Sunday, June 27, 2010

Are You Trying to Do Everything?

So most of you probably know that I'm pregnant. This is my fourth baby, so you'd think by now I'd know what I'm getting myself into, but I've got to admit, this pregnancy is kicking my patoot. I have never, ever been so tired. I could easily get 16 hours of sleep a day and still be a walking zombie.

But, despite the pregnancy, I'm trying to do a lot of things, like:

-Write a novel
-Potty-train a 2-year-old
-Keep my kids fed and clothed
-Harvest and weed my way too big vegetable garden
-Read 100 books this year
-Keep my house clean enough so the neighbors won't call social services
-Host birthday celebrations for the kids
-Blog and read blogs
-Dog-sit two barky, chewy, diggy monster dogs
-Take food to sick neighbors
-Beta read for friends
-Help my grandparents house hunt
-Take my kids to swim lessons, play groups, the park, etc. (when it's 90+ degrees outside)

It's a little too much--I'm not going to lie. I'm exhausted. I need rest.

So as of today, I've decided to let some things go. The garden WILL be weedy and there will be spinach that goes to seed and strawberries that get eaten by birds. The house WILL be messy, though hopefully not unsanitary. Sick neighbors WILL have to make their own food (or have it delivered by someone else). No more dog-sitting for the rest of the summer.

And blogging, oh blogging... I hate to do it, but I'm going to mostly unplug through the end of July. I'm writing a really fun little manuscript right now and I feel like I should focus any free time, that isn't used on sleep, on that. I will try to stay in touch through Twitter, so I hope you'll all check in there.

But, the good news is at the end of July I'm going to RWA in Orlando with my writing group girls Karen Hooper, Marie Devers, and Megan Rebekah. I'm also going to meet my agent, Sara Megibow, for the first time (I am so excited about this!). So come August I should have some really fun things to blog about.

Do you have too much going on? Do you ever have to pull back on commitments to keep your sanity?


Oh, and the final Critique a Week winner is Melissa! Melissa, I'll email you later today with details.

*As of Tuesday, June 29, Sara will no longer be accepting referrals from the blog post earlier this month. Thank you to everyone who sent queries and partials. Sara said she read some excellent queries and pages and even requested a few full manuscripts. She'll probably do another guest post soon--so there will be something on the blog in July :)--about what worked and what didn't. Thanks again!

42 comments:

Thomas Taylor said...

I'm so glad you have cut some things off that list. I'm sorry about the neighbours and the dogs and so on, but it sounds like you need a break!

I'm moving house in a few days. I stopped writing about ten days ago and probably won't do any work at all in July. I'm determined to have some time off, and I hope you can too.

Your August sounds interesting though:)

Paul Greci said...

Natalie, I hope you have a sane month and that the sanity continues into the future. We all have to work at balancing the many facets of our lives. Good for you for taking concrete action. I'll see you on Twitter, friend:-)

Janna Qualman said...

Natalie, it's so important to reassess once in awhile, and let some things go. I think you're wise to do it! Wishing you the best. Take care, see you soon.

Jade said...

Dude! You're making me tired. You constantly amaze me. I can't imagine being to look after one child let alone four AND still being able to write.

I'll miss you though. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

May your July be filled with plenty of rest and a wonderful time with your new manuscript. Have a great time in Orlando (how could you not?).

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm always tired. I don't remember not being tired. I'm sooooooo looking forward to summer so I can relax a bit and get some sleep! :) Enjoy the month and DON'T feel guilty! Take the time you need.

Nicole MacDonald said...

Take the time to breath! We all understand :) Look forward to your first blog back

Nicole Zoltack said...

Wow, do you need to take a deep breath and calm down, hun! You're trying to do waaay too much, even if you weren't pregnant. I'm pregnant and just looking at that list made me want to run for my bed for a nap, lol Remember to take care of yourself, you and your baby are most important. :)

Tracy said...

I hear you - oh, and how! (Minus the pregnancy part...) That's so exciting that you get to go to Orlando, especially since you'll get to meet your agent. You'll have a blast! Happy unplugging, and good luck with your fun MS. :)

Diane said...

Please take care of yourself and that wonderful family of yours. I do realize I have to let things go sometimes and just enjoy. :O)

Aubrie said...

Wow, you are a superwoman! I think you're doing a great job balancing so much.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Wow! Take a break- you know you're going to be busy when Baby comes. We'll still be here when you get back!

Sandy Shin said...

Oh wow, just reading the list of things you have to do makes me feel tired -- and to add being pregnant on top of that, I think you're incredibly amazing!

Sometimes, it's definitely wise to pull back a little, rather than be frayed and tired and not enjoying what you do. Good luck on everything, Natalie, and we'll still be here when you're back!

Joanne Fritz said...

Natalie, I'm so glad you're taking a break. You deserve it. I remember always being exhausted when I was pregnant with my second (can't imagine a fourth!). And I wasn't trying to write a novel then, or dog-sit, or garden, or any of those things except run around after a two-year-old.

No one will mind if you don't reach your goal of reading 100 books. And as for the blogging, we'll miss you but it's way more important that you take time for yourself. And get all the sleep you need. You and the baby both deserve that.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Summertime is kicking my butt and I'm not pregnant! That list is way too much for one person, Natalie. I don't tweet, so I'll miss you, but I think you're making a good choice. :-)

Kathryn said...

I have a lot going on, and in comparison to you, being a Mama, it's not that much! But good luck on the WIP and I'll be following on on Twitter! Hope you're feeling better with your pregnancy. Take care of the little one and his/her mommy!

