September 22, 2022

Where to Begin? (My Wordless Week)

First, I have to say that this week went by SO QUICKLY. As a (hopefully quick) recap, I had been feeling extremely overwhelmed for the past couple of months for numerous reasons. When I wrote out my "to do" list, it felt like a mile long and I honestly had no idea where to begin.

I decided to eliminate any stressors that weren't time-sensitive, and blogging was one of them. Rather than skip my blog posts altogether, I did a "Wordless Week", where I posted a photo a day. Of course, I couldn't help myself but to write a quick sentence or two about the photo, but that was it.

When your tool belt feels too heavy, your mouth will do just fine

I let my family and friends know that I wasn't going to be available for the week--texts, phone calls, would be sporadic at best. Jerry offered to make dinner every day (and he did!--we both learned that he's got some cooking talent). He really liked cooking, so I think he'll do it more often. It's not that he never cooked or volunteered to cook before--he actually offers a lot--I just always considered it *my* job as a stay-at-home parent).

I started therapy a few weeks ago and it has helped enormously so far. I've learned that I have a very hard time asking for help with anything--especially if it's something that I feel like I should be doing--again, because I'm a stay-at-home parent.

Staying at home is not nearly as easy at it sounds, even though my kids are both old enough to take care of themselves. I do a ton of work at home: cleaning, organizing, meal planning, grocery shopping, running errands, making appointments, keeping track of everybody's schedules, fixing things around the house, taking care of the pets, planning out and adjusting the week's tasks, paying bills and keeping ledgers of our finances, and finally--blogging.

Blogging is how I earn an income, and there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Just yesterday, as I only had an hour before leaving for cross country, I got an email from AdThrive (the company that handles ads on my blog) saying that there was a problem with bots(?) causing some big issue--I don't understand computer language at all! I just followed their instructions and trusted them to fix it on their end, but I was completely stressed out about it.

I only earn a modest income from the ads on my blog, but I like to keep a balance for my followers the best that I can. I don't want to overload my blog with ads, even though I could earn a lot more money; however, I don't want to remove the ads, either, because it's my contribution to our family's finances. So, while I hate having ads on my blog, I really do try to keep it at the point where it's not TOO intrusive. I can't stand it when I go to sites (especially recipe sites) where you have to sift through dozens of ads to get to the content!

Anyway, the point is that blogging IS a job. I spend a lot of time on it--more than one would think--and in addition to all of the stay-at-home parent things that I do, I spread myself very thin when I have a lot going on. Adding volunteering as a cross country coach to the mix this fall threw me for a loop.

Then our bathroom/bedroom disaster happened (water damage on our subfloor, and now a complete remodel of the bathroom and bedroom) added an expense we didn't plan for. Not to mention what a time-consuming project it would be.

Eli hit a huge pothole with Jerry's car, requiring new tires and a rim (total of $1500)--again, not expected.

The house is completely cluttered everywhere because we aren't done with the remodel (we had to move everything from the bedroom and bathroom into our dining room, living room, and anywhere else we could put it).

Since I've been DIY'ing the disaster, it's taking longer than expected. Much longer! But this past week, I finished framing in the new closet in the bathroom and I installed most of the drywall yesterday. I'll finish that today. Then I have to tape and mud the drywall, sand it, and finally--FINALLY--I get to do the fun stuff! Painting, decorating, making it look decent again. (I want to stress that Jerry offers to help with everything; I just don't like to ask him to, because he usually works about 48-60 hours a week.)

Besides, he's super busy being a nerd. His new hobby is putting together/building a Ghostbusters outfit (he doesn't like me to call it a costume!).


Something I've learned in therapy is that it's OKAY to ask for help, even though I feel like I should be the one doing it. My kids can certainly do more chores around the house (something I felt bad about asking). They can cook their own meals on the days that I coach cross country, which is always hectic for me. I can make a schedule that includes my top priorities and then put the ones that aren't time-sensitive on the back burner.

