Doing My Job Means Ignoring You

by Guest blogger on March 15, 2010 · 18 comments

I’ve always shaken my slightly pretentious head at people who wasted hours on Facebook, since I’ve managed to avoid the time-sucking aspects of it pretty well. Recently, I launched the blog I’d been mentally planning for ages, started ‘tweeting’ new people on Twitta’ and quickly morphed into “one of those people.”

It felt great to connect with fascinating minds and produce something I felt proud of. Were it not for the coolest kids ever to call a gal “momma,” this might not be a problem. (See Exhibit A)

My mind said, “Surely I can manage my children and my online obligations! The boys are getting older and I read somewhere that it’s good for kids to learn how to entertain themselves.” But the appeal of what might be waiting on my computer was enticing. I shushed my inner voice, promising, “Just a quick peek.” But those peeks revealed an email which required a quick reply, a wonderful post that deserved a quick read, a friend that really needed a quick encouragement.

{Despite what some NYT reporters would like you to believe, I learned how to ignore my kids all by myself- before I ever started blogging. If it’s not blogging trying to steal your attention, it’s something else. I’m pretty sure my 1 year-old ate an entire purple crayon while I was fixing dinner tonight. I couldn’t even find my camera to memorialize the moment, you know, for posterity.}


Exhibit A

After spending just a “few” minutes doing these perfectly valid things, I glanced at my tiny cherubs who had just watched The Sound of Music in its entirety (shh! don’t tell their dad), who occupied themselves by pulling every. last. thing out of its place, who had been shushed, brushed off and scolded, who finally resorted to getting naughty creative for a little attention. I felt absolutely worthless.

I reread this poetic reminder and couldn’t get the words “babies don’t keep” out of my head. I also saw what the girls at Tot School were doing by intentionally loving and teaching their little ones and felt inspired to try something new.

I made a personal commitment not to spend time online while the boys were awake. I tried to block out the nagging feeling that the world would pass me by while I sat on the floor building car tracks and forts and character. Since changes are easier to implement following a break in routine, I implemented my plan the morning after we returned from a trip. In order to cut down on morning TV (Momfession: I love TV!), I introduced Breakfast Books. I got the idea of playing to a captive audience from another momma and decided to make the most of those times when they’re strapped in. They loved it. By engaging them in the story first thing, they almost forgot about giant red dogs and flying fairies.

During morning nap, I encouraged my 3 year-old to do things that are usually off-limits when his brother is up. I was thrilled that he chose to do paintings. I also intended to start Learning at Lunch or something equally cheesy, but didn’t quite pull it off. It’s something to shoot for next week. After lunch, we played purposeful games and read books. We also found time to take a walk and go on a picnic. Most important, I stayed present, engaged and interested.

Along the way, I found little bits of encouragement, as though someone was cheering me on. Remember when Michelle shared her thought provoking post about Phil. 2:3-4? It immediately reminded me of this verse:

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. -Matthew 6:32 AMP

“These things” refers to food, clothing, a long life; the daily things we worry about. It could apply to anything that feels important.

Was it easy to make these changes? Not really. There were quite a few longing gazes at my laptop. Will this work everyday? Maybe not, but it will become the norm rather than the exception. Did it magically improve every area of life? No. Just as my online world was neglected, so was the housework and several dinners were less than stellar. I’ll have to work those things in at different times. Although, it’s easier to explain away when the excuse is, “I was playing with my children!”

Did it feel good to trade all of that for some playtime? Yep. It felt awesome. And you know what? For all my lack of effort, I not only got the opportunity to write my first guest post but was asked to be a part of an amazing opportunity out of the blue that I couldn’t be more excited about. And I plan to work on them all when the boys aren’t awake. (Yikes!)

I may not know you personally, but you’re visiting this neat site, so I’m guessing you’re pretty neat yourself. I mean, you’ve been kind enough to read this far. I share this story because I really want to encourage you.  I’m a firm believer if I can do something, so can you. If you feel an inner nudge or hear a gentle voice, don’t worry about what won’t get done. Listen to your heart. Do what is best. You may just find what thrills your heart and be surprised how other things fall into place.

Thanks for reading this novel of a post! I’d love for you to share your thoughts. I’ll be sure to take time to read them and respond, but probably not till naptime!

photo credit: Bekathwia

Michelle can be found at So I Married A Mennonite… where she also writes some funny posts and some useful ones when she’s not playing with her lively gang of boys.



Hi, Michelle! I was just checking out your site as well and plan to spend more time there! Such an encouraging post – thank you, thank you! And your boys – are precious!


Well, thank you so much! I’d love to have you hanging around my place!

