...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Truth: I’m giving myself a break. Last week I came across a brutally honest post written by my blogger friend, Belinda. She opened up about doing and having it all. It really hit home with me.

I was inspired to leave this comment:

Hey Belinda. This post could have easily come from my brain. It’s so honest. I agree that blogging is becoming somewhat of a competitive sport. I’m constantly comparing myself and my blog to others and that’s not doing me any good.

Like you, I’m a stay at home mom of three. My baby doesn’t sleep through the night. I’m soooo sleep deprived. I have no other family help the majority of the time. My husband works late nearly every evening and travels away from home a lot too. I do what I can. When I’m feeling especially good about a blog post, more than likely my house and kids haven’t gotten my attention for a good chunk of the day. When my house is clean and running well and the kids are happy and I’ve been involved with them all day, there’s no way I’m getting to a blog post. There’s a trade off every day. At the end of every day, I’m constantly thinking about the things I didn’t get to. Like you said, it’s exhausting.

I think I really need to lighten up on myself. I never started blogging to be famous or make money, so I don’t know why I feel the need to strive for either now. House*Tweaking began as a creative outlet for me and somehow it’s become work. Sure, I’d love to cover at least the costs of running the blog and share my ideas but, in the end, if it’s affecting my family life in a negative way then something’s not right. I’m still trying to figure out where I go from here. I applaud you for regrouping and refreshing. Kudos, girl.

I think we need to remind ourselves that ‘famous’ bloggers have spouses, babysitters and nannies or other family members to help out with their kids. Or their kids are older and sleep through the night and are at school during the day. OR they don’t have kids. Some even have professional photographers to document their days. I’ll bet a few even have housekeepers. {gasp!} And no matter where you live, there are only 24 hours in a day, so being online most of the day means taking away time from something else: sleep, exercise, family time, leisure time, etc. I’d rather be well-rounded than be seen on FB or Twitter all day. I was just thinking today that I kind of miss the days before social media.

I say keep doing what makes you happy. You will draw the audience you want that way. I love your kid parties, corners of your home and DIY decorating. I think posting one really beefy post a week is way better than posting several fluffy posts every day.

You’ve inspired me to re-evaluate my own blog!

xo from across the globe,
Dana

I don’t want H*T to feel like work. After all, that’s why I started it! The problem is I’m a yes girl. It’s really difficult for me to say no. Before kids – heck, even with two kids – it wasn’t unusual for me to have a lot on my plate and still get it all taken care of. I’m a busy-body. I don’t need a ton of sleep to function. I’m good at managing my time. BUT with three kids in the mix {one of which has yet to sleep through the night. ahem, Mabrey.} and a HH who works long hours and is traveling a bunch for business, I have to start saying no. I am only one person. I cannot do it all. So why waste my time trying?

Recently, I’ve gotten caught up in an awful ‘yes’ cycle. I say yes to so many people/events/things that by the time I’ve fulfilled my obligations, there’s no time left for the stuff I enjoy. Like decorating, DIYing and tweaking. And I wonder why I can’t make any good progress on my house!

So I’m taking a step back and heeding my own advice. Quality over quantity, people. I think my kids, my HH, my blog and my self will all be better for it.

I’m not even going to pick up any of that.

images: 1) Belinda Graham 2) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

63 Comments

You deserve it!!!!

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01.October.2012

Sing it, Sister!
It’s hard to be Yes Girl. Unfortunately, despite your ability to say yes to things, it doesn’t also come with superhero powers to make it all it happen and not go crazy. Make it All Happen Girl doesn’t exist – it’s usually a team of some sort. Do What You Can Do Well Girl? That’s a superhero I could get on board with…

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01.October.2012

Your honest voice and engaging blog are an inspiration to all of us women, moms, single girls, DINKs, and probably some men too. A guru told me to focus for success, so I’ve gotten into the habit of say to myself: “I’m not saying NO all the time, I’m just saying YES to the right things.” Hang in there, Dana!

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01.October.2012

Don’t worry about it! I started out reading blogs a long time ago – my blog reader has probably 50 or more blogs on it, but 1000′s of unread posts. I homeschool and work weekends, so I am often too busy to read many. However, I always read yours and will continue to no mater how often you post. Take the time for your family! The blogs I enjoy the most are the ones that simply tell it like it is and teach me new things or give me ideas in decorating or crafting. Once they become “famous” I often stop reading them because it usually means they have to start doing sponsored posts and other promotions and I’m not really interested in a commercial. :) I don’t mind the occasional sponsored post, but the percentage soon out weighs the normal posts.

