I've written and rewritten this post countless times over the last several months, and it turns out I still don't know how to say this with any amount of sensitivity, so I'm just going to get the hard part out of the way first.
This will be the final post here at Life, Motherhood, And The Pursuit Of Happiness.
For the last two and a half years, I have poured every ounce of myself that I could muster into this blog, and I can't say that it hasn't been a wonderful experience. When I started this little project it was with the intention of sharing my story as I followed my dreams and navigated the endlessly confusing waters of parenthood. I wanted a place to explore my thoughts and hoped that my words would help inspire other moms to see the bigger picture and keep a firm grasp of their own identity. I hoped I could at least help one other mother feel less isolated.
These goals were indeed met and I gained many new friendships through this venture. I also found some other amazing bloggers whose work I still enjoy reading. However, in this time I also noticed that some of my goals were changing. Some of my friendships were changing. Some of my interests were changing. And more importantly, some of my beliefs were changing.
I can't pinpoint this decision on any one thing, but I can tell you that towards the end blogging had become very stressful and I found myself falling further and further away from my true voice and my true intentions. There is so much pressure to put out X amount of content each week and to keep up with every challenge, every "viral" piece that must be responded to in some way, every hot button issue that comes your way...without ever being "too" honest, lest you find yourself with an inbox full of hatred or alienate your readers. After a while, it began to feel like I was solely writing for other bloggers, and worse still, I wasn't writing authentically anymore.
However, the worst of it was the idea that I was ignoring my "real life" in order to blog about it. Every meal I cooked, every family outing, every sweet moment with my daughter, every not-so-sweet parenting truth, became nothing more than fodder for my next post. The time I spent on social media promoting my work and "networking" with other bloggers began to eat up every spare minute of my time. What had started out as stress relief had become one of the biggest sources of stress in my life. I was no longer fully present with my family, and it was beginning to create a rift in those most precious relationships.
Perhaps the outcome would have been different if this had become a source of income. If I was putting in 40 plus hours a week and getting something in return, it definitely would have been easier to keep going, to find a way to work it out to where no one was being neglected so that mommy could work. Unfortunately, the reality of it is that I was not seeing any growth with this particular investment. After working my "day-job" at the daycare center, writing for this blog, working on my books and my (horribly neglected) author blog, and doing all the things that a mother must get done in a day, there was nothing left. Something simply had to give.
Despite the love and care that I have put into this blog over the years, it is time I let it go so that I can focus on bigger things. I am 6 weeks away from finally marrying my partner of nearly 10 years, my first novel is finally on the shelves (with the follow-up close on its heels!), and I am working on some new music that will hopefully see the light of day within the next year or so. Those are the things I need to be focusing on right now. My family and my art.
While I am officially calling it quits here at LMPH, you can still follow my story on my author blog, BrandynBlaze.com. You can also follow me on my new Facebook page or on Twitter.
I am extremely excited about this new chapter in my life, and I hope that you join me on this new journey.
I'd like to thank you all for the support you've given me over the years. I couldn't have kept it going without you!