Blogging Sabbatical:: Intentionally Balancing Family, Work and Life

by flowers on August 30, 2010 · 15 comments

Sabbatical

We are infinitely moving and a shaking to arrange our lives to fit our bigger life visions. Sometimes, in order to move forward with specific goals or just our general life path we need to let go of something to make time for new opportunities.

As you know I have a full plate right now:

*We launched our small family business this past spring and it has finally gained momentum which is fantastic. It also means we have work to do. Stone is out of the house 4-5 days a week for 4-6 hours and then we still have office work and proposals to bid 2-3 evenings a week. This is a top priority because it is how we pay the bills and feed our family.

*Our family flow needs some attention right now. This seems pretty normal since we’ve been through a few major transitions as a family. I find fall to be a great time to take stock of where we are at and intentionally guide our family into a rhythm that works for our current needs– both as individuals and as a group. This is a top priority because ….just well…it just is! Our family flow essentially mirrors our family’s level of happiness and well being (and sanity).

*I am pushing forward with a career project that has evolved out of my experience of organizing the Free Our Midwives campaign. The iron is hot and I feel very confident about putting my time and energy here. This is a top priority because it fits into our larger goals. Ideally, I want to be contributing a significant amount to our income and give Stone more opportunity to stay home with the kids and scale back his work to a few projects a year.

I feel strongly about contributing to our family’s income stream on my own terms which includes:

*being flexible around my family’s needs
*work I can do from home
*work I can do from any location
*work that I feel passionate about (i.e. work that is an extension of myself).

*** *** ***

As you can imagine, having three homeschooled kids under the age of six does not leave much extra time and when I take stock of the above mentioned priorities I realize something has to give.

That something turns out to be this blog. I’ve been inspired by Gwen Bell, social medialite of this brave new digital world who recently took a month long digital sabbatical. The moment I read about her experience I knew it was time for me to take a break from blogging so that I could put my full attention on home, career and business.

It feels a little scary. What if I don’t ever come back? What if all my readers unsubscribe? What if…….? I don’t know the answers, but I know I have to do this and the breath of relief it’s brought as I navigate my current position lets me know I’m walking the right path.

Back before my friend Tara hit the road with her family they had this master plan posted on their blog. Her family had taken a month off from media to assess their life and make a map of where they were heading. This feels like the right time for our family to do a similar project.

So much of the past year or so has been about preparing for the birth, trying to get the midwifery legislation passed and gearing up to start a small business. The baby’s here, the legislation is passed and the business is running. Now what?

We have a pretty good idea of what we want, but we know to get what we want takes some intensive focus and strategy. It’s time to set the framework for our next phase of living.

My Plan

I am going to take the entire month of September off from blogging. I might peek in here mid-September because there is a blog carnival I’d like to take part in and I have a piece being published and I want to share the link. I will still be emailing and going online, but my focus online will be purely focused on birthwork/new business related stuff.

Some stuff I will be doing next month:

*Working on my posture with help from this amazing book.
*Hanging out at the laundromat with three kids.
*Walking a lot.
*Knitting (I can’t wait to get baby into some handknits this fall!)
*Helping my in-laws move into our downstairs apartment for the fall.
*Establishing a strong rhythm to help us all survivejive together.
*Rekindling my love affair with books.
*Continuuing to unschool myself on inbound marketing, web strategy and maternal health politics.
*Rereading parenting books for inspiration.
*Cooking
*Celebrating my neighbor friend Kate’s birth and my friend Aimee’s birth.
*print/frame/hang some of my favorite photos.
*Jam with my Visionary Moms team for inspiration and support.

I’m going to miss you, but this feels right. Have a fantastic September and I’ll plan on seeing you October 1.

Peace Out.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

renee @ FIMBY August 31, 2010 at 7:12 am

Hillary, this sounds fantastic. I will miss your voice of course but I just love your vision for your family. And I love that you have the guts to work towards your dream. I am learning just how hard that really is.

I’m just so inspired by you, and others, who are encouraging me to support my own family in our endeavors.

Raising a glass of late summer ale to your sabbatical!

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steadymom August 31, 2010 at 2:51 pm

No, no, NO!!! Tell me you don’t really mean it!

Okay, okay, calming down–just trying to figure out how I can get through a whole month w/o Hillary goodness to read….

I totally admire anytime someone has the guts to take a break from online life w/o worrying about pageviews and subscriber numbers. It takes courage to stay focused on the long-term goals, and you are so good at that.

Sending prayers, love, and light your way as you focus on your mission–I’ll still be here when you get back. ;)

Jamie

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Stacy (Mama-Om) August 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Peace out!! :)

Enjoy your time to continue following your inspiration…. and see you around!

Blessings,
Stacy

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Zanna August 31, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Have a great sabbatical! I, for one, will still be here eagerly reading on your return.

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~Tara September 1, 2010 at 12:28 am

I’ll be missing your blogging too. But at least I get to see you on the Visionary Mom team so :P to everyone else!

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a significant sabbatical. I’m taking a mini one this weekend, but I have posts written and scheduled in advance to cover my partial absence.

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exhale. return to center. September 1, 2010 at 7:04 am

i took a blog break this summer. it was less intentional than what you are doing. more of a necessary reaction to the stress around me. but i’m SO glad i did.

it was incredibly powerful.

and i had all the fears you mentioned. but i’m happy to share that my blog stats have been stronger than ever since i took my break — much stronger in fact!!!

and i’m actually back on a break this week (recycling posts from my archive while i help my daughter settle in to kindergarten to keep things fresh) and i’m feeling really good about this too!

this is what it’s all about my friend — building careers that WORK for us and for our families!

yay for you!

~erin

ps ~ SO glad i still get to hang with you over at visionary mom. i just shared a really exciting update over there last night!!!! :-)

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Nicola@Which Name? September 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

Good for you. Enjoy and good luck. I loved your ROTH article!
Nicola

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kelly @kellynaturally September 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Sending you support in your desire for balance!!

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Amber September 4, 2010 at 12:32 am

Enjoy your sabbatical!

If and when you do come back, I will be here waiting. :)

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Lisa September 6, 2010 at 9:01 pm

yay for you and I can’t wait for you to get back, but I am super happy that I still get a piece of you this month on the VM teams.. :)

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Juliana September 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Oh, I do hope you are having a wonderful month off from blogging! What a wonderful way to reassess and rebalance!

As far as blog stats, friends are friends, you know :).

Much love to you and your family as you center!

Juliana

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Nicki September 21, 2010 at 6:54 am

While you may be away, I will be thinking of you. I did very little blogging over the summer. I think I may have done more guest posts than I did writing on my own site. Oh well! I blog because I want to, not because I must.

Enjoy your sabbatical! Hope to get to Ithaca soon and maybe we can actually see each other again.

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Melodie October 3, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I must have missed this because I have been taking a bit of a break myself the past little while. With all of our changes here I have thought about quitting the blog too. Instead, I’ve just been posting less. But I understand where you’re at. Interesting timing that I’m reading this now as I just wrote a post about this topic to some extent myself. I look forward to when you return, but to tell you the truth it’s always good to have one less post from someone to read because I’ve definitely oversubscribed myself to great blogs. See you when you are ready.

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exhale. return to center. October 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

thinking of you and sending love!!

i’m missing your blog a lot but hoping this time continues to be wonderful and nurturing for you and your family!

xoxo

~e

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