Tag Archives: working mom

Whale Done!*

*Disclaimer: the tile of this post is copyrighted by the author Ken Blanchard. This post is a book review and the author of this post does not claim copyright or creative rights in the phrase “Whale Done!” 

copyright Ken Blanchard
copyright Ken Blanchard

My husband checked out a book at the library and I did not think much about it until he told me some of the concepts in it.  So, as an example, I would say “ugh, what are we going to do, our daughter is being very difficult.”  His reply, “well, we need accentuate the positive and redirect her energy. That is what I read in this book….”  Needless to say, after several more conversations about different scenarios like this, I felt I needed to read Whale Done!  This book is not just about positive relationships at work and home but daily life.  It can help improve just about all relationships.

This book by Ken Blanchard is a quick read and explores “the power of positive relationships.”  What does this mean?  What exactly is a positive relationship and how do you go about implementing it?  The key concepts of this book are to focus on the positive in all you do and in everyone you encounter.  This really struck a chord with me because that is my resolution for this year- being more positive, and trying to stay on a more positive track- at home, in my career (all the jobs I have), and with life in general.  This book is written based on the concept of management in line with the style of training the whales at Sea World.  It addresses the basic concepts those trainers employ, and applying them to human interaction. The biggest difference between whales and people: We have the advantage because we can talk to one another.  The basic concepts are the same: “Build trust, accentuate the positive, and when mistakes occur, redirect the energy.”  (Blanchard, p.19)

One of the concepts in the book is accentuating the positive and redirecting when someone is on the wrong track.  For example, every day at home if I yelled at my husband about the dishes, or making the kids’ lunches, or dinner, or picking up his clothes off his home, will he want to be home with me?  There is a good chance that he will want to come home late, stay at work late longer, or just not want to be at home at all.  Who could blame him?  I would not want constantly want to be berated after a long day at work either.  Anyway, it is about expressing positive things about each other, in front of the kids, and to one another.  Instead of saying “this is the wrong bread- you always buy the wrong bread,”  you might try, “wow, hon, thanks for getting the groceries again- you are so kind to do so but remember, this bread is too thick for me so I generally buy X brand.  I am not clear on which brand it is and I know I never told you so I will get it tomorrow and show you the labeling for next time.”  There are essentially four kinds of responses to almost all actions:  “No response, negative response, redirection, and positive response.” (Blanchard, p.30).  Sometimes, sharing in the responsibility on why someone did something “wrong” or incorrectly helps the situation.  Also, don’t accuse, put down, or blame the person.  This would also not be a good time to bring up past issues.  Focus on the thing that was done incorrectly and move on.  The no response one is interesting- it is just ignoring the action you wish to not be repeated and a response is not really warranted.  So, when the 6 year-old throws a fit, promptly moving her to her room without a word and ignoring her whining would be one example.

Some of the examples in the book are with teenage kids, but you can apply almost all the lessons to any age.  For younger kids, you want to catch them doing something right and recognize right away.  So, when they are being quiet and reading, doing puzzles, join in and hug them and say “wow, you guys are really doing great… can mommy play too?” My 4 year-old for example does not need much to know I am accentuating the positive.  When she puts her toys away, I give her a huge hug, high five and say “OH MY look at this great job – you put your toys away!  Wow!  High five and good job!” This and a hug will make them realize that they get attention for doing the right thing.  Now, conversely when she does not put her toys away, then what?  Well, perhaps the approach would be to redirect her to the time when she did it right, instead of yelling at her which is negative.  Constantly picking on the negative and only criticizing her when she is doing something wrong accentuates that behavior and after awhile, you are just a mouth piece and no one listens anymore.  Trust is lost and the relationship suffers.

Obviously with my daughter, I do need to talk with her and address the behaviors that I want corrected, so the better approach may be to say, “hey, let’s put these toys away together so we can find them when we want them again… yeah I will help you and show you where they go, so next time, you can do it all by yourself and earn a high five and a hug.”   This response also takes responsibility for showing her in case she did not know where to put the toys back.  All of these same principles apply at work too.

