Saturday, June 15, 2013



I’ve been grumpy for weeks.

Before I had kids, I set up my life to be spacious. I worked part-time so I had ample opportunity to take good care of myself; I could practice yoga, dance, write and walk. I could watch TV and relax. I spent time with friends. I am high maintenance in that way—it takes a good deal of effort for me to simply feel okay. Some of that is because of the anxiety and depression that I am prone to. Some of it is just because I’m freakin’ sensitive—research suggests that some of us are just born with nervous systems that overload easily. I feel things deeply. I shut down when there are too many people around or too much noise. I get overwhelmed. It’s just who I am, and something I’m trying to accept, despite living in a world that places great value and emphasis on doing.

And then we had two kids.
They are gorgeous. They bring great meaning and love and snuggles to our lives.

And they squeeze out all the extra time.

So I stopped watching TV. I stopped spending much time with friends. We started sending our son to daycare a few days a week. So I could breathe. So I could attempt to tame the sprawl of toys and crumbs and laundry.

And then we had another baby. And I took a part-time job.

It’s a low-paying editing job that I can do from home. It worked for awhile. It felt good to be contributing a little teensy trickle of money to our family. It felt good to use my brain and do something I was good at. Something besides raising two little munchkins, which is amazing, but does not ever leave me feeling wow, I am really good at this. 

My husband provides well for us, but there is something in me that can’t let go of my little job. Though it gets in the way of writing. And yoga. And breathing. Though it stresses me out and takes time away from my husband and I.

I am so scared to let it go.

We are so fortunate that I don’t have to work for a paycheck right now. I could be writing more. I could be taking better care of my kids' mom. So why do I create this problem for myself? This fully first world problem?

Guilt. And fear. 

Guilt that I’m a bad mother because I need so much time to myself. That if my babies go to daycare a few days a week, I should be using that time to work. To be productive. To contribute to society.

Fear that people will judge me. That because I decided to be a mom, it’s selfish to want so much time to myself.  

Fear that if I let go of my little job, I’ll have to really commit to writing.  And then I’ll find out that I’m really not good enough.  

If you were my best friend and you were sitting where I’m sitting, I’d say, “Sweet Lord, woman. Go for it. You have nothing to lose.”

My husband says, “The kids go to daycare because it’s good for them and they like it. Your job is not serving you.”

So why is it so hard to say that to myself? To believe it?

What do you do when you get stuck in fear?


  1. Well, firstly, I love this piece of writing like Iove fresh air & cold water! I think that being a writer is a very unstructured thing, and writing in and of itself is an almost limitless invitation to deep contemplation, without beginning or end. I have so much respect & appreciation for your writing, & I think that the world is a better place because of your creativity! I think fear is something to be conquered daily, and seems to especially happen when we are able to give ourselves credit for what we have already accomplished, and just for being our cool selves. You are one of the most interesting people I've ever known, and I hope you give yourself tons of credit for just how cool you are. More power to whatever you choose! I know you'll hate this idea, but I bet all of your friends would love to pay to read your blog, or to do some kind of interactive writing forum with you. <3 All my love xoxox

  2. Thank you Paula, for your thoughtful words! I like your idea that walking through fear is sort of a daily event. You are so kind, and you are one of the most interesting people I have known as well! Love to you.

  3. I believe that if we all contribute what we genuinely are passionate about, then the world will be better. Like a lot better. It's something we can all do. So your job is not serving anybody. And neither is the fear. But I totally get it. I want to get my ideas out there and maybe nobody cares or I'm on the wrong track. Plus the attention does actually scare me. But my belief that we all have something to contribute keeps me going. I hope that this might help you too. Fear will be there but we don't have to let it push us around. Talking about it is a great step, so thanks for getting this conversation going. See how doing what you love is already contributing??? xoxoxox

    1. Thank you Hannah. You are so wise and such a good cheerleader. You and Jared have both inspired me to walk closer to my dreams.

    2. That's very sweet, thanks. You are a writer. That's all there is to it.

  4. Fear often tells me that's the thing I should be doing. Sometimes I think we fear success. All I can say is that you write beautifully, Lynn, and you should do what your heart tells you to do. Screw what other people think!

    1. I like that perspective, Jen. Fear can be a great indicator. And I agree on the fear of success. I don't totally understand it. And thank you so much for your kind words about my writing. I admire what you're doing with your blog and your work!

  5. Another great post! I feel the same when it comes to how I perceive my worth or how much I contribute, especially when I stopped working after having our daughter. I was afraid of what my clients would think of me. I told them I would be back after 3 months off, then decided I was going to stay home. Paying for two in daycare wouldn't have been economically smart for our family. I felt I let them down. I was a hairstylist, a position of making others feel good. I did it for 15 years at the same salon. I didn't leave, even after all the complaining to my husband about crap that went on. I thought, "I just want to work alone! I'm so tired of doing what others tell me!" I never did anything about it. I was afraid that nobody would follow me and afraid of change. But, I eventually "let it go." My career and my feelings about leaving. Your words contribute a great deal to all of those who read them! You are a great writer! You help me realize I'm not the only one with these feelings. I would gladly pay to read your blog and any books you write! I look forward to the "Writing the Waves...Again" emails! ;D

    1. Melissa, thank you so much! I find it fascinating the way we can connect our self-worth to externals. Good for you for letting go-- it can be so hard, but is such a part of life.

      I so appreciate your words about my writing, Melissa! And we should get our kiddos together sometime soon!

    2. Yes, Lynn. That would be fun! I took Janetta to Greenlight a couple weeks ago on a Wednesday. She loved climbing the stairs to the clubhouse roof. =)