On My Mind: Doing Too Much

On my mind | knittedbliss.com

One of the things I struggle with expressing on the blog is complexity. Seldom is a personal challenge in a silo all by itself- it usually overlaps in rings across many other events, desires, and anxieties; both past and present. But one of my goals this year on the blog was to get more of myself out there, and not just hide behind the knitting all the time.  So, here we go…

For the last 12 years, I’ve lived in Toronto. If you haven’t been to Toronto, it is the biggest city in Canada- 2.6 million people live there. It’s noisy, densely packed with condos and cafes and restaurants and everyone always complains about the subway and the cost of housing, and I love it. You know how people talk about how depressing it is when November rolls around and it’s dark by 5 p.m.? In Toronto, the city lights are all so beautiful it reminds me of how exciting it is to go out at night. It reminds me of how I felt when I moved here when I was 20 years old – like anything was possible. Like I could be anyone. I think a lot of cities feel that way, it’s why so many people move to them. That feeling of your own potential is so palpable, so rich, it’s how I fed my younger self when exorbitant rent left me scrimping on groceries.

That feeling of anything’s possible is still addictive for me. I love the yarn before the project is cast on, I love the book before it’s read, I love the poem or the story before it’s written. I love them best in that state, even if I’m really thrilled with the finished results. And it’s that feeling that keeps me motivated. Even now, when I’m 7 years married and have my two kids, and view being on maternity leave as a fun time to try pushing harder on some side projects. Because when you are the kind of person that wants to do it all, possibility really does make everything look fantastic.

Until you start, that is.

Months ago, I decided I was going to take Lila out of daycare at the end of June and have July and August with both her and James, before Lila begins junior kindergarten in the fall. I planned on taking the kids up north to Sudbury so that they could spend time with one set of grandparents. We’re planning on visiting the other set of grandparents at the beginning of August, and then taking a big family trip to England (and Spain – because adding in an extra timezone/flight/hotel/language while travelling with little kids… why not??). I thought it would be great to spend this time together, and it would all magically work out. We’d go to the zoo! Draw with sidewalk chalk! Splash in the splash pad at the park every day!

Except Lila is struggling. She misses her friends at daycare, the regular exposure to her peer group. She asks me about daycare and her friends almost every day. She’s excited about kindergarten, but it’s still a long time away for her. I sat her down with a calendar and tried to explain the fun things we would be doing … she seems to still think that she will get to see all her daycare friends the way she used to. But daycare in Toronto is a tricky thing. It’s hard work to get it, and once you leave it, there’s no going back to the same group or room- some other kid on a wait list has already taken that place. It’s not as simple as calling back and saying, oops, sorry- I was wrong. Please take my kid back. I’ve been booking play dates like a madwoman, and working really hard to keep her occupied at all times, otherwise she just wants to watch TV. We go outside a lot, but then poor little James (second babies, they have it rough) is forced to piece together naps in his stroller and isn’t getting the time and attention he deserves. Stay at home moms- how do you DO this???On my mind | knittedbliss.com

On top of that, I have spread myself a bit thin on the project front. There is just so much I want to do (I know I’m being vague, but I’m not ready to talk about all my projects at the moment) and I’m crazy optimistic enough to believe that it’s going to work. That Tina Fey quote – ‘Say yes and figure it out later.’ – is practically the creed I live by. Some of the things I’ve been working on: finishing my second poetry manuscript (just reviewed the final proof last week), starting to write a novel, and helping Guy set up his own business, all while looking after baby James (I’m still on maternity leave until November).  Each of those could be several blog posts long in their own right, I have so much to say about each of them. So it was not my brightest moment, deciding to take Lila out of daycare to join what is clearly the circus of my days. You probably noticed how quite the blog has been- it’s not for lack of ideas, but a sheer lack of hours in the day.

When I was still in Sudbury at the beginning of July, faltering, falling short on things that I so badly wanted to pull off, Lila clearly miserable; I was talking to my family about it. Their perfectly reasonable reaction was, You have too much on your plate. You have to let some stuff go in order to focus on what’s most important. 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this viewpoint. But I think that if I really was ready to let some things go, I’d have that feeling of recognition wash over me afterwards. You know how people say, I knew it all along but needed someone else to point it out? Yeah, that didn’t happen to me.  If you are a workaholic with multiple side projects that are all about your passions, it literally doesn’t compute. I called Guy, who said the total opposite (maybe because he was still in the city, which has that take-it-all-on rhythm) “So you need to figure it out. This is what you wanted, and we need to figure out a way for it all to work out. Let’s talk about how we can move things around to get the pieces to fit.” And while we didn’t totally solve it, I came away from the conversation feeling better. Because when you love doing a lot of things, letting any of them go feels like heartbreak.