Here is an example.  My boss in one of my jobs this past weekend gave me my mid-term feedback, and it was super positive, and uplifting.  He followed the book without even knowing it by providing words of encouragement, words accentuating specific examples of all the things I am doing right in the job.  With that, he also gave me some things I needed to improve on but did it in a manner to say, “maybe we can both learn together because this is a new system.”  I got it.  The next day at the job, I learned that new system inside and out.   He had motivated me and energized me so much this past weekend, it spilled over into my life, and other job too.  And, he does it every weekend I work with him- he accentuates and points out positives right when he sees them instead of waiting for a feedback.  Until I read this book I did not even realize it.  I just know that despite it being work, and being away from family, this job energizes me.  As a result, I feel needed, and indispensable to the organization.  And it’s not just me, he does it for every person in our organization.  I am not even sure he has read this book but, wow!  What an attentive boss who catches his people doing things right and saying something about it.  Now, keep in mind that one method to accentuate the positive will not always work with everyone.  Each person speaks a different language, so Whale Done! talks about finding out what motivates each individual.  What motivates employee X to do better will not be the same factor that motivates employee Y.  One employee will react better to words of affirmation, while another may need monetary recognition, while another may need you to “show them” through your actions.  Also, remember to give people specific examples of what they are doing right so it does not appear you are just being manipulative.  So, say to your teenage daughter, “when you cleaned up your room and the loft without being asked to the other day… wow, thanks so much – you saved me time and really helped me out a lot- I REALLY appreciate that – why don’t I go ahead and take your chores for Friday so you can go out with your friends that evening.”

This book goes on to to state that the traditional work environment is one in which a boss generally says nothing when things are going right [ignores you] and only talks with you when something is wrong- i.e. criticizing you, or stating the negative.  How nice would it be to get feedback early and often – at the moment you are doing something RIGHT.   How nice would it be to hear from your boss on more than the occasions in which you are doing something he or she perceives to be “wrong.”  Anyway, this book calls that system the “GOTcha” system.  In this system, all people want to do is do their jobs and not be bothered because they are afraid every time their boss speaks to them they are doing something wrong.  Wow!  Tragic.  I am so lucky to not work (in any of my jobs) in an environment like that.  That would not be fun at all.

Is all this a bit touchy feely for you?  Well, yeah, this book was a bit of that too.  But, great especially as far as my personal life is concerned because it is so important to build a healthy relationship with your spouse, a partnership rooted in love and respect, rather than one rooted in fear, anger, and discord.  The chain reaction is that when kids see a healthy, positive relationship between the parents, they themselves feel more loved, respected, and model the same respect for others and each other.  Whether you want to apply this all aspects of your life or not, I think there is a lot of value in recognizing the positives all around you and in the people in your life.  Simple concepts of accentuating the positives, recognizing that progress is a moving target, and just recalling the principles from this book when you are about to fly off the deep end with your kids and spouse can really help your relationships.  That is what the power of positive relationships is all about.

Whale Done! is a quick, good read.  Along with The Fred Factor, Lincoln on Leadership, and other self-improvement motivational books, I definitely recommend this one for all facets of your life to create positive relationships.

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The Plague of 2012 Hit Our Home- Oy!

Recently, we experienced an illness in our home that left us quite literally: gasping for air – for weeks!  It is probably one of the longest illnesses in our home and appears to be lingering into week #3 which starts today.  I honestly do not remember the last time I could not get out of bed for days.  It is uncharacteristic and honestly, with all that is going around it sure caught us off-guard.  We thought we caught something from our trip and it is likely we did but then once we returned to dry, windy Colorado, it got even worse.

