In case you haven’t noticed, things have slowed down a bit on the blog lately. I’m about to hit the eight-year mark and looking back, I can’t believe I’ve managed to do this as consistently as I have for so many years. Maybe it’s turning forty or the fact that my kids are needier now than when they were babies (nobody tells you that part about motherhood) but I can definitely feel some internal changes happening.
Last week, I worked on a post in small five-minute increments until about Wednesday when I finally just gave up and gave myself permission to take the week off without fretting over it. I’ve rarely done that since starting this site and it was good. In fact, I think I’ll do more of it. Between dentist and orthodontist appointments, helping with late-night homework (ask me the greatest common factor of any numbers!), and searching for a lost school-issued laptop (don’t ask me about that), I took some time to get my own house in order instead of just writing about it. It was strangely freeing and I remembered how much I love just piddling in my own space for my own enjoyment. That’s why I started a blog about decorating in the first place.
Over the weekend, we hosted a ton of church friends and their (young) kids. I spent most of the week beforehand cleaning dirty corners and dusting forgotten places. But again, another reminder of how much I love working on our house for actual people and not just for a staged photo. Real life is the best, isn’t it?
And then there’s social media. As entertaining as it can be at times, it honestly just sucks the life out of me other times. I’m sure that’s not the proper thing to say for potential sponsorships, etc. But seriously, if I spent the majority of my day looking at what people are posting and what other people have to say about it, I could easily end up thinking the world is a very angry place. There are still some happy people out there, right? Right?! They probably just aren’t spending all of their time with their heads down in Facebook or on Instagram.
So, no, I’m not going anywhere. I’m just breathing a little more; putting less pressure on myself where there really shouldn’t be any. And, I’m realizing more and more that driving and picking up kids for hours each day, staying up late to study vocabulary words and cleaning my kitchen counter off four times a day is actually productive in the long run.
What are you doing to give yourself a little breathing room?
Hope you all have a good week. Tomorrow, I’m touring this year’s Southern Living idea house in Bald Head Island, NC, and will be sharing pictures on Instagram, if you’d like to follow along.
Cassie Bustamante says
i just wrote about something similar on my blog… basically i just ditched all the home tour hops and other collaborative hops and am just going to chug along slowly doing my own thing… i will be much happier this way!!! and i feel like it will also be more real life… like you said,making the house nice because people are coming over is so much better than making it nice for blog photos. :)
I have 4 kids ages 8-15. I am constantly shuttling my kids to different places. I miss the old days when we could be home all day playing. My oldest has practice until 10:00 some nights. I stay up late with her while she does her homework- it’s a crazy schedule. Your post really resonated with me. Glad to hear I’m not the only one feeling busier now than when my kids were small.
Glad you are okay! The beginning of school is always hectic- we homeschool so maybe we have less chaos since we don’t actually have to go anywhere in the morning! Of course, one of mine is a senior with college applications and all that that entails. I cleared my calendar. I feel like my friends will be my friends still when I can come up for air. I see some of them at church so that counts, even if I can’t make a coffee or lunch date. And don’t get me started with the orthodontist trips. How many broken brackets can two kids get. I’m thinking of adding a set of bunk beds there and letting them live there for awhile. Anyhoo, I think you are in the same boat as most only you have an above average number of littles to care for. I enjoy your content and hope you keep going. As one of my church mentor mothers told me when my kids were little and I was fretting about not serving much at church or doing anything, I felt, of consequence, “You job is to raise Godly children and take care of your family.” That helped put everything in perspective for me. Hope you have a great week!
Emily Clark says
Yes! Thank you for that :)
Emily, I’ve followed your blog since its conception and admire you as a mother of five. You have inspired my search for blue and white pieces and I purchased the same lamp you shared. Take time for yourself and your family. Your followers are here when you are ready to post.
Love this! Good for you.