We’re all back together in Toronto again. I’ve figured out a schedule that is pretty exhausting and includes some relief daytime babysitting a few times a week with our beloved (and thankfully on summer break) babysitter, but at least I’m getting things done and trying to give my kids a wonderful summer. I think Lila actually views our babysitter as a friend, so it might even count as a play date.

I’m still doing too much. It still doesn’t feel like even half the things I want to do. But sometimes, sometimes I’m getting it right:

On my Mind | knittedbliss.com

(side note- Lila’s got a new pair of glasses and I think they fit her a lot better!). For those of you familiar with my Instagram, you probably already saw the gigantic flamingo and doughnut:

On my Mind | knittedbliss.com

On my Mind | knittedbliss.com

And here is a 20-second video I filmed of my mom, Lila and Guy having a water gun fight, with Lila advising my mom to hide under the tree:

Water Gun Battle Royale! from Julie Knitted Bliss on Vimeo.

 

43 comments

  1. Jess   •  

    You have a lot going on! I think opening up and writing about it really can help get your mind clear so that you can let go of some things or figure out what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Life is never “easy” with 2 little ones (or more) at home. I think it’s human nature to have an idyllic view of how things should be and most time the picture is a little messy. Kids are unpredictable and self absorbed, as they should be. They demand our time in ways no book can ever articulate no best friend can ever convey. But, you’ll never regret the time with them – I have no doubt. You’ll never wish you had LESS time with them. The quote, “the days are long, the years are short” rings true. Looking back at my unfinished projects and failed business adventures, my messy home and fingerprint stained walls and seeing my two girls, now 12 and 8, I realize every sacrifice was well worth it. In the end it’s the memories and the feeling of their love that motivates me to keep going, to teach them to work hard, to want more for themselves and to persevere. These pictures and the video, the love and understanding for them that you convey in your blog really demonstrates that you are suceeding. Spread thin? Absolutely! Succeeding in the madness of it all? YES! Keep going Julie! You’re an inspiration! Just remember it’s okay to give yourself a break!

  2. Meghan   •  

    This rings so true I could have written it myself. I gave birth to my second child two weeks before my first child turned two. The day of my older daughters 2nd birthday my husband, my two week old baby and I were in a major car accident. We were all okay, but I stupidly moved forward with hosting 60 people for my daughters second birthday party three days later. Because why not, it’s not like I “needed” time to heal from child birth or the car accident, it was so much more important to me to keep things “normal” for my older daughter.

    I feel like I’m drowning under the stress of it all some days. I only have 4 weeks left of my leave and the thought of going back to work is stressing me out so bad.

    Thank you for writing this post. It means so so much to know I’m not alone.

  3. Kim   •  

    This is such an interesting post for me to read, Julie, as it really reminds me of how unique each of us is. I have a 3-yr-old & am 6 months pregnant with our second, and though I like to get lots done, I’ve definitely scaled back since having kids. But that’s such a personal decision. And I’m still constantly working to find the balance I want between me-as-an-individual & me-as-a-mother — for awhile I had scaled back _too_ much, & I needed to find my way back to having more of my own projects. And now that I feel pretty happy with where we are, it’s all going to have to get re-worked when the baby comes in the fall. And in 3 years of parenting, I have realized that I need to do a better job of finding a way to still acheive my own personal/professional goals — it can be so hard to put everything together! I worked freelance til my son was about 1.5, but it wasn’t a job I cared much about, so I ended up letting the work go when I hit a rough period in my life. But I later recognized I’m not happy *just* as a mom either, so in Sept (a month before the baby’s due, makes me wonder if I’m crazy) I’ve signed up to start some new studies. I hope it’s not too much — but I’ve negotiated extended deadlines, & like you I think we’ll figure it out.

