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good luck karen (w/ the pivotal part). the other stuff is life & i can totally relate. i don't have an awesome job like yours (not trying to add to the guilt thing -just stating a fact), but i have many of the same emotions. i think most women nowadays do. we have too many choices so we take on A LOT! when our moms were moms - u basically did one thing - stayed home & took care of house & kids. tough job, i know 1st hand, but nowadays we do that plus work ft or pt or volunteer or whatever. so don't be so hard on yourself. you're a wonderful inspiration to so many of us & that's awesome! so you're kicking ass at one thing & i by the look of your family you're doing more than just one thing really well. just keep doing what u do! xo maryjo

laura vegas

hang in there karen! i know exactly what you're talking about ... that guilt thing is incredible sometimes. i work from home (doing daycare of all things) ... and i'm the same way. i'm doing a zillion things ... but that's not to say that i'm doing any of them that greatly. lol! and josh is totally right ... attitude is everything. i only wish i had a better one at times. and thanks for letting me know that i'm not the only one out there who feels quilty ... and then leads to more quilt ... and on and on. good luck ... i hope you get to the end of your tunnel!


Motherhood is an exercise of love and guilt. Men typically don't juggle as many things as women, so they can afford to have a happy-go-lucky attitude! All I can offer you is the advice to pray about it, that God will prioritize your time and lead you down the right path. I'll be praying for you as well. Chin up, girl!

Tanya Webster

i'm prayin' for you sweetie....another funny thing about God---He ALWAYS knows what he is doing so it really is going to be ok!!


fabulous post. when that light comes, you will appreciate it so much more having gone through this dark time. but... isn't it easier to give advice than take it?

Jenny Savage

Hi Karen. I am married to the exact same Sally Sunshine, they even look similiar! I also grow tired of the attitude speech. Sometimes life just calls for a bad attitude, right? LOL My advice - just remember ... that at the end of your life, all of the work things will not matter, all of the money will be spent, all of the time will be used up in whatever way we spent it and that the only thing you get to take to heaven with you are your children. As much as possible, love them now when they're little and still home to love. Those investments pay back 100 fold. :) Oh, and don't worry... we're all stressed out, it's totally not just you. :S

Stacey Tate

I have been "lurking" on your site for about six months. You must know someone I know that knows someone you know because I don't randomly surf the blogs. The reason I bookmarked your site is the quality of your photographs. They have such a lovely emotional quality. I bought a DSLR after reading your photo tips. I bought a Minolta Evolt because it came with two lenses and had the option not to use the viewfinder. You can shoot looking at the digital screen on the back. My only regret is that so many good tips for beginners on aperature are based on the Canon and Nikon brands and the instructions don't translate so well.
The reason I am finally motivated to leave a comment is based on your post today. After working 16 years, I had the opportunity to stay home with my children for 5 years. What a luxury. To be in a position not to juggle family vs. work needs. During my 16 year stint I have vivid memories of breastfeeding a children while on a conference call discussing a million dollar consulting project with my foot on the door keeping my toddler from entering my home office. Last year my husband lost his job and at the same time I was being recruited by my former employee to come back to work. I am paid extremely well and feel so blessed but still that tug of priorities continues to plague. The challenge is this--when you are good at what you do--companies will want you to do it more often and will continue to expand the opportunities for income. The flies completely in the face of managing home and family because the family requirements (which is the first priority in our hearts) doesn't diminish. In addition, where do you fit in the time to do what fuels you creatively. I don't have the answers but I do have plenty of empathy. There is a certain insanity to career/home juggling. If you ever have a moment, read the June 29th post on my blog. You are mentioned and post mirrors much of what you talked about today.
Apologize for the expanded comment but you touched a nerve.


