It’s not you, it’s me

Or “Why I’m taking a hiatus from mommy blogs”

I coined a phrase once, when overhearing a conversation between a friend of mine and her husband.  I don’t remember the specifics, but I think she was in a bit of a mood, and when her husband complimented her on the way she looked, she started ranting about something… whether it was her desire to lose weight or her hair or her clothes — I forget what.  Being an impartial listener, I commented, “Marriage is wasted on the married.”

There have been other occasions to use it in the last few years, when I hear wives rag on their husbands for something he was doing with good intentions, or when a wife complains about something without thinking, and she really should be thankful for whatever it was.  If a man was standing in my kitchen and complimented me on how I looked, especially if we had matching rings on our left hands, I’d like to think I would thank him and kiss him smack on the lips.

I probably would fall into the same human errors as everyone else, of course.  But from the outside, it’s easy to see when people take things for granted.

I know I take things for granted about my state in life all the time.  My friends and I have tried to be more conscious of it lately — whether we’re out on a “school night,” and enjoying ourselves without having to find a babysitter, or whether we’re spending more money than we would be if we had another person to think about, we try to remind each other vocally of our situation, so that we’ll be more thankful for what we have rather than pining for what we don’t.  The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Or the other side of the blog world.

I’ve decided I need to take a hiatus from mommy blogs.  Not so much the blogs of people I know, but the blogs of people I only know through the interwebs.

The most popular Catholic blogs of my gender and age are mommy blogs.  And rightly so – the majority of girls my age are wives and mothers, and it’s human nature to want to read about lives so similar to your own.  I conjectured to a friend that my blog, for example, will never become popular among the mommy set.  Some moms write about laundry, cleaning, giving birth – you know, their daily lives– and other moms eat it up.   But my daily life?  While my friends might like to see what I’m up to, not many moms want to know that a single girl spent her Thursday evening at a Bourbon Party, her Friday at a CD release party, and her Saturday at a neighborhood pizza and wine bar.

(So… basically I’m addressing this post to no one, since only my friends read my blog. But I digress.)

Not surprisingly, since I am not in the same state of life, I have found reading mommy blogs can make me dissatisfied with life.  It hit me when I saw the gathering in Austin for moms.  Do they deserve a getaway?  Sure.  Does it look like a fantastic event?  Absolutely.  But one of my first thoughts was, “I want a break from my state in life, too.”  And I can’t have it.  Have at it, Moms.  Go live a weekend of single-life bliss.  Drink cocktails and talk to other women without children screaming.  You deserve it.  And I mean that with all my heart.

But it hurt the same heart to realize the tables can’t be turned.  No one can give me a weekend with a husband who loves me and kids who, despite their screams, are bone-of-my-bone and flesh-of-my-flesh.  So remember that, too, Moms.  When your single-girl weekend is over, be thankful for the people who love you.

So I’m going to step back.  Don’t worry moms, it’s not you, it’s me.  I just need a little hiatus from reading about diapers and husbands and what you wore on Sunday.

I’ll probably be back before too long.

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22 thoughts on “It’s not you, it’s me

  1. This was such a good slap (self-administered) and reminder to be.fricking.grateful. I wish I could bottle up the shame I felt while reading this (again, not because of you dear friend, but because of my own shortcomings in the gratitude department lately) and uncork it later to sprinkle over a midnight feeding or Target dressing room meltdown. Note to self: Love where you’re at.

    • Joannie says:

      Jenny, I hope this didn’t sound bitter or caustic – I love all my mommy friends, and all my mommy blogger friends, and I hope you have a beautiful time in Austin! I guess it’s just something we all need to remember — Love where you’re at. : )

  2. laurasuz says:

    I like reading your blog, now that I’m reading blogs again! Everyone needs to step away from those kind of things every once in awhile, especially during this era when where are surround by so much. Mom’s even have to step away from certain mom blogs because they are feeling inadequate after reading, etc.

  3. romancingreilly says:

    Amen! Amen! Thank you for the reminder, Joannie. It’s been a particularly tough past few weeks and it culminated in my being particularly UNappreciative last weekend (I think I did better this weekend). Anyway, I think anyone — mom or non-mom — can get too big a dose of mommy blogs.

  4. Alaina says:

    Thank you! I think it’s important to cultivate your interests no matter where you are in life. I love reading your blog, primarily because of the foodie posts. There are very few Catholic perspectives in the food world, and I love reading the ones I find. Keep up the good work!

  5. Jill says:

    I’ve been thinking about what you said about women getting to take a break and not be moms for a weekend and get to be single women for awhile. I don’t think this is really the point of the conference. You never get to completely abandon being a mom – I mean, most of the talks and conversation will probably center around motherhood, and I bet you a lot of the women there will have a nursling with them. Some may bring their husbands with them for the weekend. And rest assured that the whole time, they’ll be thinking about their families and calling them to check in, etc.

