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All I Really Have To Do

photo credit: thank you for noticing via photopin (license)
photo credit: thank you for noticing via photopin (license)

Amy Poehler says in her book, “Success is full of MSG.” The sentiment behind that means once you have a taste of success, you want more of it. And more and more and more and…

I’ve eaten a lot of MSG over the past year.

I got a literary agent in a week. It takes some authors years to find one.

I’m a regular contributor to both Scary Mommy and Babble–two of the most visited parenting sites on the web.

I’ve earned a spot as a Huffington Post blogger which, again, is something many writers are still struggling to achieve.

I’ve amassed over 6000 Facebook followers in less than a year.

I’ve done a lot.

I’ve worked my butt off to get here and now that I’m here I want to go further.

I’ve eaten a lot of MSG.

The problem is that when I started this whole thing a year ago my kids were, obviously, a year younger. Managing to write and work with a one and two year old was SO MUCH EASIER than trying to do it with a two and three year old. My husband also worked nights up until two weeks ago which meant I had the evenings to work uninterrupted.

Now everything is different and more chaotic and louder and sucks more life out of me than it did a year ago, but I still want to be running at the pace I did before.

This essentially means I feel like a flat-out failure who can’t keep the pace I once set out on.

This means I forget to breathe because I am so overwhelmed with all the things.

This means I’m downward spiraling into the reality of becoming a crappy mom because I can’t focus on them when there are a million other things I need to want to do.

See that crossed out phrase right there? “Need to?” That’s what I need to remember.

I don’t need to do much of anything.

I don’t need to write seven million blog posts a week.

I don’t need to get on every single site out there that will have me.

I don’t need reach a million Facebook followers.

I don’t need to do any of that.

Do you what I actually need to do?

I need to hang out with my kids. Just be with them.

I need to keep them fed and clean and happy.

I need to talk to my husband and make sure he and I are doing well.

I need to breathe.

Tha’t’s all I really need to do. Everything else is just extra; things I can choose to do but I shouldn’t feel pressured to do.

Oh, and I need to calm the eff down.

If you’re trying to keep up with the Jones’ and you’re feeling like you’re losing—you’re not.

Are your kids alive? Great. Are you alive? Even better. You’ve done everything you need to do.

Don’t confuse what you want to do, what you think you have to do, cloud your vision. All you have to do is breathe.

I’ve had a lot of MSG lately and I’m ready to give that stuff up. It’s unhealthy. I’m trading it in for cheesecake.

5 thoughts on “All I Really Have To Do

  1. Life With Teens and Other Wild Things

    It isn’t easy, is it, being successful? You rock, Mama. Best of luck to you! And congrats on the lit agent!!! That’s amazing. You’re absolutely right, it takes some years to get that far. You’re doing great. Just take one day at a time.

  2. Kiki

    You are the one in charge of pushing yourself. Talk to that person, tell her to slow down, so that you remember the things that are happening around you. So that you can write about the good/funny things that your little ones are making you do with them. Love yourself.

  3. Verity

    I need to calm the eff down too. And breathe.
    I may have to print off this blog post & read it every day!
    Thanks again Toni!

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