    Another thing that I’ve noticed is really important with our son is talking him through his emotions & responses to situations. This summer has also been up & down for him so far–his preschool is on summer break, which he hardly understands, & though we’ve put him in supplementary childcare a couple times a week, that’s been a whole new set of people to adjust to. And our babysitter is gone for the summer. We’ve been doing lots of playdates too, & something that’s been great for us (that I don’t know if you could consider) is that a few friends live close enough to trade off childcare a couple times a week. The kids are more entertained, & each mom gets a break. We go on vacation next week, so I’m sure that will involve more difficulties for him, but I’m trying to be patient with it. It’s true that at times I’ve questioned whether vacation is “worth it” or relaxing enough to balance out the way that change is clearly hard for our son. All this to say–I guess we all do the best we can in trying to simultaneosly make both ourselves and our kids happy, working out along the way that sometimes our needs/desires are not the same. Anyway–good luck to you–and hope you enjoy your the rest of your summer! (Incl the trip to Spain–that’s where my husband is from & we’re off to next week, though for us it’s the same time zone & a language we speak at home, so less big of a deal.)

  4. MelissaHB   •  

    Thanks so much for your blog post! I’m a stay at home mom of an active 3 year old and a 6m old and struggled with the same thing. With my first child I set all these unattainable goals for myself and tried to have all the fancy birthday parties ect bc another mom had it and I found that it stressed me out too much. I had to sit down and do some serious chopping to set attainable expectations and set priorities to what was the most important.

    I have a small stay at home business (PrairieDyeStudio) and have set a clear plan and guide of how big I want to get and that it was not going to impede on my family life. It’s important for me to be present for my children right now and do what I want to do during my spare time or nap times.

    I’m not sure if they have a program like this in Toronto but in the small city I’m from they have a Parent Link Centre and 2 days a week you can go there for the kids to have playtime with other kids. It’s a government funded thing through the health units. There’s a constant stream of new kids and repeat kids so it’s takes the stress off of planning play dates. Just a though, since it’s helped me with my 3 yr old.

    Thanks so much for your real blog post and I hope your able to find your balance point

  5. Melissa   •  

    Hang in there! You are doing great, even if it all feels hectic. And I completely agree wit stepping back from some things so that you can focus on others. We cannot do it all and it’s so important for working moms (we’re all working, let’s be real, here!) to support each other and be honest with ourselves and our community. Raising humans is hard work! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  6. Eliza   •  

    Well, I can’t help much with the juggling two kids while trying to accomplish everything else, but I can say this: Julie, you are probably the most motivated, indefatigable person I’ve ever met. You love a challenge, and I’ve watched you rise to one challenge after another with grace and determination. It isn’t easy to figure out which decision is going to help you navigate your own waters, but I believe if there is a way, you’ll find it. Hugs and cups of tea all around.

  7. Kat   •  

    You have so much going on, no wonder you’re feeling a little overwhelmed! It sounds like you’re starting to find some kind of balance with Lila’s babysitter, but there’s still so much on your plate! If anyone can make it work, you and Guy can, and hopefully you will be able to navigate this period with as little frustration as possible.

  8. Kelly J. R.   •  

    It sounds like you have a great partner in Guy who is willing to help you out. Just knowing there is someone in your corner can be a huge relief. I just read a post from another blogger that I follow that is along the same lines of what you are writing about. It’s about blogging priorities vs. real life priorities. I think you might enjoy reading it – not that you need another thing to do! 🙂

    Here’s the link if you’re interested.
    http://www.ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2016/07/18/who-not-if-ill-disappoint/

  9. duni   •  

    Your drive impresses me.
    I have to give you props for having such bold ideas and working hard to pull them off. Sure, it doesn’t always go to plan (we can’t see every outcome) but damn if you aren’t working for it. Honestly, I’m thankful that you’ve shared this. My drive is not nearly as intense as yours, but I identify with wanting to do all the things and the issues that come with.
    Stay strong, do all you can, and if you fail at something it will just be another experience on your road to successfully living your life as largely as you can.
    Burn the candle at both ends. And congratulations on your new poetry manuscript!

