Looking for Balance

I have been feeling like crap lately. Not enough sleep. Too much work, too much social, too much caffeine. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it has been really awesome. Lots of fun with friends and lots of fun exposure for my bloggy type work, like the TV interview for Being Savvy Denver.

But things have also been slipping. For example, communication between Bryan and I – even though we work and live with each other – had been reduced to dangerous levels. He told me if I started Jotting him to ask for sex, he would divorce me. And don’t even get me started on the laundry situation.

Which led Bryan and I to have a Come To Jesus talk yesterday. Basically he and I reaffirmed that the three of us – Bryan, Declan, Aimee – are what’s. most. important. He totally supports everything that is going on with my blog, recognizes that some of the craziness has to do with BlogHer coming up, not to mention the DNC coming to Denver in August and the millions of bloggers coming in at various times in preparation for that, but also reminded me the SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE.

He was right. We brainstormed some ideas and today really *is* a better day.

He also told me something that both hurt my feelings *and* gave me a better awareness of my surroundings. He told me that he has been asked on numerous occasions by several different people, “So, does Aimee ever talk about anything else except her blog?”


We talked through that for a while too, and first of all, I realized that since I “know” so many of you so well, I tell your stories like you were from a friend IRL. But I start the story with “my bloggy friend so-and-so…” Why do I do that??? It’s got to be annoying. I think I am trying to clarify that the person I am talking about is a person I know fairly well but have never met technically – but seriously, who the fuck cares? It would be like starting every conversation with “my rock star friend Joe.” So I am stopping that. Besides the fact, this is the brave new world. You guys are my REAL friends.

Secondly, though, I have to admit my next response was indignation. Because, when one works a full time job, has a child, a husband, and writes for 3 blogs – how many things do they really have to talk about anyway? Especially when the blogs talk about all of the above, right?

I know there are bloggers out there where no one in their real life even knows about their blog. I am not one of those people. Granted, it took me a while to “come out” to certain factions in my life – but it is very hard for me to compartmentalize myself like that. In essence, I am a blabbermouth, can’t hold anything back, what you see is what you get. And thus, everything pours into my blog and in turn, pours back into my life.

Here’s where I don’t have an answer yet and I am looking for advice. How do you balance your blog with real life? When portions of your peeps don’t give a fig about your online life? Any thoughts, anecdotes, commiseries (is that even a word?) are most welcome.

This article has 33 comments

  1. Ali

    i’m in the same boat. full time job. baby blanket business. write for two websites. three kids. one husband….and all of my stories are out there, online. it’s hard to separate and balance the real life and the online life sometimes..(so, sadly, no answer from me)

    and, ps. i’ve totally stopped saying “my bloggy friend” and have just started saying “my friend” because a) you people ARE my friends and b) because people who are not bloggers will understand that more than if i say “oh i’ve never actually met her, but we are tight”

  2. Kerri.

    This is a terrific post, Aimee. I have talked about the same thing with my friends and family, too.

    I find it a bit easier to separate “blog life” from “real life” because my blog is almost exclusively about diabetes. There are definitely times when diabetes comes in as part of a discussion with my husband. And he and I have both talked about how we’re comfortable sharing those moments with the Internet. But I don’t write about our romantic moments. Or our fights. I don’t want my entire existence out there for people to chew on. I like my privacy, and I’m careful to protect it.

    I’ve also had my offline friends, who all read my blog, tell me that sometimes they don’t read every day because they want to hear about my day from ME, not from a website. The blog sometimes becomes a substitute for a phone call with a friend, or a cup of coffee with my mom. That’s unacceptable to me. While the Internet is a great place to connect, it’s not the only way to connect.

    It’s a very new and intriguing quandary, this whole blogging thing and how it affects “real life.” And like you said, “everything pours into my blog and in turn, pours back into my life.” It’s a challenge to find that balance … I hope I can achieve it without sacrificing my sanity. 😉

  3. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    wonderful comments so far, ladies. This is why the internet rocks.

    P.S. And I just fixed my spelling of “antidotes” to “anecdotes.” Sometimes I am such a dumbass.

  4. mothergoosemouse

    You know I could write a whole series of posts on this very topic. I think the toughest part was the backlash from our PIMs.

    Like you said, something’s gotta give. We all have to figure out individually what that something’s gonna be.