Enjoy your family – I’ll keep coming back. :)

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replied on October 2nd, 2012

I agree…there are a number of blogs I’ve lost interest in once they became too famous.

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01.October.2012

Yay, you have to look after yourself! As to your blog, at least I love it the way it is so don’t go comparing yourself to other bloggers, there’s no need (I know, easier said than done)… I’m also not liking the blog world getting more competitive, that’s not what it should be about, but I guess that’s what happens when the blogs are being monetized and used for earning full-time salaries rather than documenting your ideas and inspiration.

Take time for yourself, your family and building that family a home you love! We will love to read about it but we can wait ;).

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01.October.2012

I think most of the people following your blog do so because it feel real. If your reality is your need to take a break and slow down, well, it’s YOU at this very moment ! Your kids+husband are for real and they need you ; your house is for real and it needs you ; well, a blog is not really for real … so it can’t wait ! Or being visited once or twice a week and not every day. Take care, Dana+hugs from France (French hugs are good !!)

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replied on October 1st, 2012

… so it can wait ! (oups… french mistake) …

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01.October.2012

I’ve given a lot of thought recently to why I blog. After all, I have a full time job + husband & daughter + house full of on-going renos. Why blog?? As a hobby it has gotten a bit out of hand and I”ve had to step back a lot and live in the moment, instead of running for the camera, waiting for the perfect light, etc. When it happens on its own and it’s fun, great. When it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

It does sometimes bug me that my blog could be so much better if I was more dedicated, more professional about it. If I at least got a professional header for it (gasp). But than, I would need to sit at the computer 24/7 to justify the expenses. And that’s a price I”m not willing to pay.

I love blogs and I’m ok with being on the outskirts of the blogging community. Because, as you say, there are only 24 hours in the day.

I’m very glad you’re speaking out. It’s humanizing to see others go through similar struggles. I hope your little girl sleeps through the night soon. You have a ton on your place and ANY time you give to the blog is much appreciated by your readers. I’m always happy to see a new post. Be it once a week or a few times a week.

N

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01.October.2012

Your blog is my favorite blog to read and although I look forward to reading a post everyday I will still be here reading whether there is one new post a day or one new post a month. I hope you find the right balance for you and can get to a place that makes you happy.

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01.October.2012

dana— as my boyfriend often says to me when i am freaking out about maintaining my friendships across the country, living in ny, my family, me blog and regular fulltime job– do what YOU need to do. i totally get caught up in small things that ripple through everything else. and that isn’t fair to anyone, especially me.
though it isn’t the most plesent topic, its nice to know that other people feel this way and aren’t just coasting through things with total ease (lets be real…no one is)
i love your blog but don’t feel like you owe me anything than you already give. do what works for YOU.

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01.October.2012

Brava! Saying ‘no’ is hard, but family is precious, and kids are young so short a time. Keep figuring out what you want to do and balance that with what you need to do, both of which tend to change over time, and your readers will stick with you because you’re real and talented and a pleasant break for us from our own life-balancing days. Thanks for the honesty this Monday, and best wishes with your balancing act!

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01.October.2012

I think the difference is that you don’t need to blog because your do well on a single income which is great. A lot of the famous bloggers have to blog because it’s how they keep their kids fed and in clothing. Bloggers who rely on their blogs for income don’t have the luxury to just say screw it I’m going to spend time with my kids instead of blog. No posts equal loss of readership and income and sponsors. I don’t envy them at all because I can’t imagine the stress of having to come up with something new everyday, sometimes tiwce a day but they have to because it’s their job.

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01.October.2012

Thank you, thank you for sharing not only the Happy Home post, but also your thoughts. Sometimes, I feel as though you are living my life, only you are a few months ahead of me! I’ve got two boys just about the same age as yours, and am expecting a third baby (?) in March. My husband works long hours and travels often. I live in a rental right now, but we are hoping to buy a home soon. And I am trying to make a career out of blogging, writing, and wellness coaching (ok, that part is different!).

I read your blog for the beautiful designs, yes, but also because it helps to see how someone I might like to be friends with in real life, handles similar issues to mine.