  10. Brandy   •  

    If there’s anything I’ve learned as I’ve grown older, it’s that life is really, really hard. And it really does suck sometimes and just kicks our butts. But we are fortunate enough, optimistic enough, and work hard enough that it won’t suck all the time. We’ll get it figured out, eventually. As someone who is also a workaholic and is going through major changes figuring out what I want to do with my life and where it all will take me, I don’t know if we will figure everything out. Sometimes we really do just have to compromise, which can be frustrating. But often, it is for the best, just for our own sanity (and the sanity of those who have to spend any prolonged period of time with us). I hope you are able to accomplish everything you have set out for yourself. But even if everything doesn’t work out perfectly (and when does it ever work out exactly as we had planned?), it doesn’t mean you are a failure or weak. It just means you are human. And you are still amazing!

  11. Robin   •  

    Thank you for sharing. It’s oddly comforting to read about others who are struggling with balance in life. Hang in there–I bet Lila will have many fond memories of her summer with you

  12. Lyudmyla Vayner   •  

    Hi Julie – I read your post – every single word all through the end! I can soooo sooo related about every single thing _ i wish i could send you a hug!!! You’re doing a terrific thing juggling it all – don’t give up on your dreams:)

    one thing that helps me – take a little brake – just for yourself (and your hubby) and take a deep breath – it’s ok to push things aside, we are only humans!!!

    Your little ones look so cute and happy! Lila is so grown up! (Our Ella has a big problem w the little one – jealous and still not accepting her – so we are still hoping for a change one of these days!)

    Needless to say – you’re a such an inspiration to a lot of us out of there, moms, crafters, do-it-all, never-give-upers – thank you for that!

    Again – sending you a big hug!
    Cheers – Lyudmyla

  13. Lisa   •  

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love your knitting related posts, but your more personal ones are extra special. Wish we lived in the same city so our girls could have a playdate 😀

  14. Andrea   •  

    Just as an aside – I am so pleased to see you have your little one in a pair of Baby Banz sunglasses!

  15. AngelaH   •  

    Preach! I don’t even have kids and feel overwhelmed by all the threads I’m pulling at any one time. I’m not even sure “workaholic” is the right term — ambitious, maybe? Optimistic almost certainly. It is so hard to say no to things you’re excited about, and when you find such joy both in your home life and your work/side-project life, knowing what to let go of is not clear, especially when everything is something that feels like it falls into the “matters most” category (even if that is usually meant as a euphemism).

    Hang in there. Balance has a way of asserting itself, even when it seems impossible to find.

  16. Val   •  

    When I read “You have to let some stuff go in order to focus on what’s most important” I felt such a pang of empathy. I’ve received that well-intended piece of advice (I try not to read it as criticism) and, like you, didn’t gain much relief from it. Rather I felt sadness at the loss of abandoning goals and ideas that frankly had become a part of *me*… and darn it doesn’t that earn those dreams a place on the “what’s Most Important” list?
    Hearing that there’s “too much on my plate” just makes me want to clean it, smack my lips, and ask for seconds. It’s hard to explain how essential that drive is and what it would cost, emotionally and physically, to sacrifice it.

    I love your writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggles, looks like they’re resonating with a lot of folks here. Your plate may be full but I wouldn’t be surprised to see you succeed at every last bit of it. xox

  17. Stefanie   •  

    I honestly had preschool for the tween when she was a toddler. I had her in parttime at first but the teachers suggested she go fulltime b/c she had trouble socially as the other girls were clique-ish and had their own groups. I think it’s great you’ve scheduled playdates w/Lila’s former classmates but don’t overdo it. You have baby James and this time is precious. Do what you can. I agree with your parents and in-laws, let some go. You can still have fun things to do, maybe half day instead of full day. Set up a schedule to include James’ napttime like school maybe? No matter what you’ll figure it out.

  18. Great post Julie. So relatable. Hang in there. It will all happen eventually. And I can’t wait to read your novel.

  19. Wanda   •  

    It is so hard to let go of ANYTHING -and you are so right about the way city life feeds this (over)drive – I spent my 20s and early 30s living working and going to grad school in Boston. After 13 years there, I finally moved to more rural New Hampshire – what a shift! Yet – I still don’t want to give up any of my loves – I just feel somewhat less distracted after leaving the city (and I do love living among trees more than concrete). Still – I say you’ve got to live the life that feels right for YOU – whether that is life on the go at all times, or slowed down. No matter – we’ve got about a century or so – do your time in your best way possible!

