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.