For fourteen years I have received the flu vaccine and until last week, I never got the flu.  Well, there’s a first for everything.  Oddly, my daughter also got the flu and I could not even move- I felt like doing nothing!  In any case, after about 9 days of this, and my flu symptoms were gone, I still could not stand up straight without getting winded or throwing up from coughing so hard.  It was horrible.  My low-grade fevers returned and I was immobilized yet again.  Of course, with the CDC warnings and the latest trend of all doctors running scared of prescribing antibiotics for anything, I was having a tough time with my doctor’s visits.  So, here is the timeline of what happened:

Tuesday February 21 nighttime- it hits – first the coughing started and on…

Wednesday February 22- our plane ride home, I had a fever and so did my daughter.  We were all running on empty by the time we arrived home.  It was a long plane ride and lord knows how many people we infected on that ride.  I thought, hey it’s probably just my body needing rest, I should be good to go in two days which is normal for us- two days and usually we are fine with anything – viral or not.  My husband was also feeling ill by the time we landed and feverish too.  But he still went to work the next day and my younger daughter was fine so we made sure to separate her from the sick people- ie. me and older daughter.

Friday, February 24- older daughter and I were both diagnosed with the flu.  Because it was almost day 3, TamiFlu is less effective but my doc prescribed it anyway.  This probably was a bad idea in retrospect because I was already on day three and Tami Flu has tons of side effects- the worst of which is nausea and vomiting so while I felt better by Sunday, February 26, on Monday February 27, I stopped taking it due to a horrendous vomiting episode in which I basically lost all the food I took-in for the day.

Also, on Sunday February 26-Monday February 27, our little one who had managed to escape the illness ended up getting an infection called pink eye.  This was our first pink eye in our family.  She probably got it from gymnastics class or her bday party (held at a gym).  In any case, another day of productivity lost.  Anyway, she needed drops and after 24 hours of the first dose, would be safe to go to school.

On Monday, I was well enough to work from home while nursing the sick younger kid but then hubby was fine.  My older daughter was recovered too although I regressed and slowly and surely by.. Wednesday, February 29, (yes leap day – an extra day of sickness), I was laying on my office floor by mid-afternoon praying for death.  It felt horrible and to top things off, the doctor I saw would prescribe nothing but rest and some cough suppressant with codeine.  Well, codeine is not good for me- it stays in my system for a long time and I was continuously drowsy.  I took the cough suppressant stuff but was still up nights hallucinating from the codeine, vomiting, or praying I would just get better.  In any case, I managed to get myself up the next day and take myself to a practice near my home and they took chest x-rays.  My cough sounded horrible and I looked like a walking zombie.  They ruled out pneumonia but the doc was still concerned that my flu had morphed into a secondary bacterial infection and prescribed azithromycin and thank God!  By Friday, March 2,  I was able to work from home again, and had the strength to make food… just 24 hours after the first dose and by Sunday, March 4,  I was feeling well enough to walk to the park with my kiddos.  Granted, I was not ready to run yet.

Poor hubby though, right around the time I started feeling better, he was getting worse and today we start week #3 of all of us being sick and it is back for him with a vengeance.  He has never had anything this long and he finally went to see the doc’s today but alas, they recommended rest and an inhaler.  Yeah, here’s a little secret for you all: Inhalers are useless for me and I can hardly use one- how can you breathe in at the same time you are pumping something in your mouth- seems unnatural.  In any case, I always laugh when the docs now recommend a worthless inhaler in lieu of the unpopular antibiotics- yeah, that is not the CDC “do not prescribe” list… YET!  But soon… soon it will be.

As of today my older one now has pink eye too and hubby is taking a sick day after years of never taking one unless it was for the care of the sick kiddos.  Man!

Update 1 – it is now well into week #4 after our return home, THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2012 and my sore throat is getting worse. Of course, we had a backyard/nearby fire in the meantime which irritated things even more.  Hubby is feeling better and hoping to do the half-marathon this weekend but me, I am feeling horrible.  On March 16, my birthday, they ruled out strep but said there is fluid behind my ear and the sore throat is viral. Praying we all get well soon to enjoy a wonderful Spring and Summer!