  5. Sizzle

    My last blog post hints at this and it is reason #1 I am backing off from blogging as much as I did. It was running my life and while I get enjoyment out of aspects of it, I totally re-evaluated what is a priority to me. Ironic that this comes a week before I head to BlogHer.

    It’s good that you had that talk and heard the truth because there has to be a way to find balance. I know you can do it.

  6. SciFi Dad

    I am one of those “other” people (the kind who maintain their blog more or less independent of their real life). My sister knows the url, and other than a few friends of my wife who have found me indirectly through her linking, no one who has met me (other than other bloggers through meetups) knows about it.

    As far as balance, it can be a struggle sometimes. Typically, I try to take care of all my blog stuff (writing and reading) during the workday because I find my wife gets jealous if I spend too much time with it at night. But lately I’ve been working out of office, so my internet time is reduced, and I’m forced to work at home at night. My biggest challenge right now is my self-imposed weekday posting schedule. If I could “let” myself post less often, I think things would improve, but I don’t know how I’d feel about it ultimately.

  7. Catherine

    No advice here for a balancing act. If I knew hot to do that I would totally sell it on the Internet for the low, low price of $19.95. But, I would totally be a helper if there’s a get together during DNC. I’m good at planning and fetching and hostessing and mixing drinks.

  8. Tree

    This interesting and it is truly cutting edge, isn’t it? It is hard to put a modifier or descriptor in front of friend like “bloggy” or “internet,” particularly when those you have met this way seem so much more supportive and understanding than those friends who have found you in other ways.

    Regarding balance, I think it is always a pendulum swinging one way and then another, hopefully ending up somewhere in the middle. It will never be perfect, from my experience. At various times, I spend a lot of energy on one thing more than another and, yes, something is going to suffer.

    Honestly, do you think it is fear of the unknown and possibly a wee bit of jealousy?

  9. Nat

    I have two teenie weenie little blogs from the middle of nowhere. The blog is pretty low on the list of priorities.

    But just in general, balance is tricky. I have career (on the mommy track ATM), I have family, I train, I try to have a life (not much of one at that.) One day, I decided that I can’t do it all. So I focus on what needs to be done.

  10. Kristine

    That is a great question, and like many of the commenters I’m struggling with the answer myself.

    I do want to say I’m impressed you and your husband had such a good conversation about this. I think my husband and I could benefit from such a talk.

  11. Mr Lady

    I am one of those people who goes to great lengths to keep my blog secret from the rest of my world. So, for me, the division is MUCH easier.

  12. Anonymous

    I don’t think you talk about your blog too much. 🙂

  13. asecrettobluebamboo

    My husband knows about my blog, reads it and the comments, and occasionally comments himself. He’ll even talk to me about comments others have left, and poke at me if I haven’t been writing enough. My best friend knows and reads occasionally. That’s it. And I like it that way. I spend about an hour a day writing and reading, but I can afford the time as a SAH mom this summer.

    I think one of the biggest benefits for me has been finding a circle of support in a tough stepmom world. I would be lonely, actually bereft, without those folks in my life. But… I recognize that I need to put it away at times, and cannot be sucked into a space where my non-internet friends friends do not exist. That’s the tough part sometimes.

  14. Karen

    I think I balance it by deciding what I think is relevant to share publicly and what I prefer to keep secret and what I want the public to know and what I want to keep between me and my irl friends. Sometimes the two cross. This is why I don’t discuss finer details of my finances and the more physical side of my relationship with Andy. I mention to my work colleagues that I blog, but I haven’t given them the address. I show them pictures from the site now and again but I don’t hovver the page long enough for them to view the main content. My irl friends also know I blog and although I try to add an entry each day I’m not obsessive about publicising it – but then it’s always nice to have comments as it means people are interested. I think also it’s finding the right time to do it. I work full time, have four children, a husband and a home to run so often I blog during lunchbreaks or late in the evening so I don’t take too much time away from family, friends and household chores.

  15. Becky

    Wow. That’s a great question… and honestly, I’m not sure. I’m still in the honeymoon stages of my blog so the people in my life are just really excited for me so far… but I know a lot of people/mothers who had a hard time with the balance. One of my favorite blogs “Rockstar Mommy” stopped writing because she just couldn’t handle it all.
    Wow, this isn’t helping much is it?
    Except to say that you are an amazing woman and you will be one of those that CAN handle it all. Just post the secrets of how you do that. 🙂
    Hang in there Aimmee!