I too struggle with the time balance, and with another baby coming, it will only get worse. I feel like I should be doing more for work, but never feel like I have a handle on things at home. The reason I want to build a freelance career is so I have that flexibility for my children and my home, but building that career takes so much time and energy, sometimes I wonder if it will ever happen. I feel guilty for not contributing more financially, and frustrated I can’t devote more to my passion. Yet, I wouldn’t give up time with my kids or the lifestyle we have because I am home. If you figure out the answer, let me know please!

In the meantime, know that you are stuck with me (and a lot of others) as a reader, no matter how often you post.

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01.October.2012

I really enoyed this post! I’ve also been following your blog for awhile and love it! But I totally understand there needs to be a balance. This was a great reminder for me and nice to see a bigger blogger than myself keeping it real and letting us know that it’s not as easy as it looks. I’m a stay at home mom of two (3 and 16mo) and in the process of trying to start a business and using my blog as a tool for that business. Between the business and the blog it could be a full time job and I feel bad when I don’t spend as much time with my kids as I’d like to (which was the purpose of starting a homebased business). All the advice on blog building I’ve been reading says to post everyday or as much as possible. I’ve been trying to post lots but find it difficult to balance it all. So while it’s a great tool for some or hobby for others you do have to decide what is the most important priority. So I do still try to post regularily but don’t beat myself up if it’s only a couple times a week. That just means I had more important things to do, like work on portfolio jobs, business stuff or most importantly read some stories or go for a walk with my kids.
Thanks for the reminder and I definitely agree one quality post is better than a bunch of fluff ones!

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01.October.2012

Kids are only young ONCE….you are a homemaker (not in the public workforce) so that you are available to raise your children instead of someone else at a daycare raising them….this is THE most important job a woman has and not enough credit is given to stay at home moms. You will have ALL THE TIME IN WORLD when they are grown to persue your own interest….trust me, I’m living this life now that mine 3 are adults. I don’t regret one moment at home….wish I could do it all again…this is a wonderful time of your life as difficult and tiring as it may be to raise children you WILL, as we all do, look back someday and be thankful for every moment you spent with them!!! NOTHING is more important than those 3 little people! As a parent we must sacrifice what we might want for ourselves to provide for them in all ways…if young people today ever finally realize being a parent is really a sacrifice (and I’m not saying you don’t) the world and the babies in it will be a better place. No one needs the cars, houses, designer clothes, vacations etc. Our society has become a world of STUFF….we need to focus on the necessities of home and the importance of family and relationships! Okay I’m stepping down off the podium now…I could go on and on…but my point is made, I hope!

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replied on October 1st, 2012

Very well said :-)

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01.October.2012

I love this post. I also could have written it. I work from home and have 2 small girls running circles around me while I’m at the computer. To top it off last month I started my own blog. I LOVE the projects and the writing aspect…. but know little of the programing/technical end. I’m starting to get scared. In a month I can see how much time is is taking away from my family. That can’t happen. I am at a crossroads. Do what you need to do, Dana. Your blog is my favorite ……. but as another mommy, understand 100% where you are comming from.

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01.October.2012

I’ve thought about starting a blog so many times and never got up the gumption for fear that the exact thing you describe was going to happen! Thank you for being so honest. Take a deep breath and a long break and reconnect with YOU!

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01.October.2012

You go girl! I love to see any posts that kind of shore up the movement back to blogging as a hobby, an outlet—not an obligation. Above all else, enjoy it, and know that we’ll be here when you are. :)

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01.October.2012

I really think you should pick up that book – but only so you can read it (to yourself if no one else is around). I loved Richard Scarry as a child and had to buy some of his books when my grandchildren were born. Kinda wish they weren’t 1000 miles away so I could read to them whenever I wanted instead of once a year on visits.

Post when you can – quality not quantity is what keeps most of us checking in on you! Personally I’m amazed at what you guys are able to accomplish with a newborn and two other children. I’m glad you allow us along for the journey – you have a wonderful family and a beautiful home.

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01.October.2012

I certainly appreciate a good update every week or month instead of a silly update daily. I love decorating and love to see updates, but not “I moved this one small piece to this table”. This will make you and your family happier and also your readers happier.

I hope this change will bring you some peace.
Laura

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01.October.2012

Can I say I am so impressed you even blog. I don’t even have kids and blog with my mom and it still seems like so many times I do not have a blog post ready to go. I love blogging as a hobby and it does help me get my butt in gear to get some things done and finished around my house. I also love that is something I can share with my mom. This whole blogging things has brought us even closer than what we were. We have so much fun with it but, at times I think she gets frustrated and needs to remind herself this is all for fun. If it is not it is time to step back.