Update 2- it is now week #5 of our illness starting, and March 21 and it looks like my older daughter is running low-grade fevers but just at night or late in the afternoon.  The school thought they were over 105 but they are really only about 100-101 so nothing to worry about but nonetheless, it is exhausting to have a sick household for this long.  I hope this weekend goes better and we can all be recovered to celebrate… April Fool’s Day! 🙂

Lessons Learned and Why I wrote this article: I am not writing this just for my health (ha- pun intended) but rather to tell you that you have to be your biggest advocate.  Health care in this country is not kind even to those with good insurance.  I can’t even imagine not having health care.  What I learned from a friend or two, you have to call (ie. “bug”)  your docs often and talk with the nurse line as things are progressing.  If they can call-in something great but here is a secret: they will never Rx antibiotics over the phone now especially since the new scare is “some super disease is going to take over the world and all yea who have taken antibiotics will die instantly.”

I doubt that is true and all I really care about is getting better.   And let me assure you I am not the one who runs to the docs the instant she is sick – granted,  I will run my kiddos to the doc the instant they are.  I am not the one who the docs need to be worried about abusing the system but as time as gone on I am losing my patience with the medical community.  I am a mother of two, a wife of one, and have two full-time jobs outside the home – being sick for 12 days (instead of just 2-3) is not something I care for nor will tolerate, and if it means my immunity will be lower or my resistance lower to whatever massive disease is brewing, so be it.  I will cross that medical bridge when it is time but for now…. I have a home and family to take care of and most importantly, to get well so I can take care of myself too so I can do all of the above.  So, if that means I take an antibiotic to reduce the time it takes me to get well, so be it.  I do not take antibiotics willy nilly and certainly have not been this sick for a stretch more than once every three years.

I am almost 40 and I figure if some horrible outbreak was supposed to happen, it may have happened by now anyway.  I certainly do not believe everything the big bad government tells me nor am I susceptible to giving into fears.  All I know is that I paid $5.00 co-pay for a drug that made me, ME again and I paid over $15.00 in co-pays and lord knows what for lab tests and x-rays that did nothing for me.  But it gave me peace of mind and ruled out something more serious.  When I go to the doctor, it is because I have tried everything else first and I want to get well not to get a lecture in what I already know – drink fluids, rest and here, use this frigging inhaler.  I go to the doctor because I do not have access to drugs to treat myself and trust me, I know what is wrong with me on more occasions than a random doctor knows.  I know my body, am quite in-tune with it and I tend to take decent care of myself albeit not excellent care.

All I am saying is that you have to advocate for your child and for you.  If you know you need something, ask for it.  As a friend said, build a rapport with your doc enough to say … “I get it – you do not want to give antibiotics but I need you to do this or I will find someone who will understand my health needs and my personal needs better than you – I want to allay your fears.  I will not abuse drugs but after 9 days, I am coming to see you because I have accepted defeat and ultimately, need them so I can take care of things that others cannot- ie. My small children.  Please understand me as a patient and I am wiling to keep you as my doctor – my most trusted adviser in health matters that I choose to discuss with you.”

If that doesn’t work, and the games do not work either (ie… yes blood is literally shooting up through my lungs), I know a Canadian pharmacy on line that I can recommend.  Ha! In any case, you must advocate for yourself and your children in health care especially in a time when doctors are a dime a dozen, insurance and health industry are so corrupt, and when the cost is just too high to wait another a few days to go see the doctor again.  Don’t take no for an answer and if you must, find a new doctor, or make sure your kids go to medical school and become the best damn doctor out there!

Happy Spring all and here’s praying that we are in our final week of the pandemic outbreak of viral/bacterial HELL!

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The Gender Gap – What Working Dads are NOT talking about

One typical day at work, Kate asked Renee, “Hey, so what do you do with your kids for the three-week winter break this year?”  Renee responds, “well, I have to fly in my parents or last year my in-laws. And now we are considering hiring someone to help out like a nanny.” Francine chimes in, “what?!  I can’t afford a nanny and have no family that can help… what am I gonna do when little sweet pea starts kindergarten next year?”  Kate responds, “is there an after or before school program? Do you think the school your kids will go to has a winter break daycare option? Or, did you consider….”  Oh my, Francine thinks, how am I going to find time to visit schools, look into all of this, and the money to hire a nanny? I work 830am to 530pm and then have to rush to pick the kids up, then go home and with my wonderful husband, help feed them, bathe them, try to read to them, and enrich them, all the while trying to stay healthy and fit myself.  Francine works two jobs (outside the home), not to mention a mom of two, a wife of one, and yet still manages to balance it all… or does she?  And if you think that the only women having this conversation at work are Kate, Renee, and Francine- well think again!  And our women in this story all have terrific husbands who do more than their share.  Imagine, how it would be without that support and without the support of friends.