I worked really hard on this one and am so glad it encouraged you! Looking forward to reading your post!


Hi, Michelle! I’ve just discovered your blog, through Some Girl, and love it. This guest post is particularly encouraging and challenging to me. I find myself doing the same things, and although I’ve tried to limit my time while the boys are up, I do still find big chunks of my day suddenly “missing and wasted”.
I do work from home (not blogging), so I can’t go completely computer free, but I will be striving to make the majority of my day computer free while the boys are awake and home. Thanks for the wonderful post!


Hey Shell, Thank you for your sweet comment! I hear you about losing time. I really applaud you for your efforts. If you find a magical, time management solution, let me know!

Someday, I hope our kids forget that our houses were messy and never notice we have other jobs, just simply remember all the time we spent perfecting our lion roars together!

Looking forward to your guest post as well!


Michelle, sorry about that email that needed to be responded to quickly. LOL. I am sure it was me! I admire you for sharing and being real!! And… you are just awesome! :) Oh yes, I do like this site… it’s amazing how you follow someone on twitter and never saw their site! So many cool blogs!

P.S. I’ll try not to email you again asking for a quick response! lol


Thanks, Chele! Don’t worry, I only peeked at your email. I responded during naptime! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA. :) Feel free to ‘bother’ me anytime!

Mia Rossi

Hi Michelle,

I’ve been finding feeling so guilty about pushing my kids off to the t.v. and wii while I’m on the computer. I get on to handle a few quick things and then find myself sucked in. I just started blogging & I see how it’s quickly becoming a new obsession. It makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one. I’m gonna see if the bfast book thing works for me & also check out Tot School. Thanks for the transparent tips. I’m also adding you to my blog roll once I figure out how :)



Sorry, I replied to your comment outside the thread- see below! :)


Great post! I very much enjoyed reading it and I’ll have to check out your blog!


Thanks, JamieAnne! I just discovered your blog and really enjoyed what I read. So nice to meet you. :)


Hi Mia, nice to meet you! I am right there with you- blogging is intense! Nothing wrong with tv, wii, and independent playtime if it’s done on purpose. I meant to say that in my post.

Congratulations on your new blog! I stopped by while taking a break from commenting. I hope you find some creative ways to get the you time you need. :) If you need any help with blogging, I’d be happy to help (if I can).

Tomorrow is a new day- a fresh start. You can do it!

Laura Maly

Can I just say you hit the nail on the head? I’m only lucky enough to (now) spend one day at home with my five-year-old munchkin – who’s quickly becoming anything but little. I often struggle to keep this in perspective and focus on him and only him while we’re together. These childhood years truly do fly by that if we don’t grab hold of the time we can now to seize the moment, play with our children and truly focus on them, before we know it, they’ll be adults and off on their own adventures. After all, the e-mails, blog posts and work-related chaos can certainly wait…if only for a day. Right? Thanks for the reminder of how important “the little things” are.


Laura, you’re so welcome and thanks for your insight! I was starting to get angry at those ‘little things’ for taking the joy out of what should be a wonderful opportunity. It’s a learning process for me, and I have to remember to make the better choice each new day.

Thanks for the follow! I plan to check out your blog after I fix my coffee. :)


Great post, Michelle! Thanks for reminding us to put our relationships above things like blogging… I know I’ll be thinking about your post and trying to put it to practice starting now! I really appreciate your willingness to share you heart and words with us here… You’ve done an awesome job!!! Thank you!


Michelle (SomeGirl), Thank you for letting me share my heart with your readers! They’re a sweet bunch. Hope you had a nice vacation!


Wonderful, excellent, love the idea that you found a way to ignore them and not have to blame it on blogging. I’m so proud that you are achieving your dreams! As a mom and woman, I think its great that you can do what you love and have a family.


Thanks for your comment, Gwen. At first I thought, “Ooh, my first sarcastic comment!” But seeing that you have a robust blog and 2 boys of your own, I realized we’re in a similar boat. Sorry, I’m a bit sarcastic myself.

Like I mentioned, there are so many legitimate distractions, things that other people get to do without apology. For me, for some reason, it was my new ‘hobby’. (Whether my blog is legitimate is still in question!)

I feel so much better now that I’m worrying less about keeping up with everyone else. My blog will be there when I get to it. My boys are the best use of my time right now. :)

How do you manage blogging and family?

Saidah @ A Proverbs Wife

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment this morning. I don’t plan to be online long….but I am so glad that I stopped by and read this post. It’s so weird how reading a post online can be so inspiring, yet if you stay online too long reading so many inspiring posts you’ll miss out on time with your family.
Thank you for always reminding us of what’s truly important and thanks for having great guest bloggers.

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