So, that's why I chose to take a week "off" of blogging. I have blogged every day since January 1, 2020, and I really didn't want to break that streak, which is why I still posted a picture a day. But it was a huge weight off my shoulders knowing I didn't have to dedicate so much time to it.

I know that I can cut down the amount of days that I blog, but I really do enjoy it (most of the time). This past week, though, I decided that I'm going to do a "wordless" post once a week to take some time and get other things done--or even take a day of total rest! I can't even remember the last time I did that. Probably when I had COVID, so it wasn't even a "fun" day, haha.

Something else I need to work on is not feeling guilty for everything. When Jerry cooks dinner, for example, I feel guilty that I'm not doing it. When the house isn't clean, I feel guilty asking the kids to clean the bathroom or dust the living room, etc. I feel incredibly guilty when I don't cook dinner.

I feel guilty spending money on myself, even though I am thrifty (I think every item of clothing I own--aside from underwear and a few hoodies that I got for $8 at Kohls--came from thrift stores). Thankfully, thrift shopping is something I LOVE. I don't even know where people go to buy new clothes! Haha. 

Last year, I even felt guilty for the doctor visit co-pays when trying to figure out what was going on with my chronic pain. So, the guilt is something I'd like to work through in therapy as well.

I have quite a bit of blog content for this week, I think, because I haven't written in a while. So, I'll end this here. Several people have been asking me about my recent weight loss, what I've been eating, and how eating vegan/plant-based has affected my weight, etc. I've been planning that post for a while, taking photos of a lot of my meals, so I will do that soon. I also hope to post some progress with the bedroom/bathroom, and even some things I learn in therapy.

So, Friends, thank you for sticking around this past week! I definitely plan to do a "wordless" day once a week, on a day that is particularly busy or I just don't feel like I have anything to write about.

In the meantime, please send me some reader email that I can share in a weekly or bi-weekly (or even monthly) post! I'd love to hear about things like having a baby, running your first race, adopting a pet, a great thrift store find, a new haircut, etc. I want to have a nice, positive post to share from all of you! You can send it (with a photo, if applicable) to me at: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. I'm no longer doing Transformation Tuesdays, but if you have a transformation to share, I can always add it to the reader email post!

I appreciate every. single. one. of you. Truly. xo

6 comments:

  1. Hi Katie, I totally understand the guilt thing..I have it too. I want to say it's a mom thing! But I never really dig too deeply into it.. It could be something way different for each of us, I'm sure we aren't alone in that .I'm definitely interested to hear what others have to say about it. How they are coping with it. I am slowly doing more for myself. As I do run my house. I do take care of the fur babies and I have no more excuses as all the kids are grown adults now.. I also have disabilities that slow me down and I struggle with that guilt too. But I but my husband is super supportive. Thanks for being you ❤️

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  2. Sounds like things are going well for you! That makes me so happy to hear!! <3 I enjoyed your wordless week! It was fun seeing what picture was going to pop up for the day! I hope this week off helped your mindset. We have to remember to take care of our mental health along with our physical health!!

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  3. You're such a gem. Please take all the wordless days you need! I continue to be amazed by and appreciate your vulnerability. We're all human and we need to be reminded that this is okay and important. MORE HUGS!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this! It hit so close to home!!! I do work outside of the home part-time. There are times even that feels like too much! I appreciate seeing how other moms do it! Thank you!

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  5. You can always share your funny calendars on the wordless posts. I get a huge kick out of those! I'm glad therapy is helping. Mom guilt is real and a huge weight I struggle with too. Thanks, as always, for your candor, honesty, and vulnerability. I hate thinking that there are trolls out there, but I hope most of your feedback is positive and supportive! We appreciate you!

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  6. Asking kids to help with chores is good for them. Once they're out in the real world no one's going to help them do those things and you don't want them to feel lost or unprepared. I worked at a college and one boy left his dirty laundry in the laundry room for 3 weeks because he thought someone else would do it for him. His mom never showed him how to do it. That was so sad. Guilt is when you do something immoral or illegal. You may be feeling bad but remember that asking for help now and then also makes other people feel good. 🙂

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