It’s a nationwide phenomena and has been since the 70s and 80s – moms working full-time or multiple jobs, whether single,  or married, moms are in the workplace and what you do not know about Kate, Renee, Francine and the other moms like them is that they secretly think, almost on a daily basis, “what the hell am I doing?  THIS IS SO STINKING HARD!”

Each day, thousands upon thousands of women who are in the same boat or even in worse situations than our working moms mentioned above deal with the same questions.  Is this worth it? Can I break that glass ceiling and still raise a family?  The answer is quite simple and may sound pessimistic but the the answer is MAYBE… and if YES, with a whole heck of a lot of guilt.   And yes, I am one of the moms mentioned above.  I am the mom who thought I could do it all but here I am, wondering daily if I made the right choices- the right decisions for my career and my family and each time feeling like I am failing at all of it – not doing any one thing right but trying my best to keep it together each day.  And you are probably thinking, “well, why do you choose to work then? why not just quit and stay at home?”  It’s just not that easy. Some choose to work because of financial reasons, some for personal and professional reasons, and whatever the case may be it is a choice that is true but that does not mean that the working mom is a victim or that she is a bad person. All this article is intended to address is the blatant gender gap that nonetheless still exists in the American workplace and may likely persist for sometime.

Now, let’s look at the husbands of Renee, Kate, and Francine – it is most likely the case that none of the husbands think about this.  Very few men if any at all, would have the same conversations at work or talk with each other about how they feel like a failure or ask themselves and their friends, “what am I doing here? I should be with my kid.”  Not to generalize for all dads out there, but I am sure very few men worry about the same things that the working moms do.  And very few dads at work feel guilt almost on a daily basis – that sheer plain guilt day in and day out because they chose to have it all or because they chose to shatter the glass ceiling over caring for their kids full-time.  But wait! There is no ceiling for men, for working dads …. it is just assumed even in present day society that they will pick their career and travelling for work in lieu of their kids because that is what is expected.  In other households, the mother will “choose” to give up her career maybe because the husband’s career paid more or traditionally paid more- after all, women are still not paid the same as men in most career fields for the same work!  Or, because women chose traditional fields like nursing, teaching, or administrative support, they simply earn less than their husbands who could be in IT, Engineering, Medicine, legal profession, or the military. So, the cost-benefit analysis does not favor the woman working in those fields to pay $20K+ in daycare costs per year.

But, these days, as women try to break the glass ceiling, they are assuming less traditional roles, and bringing home more of the bacon, some working even two jobs, and thus the question becomes, what price is she paying for continuing to work?  Well, we hope none and we hope the kids will be alright but nonetheless it is hard to ignore the “gender gap” which is alive and well, and yes, I am willing to take the heat on this article but, I am confident that men are not having the same conversation that our friends, Renee, Kate, and Francine were having in the workplace, sometimes weekly or daily.  I am willing to bet that men are not sitting around at work worrying whether they made the right choice- career over stay at home dad; and I am confident they are not feeling that unavoidable guilty day-in and day-out on not being home with the kids.    The Gender Gap, in this humble working mom’s opinion is still alive and well and while we may not shatter that glass ceiling completely, I think women have made a significant difference at home, through writing, volunteering, in the workplace and the business world.  In America, this is a great time to be a woman and who knows? Very soon we may even get to elect the first female President of the United States.

I need your opinion: Do you think the gender gap is alive and well in the workplace? Have you experienced discrimination in the workplace or just sheer guilt as our characters feel above?  I would love your feedback, whether stay at home, work at home, or working outside the home mom, married or single, I would love to hear your feedback and input. 

