I’ve been quiet recently, but I’m still here. Catching up after the holidays and the winter school break was like shoveling snow during a storm, and then Diana got sick with bronchiolitis.
Thankfully she’s better now, but then — like you too, probably — we got a bunch of real snow. We live near a great sledding hill, so snow days are when I make huge batches of hot chocolate and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Just as I cleared out my email inbox, my contractor called. Which means that we have embarked on our last big house project — renovating the attic into bedroom space for our oldest daughters.
Even as we were wrapping up 2013, I knew that things would have to be different this year with Frugal Mama. Of course a baby would change our lives forever, and especially during the intense first year. Some babies actually sleep through the night at Diana’s age (five months), but we’ve never had one of those.
That’s O.K. because we are in love, and we get unlimited access to the baby smell, adorable noises, funny facial expressions, and lots of chubby smiles. My daughters and I laugh because we even swoon over her blinks. She is simply sent from heaven.
Still I want to do it all. Stuff like running an organized household, making lunches and dinners everyday, and giving everyone the love and attention they need. We also need to finish fixing up our house, which is 85% done (I can’t wait to show you pictures). Being a perfectionist, I don’t lower my standards very easily. But I am open to slowing down.
So that was the solution: write less, but keep writing. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom, Aristotle says, and one thing that I’ve learned about myself is that I need structure to accomplish things. So I’m going to publish on the 15th of every month, and here’s something else new: I probably won’t be so religious about focusing on thrift.
Saving money is now just one of our goals, not the overarching one that used to color every decision we made. Being thoughtful about how we spend our time, our energy, and our money is still very much how we live. But since I no longer feel compelled to compete in the field of personal finance blogs, I have more freedom in what I write about.
I’ll still write about home and food and family and making things, but the posts will be a little more personal. There might be less emphasis on tips and more on insights. But definitely some of both.
Ever since I decided to stop trying to squeeze money out of writing, I knew this blog would be more of a hobby; my main job is to take care of the family and house and doing what I could to conserve and maximize our money. And that change in my ambitions will be reflected in this new iteration of Frugal Mama.
It’s like the blog is going from a kind of department store to a boutique. A little more individual, quirky, intimate.
This change also means that it’ll just be me, the boutique owner, behind the counter. For the past year and a half, I’ve been lucky to have six contributors on board. Each of them — Jen, Karen, Rayna, Samantha, Sara, and Suz — has brought different perspectives and new ideas to the blog, and it has grown as a result.
But now that I am taking Frugal Mama in a more personal direction, and slowing down the publishing schedule, it made sense for me to take the blog back into my own hands.
I’ve toyed with changing the name of the site, but for now, I think I’ll stick with it and see how things unfold. I’m not sure where this writing will lead, but as Diana has taught us, sometimes you just have to let life surprise and delight you.