it all

“Honestly, I have no idea how you do it all.”

I get emails and tweets with this exclamation at least once a day.

But what is “it all”?

Is it that I get up for work at 5:30am and leave my family until 4:30 every day?

Is it that I make dinner and have family time from 5:00 until 8:00?

Is it that I ignore all my housework, all my blogging, all the books I want to read, all the connections I have made online over the past year?

Is it that I go to bed by 9:00 every night just so I have enough energy to do it all over again the next day?

Or is it that I squeak out a blog post for Sluiter Nation {hopefully} three-four times a week (and one of those is a Recruit post, so I just have to schedule that).

I used to read over 40 blogs a day and comment on almost all of them.  But since August, I haven’t been able to look at my computer screen for longer than 10 or so minutes without getting a headache.  Even since the first trimester blahs have subsided, I spend most of my time working rather than reading.

I used to regularly post on my book blog, Katie’s Bookcase.  But lately I have ignored reading because my eyes and brain are just too tired at the end of the day.

I used to post weekly on my memoir-ish blog, Exploded Moments.  But since this pregnancy and now being back to work, I can’t muster up the memories clearly enough to bring them to my readers.

I used to be an Editor at Write on Edge (formerly The Red Dress Club).  But I needed to reduce my responsibilities, so I accepted the position of Assistant Editor hoping to be able to stay part of this wonderful project that I love so much.

Just last night I had to relinquish myself from that position as well.

Sending the email to the women who have become like sisters to me was incredibly painful.

I was told that my “down” feeling after BlogHer was normal.  It’s what many, many bloggers feel.  After being “on” for four days and being overloaded with tons of ideas and bombarded with brands and companies…it was natural that I would have a low.  And that it would pass.

And it has.  Sort of.

But one part of that “low” stuck with me.

It was just all too much.

I am not a “professional” blogger.

I don’t write for bloggers.  I write for people.

That is what I started this blog for…my friends and family.

After four years of writing here, it took flying across the country to help me remember that.

Yes, I have made TONS of blogging friends.

And I see them as FRIENDS.  PEOPLE who read my blog.

I don’t want to do posts that leave non-bloggers out.

I don’t want to compete for the attention of brands.  That doesn’t mean I will NEVER do another review or giveaway, but they will probably be few and far between.

I can’t keep up with four blogs and the social media that goes with it all.

I just can’t do “it all”.

And I don’t want to.

So I won’t.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Aw. Hang in there!

  2. None of us can keep up with it all. If we try, it becomes so stressful it feels like a burden. We have to prioritize. Know what it most important for us and focus on that. Kudos to you for understanding what means most to you, and giving yourself permission to change your direction somewhat. I know MANY women will be able to relate to this.

  3. I have had to stop doing more and more. It’s sad, liberating, scary and fantastic. Daily.

  4. amen. proud of you.

  5. Good for you for recognizing that you don’t want to do it “all” and proceeding accordingly…and I know that you are still doing plenty!

    One thing really struck a chord with me (as a non-blogger)…that you don’t want to do posts that leave non-bloggers out. I’m a non-blogger. I do love to write, and have often thought of starting a blog, I know I don’t have time to devote to it regularly. Also, I live in the middle of nowhere with sketchy internet access, so there’s that. But I follow the blogs of several lovely ladies (yourself included!) who went to blogher. I read all of these blogs because the writers have kids about my sons age, are going through similar work/life issues, etc. I love the insight it provides. I follow lots on Twitter, too. And for a good period of time leading up to blogher, I felt like I was not part of an exclusive club…This is no one’s fault, and I’m not writing that to make you feel bad because it was nothing you said in particular. It was just the whole feeling amongst the blog world. I thought these blogs were for public consumption, and for a bit I felt like I was back in middle school, not a part of the “cool” clique. I don’t say this to be critical to you, but more to say that I found what you wrote today refreshing. For remembering that one of the big things blogs can do is lead to connections with all sorts of people who have things in common with you…and not just other bloggers.

  6. This post was perfect timing for me! I got so tired of trying to keep up with it all…I just don’t. I had to accept that I probably will never be a “big” blogger, and remember that I blog because I enjoy it. I think your body will thank you for knowing what you can and can’t handle.

  7. I’ll never be a “big” blogger because of everything you said. I have a job and responsibilities, and blogging isn’t my job or a responsibility–it’s a hobby and a way to connect with others. Once it feels like a chore, I’m done.

    Good for you for cutting yourself some slack. Remember why you started and what you love to do, whatever that is, and share yourself if and when you want to with whoever it is you want to share with. If that’s on the blog–great. If it’s over tea with a friend–more power to you 😉

  8. I came across your blog today by accident. From what I understand you have a baby and one on the way and I have to say I have never been more tired in my life than when I was pregnant with my second. I mean ZERO motivation. My daughter was lucky to get something for supper that didn’t come out of the freezer section! Anyway, I think it is great that you’re doing what’s right for you and your family.

  9. Good for you, Katie. No seriously, GOOD for you. A smart woman is someone who recognizes that they can’t please everyone. That they can’t do everything. We are not superwomen (am I the only one who doesn’t want to be?). I just want to try my best and do what makes me happy. Sponsorships on my blog don’t make me happy.

    I found that out AT blogher. I’m not a coupon or savings blogger. I found out I’m not really a blogger at all. I’m a WRITER. That’s my thing. That’s the gift I’ve been given that will glorify God. And that’s all that matters.