Enjoy your little ones and the time. The blog can always wait.

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01.October.2012

Let me start by saying that I’ve loved following your home renovation and styling for a couple of years now. I honestly never thought that you looked to other blogs to compare yourself. Please don’t. Stay who you are – that is why we follow. And once or twice a week is fine by me! But I can’t help but recalling you and your HH making a decision to make your blog your job (ie. money earner, gain clients, etc.) so that you could quit your real job. You’re lucky to not have to add “full-time job” to the list of things you HAVE TO DO every day. People go through these same struggles all the time. Because, unfortunately, we can’t all be professional fun-havers. This is a massive assumption but, I think that in your mind quitting a part-time job that didn’t follow you home at the end of the day (pharmacist) would be similar or better to one (blogger) that has more flexibility and allows you to stay home with the kids. Add a new baby on top of that and you get life. It’s what makes us resilient and stronger but usually doesn’t last forever – or perhaps we just acclimate to the change… but it’s our life. Maybe life would be easier if you had a babysitter for a few hours a week? Or a housekeeper? Or a husband around more? Or a million dollars? What would make it better for you & your family and what sacrifices (financial and personal) can you make to achieve that? And sacrificing your blog is an option. Even if it means I lose out :( Sorry for the realism.

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01.October.2012

Good for you! Just a side note– My first was a fussy baby and it was oh. so. hard. He just started consistently sleeping through the night now (he’s 3) and even now, he wakes up once or twice a week. Hang in there!

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01.October.2012

Dana, just wanted to say that I love your blog and will eagerly read what you write, when you write it… and totally understand the need to work for a balance (and that kids/husband/real life are the priorities!) I have two littles under 3, so I GET IT. But you have a great voice, and add something valuable to the whole “blogosphere” (is that even a word?). Thanks for taking the time to do what you do!

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If I could give you a hug, I would. I feel the same way some days. Why do it? I always have that old adage in the back of my mind – “you’ll never regret spending more time with your children”. Every day, every post is a tradeoff. Hope you find the balance that works for you. I’ll be here reading along when you come back.

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I loved reading both of the above posts! It really hit home because I feel like I am never keeping up with the people who are constantly blogging, and at it each and every day. I don’t have the time, or quite frankly the desire, to be online 24/7. You are so right when you said you feel like it has become a competitive sport. And I know that I don’t have what it takes to keep up with everyone else. Realizing that was super freeing because I never started my blog with the intentions that all these people would be reading it. I did it so my family could stay connected to our reno since they live so far away. I know I won’t ever pay the bills with it, so I needed to stop looking at it like a job. Instead, when I do something worthwile…I’ll post. If not, then I don’t. And I may lose some readers, but I’m okay with it. Like you said, I want to be about quality versus quantity.

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01.October.2012

Dana, I don’t comment over here a lot but I’m always reading! I feel like you and I are on the same page about so many things. I just had my first little one (he’s four weeks old!) and am finding myself in the same spot- every single day I end the day thinking about the nine million things I didn’t get to. Most of the time blogging ends up last on that list. And I’m on maternity leave… I can’t even imagine how little time I’ll have left once I go back to work full time! Oy. Needless to say, I absolutely appreciate posts like this. But I have a question… how will this translate literally for you? Only a couple posts a week? Only one “beefy” post a week? I’d love to know how you see things changing over here at H*T! I’d love to make some similar changes to my blog but just don’t even know where to start. Thanks, Dana!

PS. I went back and read your dairy-free breastfeeding post the other day and, as a result, went dairy free for my little man. It has significantly helped his acid reflux, so thank you! Although I do miss ice cream : )

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replied on October 1st, 2012

I don’t think I really know what it means yet. I would love to get back to the days of DIYing something/decorating and then sharing the process and results. My problem now is I feel like I *should* have a blog post up every few days, so I make an effort to do that but end up losing the time to DIY/decorate. Everyone here is right. I need to prioritize. I think my inbox is going to suffer significantly. Ouch.