Thank you! I wish more bloggers would follow suit, but if they did, there would be no magazine covers, a houseful of free furniture twice a year for the ORC, and no free vacations every 2 months. What a shame!
You home, family and spirit are beautiful. Thank you for posting what you do. I love it!
Good for you… I admire your commitment to your family life and enjoying being in the moment instead of documenting everything for your blog. Love your blog and your readers will surely continue to enjoy your updates as they are available!
Good for you! I enjoy your blog bc it’s one of the last “real” blogs out there…you are not shilling products, not trolling for sponsorships…you are not a gimme gimme looking for free stuff. Your just a busy mom that likes to share her creative ideas and design inspirations when she has a free moment! Your kids are the investment, not the blog!
My kids have left the house but now I work teaching kindergarten full time and that sucks the life out of me. My blog slowed down along time ago and I have watched all the blogging/social media hoopla take off without me. I have forgiven myself to take it easy. I still have brands that want to work with me. I enjoy having the balance! You are allowed to do what makes it right for you and your family. Your kids grow up FAST, enjoy every moment, even searching for lost laptops!
Emily Clark says
I had no idea you taught kindergarten. Bless you :)
I actually have been waiting for you to slow down for years often thinking how is she really able to do IT ALL?! Saturday I went to look for Saturday 6 and thought good she is busy with her family and didn’t have to do it this week. As a mother of three boys who stayed at home for 15 years I totally understand the busyness of day to day life. And the comment above, “Your job is to raise Godly children and take care of your family” is spot on. It takes a lot of love, energy and time to raise kids and to be a loving spouse(which is equally important). Blessings to you as you find the Mary in your Martha :).
Cheryl Johnson says
I’ve followed you for a very long time (can it be 8 years?). You’ve been immearsurably helpful in setting up a newly built downsizer as we are now both retired. Social media definitely sucks the life out of us, esp if we are devoted to it–FB, blog-reading and Instagram, etc. Devoted/addicted, what is the term? we keep returning to it–there’s a certain need that social media taps into or creates? My concern is that we’ll forget how to connect to real people in real time. And we need to move our bodies, read books, interact in the flesh.
For you, I have often imagined what it must be like to always be thinking about what to post next, what photos you need, what links you need, while you are parenting and raising a family. PLUS, the blogging has changed so much in 8 years — to remain “in the loop” you have to be present online, create followers, attract sponsors, etc. How does one do that and live an authentic life? one that gives you peace of mind.
Cutting back could be helpful. One post per week? You, however, seem to be on a threshold of deciding what works for you and your family. And thresholds are powerful places to be. I hope you give yourself permission to pay attention to what rises in you. Take time to discern your path. Solitude rather than posting and being online might be a very helpful place to be in for awhile. My suggestion would be to carve out spots of time where you can breathe, relax, pray, and trust this process of discernment. A contemplative retreat.
Thank you for sharing and for giving so much to your readers for 8 years. I’ve learned a lot along the way, thanks to you.
Good girl. Enjoy the ride with your children. Pretty soon they’ll be gone.
Don’t ever feel bad about being with your family and giving yourself breathing room. Besides, it’s not like you’re going to be sitting around popping bonbons! Ha! So you do what feels right for you — we will still be here enjoying your beautiful posts. Blessings, Emily!
Emily Clark says
I’m not sure I’ve ever even had a bonbon but it sounds like a good thought! :)
sherry hart says
Taking breaks is definitely good….You have a lot going on for sure:) I am 2 xs a week and sometimes I wonder how I manage just that small amount. If I wasn’t doing design I don’t think I would have much to say haha.
Trish @TheOldPostRoad says
The most important thing you will ever do is raise your kids. They come first. They need you. I know it is all hard to balance!
I just posted something similar to this last week. I posted very little this summer, and while I missed it a little bit, it was nice to not worry about it either. I just did some fall decorating, and didn’t even break out my camera! Like you said, it’s nice to do something just to do it, and not simply do it for the blog!