Jessie Oliveros said...

That's quite a list! I hope you get the rest you need. I only planted two container gardens this summer, and I still can't keep them watered.

VR Barkowski said...

Thought I had too much going on until I read your list. Good grief! Just thinking about all you have on your plate is exhausting. Please take a break and get some rest. You and the new little one are more important than blogging - or anything else on that list.

Marybeth Poppins said...

Oh I'm there! Good for you for putting things to the side! Sometimes it is very necessary!

Georgina Dollface said...

Oh my! That's a pretty long list there! Good idea to let some things go. (The birds eating your berries will thank you.)
Right now I've got a pretty good balance of things to do on my list so I am not too stressed, but I have gone overboard in the past. In the end it just wasn't worth it to try to do a half-baked job on eeverything, rather than an awesome job on just a few really important things. - G

L. T. Host said...

I did NOT know you were pregnant again! Congratulations!!

I completely understand you having to knock some things off that list-- I'm having to do the same right now. Best wishes, and hope you'll be able to pop in and visit occasionally til you can come back for good.

Susan R. Mills said...

Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one! I just got back from a loooonnngggg blog break. Enjoy your time off and I hope you get lots done!

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm suprised you haven't pulled back sooner! Whew --you made me tired!!

Patti said...

Keeping kids fed is a huge thing in my household with two teenage boys. I think breaks are necessary and will taking one of my own in August.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

I feel your pain! I'm preggers and exhausted, too. This is my first pregnancy, and I can't imagine having other kids already here: running around my house and needing food and water and attention. Yes, I'm trying to read 100 books this year, maintain the house (no, maintain is wrong. The house really needs a complete overhaul!) blog, work full time.... it's writing that has taken the back burner.

I know I'll have to unplug, too, if I hope to get any writing done with regularity.

Ho, hum. This comment made me want to take a nap! (The baby is sleepy.) :)

Em-Musing said...

Yes, always your manuscript writing takes precedence over blogging. I suffer with that too. And yes, rest and rejuvenate . . .

Laura Marcella said...

Wow, you're like Superwoman! And even Superwoman needed R&R every now and then. :) Enjoy your blogging break and good luck getting everything done!

Heather Sunseri said...

You do have a lot going on. Give yourself permission to pull back on something, girlfriend!

I have a lot going on as well. Sometimes I think we women do way to much. We need to find time to retreat into quiet.

Regina said...

You're right. We all need to unplug and recharge from time to time. It is so hard to keep up all of the daily routine of family and work and try to pound out a MS.

I hope everything is going well with the pregnancy and hope that the fatigue passes. Good luck and have fun at the RWA and that is super exciting to meet your agent. Best wishes.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

How exciting about RWA, your critique gals, and meeting Sara!

Hope you get some extra sleep. Since I'm not on Twitter, I'll check in via email. ;)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Yes, you need some rest. I've been very worried about you. Can't wait to see you next month. :)

DL Hammons said...

I've watched my wife struggle through three pregnencies, and I'm still amazed at what you women can put up with. My hats off to you!!!

Take a rest...you deserve it. :)

Anita Saxena said...

I so hear you Natalie! I'm doing way too much. Every minute of my day is scheduled with stuff. And sometimes it just gets old very quick. Best of luck with your manuscript and take it easy. Congratulations on the 4th kiddo.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, my goodness! YOu are a busy momma! (A good busy, though)
That's why I LOVE twitter. It's so easy to pop in and keep in touch with everyone. :)
Have fun at the conference!

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Natalie, good for you. Go and rest. I was extremely fatigued through my later pregnancies. You have your pregnant self and the baby inside consuming all your energy, plus the little ones you're chasing besides. I can't imagine even trying to do a fraction of what's on your list. Glad you're scaling back and hope to see you on Twitter!

Sarah Skilton said...

Hi Natalie,

I think taking a breather here and there is a healthy thing to do. I feel overwhelmed at the moment, too. Enjoy July and I'll see you around Twitter :)

Vonna said...

I hope you have a more restful July and a great trip to Orlando. Take care.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

You really do have to let some things go, I think. It gets overwhelming. Congrats on taking the plunge into an unplugged month. And good luck with the pregnancy. It always feel harder when it's that hot.

Medeia Sharif said...

Yikes, that's a lot. Prioritize things and take a breather.

Very cool about the conference. I met Karen and Megan last month at SCBWI. I also got to meet my editor there. It'll be awesome to meet your agent (I haven't met mine yet).

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

I completely know how you feel. That sounds like my life (well, last pregnancy =). You deserve and need a break. Hang in there. Focus on family, that's the most important thing. (And your other little child that you can't part from, the MS =). I'm sure everything will work out.

Dawn Simon said...

Oh, Natalie...that's a lot. I'm super busy, too, but I'm not pregnant and my kids are older than yours. You're super woman. Be sure and get rest, and yes, prioritize the manuscript! (Not that you asked my advice, but you know...)

So fun about RWA! I'm excited for you, meeting your agent in person for the first time! Have a blast! I know you will!

SWK said...

Loved this post. I've got four kids myself (youngest is 4) and I just sold my first novel. Hang in there. You can't do it all (my kids eat a lot of pasta and pancakes and my backyard looks like a jungle) but you can have a wonderful, messy, wild ride and your family can join your for the excitement and fun. Look forward to your post (when you get to it) about RWA and meeting your agent! - Stasia