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01.October.2012

You express yourself so thoughtfully and beautifully. I think that is why so many of us love your blog.
I have the “yes” disease myself. I was overinvolved with a volunteer project (starting a charter school) when my second child was born, and I really regret the time I missed with her. She is almost 13 now, and I have so much more free time. I have come to believe now that women (and men probably too) can have everything that they want, just not necessarily all at the same time. Prioritize the things right in front of you, you will have time for the rest later (or for the things that are most important then).
On a side note, my mother-in-law, a very wise woman indeed, paid for a housekeeper once a month for a year as a gift after my second child was born. Best gift ever! If I would have known what a difference it would make in my life (I never felt like I could get the whole house clean at one time anymore), I would have made severe cuts in my own bare bones budget to make it happen. If I could take the kids out to the zoo or park for the day and come home to a completely clean house, I was a much happier, less overwhelmed person. It also gave me time to do a household project once a month or so (paint a dresser, organize the linen closet). I loved being home and having friends over/hosting playgroups a lot more too which made me feel less isolated as someone getting used to being a SAHM. That Beatles refrain about “getting by with a little help from my friends” is so true! I found the adjustment from being a working mom to being a SAHM mom hard. I think I thought I would instantly transform into Donna Reed or June Cleaver–not so much. :-) So be gentle with yourself on that front too.

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replied on October 3rd, 2012

Such a great point about the transition from working to SAHM. I swear its been two years and I’m still not fully adjusted to the title and/or role. Its hard leaving that identity behind, no matter what the rewards are (for me at least.)

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replied on October 3rd, 2012

I totally agree with you, Shannon. Before I had kids, I was going to college full time and working as a real estate agent. Then I met my hubby, moved to Montana and we had kids. I have been a stay at home mom for 5 years now and while it’s great in some ways (love that I’m with my kids), it’s hard in many other ways.

Not only am I more mentally/emotionally drained being a SAHM, I’m constantly pushing myself to do more. Blogging isn’t helping that to do list, either. But I think one of the reasons I like blogging so much is to give myself my own identity, not just Vincent and Everett’s mom.

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01.October.2012

It’s always a good thing to step back and regroup. You have to do what’s best for yourself and your family first, and there should be no guilt about turning anything else down (or “neglecting” something else). I recently have had a similar situation (on a different scale) that has made me step back and totally restructure the way we do things. When my son was 18 months, we noticed some things weren’t quite right and after several doctor visits/evaluations, realized he was diagnosed on the autism scpectrum, and it is keeping him from developing any and all speech and communication. Most things that babies/kids learn just from existing in their environment, my son doesn’t learn and has to be taught. We’ve learned that with extensive therapy (speech, occupational, and several other kinds), he has a great possibiltiy of getting “caught up” and eventually learning on a typical level. And I became a therapist – his main one (we see others weekly too). He needs at least 20 to 25 hours of therapy a week, and so we do 4 hours a day – and I’ve had to basically say “no” to everything else. I’m a yes person too. My blog has taken the back-burner (it’s very small and I don’t try to monetize, but it’s something I committed to), most days there is no dinner when my husband gets home, laundry waits for weeks, etc., but I know that what I’m doing is much more important than all of that and soon we will see the reward.
All that to relate and say – keep up the good work. Nothing but good will come from putting your family first.

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01.October.2012

You cannot see it, but I am nodding vigorously over here. Being a people-pleaser is very draining, and being a perfectionist on top of that is even more so – I want it all done and beautifully so and now! It’s just not possible, nor is it realistic. That is not how life works, despite what the internets tells us.

I remember when you first starting thinking about selling the other house and why – I believe you wanted to simplify, right? I think that initial impulse to slow down and make time was spot-on. We all yearn for it, yet have a really hard time actually doing it. I have starting saying “No” more often and trying to cut out things that are not enriching my life. It’s not easy. Sometimes it makes me feel like a failure…but I do it anyway and try to quiet the part of my brain that fills up with “shoulds”.

If you need to post less, do it. I will still be a fan. :~)

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Amen.

I have a four month old, work full-time, my husband takes care of the baby during the day and then works full-time on his website at night. We just had another weekend where we did not clean a thing, nevermind complete one project for my blog… and you’re right, worrying about it is exhausting. Quality over quantity is right.

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01.October.2012

Good for you! Family is more important than fame from blogging.

