You Can’t Do Everything
- By: Hallee
- 24 Comments
When I began blogging, Gregg had recently left and was working in Afghanistan. For almost two-and-a-half years we lived that way — 8,000 miles apart, a few stolen weeks together a year. What that did was open up a whole chunk of time for me – time spent on the computer while I chatted with him instant messages, time spent in video conference with him, or just time with no husband around.
Gregg has now been home, full time, for over four months. What I’ve discovered now is that I don’t have enough time. I don’t think I realized just how much time I sat with this laptop in my lap until now.
This blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter…they all suck time away from the day. Time that just doesn’t exist for me anymore.
I’d been tossing around the idea of quitting blogging for about three months now. I really started thinking about it as soon as it dawned on me just how much less free time I have during the day when I no longer conducted my marriage via long distance means. Since I feel very strongly that the Holy Spirit is who led me to starting the blog, I started praying about it.
A few weeks ago, Gregg fixed a glich in the blog main something something. When he did that, he reinstalled Stat Counter — something I’ve not had for months. I’d blogged about how freeing not watching those numbers any more was for me. Well, when he reinstalled it, I just checked to see how low my numbers were now that I wasn’t linking to blogs anymore, and wasn’t actively promoting Hallee the Homemaker.
I was stunned when I saw that in the last several months, my numbers have not doubled, nor tripled, but have quadrupled. I’m not talking about a few hundred more readers a day – I’m talking about a few thousand.
It made me pause in the considering. If the numbers were going up so high, then there must be a reason, right? Why stop now, when there’s such a momentum?
But, that didn’t add time back to my day. I have a daughter in high school who is extremely busy – volleyball, church youth group, volunteerism. I have a 5-year-old in preschool whom I have to drive back and forth twice a week. I have a three-year-old who is so precocious that to know him is to absolutely love him, and to care for him includes making sure he isn’t climbing kitchen counters to get steak knives to use in mock sword fights, or making sure he doesn’t actually slide down the stairwell banister as is his utmost desire. And, I have a husband. Home. Every night. Waking up next to me every morning. Who takes me on weekly dates, with whom I spend lunch hours in Lexington, whom I like sitting next to on the couch while we watch some silly movie — laptop free.
While Gregg was gone, we invested in help for me. Sometimes paying someone to help me clean house. Sometimes paying someone to watch the boys for me. And for a while, I had both – a woman helping clean and a woman babysitting. We’ve had to cease household help now – the expense can no longer be justified because I’m no longer alone.
As I wrote about in Of Course It’s Not Easy! It’s Work! a homemaker should not be expected to do it all, perfectly, all the time. I said:
Homemaking is a job. It requires full time attention. It encompasses a huge amount of responsibility from maintaining a clean home, doing laundry, cooking, caring for children, caring for the spouse, gardening, preserving, etc. etc. For some of us, it also includes homeschooling.
If you don’t enter into it treating it as if it were a job, as in giving it your full attention and energy when it’s required, then it’s going to overwhelm you. One thing that this generation battles that the generation who read America’s Housekeeping don’t are too many outside distractions. You can allow yourself to be sucked into television or the internet and lose hours a day – hours that your home requires of you.
I think that people get the wrong impression thinking that a homemaker has loads of free time on her hands, with no responsibilities of a boss and co-workers and deadlines. But the fact of the matter is, it is a full time job. I could easily fill all of my waking hours with my homemaking responsibilities.
The fact is, blogging is sucking my time away. Instead of waking up early to study my Bible and spend quiet time with God, I’m waking up early and busting myself to get a blog post up for the day. Instead of relaxing in a quiet time with my kids, I’m sitting down with a cup of caffeine and trying to get to my blogging correspondence. Instead of working, I find myself getting involved in social media online.
I’ve always been nothing but honest with you, and here’s the truth: I can’t do it all. I can’t keep my house to my standards, cook food to my standards, parent to my standards, and be the wife I need to be for my husband AND manage a daily blog and the corresponding work that goes with it. Things slip. If you could see the pile of laundry I have to wash, the other pile to fold, and the boxes of Christmas decorations in the Florida room that still need to get down to the basement — you would know that in the last four months, my household has been on a slippery slide.
So, I decided that I would close down Hallee the Homemaker. But, like I said, I started praying about it. And, despite our best efforts, God doesn’t always do what we would have Him to do.
Gregg and I spent several hours on Saturday, hashing out schedules and budgets and schedules and plans and calendars. A big focus of our meeting was this blog. We worked out a schedule that will work, but it will require things to change.