Hey Karen, A lot of us feel this very same way I am finding out! I finally decided I can't do it all, and so I hired help to do what I like doing the least, cleaning house. I think, "you really shouldn't be spending money on that", but then I think, It gives me peace of mind, takes something off my to do list and gives the time back to my girls. More peace and more time with my girls is worth $140 a month to me, I am making it part of my budget and not feeling any guilt over it or trying to clean my house. Maybe you should find a way to delegate some of the responsibility, (maybe by hiring someone, some college kids will work for $8-10 an hour and do whatever you need doing.) and don't feel guilty about it. Hope you find relief soon, I am starting to :)


Karen - I have also been a 'lurker' on your blog for quite some time now and am drawn back to it on a daily basis because you are so down to earth and honest. I think every woman feels the guilt and gets overwhelmed with the pressures life puts on you. I am a 'glass is half full' kind of girl and try to be 'sally sunshine' more often than not but frustration and guilt are still a huge part of my life. My advice to you is 'Let it go' - I've learned over the past couple of years that there are definitely things that are not going to matter to me or my kids 10-years from now and those are the things I don't stress over anymore (or at least try not to :) - easier said than done). Keep your chin up and know that you are doing the best that you can at any given moment and that is what matters. Thank you for continuing to inspire and for your honesty! Best of luck!


Karen, I think the things that you have stated in your entry are the things that all of us working moms - whether at home or out of the home - struggle with. When I am at work, I am thinking about being at home. When I am at home, I am thinking about work. I can't keep the house clean - no matter what. I am barely able to feed the family once a day, let alone two or three when they are home from school on summer vacation. It is just a difficult thing...every day. I have seen the pics of your children and am VERY familiar with your work...I think you are doing a marvelous job! You shouldn't worry too much about the day-to-day will sort itself out. Worry about the big things - health, nurishment, deadlines, etc. The rest will take care of itself.

You are doing a great job. Don't discount what you have done thus far. You are not complaining, either. I view it more as voicing your challenges! Hang in there...the first one hundred years are the hardest!!! LOL!

Julie (in England)

Hi Karen

I don't work but I really relate to nearly everything you have said. I have three children who are 4 and under and I find it the hardest job in the world trying to keep on top of cooking, cleaning, washing and spending enough time with the children and then trying to have a little bit of time with my husband and an even smaller amount of time to do something for myself. I also feel that I do a lot of things but not necessarily a lot of things very well. I think of myself as a juggler with a lot of balls just about keeping everything in the air. I nearly always go to bed with a feeling of guilt that I didn't do something that day.

You seem to do an amazing job with your family and how you create such beautiful products is amazing. It is a credit to you. Don't worry about the little things as other people have said, it really doesn't matter if the house is a little dusty or some washing doesn't get done. I find that we are always our worst critics especially on a bad day. You really are doing a great job and tomorrow is always a new day! Take care xx


i wanted to say something witty and wise but after reading through these perfect comments i just think "ditto"... that and i have to wonder...are you catholic? that's a good lick of catholic guilt i see there :) have to go now and figure out which 10 things to put off until next week so i can get to the weekend :)
we love you and will pray for some clarity and peace for you - and just know you are probably doing a much better job than you think you are!
thanks for always being a real voice -


{{hugs}} You aren't alone.


You obviously hit a nerve---just wanted to add a few thought.

You are doing a much better job than you realize.

Multi-tasking will make you crazy. You already know this from experience, but there coming out with more research saying it every day.

You need help. It is good to ask for it. Much harder to afford it. Look into hiring a responsible girl under 16 (before they can get a job job) to help out with Annie and housework. When my son was 18 months old, I hired a girl to come 2 hrs a day (I was doing web designing and teaching online). Two hours is nothing but between naps, it saved my life. I was still there, could hear them and didn't feel like I was missing anything.

I hope that is a little helpful. Finally, it is great to hand things over to a higher power, but don't forget God's 2nd greatest gift (after love): free will. You don't have to say yes, you don't even have to do it all. We make choices, and we own them, and more than anything, they define who we are.

Meanwhile, you amaze me with what you create, and even more so, with the family you've fashioned. Thank you for the inspiration.