  20. miss agnes   •  

    Just remember, you have a baby and a young girl and you are taking care of them full time. These past few days I have been walking past a shop that sells placemats with whimsical messages and one of them says: one day I will go and live in theory, because in theory, everything goes well. I love that. You had your plans, in theory, and reality crept in. The way you adjust to reality is yours, and no one but you will find out what works. The truth is, with young kids, the best plans can go terribly wrong sometimes, and other times things will be awesome. One day at a time. Hang in there, but don’t be too hard on yourself.

  21. Sam   •  

    I can totally identify with this post. I don’t have children, but I still seem to spend all my time rushing from one thing to another, wondering how I’m going to fit it all in. I’m definitely in the “say yes and figure it out later” camp, although partly because I don’t like letting people down. As well as working full time in a job that’s currently stressful as we are seriously understaffed, I teach sewing classes in my spare time and make the occasional dress as a commission, as well as sewing a lot of my own clothes! I think the most important thing I’ve learned recently is to be kind to yourself, and if you do find you’ve overcommitted, then there is no shame in saying that you’ve taken on to much and trying to give yourself a bit of breathing space.

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  23. Jane   •  

    Thank you so much for your honesty! These kinds of things are so hard to talk about, to admit, especially publicly like you have. It’s a universal struggle, though, as the number of comments above will attest to. Everyone’s personal line will be in a different place, of course, but finding that true line, in the middle of expecting too much of yourself and expecting too little, is a lifelong journey. At least it seems so to me. Perhaps because that line keeps moving.

    I will be cheering you on to accomplish all the wonderful things you have planned. I’ve been reading this blog for quite a while now, and you are clearly doing so many things right, however it feels to you 🙂

  24. Susan   •  

    Ah, the pitfalls of well-intended advice. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me, “Enjoy this time with your kids because it’s fleeting and precious. You have plenty of time to work later.” I know it’s well-meaning, but it’s also kinda sexist. No one ever EVER told my husband to miss out on career/work life to hang out with our kids, did they? And meanwhile, all the professional opportunities I have regretfully turned down because I knew I wouldn’t be able to travel or wouldn’t have the time to see through properly means I am more restricted now.
    My kids are 8 and 10, so they still need me around a lot. I basically don’t work for pay in the summer because of the cost of camps (more than I would make as a freelancer) and now that we’re rounding out the month of July, I’m feeling a lot of anxiety about this. I worry that I’m lazy, or that I’ll be perceived as such. I worry that I should spend more time and energy chasing opportunities that will lead to bigger and better things, but that requires a work ethic that is really quite incompatible with good parenting.
    I applaud you for having so much ambition. I know it’s exhausting when you have two little kids because it can feel like you are losing yourself in them, and when people say to give things up and give yourself a break, it can feel like they really mean you need to give up all those parts of your life that make you feel professionally fulfilled. It’s so frustrating.
    Hang in there. I bet that when fall comes around and your kids are in more of a regular routine you’ll find a rhythm that works for you. Just remember that there is NOTHING wrong with having goals for yourself outside of motherhood. Hugs, and xoxo
    Susan

  25. Renee Anne   •  

    Honey, we all think we’re invincible. And we don’t want to give up anything. As much as it seems like I have all my poo together, I don’t. I’m flailing all over, the boys are driving me nuts, and all I want to do is hide somewhere with my knitting, my book(s), and all the cupcakes I can stuff into my cakehole.

  26. Loulou   •  

    Oh my gosh, I laughed out loud at that video … Guy rolling while mid squirt was priceless.

    All kinds of emotions felt at the same time over this post. A tear shed in reflection of your turmoil, in addition to smiles at the pictures of your dear family.

    You’re amazing and appreciated, my friend. You are doing it right; so much thought, consideration and love goes into your every decision.