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01.October.2012

So true! Anytime I feel like blogging is work and I’m not enjoying it I take a couple days off and reevaluate and just do what I love about it. I post less than some but I feel like my life has more balance when I take a step back. That’s the only way I enjoy it- which, like you, is why I started in the first place. My blog’s very small and I’m sure it could grow if I put tons of time into it, but it’s not really time I have to spare. Less really is more sometimes, right?

Great post, I love to hear women keeping it real. No one can do it all!

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This was an amazing post, and I will take this a caution for my own blogging life- I have a small blog that I desire to grow, but need to be careful of it not becoming too much of a “job” Thanks for your honesty and insight Dana – I love Honest Mondays with you!

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01.October.2012

Dana,
There are so many women in this situation right now, including myself. Whether it is blogging, work, volunteering, PTA, children’s activities, we somehow manage to get ourselves into excess chaos that doesn’t need to be there. I have wanted to blog for a long time (same as you.. ranch house [in constant project mode], three kiddos [third was a complete surprise], even down to living without doors [for 5 years!!! yikers!!]) Blogging has been put on the back burner. Work, family, laundry take precedence right now. Some days I think I can do it all and do it well, but then there are other days when I wish for a simpler existence. Life is complicated enough without all the added stress. I don’t even have time to do what I enjoy for myself anymore.. I love my family and we make the most of the time we do have, but I feel like there isn’t anything left just for me. Good luck finding your balance. Now I am off to find mine!!!

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01.October.2012

Dana, You have always been my inspiration of balance. Last week, you mentioned that you were letting all these things go and I literally looked around my house and felt like that was giving me the permission I needed to let it go too. It was good to hear that someone else had laundry piles that needed to be folded and toys that needed to be put away and that it was ok. And every time I feel pressure to participate in a link party or blog something because it’s been several days I think about how you don’t feel the pressure to blog everyday and I you have a much, much bigger audience. It’s nice to know you too struggle with competiting priorites. And frankly, I was wondering how you were doing it all? I appreciate your honesty (and knowing that my little one is not the only one not sleeping through the night)!

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01.October.2012

I understand. I really do. I don’t know how you guys do it all. But here’s one problem with blogging and bloggers. You suck us readers in. We are interested in what you are saying and doing. You give us great ideas that we can incorporate in our own homes. We learn about your life, and we care about you. Strictly speaking for myself, you share info about other bloggers – someone has cancer and can we pray for them? I do! I write their name on my prayer list and I pray for them. I cook recipies you share. I sometimes copy the way you decorate. I love the photography because you are all so much better than I am. I fervently read everything I can about home improvements because that is a love of mine. I read your blogs every day. I look forward to learning what’s going on in your homes. It’s a little disappointing when there isn’t a new blog every day. I understand tho. But then several days go by, a week, sometimes more, and it’s a little frustrating. But I understand. That’s one of the major reasons I haven’t started a blog myself – I don’t think I could provide the proper commitment. So we all understand when you bloggers need to take a step back. But in our defense, we miss you and what you have to say.

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01.October.2012

Great post! I always wonder how those bloggers with babies and toddlers do it – I have 2 that are both in elementary school and if it wasn’t for that I’d never get anything done! My hat is off to anyone with a baby – especially one that isn’t sleeping through the night – who finds time to work on their house let alone blog about it. Even though my kiddos are older I still have a hard time finding the time to “do it all”.

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01.October.2012

I’m not a blogger so I don’t understand the competitiveness or financials regarding blogs, but I do know that NOTHING is fun (or completely productive) when you’re stressed to the max and take on too much. While I enjoy reading your very much, I would read whether it’s one post a week or several. So do what’s good for your emotional health and your family. Maybe a list of priorities would help put it all in perspective?

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01.October.2012

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have enjoyed your blog for about a year now, but after this post I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BLOG! You have said many of the things that I think to myself everyday. That said, I just recently started blogging and am hoping to make some money from it (haven’t gotten to that point yet), as it would really help ease our tight budget. Like you, I have three younger children (6, 2, and newly 1). I stay at home with my three children, the younger two are not good nappers and no one sleeps through the night. My husband too works many late hours, usually six and seven days a week. I am thankful that he is not out of town for business. You do what you feel is right for you and your family. You are correct, your children will not remember you for your blog, but for how you made and continue to make them feel – loved, loved by just being there and attentive to their needs. Hugs to you and thank you for being so brutally honest about your feelings. I support whatever choices you need to make, even if that mean we may see a little less of you and your ‘tweaking’ on your blog. :) P.S. I don’t have a housekeeper, babysitter (although I do have helpful family nearby when I am in a pinch, but I don’t like to do that to family), and I don’t have photographers either. All of these things are evident at my blog. Maybe we can call it, ‘Real Life Chic’?

