Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thoughts on having a midlife crisis

Call me naive but I didn't realize until recently that blogging to create envy was a thing.  I understand  how unappealing it would be if one was constantly writing about negatives, especially negatives that may seem trivial to others, but it feels like there's a Catch 22 involved when it comes to blogging.  Too much one way and readers think that you are fake and only showing the very best.  Too much the other way and you are viewed as a whiner.  The first blogs I read belonged to triplet parents and stillbirth parents and both types were very real.  How could they NOT be real?  That was my introduction to blogging and the path that I eventually followed.  I'm not a fake person in real life so why would I be one online?  Although, sometimes I wonder if the readers push the bloggers in a certain direction.  I've received a few comments here asking why the girls' hair looks messy.  Because it's 105 degrees with 100% humidity and we've been walking around Magic Kingdom all day.  I'm not going to redo their hair for blog photos.  Sorry, not sorry.  (Is it no longer cool to use that statement?  Is it no longer cool to use the word cool?)

So all this is to say that I've been feeling a little low as of late.  I can't really pinpoint why but I will say that it's midlife crisis season.  I've been thinking about my career and how it feels like I just have a job now, not a career.  What happened?  Did I give up?  Did the people above me give up?  Did Crazy Cat Lady beat me down so badly that I lost faith in myself? Being a working mom is beyond difficult.  I haven't been able to find balance.  I feel guilty for missing work when it's for a reason other than scheduled vacation time.  I think there's a certain stigma that surrounds the classification of "working mom."  Like maybe you're okay with status quo because you have those home responsibilities too.

So that's kind of where my mind's been lately.  The monotony of the daily grind can wear you down.  Especially when the weekends revolve around laundry and cleaning, cleaning and laundry.  Even my photography, my creative outlet, has left me feeling blah.  It's so hard to not feel jealous watching what some other photographers are doing with opportunities I'll never be able to create for myself.  Midlife. Crisis.  Such a weird place to be.  Maybe I just need to train for a marathon or something.


Sarah said...

Being a working mom stinks. Plain and simple. I have so much mom guilt and go thru the work motions in a super stressful job.... Yuck! I'll let you know if I find any solutions :( off to do more laundry.

lesley said...

I cannot believe that people are so opinionated. Ignore them. I find your blog real, just how you like it to be. I really think you have to write it in whatever way works for you, not to please others. If some days, it's happy, happy , happy-then that's great. And when it's whiney, whiney, whiney that's ok too. That's life. And a midlife crisis? Don't you have to be like, just a little older or something? :) I think you sound depressed instead, with good reason. You have a very full plate with no time for yourself. I really don't know how you do it, actually. I think the stress of it all can be very wearing and am not at all surprised you feel down. Hang in there, hopefully this will pass. I don't expect you to post this, which is fine, cause maybe it's too personal. :)

Anonymous said...

i read your blog all the time and i like it because it is real. other blogs i read are just so HAPPY all the time and everything is just so PERFECT and even when it's not the attitude is "OH WE ARE SO BLESSED". Thank you for being real and for putting your real thoughts out there without the filters.

Karen said...

Just wanted to say that I can't stand blogs that aren't "real" and I love yours because you tell the truth about life and are open and honest.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I feel you on both points. I feel guilty sometimes because my FB posts, in particular, tend to be of the happy variety. That's what I want to focus on...not because I'm trying to create a facade...but because I don't want to dwell on the negative. I want to appreciate the positive.

And on a career note, I feel you there, too. While I feel confident I have the same skill set I did 8 years ago, I'm not the same career-oriented person. I really enjoy my job...but something is different for me, and it feels weird. I am not unhappy, but I sometimes find myself asking, "Who am I?"

And on a different note, I was in Boston (for work) for the first time this weekend. It was beautiful! We were back and forth through downtown and also out in several suburbs. Definitely a place I'd like to revisit when I have some more (personal) time.

Happy Monday to you all.

Christi said...

I like your blog because it is real life - the pretty, the mundane and the not so fun.

I found you initially when I was researching the Jo Totes camera bags years ago.
I read a few more of your posts when I saw you lived in the same area as me.
I added you to my blog reader because I really enjoy your photography and your writing voice.

You are realistic and honest. That's hard to find in a blogger these days!! Too many bloggers think they need to be magazine perfect all the time or try too hard to be the "next big thing" and focus on sponsored posts and giveaways to try to get more eyeballs instead of staying connected to the readers they already have.

If you ever do consider training for a marathon or a half, check out Another Mother Runner ( They do challenge groups for all race lengths that include training plans. You might like their podcasts too. I 'retired' from running last year but still listen because I learn so much from their guests.

And for photography, have you read Click the magazine? It's from the Clickin' Moms group and is just beautiful to look at.

Julia said...

I am amazed that people have commented on your girls' hair! For sakes, anyone who says that can't have that much experience around kids. My kids won't let me do their hair all the time, to start with (they are pretty sure they can do their own hair well enough...who am I to say no to learning, right?), plus theirs is curly and gets very messy very easily. If I still blogged, those people would think I am a terrible, terrible mom.

I hope by the time by our girls grow up expectations and rewards on mothering and working will have changed for the better at least a bit. I am getting to a point (undreamed of some years ago) where I am accepting the fact that being a woman comes with a certain set of challenges that are totally different from those of a man and demand different decisions and solutions during life. I hope I will be able to prepare them for that.

