I did a workshop at a little writers’ conference last weekend. The topic for my breakout was Blogging As a Platform. Which, if you look around these parts, you may wonder why I was asked to present on such a subject. My last post was over a month ago, I hardly receive any comments, and I don’t have thousands of subscribers.
More than once I gave the caveat, “This is what the experts say to do, but it is not how I practice.” And then I would go on to normalize the other writers’ anxieties that we must always be doing more in order to be meeting some type of invisible checklist. Because according to the research I’ve done we “should” be posting a few times a week if we want people to expect something of us. We “should” be considering how we are positioning ourselves for search engines. And we “should” be maximizing all of the social media platforms to get our posts shared.
But we are not machines. We are humans.
I feel this pressure in almost every area of my life. That I should be doing more. I should be working out more often, using organic ingredients more frequently, spending more one-on-one time with each of my children. No matter the area of my life, I’m one Google search away from finding out how I could be doing it better. I could be doing more.
Mothering is where I feel this most strongly. Or rather where I have the most emotional investment and therefore the strongest guilt when my “should” list isn’t getting its proper attention. I’ve been fighting my internal demons in this area for years now and am in the best place of my life as far as being satisfied with my own limitations. But even now, in a good space, I have those moments of doubt. So as a way of self-talk, I’ll offer the pep talk I think we all need to hear every once in a while.
Just as I told the writers at the conference, quality supersedes quantity in my book. As a mom you shouldn’t be doing more. If you are a parent living in the U.S., you really should likely be doing less because we are all over scheduled. Have a drink tonight on your back porch. Read your child a story (if you’d like, this is not meant to be another guilt inducing to-do list). And say a prayer of gratitude for what is right in front of you.
I am not a machine. I can’t just be turned up to a higher decibel of energy or efficiency. I have physical limitations and emotional ones too. Despite what my children believe, I can only hold one conversation at a time and I can only make dinner with the ingredients we actually have. I can’t be programmed. Again human. Not machine.
It is okay to stop. Breathe. And remember I’m not a machine, I’m a mom.