I am disciplining myself from the computer. Until at least 1PM every single day, it will not get turned on. Even if I don’t have a blog post written yet. Even if I know there will be comments in moderation. Even if I am waiting on an email from someone. Even if I have email to which I still need to respond. Even if I thought of some quirky or clever Facebook update.
That’s going to mean that posts may become sporadic.
Hopefully, this will work for now. I’m not really a compromising person – and I neither want to compromise with the quality of my homemaking skills nor do I want to compromise with the quality of this blog. I’d rather give you good, sporadic stuff than to punch out daily posts while I sit among chaos and pretend there is order around me.
I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your feed reader or subscribed via email.
You can also become a fan on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. I would love to see more of you!
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And the Lord had me come here to read this early in the morning after a night of tossing and turning, considering things that I have to do, need to do, want to do and shouldn’t do. It’s a battle right now. Thanks for your perspective. I know where my weaknesses are and I’m going from there.
It’s weird to have another person be in the same spot that I am. I struggle with this blogging thing constantly. It is a time suck. My heart almost STOPPED when you said you might stop writing. I enjoy all of your articles so much and you really DO do something for others with this blog. Just so you know, here’s what it does for me:
1) Provides me with a faith based blog that shares common sense and true struggles.
2) Provides me with pride in being a blogger and homemaker (not bad pride, self worth pride)
3) Makes me laugh
4) Kicks me in the butt…making me THINK about my choices
5) Provides a marriage to look up to, a man who makes wise choices
So, do I hope you continue. YES! I know you must make your own choices based on where God leads you. But I also know, Greg re-installed Stat counter for a reason. You may not have embraced it yet…but THIS blog may actually BE the ministry that God wants you to do AND the other things you do (or some of them) may not be. Did you consider that? Maybe your heart desires to can all your own tomatoes but GOD wants you to write this blog. Possible?
Love you Hallee. Your ministry through this blog speaks to me!
:-) Blessings to you Hallee. You are an inspiration.
(hugs) and blessings to you my dear friend. Our blogs have somewhat grown up together and we’ve faced many of the same things in our path – like this very challenge of balance. I see your blog as an online ministry of sharing your life… and your values are right – you need to live life then blog about it – rather than the other way around. I will be praying for you to find peace with your new schedule and hear our Father’s wishes for your time online! (hugs)
I’m so glad you posted this. I’ve really been blessed to have found your blog but I respect your honesty in stating how it is effecting you. I would be disappointed to see you stop blogging, but in the end, you have to use your time as you feel God wants you to and His ways are not our ways. He sees the bigger picture and we have to trust Him. So, if He’s directing you down a different path, I wish you well. I hope whatever your decision may be, that you are at peace with it, knowing that you’re doing His will for YOUR life. Thank you and God Bless you and your family.
I would miss your blog! But if you need to slow down or stop (Gregg too) it’s completely understandable.
But I need to start looking at the recipes I thought I might make some day, and actually download them!
Hallie, I so appreciate your honesty. I’m a new reader and would miss your blog terribly but God’s will is the top priority. I’ve learned to keep a spiral notebook handy almost all the time. It’s in the kitchen while I’m cooking breakfast and on the bathroom counter while I apply makeup. I utilize this for everything from ” add toilet paper to grocery list” to “write so-and_so”. This saves so many steps during my day and also keeps me from immediately sitting down to the computer when a brilliant idea occurs.
A weekly blog would give you loads more time and continue to be a blessing for all of us.
You all are fantastic.
Gregg had said to me that he wouldn’t publish this post. Too much vulnerability exposed, as far as a man is concerned.
Maybe that would be the case if I were a man and this were a manly blog, but I’m not and it’s not.
THANK YOU for your commenting and support. I love having so many new readers and will do the best I can with the time I can give it.
Way to go Hallee! As much as I love your posts, and honestly come to them via fb…. i just dont have the time to oogle through all the blogs i love…. I respect and feel relieved that other Christian women, moms and wifes are in the same boat I am! I love that this is a journey we dont have to go through alone and can be there for each other! I’ll love the blog when i see them… and send up a silent “YEAHHHH HALLEE” when I don’t! ;)
As a sporadic reader (I come over and catch up every so often, but never read daily), I appreciate that you need to step back and become a sporadic poster. I think that it is completely reasonable to put your posting on a schedule, much like the rest of your life.