    Stats schmats! I’m free to be me, baby.

  10. A-freakin-men! Do you want to know what I really here? I’m going to take care of ME. And that? Is a lesson for all of us! I’m proud of you, girl!

  11. Katie, are the ones you love the most in this world together, provided for, and loved deeply every day? Yes? Then the rest is just gravy. Truly.

  12. I am (personally) bummed that you’re stepping back from Write On Edge, but oh Katie, you had/have a million balls in the air. You are an amazing person to read, and I hope that you find joy in some of this again instead of stress, stress, stress.

  13. I’ll miss you on Write on Edge. But I’ll still look forward to reading here when you feel the urge, and seeing you around the twitter.
    You take care if you!

  14. Reading this was like a breath of fresh air! Sounds to me like you have your priorities in the right place 2011 is full of opportunity, including the old fashioned ones: to be a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend. It’s exhausting, trying to balance all of your endeavors and blogs and work and ohhh my. Let’s all just stop making ourselves do thing because we think we need to, and do them because we want to.

  15. Do what is important to you and what makes you happy. Actually, it’s probably the hardest cutting things that are important for things that are even more important. I’ve had to do it and it sucks. Take care of yourself.

  16. U go girl! You don’t need to do it all! and i’m glad that you came to the realization of that sometimes people get so caught up in “comparing” and what this blogger does this and how this blogger does that but that isn’t the important part! love this post!!

  17. Katie:

    Honestly, you have been juggling for a long time. It’s not healthy for you. Or your baby. I remember when I was teaching full-time (and doing a lot of other stuff), I started barfing. A lot. I barfed every day. All day. I was exhausted. A woman from the office (she was about 150 years old) told me that I needed to take a break, that I needed to just focus on having that baby.

    Oh, I cried.

    I felt like I was letting down the world, my students.

    I thought everything would implode. Or explode. Or both.

    So I went on leave.

    And eventually, I had that baby. And it was a terrible delivery. (I won’t tell you. Yours is going to be great.) But I had to rethink things again. Do I want to go back to teaching? After all, this one will be my only one.

    I guess what I’m getting at is when you start to feel locked in by your own life, that’s no kind of life.

    I know what it feels like, when you are a a Type A person who wants to do it all, but your body and brain are not cooperating.

    There will be a time and a season for everything.

    Right now, it is the season for growing healthy babies. And sleeping. And eating lots of dessert.

    We aren’t going anywhere! No one is going to unsubscribe if you post 2x or 1x or zero times a week. We will be here. 😉

  18. good for you for listening to your heart. sending peace to you, and endurance of both the physical and emotional kind as you continue to work, blog, parent, and do as much of “it all” as you feel comfortable with. Grateful for your transparency and bravery in hitting publish today.

  19. “It all” is a myth.

    No one does “it all” – we just don’t get to see what it is that individual people are giving up; how they are prioritizing their busy lives.

    No one (NO ONE) can be super-duper excellent all the time at family, friends, work, hobbies, AND self.

    Something has to give. Always.
    You’ve got your priorities right, my friend.

    The best thing you can do is give yourself permission to be human.
    Human.

    A human who is loved and valued and valuable.
    You don’t need to be anything more than that.

  20. good for you, i’m glad you are able to reduce commitments, maybe you don’t love to do it, but we can’t do EVERYTHING.

  21. I think it is a wonderful thing that you are looking out for you and your family and choosing to cut back. That you are taking care of yourself. And I’m super proud of you that you aren’t apologizing for it!

  22. I love the shit out of you…
    And the placenta that is sucking the juice from your mind…because it is feeding a glorious cute as a button Sluiter of course 😉
    Remember you can always dive back in head first when you want to…if you want to. That’s the beauty of this world. And…AND you are a fantastic writer, with tons of people who love you and what you have to say and will no doubt be here for you.
    You haven’t burned any bridges…only you’ve just taken other ones…so that you can do what is best for you and your family. That’s what it comes down to.
    So proud of you friend.
    Xoxo

  23. Katie? I’ve never thought you did it all – I simply thought you were the best Katie you could be. And that’s exactly what we all need from you – whether that’s a bazillion posts a day or, really, anything else.

    🙂

  24. I miss you everywhere. I will miss you at WOE and I am so sorry that you are feeling these emotions. I know, for me, how good it felt to pull back for a little while, but it doesn’ mean that I feel better about not doing ” it all” , that is the double edged sword of this life. To have it all, means you have to do it all…and sometimes you just can’t.

    take care of yourself my friend , I know we haven’t spoken in a while, but you’re always on my mind and in my heart. xo

  25. Oh Katie….I hear you and feel everything you are saying. Having two for only three weeks has made me realize I need to shift my priorities, give some things up and be okay with it. Hang in there…I will still be reading regardless of how often you post! Hugs!

  26. Everyone has a different “all”… I say, just do what you can without pissing anyone off or getting in your own way. Hang in there. Baby steps… xo

  27. There’s no shame in taking time for yourself and family. I did the same thing with TRDC (Write on Edge) and it sucked pretty hardcore to have to step away from such an incredible community. But we really can’t do it all and as long as you’re still remembering why you wanted to write in the first place (which is what it seems like from this post!) then that’s the important thing. You’re doing a wonderful job Katie!