*Please note: the characters in the above story are based on real people the author works with but the names were changed to protect the working moms.

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Pure Nails in Lakewood Colorado- a hidden gem

I recently learned from co-workers of a hidden gem of a nail salon in Lakewood near my work. The owner is Liza and she used to work at OPI Nails and many of the beauticians 20110624-094416.jpg that came with her came are from OPI Nails as well. They are true professionals, easy to get along with, and are great at what they do! The prices are comparable to other salons with the best deal being a manicure and pedicure for $30. Otherwise, if you just do a spa pedicure, there are places that will probably do it for $19-$20 but the equipment and space may not be as nice as this place. There is a TV, a spa-like atmosphere, true spa massage chairs, and elegance to make you want to throw a party there for your best girlfriends.

Pure Nails is conveniently located close to 6th Avenue off of 8th Avenue and Simms Blvd.  It’s right behind the gas station across the street from 7-Eleven.  Tucked away, this is a gem of a place with gem of employees.  Their services include the typical nail services + waxing and facials.   Ladies, if you live or work in Lakewood, give Pure Nails a try- you will not be disappointed. Tell them Get Clued In sent you and in August (which is their one anniversary) be sure to be look out for discounts and specials.  Enjoy and sit back, relax, and enjoy your pedicure/manicure or other service.

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Social Media- Friend or Foe?

End of May Update: May has turned out to be an ugly month- what with a minor fender bender, nothing that goes right, crazy, annoying co-worker who has no sense, and lots of family in town – anyone can go crazy.  So, I have a caveat to this post that I started writing in April when my life was full of just my kids, life, and work.  Social media is and can be my best friend.  It is the only place where I have a sense of control, where I get to be creative, and where I get an outlet from this crazy world.  Granted, it’s still overwhelming but I learned something new- I get to control what I engage in and which buttons to click and what to read.  Wow!  When the world around me is spinning out of control and I have no control at work or at home, social media provides me a creative solace. Ahhhh!

Only recently, about 8 or 9 months ago, did I get sucked into the blogging world and all that came with that.  I am not sad I got “sucked” into this world because I have met some great people and also been able to stay in touch others I would otherwise not be able to stay in touch with.  But, with technology comes all the trials and tribulations associated with social media overload.  For example, I am connected 24-7.   This means, I am constantly in touch with people if I choose to look on my iphone or on my computer.  It is a huge investment of time – more than I probably give anything else in my life which of course, makes me sad.  In fact, it took me two weeks to write this post and over three weeks to write and prepare the previous one on Top 30 Must Haves for First-Time parents.  Great information but time consuming to write and even more time consuming to share out but once it is done, it feels rewarding especially when you get comments or likes.

In any case, writing a blog on my own domain, tweeting (which I never did before getting into this bloggy world), and two accounts and a page (getcluedin) on facebook later, I feel overwhelmed by social media.  On most days, I have my full-time job, my other full-time job of being a mom, a part-time job, and now social media has become a job to me as well – instead of a hobby or just for fun, I feel like social media has become a tasker and another job in this already busyworld of mine.  Additionally, I have had some social experiences as a result of my new hobby- all reasons which lead me to write this post.  Friend or foe? I will let you decide but for me, social media and networking can be more of a foe than friend especially these days when things are so busy at work and in life as well.

Friend?  Here are some advantages to social media and these fall into the “friend” category:

  1. Blogging- Blogging for me is a fun, creative outlet- all social media really is an escape to reality. Creative writing is fun and my blog is an expression of me.  I am lucky, I have only one blog to invest my time in- Get Clued In! 
  2. Facebook- Without facebook, I would not be in touch with so many friends and family members across the globe.  It’s so easy to share pictures, stories, and never miss a beat of those I care about.  Some may criticize facebook for its lack of privacy but my privacy settings are pretty solid.  I am not publicly searchable to the world.  More importantly, those who I want to see my business get to see it.  Those I do not, may still be my friend but get limited access.  I control who I let in and at what level.  This is much better than twitter in my opinion.   In my profession, and today’s world, I cannot be an open book to everyone. 
  3. I created a separate persona on facebook recently which is another advantage- this is for my blogging audience and blogging friends only and so I keep my personal and family life separate from this one.  I also created a page on facebook for Get Clued In!  This way, I was able to place a widget on Get Clued In so readers can see that page and friend me as Get Clued In through networked blogs.  So, again, Facebook is my friend for simplifying things a bit and helping me keep my persona separate from the real me.
  4. Twitter- For me, twitter is more foe than friend still.  I only started tweeting last fall because I felt I had to – to get into the blogging world and my readers can stay in touch with me.  I use twitter to stay in touch with my local mommy and blogging friends and to advertise my postings on my blog which often get re-tweeted- this increases my reading audience.  This is the friend side of twitter. 

Foe?  Here are some things that I consider the disadvantages to social media and for me, reasons to perhaps cut back or try to figure out a schedule of use.

  1. Social media feels like a job instead of a fun hobby- Blogging has its hazards.  Well, for one, I am up writing this at midnite when I should be sleeping.  When I was initally blogging just for fun, it was just that- fun!  It was a safe, creative outlet and I did not get much traffic.   When I was doing this for fun, I could blog when I wanted and about whatever I wanted.  No one really saw it so it did not matter.  Now, ideally, I should post something once a week and if I am guest blogging like I do at Denverparent and its Financial Friday series, I may be a regular and need to come up with more- the pressure is on! I have to remind myself that time is not the enemy, but rather my choice of doing too much.  So, if a week goes by without a posting, I have to just let it go and forgive myself but it is tough and again, it has become more of a job than a hobby which is a huge negative to me! ps.  This post took me over 2 weeks to write!  Ugh
  2. The need for self-sensorship- Dangers of blogging these days is not just the threat of lawsuit, copyright infringement, etc., (see Disclaimer) but recently as I learned, it can cut even deeper.  Feelings can be hurt and offense can be taken by the expressions on your blog or other social media so, now that I am writing openly, I have to be more careful and therefore, self-censorship is necessary … again, this cuts into the “fun” of the whole experience but is an important lesson as well. 
  3. Facebook and social media can be an invasion of privacy.  Enough said on this one and it’s not just the medium (ie. facebook and twitter) but the blog as well.  Everything is out there for the world to see and shared, and your life can seem like an open book.  If you are a private person, social media and blogging may not be right for you or could bring stress and angst to your life.   Another issue for me is that I tend to keep all the facets of my life separate or compartmentalized.  I have compartments for everything, and if I feel that worlds are colliding or unnecessarily infringing on another aspect of my life, that to me is an invasion of privacy. 
  4. Tone is very important on social media.  In addition to censorship, tone is also important as well because something on your wall can cause issues with someone you were friends with over 20 years ago.  But in the same vein, especially on twitter where you are limited with words and characters, you cannot explain yourself and tone plays a role here too.  Unlike face-to-face interaction, social media takes something away and it is harder to explain yourself or get to truly know someone or even get to know them.  Social media and E-mail should never substitute for a face to face conversation or telephone call.  This whole issue can cause stress and anxiety and again make social media feel more like a foe than a friend (see #2 through 4).
  5. Twitter is also time consuming.  I want to interact more and more on social media because of the wonderful people I met but again time is a problem and finding time to do it all.  I do think Hootsuite(R) has made it easier to see all my social media on one page or one website but it is still tough.  there is always some forum or some twitter party going on but I cannot do much of it at all.  When I do, I feel guilty for not spending time with the kids because I do not see them much as it is.

Overall, I love that we are all connected and how quickly we can all get information but for me, with so much, it can be overwhelming and I need to refocus myself.  I have to focus and prioritize daily.  With two jobs outside the home, my family including young kids, and all the things I try to do socially and now on social media, I feel finding balance is the key.   For now, social media is a foe because I feel like I am not balancing anything well but who knows?  Ask me tomorrow- I may feel better about things and then it’s a friend.  ha! 

What do you think?  How many email accounts and blogs do you operate?  How do you find balance?  Please help and leave us a comment to let us know.

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