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01.October.2012

P.S. I hope that the support provided in all of the above comments puts a smile on your face and that you hug your little ones a little tighter and a little longer tonight. Take care of yourself, for they only have one Mommy.

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01.October.2012

Can I just hit “Like?” Kidding. ;) I really love your blog and as a reader, I sometimes check the blogs I follow as if they were news feeds: please tell me what you had for dinner… But the truth is, we can’t devote 24/7 to our online world. I think if I’m checking your blog that often, then I’m clearly bored and should go do laundry or feed my family. Odds are, we’ll still be here when you check back in, so go take care of you and enjoy blogging again. Juggling being a mom with work is hard no matter how much you love both.

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01.October.2012

That was so funny – your last line “I’m not going to pick up any of that”. It’s so weird because reading you blog, it is so easy to imagine that you do have it all – an amazing husband who can rebuild old houses with his bare hands, three adorable children, a gorgeous “top dog” new old house and a gorgeous post baby self. And all those components are what make your blog so interesting. Sometimes I think wow, I wish I was like Dana, all that fun stuff to write about and all the admirers. But that is because it is so easy to forget the stress part of it. How one part eats at the other part. Don’t you worry though – you”ve got years to go with a fan base, of that I am sure. You are so authentic and your life is so American pie, right down to the sleepless nights with the baby. Who can’t relate? So, all of that is to say, we’re here for you, a day a week or seven days a week, or however often you find time to eek it out while loving your family. You rule!

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01.October.2012

I am a lurker that doesn’t normally comment, but I had to pop over from my Google Reader to comment on this post today. I read your blog (and many others) through my Reader and almost never visit an actual blog site to check to see if a post is up – I haven’t done that in years. I just check my Google Reader everyday and I usually have something to read even though most of the blogs I do read don’t post every day. I rarely unsubscribe to blogs, and when I do it’s usually not for inactivity – it’s because of content.

Anyway, that was a long way of saying that if you post less you won’t lose this reader. And I suspect that other people who read your blog through an RSS feed probably feel the same way I do.

Family comes first, and I really respect your decision to take a step back.

~ Morgan from Cincinnati :)

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01.October.2012

Kudos. Sometimes when I try too hard to do/ have “it all,” I end up frozen and doing nothing. Balance is key but it’s so so so hard to find. So we tip this way and that way and every way– good news is, it always seems to come back to center eventually. It’s just so hard to remember when life is ca-razy. You’ll work it out. :)

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01.October.2012

I had to stop reading lots of blogs because it would make me feel worse about myself and what I wasn’t accomplishing, instead of what I was. (3 kids, no hubby, huge house, pt job, 1 hour commute to grocery store, etc.) I feel so much better. Blogging has become a who can get the most views or who can get a tv show out of it. It really has took the fun out of it for me. I need advice and decorating tips and projects, not, I’m so cool look at me posts. I think you set aside a time of day, everyday, and that’s the only time you blog. If you don’t get to it one day, tough, wait til tomorrow. Maybe even team blog, get some contributors. I like your blog with a few others because they are real down to earth women, who can’t do it all, and who don’t seem to have everything all figured out. Makes me feel normal. Your doing the right thing, your kids miss you, even though they can’t say it yet, but when they are older, they will remember how much time you spent on the computer. Go enjoy life, who cares if you can’t blog about it…

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02.October.2012

I, too, like so many other commenters have been following your blog for quite some time now. Your blog was actually one of the ones that inspired me to start my own. Along with yours there are other blogs that I used to look forward to reading, but have since stopped reading them because I lost my connection to the people/person writing the blog. No matter how pretty the pictures were, or how cool the project was I felt utterly disconnecting from the author and that was it for me. I’ve never once felt like that reading House Tweaking and so I continue to check it everyday to see what you and the rest of the Underdog crew are up to. I feel like this blog is authentic and I love that. Those of us who have been following you for a while understand the changes you and your family have endured in a relatively short amount of time. We also know that when you haven’t posted in a day or two its because life is happening, which most likely means that when you do pop back up you will have something great for us. So when and if you decided to take a minute to figure things out, we will still be here when you return eager to see what you’ve been up to. At least I will.