  27. Kris   •  

    Hi Julie, Thanks for sharing these thoughts and emotions. My children are a bit older but I remember being in your shoes. A lot of second guessing of my decisions, a lot of choices that felt right at the time but never worked out as they should have. I blinked and my children were 10 and 14 and I would say things have worked out. I have been a full-time mom, a full-time worker, and everything in between, and it seems like in the end my decisions were the best I could make with what I knew at the time. I think you are doing great, and listening to your heart. It will all work out, I promise

  28. Katie Noah Gibson   •  

    So well articulated and so honest, Julie. I think a lot of us find ourselves here from time to time (and I don’t even have kids!). Thanks for being willing to share your real life – and I hope you get a breather soon! xo

  29. Jennifer C.   •  

    Aw, you sweet mama. It’s so hard to juggle it all, and even harder when you think something is going to make your child so happy and it doesn’t! We all have moments when we second guess decisions. I’m a part-time working mom of a 13, 11 and 8 y/o. Now that they are firmly grounded in school and I can let the 13 y/o be in charge for an hour after school I work 3 days a week. And I realize this schedule suits me perfectly- enough structure and career time, while still being able to rocket through housework/groceries/etc (with a little knitting time, of course!) and get to spend time at the kids school one day a week. In the summer I’ve cut work back to 1-2 days a week again, because I want to BE with them and not miss anything. But this summer I’ve found that the kids need more than just me (what?!?) and I’m wondering if summer camp might be a better choice next summer. Sometimes I think *I* am the one having trouble letting go of something that has worked for us so far. Change is hard. All that to say, don’t stress too much. You are doing the best you can, and that’s what Lila will remember later! xoxo

  30. Amy   •  

    I was going through a similar thing, when I found out I have an advanced, aggressive cancer. And now, honestly, none of those problems I had before even seem the least bit problematic now. And even my situation doesn’t seem all that bad when you see what is happening to people in Syria and France, to give two examples. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go on.

  31. Natalie B   •  

    Sorry to hear that your daughter is having a hard time. It will get better. I remember getting the same response from my son when I pulled him out of daycare during my second mat leave. It was only a couple months before he started preschool and I thought he would love being home with me and his new baby brother! I think as adults, with all our experiences and long perspective, we forget that the friends they have at daycare have been their friends for the MAJORITY of their life. I certainly did not clue into this until I took my son to a park meet up with his daycare buddies. When we got there he was nervous to see them, and then he literally broke down and wept in the car when we left. It was a huge deal to him, seeing them again, and then leaving. I really had no idea how massive a thing it would be, seeing the experience through the lens of all the changes and transitions he would go through in his life. But to him, they had been his buddies for 2/3 of his little life!

    That said, we’ve had two wonderful years of preschool, and now that little boy of mine is leaving his preschool buddies behind (*sob!*) and will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I am so excited for him.

    It’s okay that your daughter is sad about this. Be with her through it and she will learn how to be okay as a person during these types of times.

  32. Nancy   •  

    I love being productive and busy, too. And I also get overwhelmed from time to time. What I have found that really helps me are a couple of things. 1) mindfulness mediation, and 2) knowing ( and having to tell myself!) that choosing to do one thing means not choosing to do another. That’s life! There are only so many hours in a day. And I want to be mentally present and enjoying the things I have chosen to do.

  33. andi   •  

    It is rather hard not to label the things that we don’t do or get to as failures. They say we are our own worst critics. Truly, not to put a band-aid over something as large as our worries and pains…sometimes we need to give ourselves a break. It is so evident that everything you do is with love and while it doesn’t work out as planned…the intent remains the same.
    I wish I could offer the most brilliant of solutions for you because you are one of the most wonderful people I “know”, but I have none. Only to say that i am sending you love.

  34. Christine   •  

    You are in the hardest stage of raising children where they need you constantly, leaving little time for you. That part will get easier as they get older. So hang in there Julie. You constantly impress me with all you have accomplished already. When my kids were little I know I wasn’t able to do all that you do. Don’t be so hard on yourself…one day at a time : )

  35. Jocelyn   •  

    I think you can tell by your comments you have struck a chord in many readers and by showing/sharing generously your feelings and it brings depth to your blog. I too identify but with the other end of life…with retirement I had a long list of all the things I would accomplish. Women always put pressure on ourselves to do more, be more, etc. etc.

