I started www.pinkmenot.com six years ago, when Chloe was just shy of seven years old and Sophie had just celebrated her second birthday. That’s an eternity in kid years, but more like a blip on the radar screen for us adults.
When I began writing about the girls at the end of 2007, I was just a couple of months away from starting a new job that would end up consuming a large percentage of my waking hours for the next 5+ years. And during that half decade, I used much of my free time to share my musings about Chloe and Sophie while I struggled to balance my professional and personal identities on what seemed like an increasingly narrow tightrope.
Blogging about Sophie’s and Chloe’s antics was one of my primary coping mechanisms during that time. Convinced I was not sufficiently present for them and missing them even when I was physically with them, I wrote and wrote and wrote about them to compensate for the huge void I felt. Describing their adventures made me feel closer to them. I was desperate to record every memory so that I’d be able to look back a year later, or five years later or 20 years later and fool myself into believing that it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was at the time.
I wrote 324 blog posts in 2008. Between 2009-2012, I wasn’t as prolific, but I still managed to write at least 200 entries each year. Today’s entry marks the 123rd post of 2013, a significant decline that I initially found surprising and little dismaying.
When I started to think about those numbers, however, I had a minor epiphany. Now that I’m home with Chloe and Sophie, and present for them (ok, maybe not 100% present, but definitely 95% present), I certainly miss them a lot less. I’m experiencing their lives in concert with them. I no longer need to imagine what it would be like to spend more time with my daughters because I’m finally living that dream. I no longer feel compelled to record everything they do for posterity because I’m finally a part of their lives in a way I never was before.
Since putting the brakes on my career last spring, the time I now spend with Chloe and Sophie doesn’t take on the same disproportionate importance it did when I was still working full-time. As long as I’m able to continue this Chief Mom Officer gig, I know I will share dozens of small and precious moments with my girls every day. But I will no longer need to hoard those moments as a way of assuaging my guilt. I can embrace them and savor them and let them simply happen. And write about them, too, albeit less frequently. And that is more than ok, it’s great.