maybe I can get my mom by your place to watch the kiddo. ;)

    And Karla help yourself to the gin and crazy. There is plenty! :)

  4. Love #wineparty!!! Met so many wonderful bloggers. It's always refreshing to know other regular moms share the many doses of reality I do.

  5. I LOVED this...so true. I wonder how I'll ever write anything worth publishing when I never have time to write at all. There is a season for everything, and apparantly, my season right now is Cleaning Up What Missed The Potty.

    Maybe next week I'll get to write about it.

  6. All I can say is WORD. Excellent post. I can completely relate.

  7. Thanks, ladies, for stopping by and showing Ericka some love! She rocks! And so does her post. The only part I couldn't relate to is that I don't have a walk in pantry. LOL

  8. On my must-have list for my next house: walk-in pantry and walk-in closet. Bwahahahaha, they'd never find me. If only my laundry room had A/C ...

    Love the Alabaster Cow, she never ceases to entertain!

  9. @ Mungee's Ma - I can just picture you holed up in the pantry! LOL

    @ Julie - That is very much Ericka's style. And I love honesty, too. :)

  10. Love the line about remembering your husband is your partner. Communication is the key with or without kids.

  11. @ Kelley - Yeah, that point really spoke to me. I can get really wrapped up in finding an opportunity to write, and not spend the time connecting w/my man. Which is so important.

  12. I love the honesty of this post. I'm wondering if you and I are the same person...then again I haven't had a date night in ages... Great post, it really resonated with me.

  13. thanks everyone for reading and appreciating my post! :)

  14. Ericka, asking you how you do it all was on my to-do list. So glad you wrote this...now I know. Kind of.

    Every time I see a post about balance or having it all, I'm secretly hoping the author will have the literal magic fix that I can implement in my own life. So while it's comforting to know that you struggle to balance everything just as much as the rest of us, I still wish you had the answer.

    But then what fun would it be, and why would we need gin? :)

  15. @ Angie - Man, a magic fix would be awesome, wouldn't it? ;)

  16. Excellent guest post!! And it's 100% true.


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