    But it’s really important for mothers to be able to talk to other like-minded women, without their children constantly interrupting and underfoot. (I submit as an example any phone conversation that we’ve tried to have in the past eight years.) And as much as our husband may be our soulmate and loving companion, they are wired differently and sometimes, we just don’t want to burden him with every little complaint that we have that they’re not going to understand anyway, or will feel helpless to try and fix. (“I just feel so fat!” “and I really want a piece of chocolate right now!”)

    Fostering Catholic friendships is important and I believe it’s really difficult when you have small children (or any kind of children), and especially when the women who are like-minded that we have found via blogs may live across the country in a different state.

    I agree that we should all strive to be grateful for what we have, and that is sometimes a struggle. But I wouldn’t necessarily characterize this particular conference as a break from their state in life. There’s no escaping that! haha!

    • Joannie says:

      I agree, Jill — you can’t separate yourself from who you are, and I didn’t see that in the conference at all. I hope it didn’t sound like I was degrading or insulting them, because I do think it’s important for moms to make those friendships and it’s amazing to think of all the people who are going to meet for the first time after only knowing each other through the blogs. It’s going to be really awesome, which is why I at first thought “I want to go!” (until I realized I would get really sick of hearing about childbirth. hahaha. Just kidding!!!)

      So when I referred to the break, I wasn’t criticizing — I was just using the language and the impression I got from the website. It’s clearly an event for moms who need a break (there are massage chairs!) and when I read the description, it sure seemed like a fun single-gal event to me! “party… stress-free, no obligations event…” That’s the definition of the single life, isn’t it? Haha! : )

      I guess to classify it as a break from their state in life was reflecting more on my single life than on their motherhood! Haha. If they are seeking an event where nothing is asked of you except to have fun and relax, they are seeking a break from the obligations and stresses of motherhood — which again, I think they deserve. Everyone deserves a break! It’s not like they’re forsaking their children. They’re just becoming refreshed through friends and faith. Heck, they’ll get to actually attend Mass and pray! That’s a great thing!

      And then at the end of the weekend, they’ll get to go back to their husbands and kids.

  6. Joannie, I found this post through Martha’s blog, and even though I’m a Mom, I can totally relate to your feelings about this conference. I don’t even think I need to (or should) expound on that for you, just know that you’re not alone. I’ve been feeling like I need a break from Mommy blogs for a while and your post was the kick in the rear I needed. Good thing your blog isn’t a Mommy blog! 🙂

    • Joannie says:

      Thanks for commenting, Ellen!
      And just so I’m really super clear — I think the conference will be tons of fun for all the moms and I don’t begrudge them at all – I just hope they appreciate what they have waiting for them at home! : )

  7. Martha Reilly sent me your way and I have to tell you… I am a mommy blogger (I guess… I didn’t set out to be that but then I had a kid and guess what my blog turned into? yup) and often I have to step away from certain mom blogs. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what we don’t have. I read blogs of moms who stay at home and their woes and I think “what I wouldn’t give to be at home with my boy right now.” And the few non-mom blogs I read, yeah, I get totally jealous of the nights out because oh gosh my life is work and home, and its great but it is draining. But I do remember the time before having kids. And I remember the time before having a husband. I remember wishing I could trade my nights out for cozy nights in. The grass is always greener and you said it all perfectly. What’s most important is recognizing that greener grass isn’t always what you need at this point in life. 😉 Best of luck!

    • Joannie says:

      I love that: “recognizing that greener grass isn’t always what you need at this point in life”
      Thanks for coming by, Kate!

  8. Hah. I always want to blame my meager stats on the fact that mine is not a mommy blog; I’m sure my writing quality and/or quantity has nothing to do with it ; P

    • Your writing quality has nothing to do with it. Quantity, maybe a bit. If your stats are meager it’s because you don’t do link-ups or other forms of self-promotion.

      And Joannie, I really can’t get over the fact that you don’t want to know what I wore Sunday.

      😉

  9. Hi Joanie! 🙂 I am visiting from Romancing Reilly!

    I just want to let you know that I SO feel you. I, too, am single and mostly read the mom blogs. Some days, I just hit “read all” in my feeder and move on. Other days I can’t get enough. It’s such a weird thing, ya know? Desiring what they have, yet having to hear about the difficulties of that life all the time. Ugh, I feel you.

    BUT! There are a lot more of YOU out there! Just so you don’t think ALL the blogs of people your age are married with kiddos. Have you heard of the Not Alone Series??? It’s a link-up where single Catholic ladies meet up every week. Check us out: http://jumpinginpuddlesisfun.blogspot.com/p/not-alone-series.html

    … and join us if you would like! 🙂

    Prayers for you!
    Jen

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