  36. Danette Bartelmay   •  

    My goodness… somehow I missed this very important post!!!
    First of all, I am so very proud of you for opening up like you have here. Well done. Like you, I get tired of hiding behind my knitting. There’s real life we’re trying to live here and it’s not easy. It’s worth the effort… always. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
    As to your writing… I am excited to hear of this… we are birds of a feather indeed. I have for many years been wanting to write a novel but… Actually I am better at poetry and have so much that I should try to get it published. I keep planning to do this then I just don’t do it. You inspire me here, my dear.
    As for Sweet Little Miss Lila … Children are so very resilient, especially at her age, and soon she will be back in school with new friends and loving it. I promise. You’re and excellent mommy. We all learn as we go Julie. It’s just the only way this motherhood thing is done.
    As for Mr. James… God is growing patience in him… and he loves his sister and mommy… you are both his world along with Daddy… he’s happy, trust me.
    Just keep taking life a moment at a time and soak it all up my friend. Your on the right path because it’s YOUR path… And I keep you in my prayers…
    With love,
    Danette

  37. Tien   •  

    You’ve hit the nail on the head for so many of us struggling with the stresses of juggling too many balls in the air. I tend to deal with it by burying my head in the sand like an ostrich and hoping that the over-whelming feelings will magically disappear, so it is very healing to know that I’m far from alone in this. Thank goodness for my ever supportive (& more easy-going) husband, too. I hope that you continue to find time to pursue all of your creative passions as well as find a good balance for your kids. Having a few days of babysitting help is a terrific start and probably a fun change of pace for Lila. She looks like she’s having a grand time in those pictures!

  38. Alina   •  

    Dear Julie! Thank you so much for sharing! You know how much I admire and respect your productivity, you are a true inspiration! But I can also understand at what cost it might come. I love how honest and open you are and how you don’t try to sugarcoat it. I think sometimes it helps not to give up on your projects, but take it easy and don’t push impossible deadlines on yourself. I am really looking forward to seeing all your projects! You have a beautiful family!

  39. Eva   •  

    I’m staying home with only one and wonder how others have five and a business! I don’t get much time to knit or sew. I have no family close to support me so we send her to daycare one day a week. I get a day off and she has fun. Best thing when struggling? Go outside and play and see other mums. We all struggle even the ones that look like they have it all together. The more I let my expectations go the more fun we have together (especially when we find sticks or dance on top of the climbing frame ). All the things you are allowed to do finally 🙂

  40. Sarah   •  

    So happy that you wrote this post. I have an almost 4 yr old daughter and my son is 6 months. They are both home with me and I love them dearly. But I seem to have lost myself in their needs. I was an avid knitter and I don’t think I’ve knit anything in a couple of months. I desperately feel the need to do something for me. My husband is in medical school so his time is at a premium. I’m trying to do it all. Kids, housework, keep everyone fed. At the end of the day, I have nothing left. I have recently started working out again and that has helped but I don’t have the me time I wish I could have. I think it is amazing what you have and are accomplishing. I don’t have an answer for you but just am sharing to let you know that you are not alone. Being a mom is hard. Stay at home or working. I think the most important thing is to just keep trying.

  41. Kessa   •  

    First things first, you’re doing a great job, even if you don’t feel it sometimes! Kids just take a bit longer to get used to changes it seems… I can only imagine how it is with 2 kids (or more!) Having 1 kid had cut my usable time to barely 10% of what it used to be but I tell myself it isn’t permanent… So the only way is to cut back on every other part of my life (as you probably noticed) and just try to “carpe diem” – capturing the little moments of L being little still. I want to look back in future and remember the happy moments, but first I have to help it happen! I find that routines (as boring as it sounds) really helps free up time. It also makes it easier for kids when they know what to expect next. So the only suggestion I can give is to find a routine that works. Easier said than done, I know! But I know you can do it. 🙂

  42. Lisa Simmons   •  

    Hello all you moms! I just wanted to chime in to say, 30 years ago I became a stay-at-home mom during the 1980’s when it totally NOT the thing to do as a young woman with a college degree was supposed to do. I have 3 fantastic young adults, 30, 28 and 25 who are smart, articulate, have loads of friends, have met and married fantastic other young adults. I stayed home until the youngest started school and have never regretted a day. I did some work at home to help stretch our mac and cheese budget, my husband didn’t make big bucks because HE wanted to be around to be a Dad for our kids too, so we lived on tight means, but had fun! He and I are still happily married, I have written 8 books now, have several blogs, work as the technology ‘expert’ in my office skills I learned along the way. I write about the memories we made with our kids, the martial arts school we ran as a family and thank God He gave my husband and I the moxey to just do it. You can do it too! Keep up the good work!

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