Hi Karen,

I just had to write because your blog just spoke to me. As a working mom of a 16 month old, I so feel like you do. I also have another side "fun" job of selling Avon (to pay for my scrapbook addiction) and I often feel like I stretch myself way too thin. I feel like I do so many things, but don't feel like I am doing great at any of them. I feel like I take too much time away from my daughter or that I don't do enough for my husband and then I feel guilty when I take "me" time. I think it's just a struggle being a mom sometimes, whether you work inside or outside the home, seems we all face the same obstacles. So I don' really have any answers, just wanted to vent myself and say that I can so relate. And I loved the mental picture of Annie sitting on your lap at the computer and then throwing the glue and having the fit; that is so my daughter right now. In fact, I just love whenever you share about Annie because my little Kaylie is right there too.

I wish you all the best and just know that you are so appreciated for all you do. Thank you for always sharing your heart with us.


Haven't you heard? The light at the end of the tunnel is the train actually coming at you! LOL or my personal favorite because I work for a hugh corp. The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarily shut off due to budget cuts. Hope this lightens your day a little. We all struggle with the feeling like we are doing nothing well at any given point in time, but just rejoice and feel blessed that we even get to try. Shelly


Karen...Oh the guilt. It seems to be part of a woman's bodily makeup, but it's so hard to carry around all the time. I so understand and sympathize. Hiring someone to come in a couple hours every afternoon or putting Annie in daycare for a couple hours a day would probably make all the difference in the world to you both and it would widen her world. Having been a working outside the home Mom for years, it's hard to make decisions like that, because lets face it, as women, we're ALWAYS working. Our daughter absolutely loved daycare. Thank you always for sharing your life, your thoughts as a mom and scrapper...and know that you aren't alone in your struggles. I'll pray that the meeting today will be positive and that you'll actually see that light at the end of the tunnel...however, from personal experience, there's always another tunnel!! Carry a flashlight with you!


Karen, love you blog and can totally sympathise. Both my girls who are now 5 and 8 went to childcare and I felt very guilty, However when my youngest was about Annies age she started at a new childcare centre, there she met another little girl who now nearly 4 years later is her best friend. When they first met I did not know the other little girls mother but through sheer determination they decided they were going to be friends and pestered and bugged until we eventually got to know eachother. When they started school last year the other little girl had two choices about where to go to school and her parents decided that it was best that they stayed together. This year they are still in the same class, fight lots but they are still best friends. My point I had no choice but to put my daughter into care and while I wish that she didn't have to be there for quite such a long time( that she could have gone one or two days instead of 5), I am grateful that she went because she made a great friend. There were other benefits too like different toys to play with, different songs to learn and different stories to read. (That said I went through 4 other childcare options before I found the right one.)

Shannon B

dude...give yourself a break, a little slack
I found being a working mom who worked from home to be one of the hardest things I've done.
You are not alone.
There is no easy way...just find the way that works best for you. If that's putting Annie in daycare, and something you and Josh agree on of course, then give it a try. Even if it's a couple of days a week that might give you some good focus time on whatever is most urgently needing your attention. Just remember to focus. lol


The best money I ever spent was having a housekeeper come to my house while I was working. Once a week I had to deal with some of the piles and stuff and once a week I knew I'd come home to a spotless house. It did wonders for my mental health and it kept everyone else in our home happy too. Annie will thrive on being with other kids and adults for a morning or two every week and you will gain some un-interrupted time to be very productive. You deserve these times to do what you are very good at so DO NOT feel guilty at all. Good luck, Karen! Keep us posted!! ((( HUGS )))


I just read your last post and, as a stay at home mom, I know what you're saying. I also used to work from home as well. You love it but it's not easy. Sounds like you're being spread too thin with all of your roles. I know how you feel about daycare too, I'm the same way. Neither one of my boys (who are 2 years old and 3 months old) have never gone to daycare and the thought terrifies me. BUT, I bet sending your little girl to a babysitter (not a daycare) or to a friend's house for a few hours, just a couple days a week would relieve your stress greatly. I know when I get a chance to do tasks, whether it be grocery shopping, cleaning or whatever, it's always easier and FASTER when I'm not interrupted by my kids every 5 minutes. More importantly it is about 10 times less stressful for everyone involved!!
I believe in order to be a good mother, more consistantly (we all have our peaks and valleys), you need to do things away from your children every so often. It's also good for the kids too. Hang in there. I'm sure in time you'll find the right solution for your family. : )

kim in Camas - ScrapToMyLu

I'm sorry you are feeling torn.........but I guess that proves you are a good momma. I worked from home when my son was Annie's age. It's so HARD! I couldn't place my child in someone else's care either. It's a catch 22. But maybe there is someone, someone you know and trust that can watch her a few hours a couple of days a week. I'm sure you haven't thought of that one. :)
On the other stuff........hire a house keeper, do dream dinners or spend a day creating your own.
Good luck. Breath.


