I am a full-time working mom and a part-time blogger so I would chase time like crazy. Time is a precious commodity and seems to slip through my hands so fast like a moist sand on the beach. I try to catch the 6:30AM bus before the sun rises in Singapore to reach the MRT statio. then ride again another bus to go to work. My little ones are still in dreamland when I would leave, not feeling the soft peck on the cheeks that I would leave them before I head to work. Then by 5:30PM to 6:00PM, I would try to rush home and start my usual commute back home: bus-MRT-bus. I live far from my workplace. My travel time is 1 hr and 30 minutes minimum back and forth. So most often than not, I would reach home with the sky dark and sad at around 7:30PM or 8:00PM. If I am held back at work for deadlines and meeting, I can go home really really late. And I would see my boys curled up in our bed sleeping soundly, too tired & too sleepy from waiting up for their mom.
I know that I need to work hard to provide for my family with the help of my husband’s income and I supplement it with my little earning from blogging and freelance writing assignments. So work is necessary but I couldn’t help feel guilty that I have so little time for my kids on the weekdays.
I am glad that I have my Saturdays and Sundays for them. I try my best to make up for the lost time from my busy weekdays. But sometimes my mommy guilt would creep up to me when I snap at them especially on a Sunday when I am without a nanny and I have to do all the household chores with my protruding pregnant belly while they would throw toddler tantrums or make start their MMA fights, making me their tired referee. I am an exhausted mom for working like a mad woman from Monday to Friday and I feel bad that the crazy tired working woman goes home with low energy, extreme physical exhaustion, mind full of anxieties & worries and occasional snaps & loses patience to her young kids who needs a healthy, cheerful, present mom to attend to their needs.
I want to be the best mom that I can be for my kids like any moms. With all the supermoms in social media who can produce abundant breast milks, create educational activities and make creative bento lunches for their kids, most ordinary moms like me, who would allow gadgets to watch during meal time in restaurant so they will sit still or shove sugar snacks into my kid mouth, would flush in shame and guilt and dim in comparison. Parenting world especially the motherhood club has becoming more competitive and judgmental in this era of Facebook & Instagram.
People would make insensitive comments about your kids’ behavior and give unsolicited advices on how to raise kids. But the funny part is that those who often give out these comments are unmarried adults who never has kids. I wish to tell them: “Wait ’til you have one. We are often the best parents in our mind until we became parents ourselves.”
Digital Distraction and Mommy Blogger Guilt
From: Unveiled Wife
There was a time when I deleted all my social media accounts. That time I only have two, Friendster (remember this?) and Facebook. But I activated my Facebook again on 2010 after my US trip because my galpals said it is the best way we can share photos of each other and keep in touch. And I never looked back. I enjoyed social media, adding in Twitter (which I recently privated), Pinterest and Instagram. But I have deleted my Snapchat, Foursquare, and Tumblr already. Pretty much, social media has been part of my life and I assumed a greater percentage of people have been accustomed to have it as part of theirs too.
I also have started blogging since 2009 out of love for writing and nothing more. I started being consistent in writing entries when I was encouraged by my fiancé’ that time to keep writing and by 2013, I really got serious with it and eventually, attracted sponsorship and collaboration which allowed me to earn a little from it.
But as the blog collaborations grew, so did the deadlines, more blog event invites, more time consumed to finishing blog posts & taking good photos for sponsored posts. I love the blessings, opportunities, creating good content and all the perks but it was overwhelming and it also means a portion of my time for my kids will be spent on going to blog events, writing and taking photos.
To keep my (modest) influence as a blogger relevant as my partnership with companies & brands and more contracts of agreements multiplied, I need to keep my social media engagement in tip-top game. I am not really good at it as my contemporaries but I have to try my best as not to disappoint the brands who signed me on for collaboration. It would require me to be glued to my phone almost every hour especially during the time when Instagram algorithm changed and we need to increase our Instagram engagement by doing load of comments to same niche influencers, do a like-for-like exchange, participate in Instagram pods and other techniques to beat the algorithm and increase followers & engagement.
Then I realised why am I try to engaged unknown people who give half-hearted & not-sure-if-sincere comments and robbing my loved-ones of my precious time who deserved it more. There was a time after I given birth to my first-born that I realised maybe I can never blog again. But somehow I managed to create a schedule for me to blog while he takes a nap after I get back from work in the clinic. But soon, our family was growing and so were my blogging commitments. I managed to work around that by doing mobile blogging on my daily commute back & forth to work. But still sometimes, I have to do quick adjustment and proofreading on my laptop at home before publishing.
One weekends, I need to take sponsored product photos at home in the mornings to get the natural light. One time, I was trying to take photos, doing my flatlay styling of the products while my two kids are getting my attention, making noises, whining and crying. Then I stopped and look at my eldest, “What do you want, Naj?” Our helper who has been with us for almost 3 years and is an onlooker of the commotion, said, “He wants you, Mommy.” And right then and there, my heart broke into thousand pieces. From then on, I became more selective with the collaborations and blog invites that I take.
I stopped trying to exhaust myself in being active in social media all the time to keep up with my blogging contemporaries and practices slow blogging, pushing out articles at on my own pace. I would leave my phone in my bag when I get home and give my kids my undivided attention. I started to know my priorities & what is essential and put in perspective, who & what deserves my time. My kids needs me to be with them, undistracted and present.
Motherhood is indeed the hardest job in the world. We learn as we go along. The deceptive world of Facebook & Instagram has created an irrational demand for perfection to mothers. We just need to inhale and exhale, do the best we can, try another day to be better, stop comparing ourselves to the supermoms of social media and just love our kids unconditionally. We may never shake that mommy guilt off totally but we can try not being too hard on ourselves and just love our kids the best way we know how…..