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02.October.2012

ahh dana, you’re awesome. thank you for your comment and for sharing both our thoughts here. I am thrilled with comments on both our posts – i knew i couldn’t be the only one feeling this way! in fact i hadn’t even approved most of the comments on my post because i hadn’t touched my computer in days!! and now i feel neglectful for not replying to those lovely comments. darn you guilt! i think we’ve made the right decision – quality over quantity; family over fame; sanity over stress. and i am pretty sure things will just work out perfectly for both of us now that we’ve sorted that out :) xxx

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02.October.2012

This post made me cry. In a good way I swear! My Husband has been at bootcamp since the begining of August. We have 20 more days until he comes home. This entire time he’s been gone, I’ve been yes-ing it up. Yes to after school activities, yes to volunteering, yes to helping friends, and DIYing, parties, helping family, bake sales, jog-a-thons… So so much! It all sounds like a good time, but it’s been taking it outta me. Thank you for reminding me that sitting on the floor playing with pink legos with my two little girls is where I want to be.

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02.October.2012

You only have one shot to raise your kids…enjoy it. The only ones you are responsible for are your family and they need you more than we do. Anyone who has a problem with that will get over it! From what I’ve read in these comments, I don’t think you’ll lose too many readers if you don’t post as often. Now, go snuggle with your babes!

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02.October.2012

I cannot recommend Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project” enough. She puts a lot of life in perspective, without preaching. Signed, PTO President, Girl Scout co-leader, VBC kitchen coordinator, Christmas play costume helper…you get the picture.

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02.October.2012

Just a few notes of encouragement for you …

You have a baby! I never feel I can manage much else other than barely keeping up until my baby sleeps through the night, which was at least a year for my kids.

I think you’re a new SAHM, and no matter how much you wanted this which I know you do, it is still an adjustment.

Be gracious to yourself. :)

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02.October.2012

Dana, good for you! I’ve can in no way compare my life/blogging experience to yours, I’ve been blogging for about 5 minutes, I work full time and ocassasionally my cat/dog get a bit miffed when I’m on the computer for too long. But I’m hearing you! I started blogging for all the right reasons and in a short time felt the pressure to ‘do’ things to blog about rather than blog about what I actually do when I feel inspired, have the time, have the $. The compeditive nature of blogging is unattractive. You see so many excellent ideas and posts around and know that someone has put so much thought and time into it and there are two comments but 50 Pins and G+’s! Yes I love reading your blog…your the first one I ever encountered! Keep true to yourself and fit blogging into your life not life into blogging.

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02.October.2012

I’ve always been a firm believer in quality over quantity. Otherwise it shows. And as this blog is not your lively hood you are doing the right thing by re-evaluating. As a married, working mother of 2 I understand the stress and pressure of being pulled in many different directions and wanted to exceed at all it. But at the end of the day your family, your health and most importantly your happiness are all that matters. Thanks for keeping it honest!

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03.October.2012

Dana,

I’ve been a fan of your blog for a long time, not because of the frequency of your posts, but because you have great ideas and a different point of view that keeps things fresh and fun! I’ve seen your blog readership grow because of your sense of style (and sense of humor ;)

Take time to enjoy your family, and the success that you have achieved already with the blog!

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03.October.2012

I am a little late commenting and hope you see this, and it might not mean much coming from an unknown person, but I would rather see someone be healthy in mind, body, and spirit that feel as though they are lacking in certain areas. I will say this is one of my favorite blogs to read and it is one of the first I look to see if there is a new post from you, but (I am 25 and have a boyfriend and no kids, for what that info is worth) my dad has always told me all that matters in life is family/relationships. Everything else is just stuff =)

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04.October.2012

I totally agree with you on all this. The way I fight the “blogging guilt” is to remind myself that my blog is basically just a journal of my family’s days. It’s OK to not get everything.

I think a lot of it boils down to choosing–we are bombarded with so many choices each day, and a lot of the time we have to choose between two very good things. It stinks, but we do have to look our options and, in those instances, choose the option that best accomplishes our long-term goals–and those options are usually the slightly-less glamorous options. But in twenty years, we’ll be thanking ourselves for the wisdom in consistently making that choice.

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09.October.2012

Amen. I had to give up the blogging (please don’t do the same! :) because it is not where I wanted my focus to be, and it wasn’t a creative outlet like it oirginally had been.

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