  16. Mary Beth

    We have two computers at home – one that works well and one that is a dinosaur. Helen’s usually on the good one at night for the business and the other one takes too long for my short attention span. So when I get home, I’m rarely on the computer at all. I reserve that for during the day (when I’m supposed to be working – shhhh…) and on weekends when I bring home my work laptop, which is the best computer of the three. That leaves me evenings for talking, knitting, relaxing, reading, cooking, etc. Weekends, we’re usually at the shore with family where we have elongated meals with no computers. I talk about my blog to family and friends but not to work colleagues, mainly because I don’t share that kind of relationship with them.

    However, that being said, since I’ve started Twitter, I’ve found myself sneaking on the working computer when Helen gets up for something. It’s an addiction – I may need an intervention soon:)

  17. Kimblahg

    yeah, i don’t balance my online and real life very well. BUT i’m with three two year old’s all day and i love them but i get bored. then my husband get home and after the kids are in bed, he plays live xbox and i go back to my laptop. yeah. we try to get out and do things on weekends to make up for it. we sort of justify it by not watching t.v. so we don’t have even more “screen time”. when you figure out the solution, let me know!

  18. Black Hockey Jesus

    I’ll be interested to read the comments here. I’ve been doing this for less than 2 months and I am totally out of balance with all the excitement. And my wife gives chemotherapy to dying people all day and really doesn’t give a damn about the little girl in Illinois with the BHJ T-Shirt. It’s hard because I think she fluctuates between being super proud of me and jealous of how much I’m throwing into what I’m writing.

    I keep telling myself to JUST write the blog and to stop all the blog surfing but look where I am right now GREEBLEMONKEY!

  19. leacayoung

    I don’t even need to blog…you speak my truth. =)

    It is true we all need to find balance. I am this way with photography. I am just a skip away from giving my camera a name. =)

  20. jenontheedge

    I don’t know, somehow the balance is just here. Mostly. Maybe it helps that I blog about anything and everything at my main blog + four others, so that’s a lot of thoughts that are being processed and dealt with in a somewhat organized fashion. And so maybe that leads to me talking less about blogging because I’m all blogged out.

    It also helps that IRL my husband and I are building a new house, so THAT is a huge topic of conversation right now. Everyone asks about that first off, no matter what.

  21. Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer

    GREAT topic. I have had a journal for years. I used to be there every day while at work killing time. Then I started my own business … less time to journal … then I got married … even less time to journal. It went by the wayside for a few years and then I was approached by a couple of friends about doing a multi-writer blog with the intent of growing it into something that we could make a little money on down the road.

    Thus … wheres my damn answer was born.

    This time around, I’m trying to learn to let others carry some of the load. This time around, I’m trying to do my blogging type stuff early in the morning and be done by 10 am or so. That way I can close up that compartment and work on my jewelry business.

    I think as women today we wear lots of hats … luckily, we look good in them most of the time 😉

    I wish I could go to Blogher – but I am selling at a trade show that weekend. :: pouts ::

  22. Assertagirl

    I try really hard not to be on the laptop when Graham is home with me, here in person in the same room. I’ll go on it if he’s on his computer, but otherwise I feel he deserves my attention in person when we’re actually home together.

    I also stopped saying “my blog friend” because that seems somehow to demean the person I’m referring to, like she isn’t a real, live woman. You are all real, live women who happen to have blogs, and that happens to be how we met. We’re friends. 🙂

  23. Shelly

    It frightens me how many people blog during their work day. Not that I’m not reading blogs during mine…but somehow it seems more offensive to write while working.
    Also curious about the backlash from the PIMs. I know about the group of which she spoke…just curious about what happened.

  24. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Thanks to all of you for your insightful words of wisdom. I am storing them away.

  25. Sue at eLuckypacket


    And don’t even get me started on BALANCE. I have fleeting moments when I think everything is balances. Once in a blue moon. And then it falls apart 😉

  26. Joy!

    Cool topic! So I have been letting this percolate in my brain, and the people saying ‘why does she talk so much about her blog’ caught my ear.