It was so amazing reading your blog and seeing how many others feel the same way, and to hear their words of wisdom. Some I nodded my head to and others I laughed at ... the internet is pretty wonderful in my book.

Try something new, one step at a time to break your cycle. Try Annie in daycare for a few hours, rearrange some part of your schedule, however small, to get through how you're feeling.

But whatever you do, keep breathing ... and stop expecting so much from yourself. You're only human.

jill s

you're not alone. i have an incredible little family and i get to stay home with my kids. so i feel guilty too when i complain about being stressed out. it's a girl thing. i'm trying to get past that automatic guilt thing. it sucks.


Kelly Bryan

When my son was born almost 4 years ago I was teaching full-time and working on my masters degree at night. It was horrible. I told myself I had to find something else - something that didn't make me feel so full of guilt for never seeing my son. I managed to find a job with an online school, and have worked from home for the last 3 years. Everyone tells me how lucky I am, which I am, but it is still HARD. I just gave birth 10 weeks ago to baby #2, so now I have two kiddos to chase after while trying to do my full-time job. I always feel like I'm compromising, as a mom or a teacher, and I always feel like I could be doing so much better. I think as women we tend to be pretty hard on ourselves - we expect way too much. Hang in there, Karen, you are definitely not alone!


karen, i hope that light at the end of the tunnel is starting to get a little brighter.

i know it will work out for you in the end!


Say it sister....
I, too, work from home...with a nanny downstairs watching my 3 yr old and 7mo old. I know how very lucky I am...but it is soooo hard having one ear on what is happening downstairs and one year in your work. Most days, I feel like I'm not doing anything really well. And more often than not, I feel an ache that I am not the one playing downstairs with my kids. Maybe 1 day a week do I feel like the balance is working. But I know, when I put my head down to sleep every night, I know I am doing the absolute best that I can, I'm luckier than most working moms and the sacrafices my husband I are making to have me working from home, with a nanny downstairs, is the best thing for our family right now. It's just hard to not feel like you are being 100% at either job. I'm with ya....kate


Ahhh the constant struggle...I worked for 20 years in the corporate world, and now am lucky enough to have some very part time jobs which allow me great flexibility, and some work from home. But you know what? I still fell mommy-guilt. Why is that? I can work a 10 or 20 hour week and feel just as bad as when I worked a 50 hour week. You're doing just fine...but I'm wondering if somehow you could hire some help - either with work or nannying - just a few hours here and there could make a huge difference, especially when Sally...errr...Josh is out of the picture. I seriously don't know how single parents do it. Keep your eye on that light - and good luck!

Kelly Jo

I truly believe that things work out Exactly how they are supposed to. Doesn't help when you are wishing for things to go one way or the other. =) Hang in there, the light is coming closer...


Keeping my fingers crossed for a great outcome with the meeting!! It's okay to worry and doubt ourselves, the point is you're trying and doing an exceptional job and you're still trying and working through it every day! Great quote, too!


Thank you so much for this post Karen - Since going back to work, I too feel like I'm doing so many things and none of them well. I leave the baby to be cared for with family, I feel guilt - I take him with me for a 90 minute commute each way and still feel guilty. It makes it easier to know that there are others who are going through this too, thanks for the honesty.


i think that working from home with small children is incredibly difficult! i really don't know how anyone does it. sorry you are having a rough time. we all doubt ourselves as mothers at times, don't we? (((hugs))) i hope the weekend found you feeling better, and that you get good news about your meeting! :)

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