You’re amazing! Thanks for your inspiring blog, and not just in home decor :)
It’s wonderful you’ve realized what is best for you. It’s OK!!
Enjoy anything you post. Love you style. You are an amazing young women, wife and mother!😍
To give myself some breathing room, I’m taking a break from fertility treatments. My husband and I have been trying for a year with no luck, and the painful and extremely invasive tests and procedures have sucked everything out of me. So while I’m not giving up on having a baby – it’s all I’ve ever wanted and I can’t imagine not being a mother – I’m giving myself a little bit of a break from the stress of it all.
Michele @ Moonefield Interiors says
I understand this completely! Older children need our time but in a totally different way. It’s a weird transition, from play dates to teenagers, isn’t it? I’ve been feeling quite out of sorts with the whole thing. My boys are 9 and nearly-13 and I marvel all the time that I actually gave birth to them. I was joking about teenagers with a friend saying ” This isn’t what I signed up for! I asked for a sweet, squishy, tiny baby not a smelly, hairy man-child!” I hear things are easier when they’re able to shuttle themselves around, but I’m not ready to give up that control anytime soon ;)
And blogging and social media?! Totally different animals than when you first started!
Karen L. says
Love the way you approach life with all it’s joys and sorrows. Keeping up with the blog and it’s readers (devoted ones, like me) as well as sponsoring/making some money along the way is surely a lot some days. Glad you’re keeping it all in perspective! I admire the way you do that and praise God with you for His wisdom and joy for every day. Whatever you decide will be fine!
Amanda K. says
nonono! don’t tell me that it gets busier as babies get older! ::plugs ears with fingers::
i say high five for taking a break when you need it. i put a ton of pressure on myself to keep my (much smaller) blog updated. in my mind everyone is circling their computers, checking the URL saying, “what happened? didn’t she promise us a post on vacation? it’s SEPTEMBER!” but actually no one is doing that (for my blog anyway :)
always good to read your thoughts!
Libby Wilkie says
We haven’t had a child at home for years. I am “retired”… But I still work free-lance and now have a stationary shop on Etsy. But my time is totally my own. And yet, I find it hard to do two blog posts a week and often (as of about six months ago) just let it all go. I do think many, many bloggers are feeling this way! It’s all about the journey anyway and we must have time to enjoy that. So, yes, relax and as they say “go with the flow!”
Jodi Warren says
I think I’ve followed you for almost your whole blogging life and so much of what you’ve said over those years has resonated as our kids are of similar ages. I love your perspective. Do your thing and we’ll all be here whenever you decide to post!
I usually never comment but I have to applaud you for this post! My three children are in high school and my oldest is a senior:( Everyone tells you when raising children that it will fly by. It always annoyed me when people said that and I had three kids under five. But it is so true. You are a truly special mother to take this step and enjoy time with your children and family. The only parenting regret I have is not slowing down and focusing more on the everyday. As I look to my oldest leaving for college it’s the little everyday memories that stand out. I love your blog but you are right about social media. Readers who visit will understand and agree when u decide to step back for the kiddos. Enjoy them:)
Leslie Ann Jones says
Yes! Right there with you. My poor blog is sadly neglected, but back in the spring, I was feeling some major overwhelm and just needed to take a step back. It’s been good, but now that school is back in session and life is settling back into a routine I’m itching to get back to it.
That said, I’m scheduling weekly coffee dates with friends and being sure to include some wide margin at the edges. So I have time to rock a friend’s newborn baby or read a book that’s been gathering dust on my bedside table.
It’s all a matter of balance, right? I tend to swing from one extreme to the other, but I’m trying to find a happy medium right now. We’ll see how it goes!
