Hi everyone! It has been a LOOOONNNNGGG time since I have written anything and I’m sure you all have missed me terribly and spent many sleepless nights wondering what became of The Evil Mommy, right?
Didn’t even notice?
That’s ok. Either way, I’m back and I’m here to fill you in on what’s been happening the past year or so.
But first, I need to thank you. If you are somewhat new here, welcome. If you have stuck with me, even when I wasn’t offering you new content, please know how much I appreciate you and I promise to do better.
Like many of you, I struggled to find a balance between work and my family when Covid hit. I went from a quiet, empty house (just me and the dogs!) to having my husband working from home and being on (loud) conference calls all day. Our three children were trying to do virtual school, which involved zoom calls happening in three different rooms at the same time.
Needless to say, it was a little chaotic. I was dealing with constant interruptions and there was lots of background noise. Unfortunately, my writing brain doesn’t function well in that type of environment. The phrase “I can’t hear myself think” was always on my mind. I’m sure many of you can relate to the struggle, the distractions and the working mom guilt I was experiencing.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I tried to carve out quiet time to write, but it left me feeling irritated and unsatisfied with my work. I couldn’t find the peace and calm I was accustomed to having and my writing was suffering. I felt uncreative, burn out and like I wasn’t giving my best to my family or my readers. So I made a choice to give myself a little grace, a little break and some breathing space.
For the past year, I have stepped away from TheEvilMommy.com and focused solely on my family. I gave them all my attention, all my love and all my time. And in my heart, I know that it was the right decision.
This allowed my husband to focus on his job without any distractions. My older two children did virtual, hybrid, and in-person school throughout the year. Even amongst all the chaos, they managed to do well. I homeschooled my youngest, which was an adventure and a learning experience for both of us (we will save that story for another day).
Did I make a sacrifice for my family? Yes, but didn’t every parent make sacrifices the past year? Were there days I felt resentful and like I was missing out? If I’m being honest, yes there were bad days, but there were a lot more days where I felt like I was making a difference and helping steer my family in the right direction.
On the plus side, I read a lot of books, improved my cooking and baking skills and started a vegetable garden. I learned to make bath bombs and candles, organized my house and helped my oldest start the college process. We took family vacations, I cuddled my dog and I was 100% present for the ups and downs of the past year.
I also spent a lot of time being grateful. First and foremost, I was thankful that myself and my family were healthy. I recognized that many people were suffering, both mentally and physically. Secondly, I was grateful that I was in a position to make this choice. I am absolutely in awe of the warrior parents who had to work full time and juggle everything else that was being thrown at them.
It was a long year, but we are starting to experience a little bit of normalcy again. All three kids went back to school last week. For now, they are in person, five days each week, but of course, we are prepared to pivot if need be. My husband went back into the office two days a week. I have reclaimed my quiet house.
The first day, I cried when my youngest got on the bus. It had been 543 days since he had set foot in a school building and it felt overwhelming and scary – like the first day of kindergarten all over again. The next two days, I sat on the sofa in my pajamas, eating ice cream and binge-watching Clickbait on Netflix. But this week, I decided it was time to get back to work.
It has been over a year since I have written anything for the website. I missed it – the researching, the writing, hearing from other parents, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from building a business from the ground up.
You probably won’t believe this, but I’m terrified to start writing again. What if the magic is gone? How will I ever relearn all the technology? What if no one cares about what I have to say? What if I can’t help anyone anymore?
But you know what scares me more than all of that? Not trying. Giving up. Accepting defeat.
When the fear creeps in, I try to remember these words from K.T. Witten: Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.
So here I am, trying to get the ball rolling again. I’m pouring out my soul to you and probably oversharing again (I have a habit of doing that). I hope you take the time to read it. I hope even more that you come back to read the website next week, next month or next year. You might not have missed me, but I missed you.
It feels good to be back.
Janel, The Evil Mommy