For example: Three days per week of blog posts. One related to your faith, one related to your cooking and one related to a random topic that inspires you. You could write them all in one sitting, if you were so inclined, and then let them auto post throughout the week.
But, all that being said, you are going in to planting season….
“Teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain a heart of wisdom.” This is my prayer because, wow! How I struggle with time management and living a life of balance. And I only post ONCE a week. Continue to listen to the Spirit, sweetie. And know that, quality is always better than quantity! Oh, and one more thing. Thanks so much for your transparency. We appreciate it!
GOOD FOR YOU! :-) The internet can become a powerful idol, dear. I have days where I spend lots of time on the computer, but if there are tasks needing to be done, and one puts them off thinking that they just HAVE to be on the internet……You have made the correct decision! :-) I support you in your decision, and am not upset that you won’t be posting daily, because I know that you will be doing daily those tasks that are important. :-)
Blessings, grace, love, and peace,
While I would be sad to see you stop writing, PLEASE keep the blog up! I refer people to it for a variety of reasons: Your marital advice has assisted my stepson and his wife; your recipes are just fabulous and I refer people to them all of the time; and recently, my husband decided to “eat healthy” and so I referred him to your blog to read about the Leviticus Diet (which is similar to my Mediterranean style of eating). Your blog provides such a wealth of diverse information that I selfishly want it to continue but completely understand the restraints of time. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.
Lol about a “manly blog”. Your vulnerability makes you incredibly relatable. And to add to your understanding of what kind of influence you have, I think of you every time I go grocery shopping. What would Hallee choose? :)
Hello, Hallee, I have subscribed for quite a while. I was sad when you said you would quit. I don’t have a blog but I know how hard it is to to everything. I will enjoy your posts whenever you have the time to write them. I wish you and your family all the best!
God, family and self.
As a previous read said if you really decided to stop blogging at least keep up this site as I refer to it quite a bit. Please. Its so helpful, like a resource tool.
WOW, that was heavy. sigh. I just found your blog two weeks ago when i was looking online for home-made laundry detergent. I was so THRILLED to say the least. I RAVED about you to my hubby. He actually told me maybe i should ask you to mentor me !! (he knew i am lookingfor a mentor who understood my goals – God, family, home, food etc.) I thought of it, but came up with millions of reasons why you’d say no, so i didnt ask. I checked in almost daily to read old posts, new posts, comments, everything but never had the courage to comment myself. Needless to say, i am a heartbroken after reading today. There is no doubt that people need you, i need you and this could be your ministry but i feel selfish to ask you to reconsider. God calls us to Himself first and when He stops being the center then all else is irrelevant. Restart your devotions, devote the time necessary to your husband and children and God who started a good work in all of us will complete it because He is God. That being said….Now i have got to get to downloading stuff like crazy. Thanks for all your wonderful advice and information. Thanks for being honest and open. Thanks for allowing yourself to be used by God.
Dev, what beautiful words of encouragement. Thank you. I’m not leaving forever. I’m just slowing down from daily posts to more sporadic posts. Please don’t quit coming. And, if you ever have a question, you are more than welcome to email me any time. I’m happy to act as a mentor.
Please don’t leave forever Hallee!!! I would miss you so. Everyday when I have to make the choice of sitting down to read or plowing ahead with the hundreds of chores, I think of your advice on being a godly wife and homemaker and force myself to make the right choice. You are such an inspiration. How about a weekly post??? I especially am encouraged by your marriage and how you manage to find a good balance in parenting, serving God, your marriage, and homemaking. That being said, you know best if this blog doesn’t fit in to the delicate balance of life.
I enjoyed the recent posts by Gregg when you were away. Any chance he would be willing to post on topics other than creation?
This is a wonderful post. Go you for finding a way to make it work, and following the Lord’s leading. I think this is a struggle very every blogger out there who wants to keep her family priority. It’s a hard thing to balance, but it sounds like you have found exactly what will work for you. Thanks for sharing your struggle and your heart!
If you find yourself looking for a blogging assistant, I’d love to talk with you! I have helped other bloggers “free up time” by taking over the “behind the scenes” tasks of blogging so they can focus on their families and the actual writing of the blog.
I appreciate the officer, Ashley; however, my husband, Gregg, does all behind the scenes stuff for me. He is a computer wizard and has more industry initials and certifications after his name than most people have letters in their name. He’s a master at helping me, and I wouldn’t be able to do it at all without him.
You are very welcome. I will definitely still check in. you really so inspire me. If i can build up the courage, i will email you with my questions. :)
What a blessing!