We just went through Hurricane Irma in South Florida. We were exhausted from preparing for it and exhausted from cleaning up. We had no power for 6 days but we survived and are thankful that our home/cars weren’t damaged. But after all of that I needed some comfort and some pretty so you are the blog I go to! Even if I re-read old posts of yours there is a level of comfort and genuineness so I thank you for that. I’m glad that you’re finding your happy medium between life and blogging. Thanks for what you do and how you do it.
Emily Clark says
So glad you guys are okay! I didn’t realize you were in Florida.
Good for you! I have read you for several years (although I am not a subscriber) and I love your posts and your beautiful family. You have a blessed family and need to take time to absorb it and we will follow along with whatever you might post.
I’m not sure you can judge people’s happiness by what they post on social media, but I respect your decisions to slow down!
you da best :)
Heidi @ Decor & More says
Good for you, Emily!! On all counts… the normal everyday things DO matter! Enjoy a little more breathing room, my friend. :)
I love your blog and its authenticity no matter how often you post. Your readers will always be there. (I’m glad I’m not the only one deep cleaning for parties. Its the reason my house gets cleaned.:))
Marynn Udvarhelyi says
Couldn’t love this more…you are my blogging role model.
Understandable and relatable! I have three young kids and have stopped attending so many play dates throughout the week. A fresh of breath air. They can play with each other. ;)
Emily Clark says
That’s the truth. I always say that.
As a reader of your blog, I have to say, Whew, I am glad she feels that way. I realize that for you, blogging is your job just like being in kindergarten is for me. But many days I come home and I can’t keep up with all the posts and then I feel like all I do is delete mail never to be read and forego all the creative ideas I should be implementing. I think it’s a similar feeling. Knowing you are taking a breather to be a mom and wife is actually refreshing and shows that your world is real. I admire that your priorities are set. Know that your readers do as well.
And yes, motherhood is harder as they get older. I tell young women all the time that motherhood is physical when they are young but it is emotional, psychological, and being physically available as they get older. Enjoy your time with your kiddos. You will not regret it. Thanks for a beautiful blog that inspires and provides a respite on our very busy days.
I am glad that you are not going anywhere because your blog is definitely one of my favorites! It is a favorite because you are real and authentic. That said, I think you should always do what is best for you and your family and not feel bad about it. I have three children similar ages to yours, so I can relate to the never-ending to-do list!
Jody Olympia says
Good for you! Enjoy these crazy days with family. I am trying to do the same. I’ll always check your blog first when I am on my computer because you are my favorite. I Love that your home style is chic fresh and traditional which I truly enjoy. I loved seeing your yard full of friends that’s how we should be living. Lean into that way of living. We will always be here when you feel inspired to write.
As a parent of grown children, I want to affirm that you are making the right choice. Your children will grow up so fast–you have so few years to guide them and help them grow in a good direction. There is no more important job! While I always enjoy your posts and your style, I am amazed how you do all you do with your busy family life. Love those kiddos, putter in your house, and make choices that feel right for you!
Emily Clark says
Thanks, Karen :)
Amy Reavis says
I love this post Emily! The same feelings have been nagging at my internal self as well. I’ve been craving a day at home just to do things around my own house for fun. I must schedule that! Thanks for the nudge.
Erin P says
Kudos on slowing, it’s hard to do but necessary, no…mandatory sometimes. I’ll be here whenever you have the time, no pressure! Thanks for all the inspiration, you’re definitely one of my favs!
Well done! Enjoy every minute and praise God for the gift of family and home. For me, I just took insta and FB off my phone. It was becoming way to addictive. It’s rather freeing to not know what is going on all around me and to just be present with my own people.