Caroline said...

Believe it or not, there's a whole subset of academics (in fields like cultural studies) who write about mom blogs. Their biggest critique seems to be that the vast majority of these blogs present a kind of curated perfection that leaves readers feeling inadequate. No one could ever say that about you. (Not that your blog doesn't inspire jealousy... but I don't think you intend it to!) Reading your blog is like sitting down and having coffee with your most un-full-of-shit friend. You could easily spin your life another way. You could brag about your gorgeous children or your career and pretend everything's perfect, but you don't. This is why so many people like you.

Anyway, I'm sorry you're feeling so down and overwhelmed. But I guess my point in this comment is that you're already surpassing others simply by writing a sincere account of raising children (and your photography, I think, reflects this. It's not contrived like so much photography I see on blogs). It is SO. REFRESHING.

Kandice said...

I love reading your blog, and I love that you present your life as it really is (kids hair is supposed to be messy!! At least that's what I tell myself since my kids' hair always is. ;-) ). Life is hard, and I can't believe people pretend like it isn't and that theirs is perfect. Who is that helping anyway? It's hard being a working mom. For me at least, I feel like I can never give my all to kids, my jobs, my husband, and also myself. Something is always lacking. You're doing a great job and deserve a pat on the back and time for yourself (including running). I've recently started working out again with running thrown in as well, and I'd to follow along on your progress. It's hard to find motivation sometimes to go running by myself.

Thanks for your posts and the pictures of your beautiful kids! Your photography inspires me as a working mom / photography hobbyist (in my spare time).

Jennifer said...

I absolutely LOVE reading your blog!!!! I've enjoyed reading about the life of a parent with multiple children, who are adorable and loves to share pictures! The only thing I miss is you posting everyday…..which please don't take it wrong, I COMPLETELY understand…..I don't have enough hours in my day and it's only me! It constantly amazes me how parents do so much!

I pray this is only a slump, with the weather changing….etc. Please continue to share, hopefully your motivation will come back!

Your posts are completely "real" and don't apologize for that….if people aren't interested, they shouldn't read!



Sarah said...

Thank you for these wonderful comments. I enjoy hearing what you have to say and it definitely makes me feel better with what I'm doing here.

Sadly, I am old enough to fit into the midlife crisis age group. Apparently, it can hit earlier for women too. As early as late 30s. But I'm older than that. It's more career-based. Like what have I been doing and why and was that the smart thing to do and maybe you shouldn't even think about anything else because you have kids and need stability. It's tough.

I pop over and read Clickin' Moms blog every once and awhile. It's a good lunch read. I'll have to check out anothermotherrunner - always looking for running inspiration.

MandyE - glad you enjoyed Boston!

Teej said...

Just wanted to add my appreciation for your down-to-earth, honest voice on your blog. It is very refreshing. I have wondered how long your kids will feel comfortable with you writing about them. If they ever tell you to stop, I hope you will keep blogging about other topics. I would happily read your reviews of books, description of laundry creep, and photography tips even without cute kids as the anchor! :)

Carrie G. in MN said...

I also love your blog and your tell-it/like-it-is style that's always present, no matter what you're writing about. I'm an unmarried mom of an almost-ten-year/old girl I adopted from Guatemala, and I have incredible admiration for you. Thank you for keeping it real. I get tired of the "too perfect" blogs because life isn't like that. Even though we've never met and live far apart (I'm in Minnesota), I feel like you're my friend. Thank you for that.

Carla Rae Withrow said...

Another loyal follower here! I met you briefly is disney (at the petting zoo area of Rafkis when your girls were toddlers- not the I expect you to remember. lol) and have followed you since. Your real life struggles with multiples has helped me tremendously with my 8 month old twins. Don't let the nay-sayers get you down!
I totally get the career vs job debate. I went back to my job part time when my babies were 6 months. I hate having a "job" vs a "career." If I had a career, I think i would be happy to leave the babies part time (momma needs a little break), but leaving them for just a job, SUCKS! I have been seriously considering grad school. I got my masters a few years back, but not my PhD. But my program would be 5 years and about $100k and then I still have to find the job on my career path and make some type of money and I don't want to have to miss anything with my kids (school plays and class trips and all the stuff you struggle with balancing daily), so working full full time wont work. And my husband reminds me that we need to start saving for the babies' college so adding more college debt to me is contrary to that goal. UGH!
I don't have any idea for laundry, (it just seems to keep piling up in my house too! lol) but have you considered a maid? Ours comes twice a month at $100 a visit and it is well worth it. We never have to think about cleaning the bathrooms or dusting or any of the little things that take up so much time. I still have tons of laundry (maid doesn't do it) and I have to vacuum and mop every day (the joy of nearly crawling- self feeding babies lol), but it saves me hours a week on other chores.

Anonymous said...

I work in the same industry as you and I sometimes wonder if I made the right move. It to feels like it's too late to turn back now though... I chose this industry for the job security and the money as opposed to a job I would enjoy more but never be able to make the kind of money that would give me the opportunity to do the things in life I wanted (travel etc.) Do you ever feel this way with accounting/tax? It gets so monotonous but the pressure and deadlines are so intense.