    I think it’s similar to other passions in ones life. Sometimes people understand, and other times they just don’t get it. I’ve had experiences in which others sneer or laugh at my enthusiasms, such as photography or writing. It’s usually something creative. I find it very annoying to be looked at as if I am weird for pursuing creative outlets, but I also have come to realize that some people just do not understand the need for creating or for community or that either can come in different formats and mediums. Or, especially, that there are other options outside their own limits.

    It’s not always useful to try to convince them otherwise.

    That being said, I try to not overwhelm my friends and family with details of things they don’t really understand. Many of my RL friends are completely uninteresting in reading my blog or viewing my photos. They’re just in a different community than my online groups. It’s like having different circles of friends.

    I’ve teetered back and forth with the balance especially in my photography. How much do I want to document? What is worth sharing with the larger community without sacrificing whatever privacy I have left? How much is my camera getting between me and real life? I’m constantly reevaluating that line. Sometimes I have to step back for a while and not be the observer.

    Sorry, this comment is such a book!

  27. The Scribe

    thought-provoking post. i try to hide my list of bloggy reads from hubby – he thinks my own blogging is already excessive (ie. writing only two of my friends and random strangers read…), and i should channel it all into my paying writing gigs.

    i have two blogs at the moment, soon to spawn a third for my professional life. i think the best way for me to balance offline life with online stuff is to remain on topic. i used to have a more free-form blog before…but google and bosses becoming more i-net savvy made me press the delete button on all those scandalous posts from my twenties. dear diary, indeed!

    i do so think you can be friends (sans ‘bloggy”) with fellow bloggers. sometimes, it’s just easier to write about stuff. 🙂

  28. Amelia Sprout

    I wish I had an answer. After writing and getting paid (eek! deadlines) now, I’m having real trouble with it, and it has only been a couple of months.
    My family knows about it, but I don’t know if they read it, and my friends seem to be less than supportive of it. (My MIL who refuses to use a computer things blogs are awful because who wour writing something negative on the Internet)
    We Minnesotan’s don’t toot our own horns much, and doing so is frowned on, yet I need to if I want this to be successful. Especially since full time job, and blogging, and parenting is a lot and in my dreams I could maybe cut down the job part a little.
    I will say, I’m trying to set boundaries. This time is family, this time is blog, this time is day job. Most important, this time is ME time. If its crafting, knitting, exercising (ha!) or just snuggling with the dog.

  29. imaginary binky

    To be honest, I’ve enjoyed our bloggy get-togethers but not so much the blah blah blah of talking about blogging. I’d much rather enjoy the wackiness and enormous brains of all of us local ladies. I’m a damn rebel and curmudgeon.

    Portions of my life that don’t give a damn about my blog: family (unless I talked about them), Phil’s family (unless I talked about them), neighbors (except the smart ones, heh), old friends who don’t really want to stay in touch. Or, just about everyone I know in real life (unless I talked about them).

    Maybe I’ll take a vow with you: I’ll refer to you as Aimee instead of Greeblemonkey, Gillian instead of Wink or Shoes and Pie, and Amy instead of Inherent Passion or “the wacky one.” Except, that’s the only way that Phil understand who I am talking about… argh.

  30. carrie

    My writing is important to me and if anyone questions why I blog, I just give them the finger.

    Well, not really. But it is an important part of me – and I blog for so many different reasons. But I do try to balance, and lately the social networking stuff has to be put on the back board because I simply do not have time.

    Wishing you luck in finding balance, remember life happens! 🙂

  31. Kat

    Great question. I’m one who keeps my blog to myself, my husband knows about it, but that’s it. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it’s that it’s my blog, the whole world of people who know me don’t need to know about it. The same way I wouldn’t read my diary out loud to people, my blog is separate from the rest of my life.

    I don’t post every day or even every week sometimes, because with a full time job, a 3 year old, a 22 year old and a husband, there just isn’t time. I don’t know how people who blog for a living separate it, this is just how I do.

  32. chloebear

    I don’t blog, but I really enjoy reading yours and the other ladies. I would problably blog if I didn’t have a writing phobia! You’ll find your zen and be happy.

  33. jodifur

    My blogs consume my life, they do. It goe so bad I had to pull out of one and get down to 3. And I’m one of those people where people don’t know about and now I think it’s strange that they don’t, b/c it’s such a huge part of my life.

    No advice on balance, b/c clearly I need to get some

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