Good for you! Enjoy your beautiful family & loving home. Post when/what you want because you want to , not because you have to . :) However…. I for one will reallllllly miss your weekly posts because you are so talented, open & gracious with sharing your gifts. You have helped sooooo many and continue to do so ! (me included!!) You are an amazing woman and I am so glad to have stumbled upon your post many,many yrs ago. I will be happy to receive a post from you when it works for you! Take care! xx
Reading this confirmed every hunch I had about you – so refreshing! At the risk of sounding like an old lady, I will say this, I often find myself wondering about the children of younger bloggers/influencers – where are they as those mommas are styling/restyling the same space 1000 ways, receiving yet another new sofa from another new sponsor and then having to restyle and redecorate etc…..I am exhausted just thinking about it. Thank GOD there were no blogs and IG when my girlies were young. But as a momma who just delivered her first born to college TWO TIME ZONES AWAY FROM HOME, I KNOW that the days are long but the years are short! You are making the right decisions for the right reasons! Enjoy those babies, the ridiculous math homework, lost items, the tantrums, busy nights, carpools, messes (ok maybe not that), good moments and the more ‘challenging’ moments – it all goes so fast and you will want it all back when it does! I love your posts and IG feed the best – but if you go away for a bit I know you are doing more important work and that makes me love and respect you even more! Enjoy your babies!!
Sean Mahan says
Parenting is a wonderful thing in life, we should always focus our strengths on that part! Good think you know your priorities and can balance work and family, congrats =)
That’s the beauty of blogging (especially a talented blogger like you!)…..you can give yourself a breather in the busy seasons of life and your readers will still be here! Enjoy puttering around your own house and those big and little moments with your cutie pies :)
Catherine Christie says
First priority is always your children. They will need you in some way or another for the rest of their lives.
Social media? I started it to find and catch up with HS and college friends, as well as co-workers from years ago. I quit a year ago because of all the negativity.
I also used to watch the news everyday, and now I don’t. Most of it is just opinion anyway. I watch local news every morning and it’s all I need.
Don’t ever feel bad about making these type of decisions. There’s a time and place for everything. Take the break you need.
Heather h says
Thank you for your post! I immediately thought…”well, this is why this girl is so special!” I have been reading your blog for years…I agree with EVERYTHING you said. I too have a business & juggling home & family and running a business is crazy at times. As a photographer, I should be posting to social media & updating my web but I just want to be me! I hate the pressure that everything has to be put out into the world to see. I want to stop and smell the roses & not always be under the knife to represent my business on everything. Let yourself be you. Take care of your own. Decorate for you & take a breather. Give yourself permission to just BE.
With love & kindness,
Debbie Morgan says
The most important thing is being in the center of God’s will, whatever that is. Sometimes it’s a busy place but sometimes its a quiet place. My kids are grown and I just took a break this year from working unexpectedly and a volunteer ministry that I have been involved in for ten years and needed it more than I realized! Burnout is real. I am starting to feel like I am rejuvenating slowly. Enjoy the break and nourish your soul. I do love your creativity and especially your budget friendly tips. Keep Trusting God for the future of the blog as you have in the past…. :) He has really blessed it! P.S. I have been mostly off social media for about a year and it’s great……
I am a high school English teacher and mother of two teenage boys. If I had a nickel for all the times I have said to my school kids and my own children to disregard the “noise” on the internet/social media, I’d have at least a thousand dollars. I don’t get onto social media much because I am, frankly, too busy, and I’ve been dissuaded from connecting in that way by the negativity I see. I think it’s human nature to gripe more than make a joyful noise – also because joy is often interpreted as bragging. I do believe the real world is a happier place than the cyber world makes it appear.
One of the things that I appreciate about your site is that you get your point across quickly and effectively, give us the links for realistic strategies/products, and infuse the idea of home with positive spirit. I am choosey by necessity of what I look at on line, and I find myself returning to your site despite my time crunch. Keep doing what you’re doing, please, even if that means posting less frequently in favor of making a home for yourself and your family.
Emily, in the crazy world of social media, your blog and instagram feed are my happy place! Your priorities are are exactly where they should be. While I’m waiting for a new post, I’ll enjoy rereading one from the past. Blessings to you and your family.
Emily Clark says
Thank you, Stephanie!