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Running Myself Straight To The Ground

Have any of you read ‘The Alchemist’? It’s one of my favorite books because the main message is one that I have to keep reminding myself about day in and day out. Everything you ever wanted is already in your hands.

Everything I want is at home – my kids, my husband, my family and friends. They aren’t half way across the country at some press event. They are here. It’s so sad that I remember this message AFTER I’m thousands of miles away from my heart.

I keep getting caught in this vicious cycle. I do a bunch of events for work. I get really excited about the possibilities. I actually go and then get wiped out because I’m not the healthiest person and the travel, stress, agenda kills. I miss my kids. I wonder why I decided to go in the first place. I promise myself I won’t accept any more offers. I stay home for a few weeks. I forget. I get another opportunity.  I hop right back on the plane. And it starts all over again.

It’s hard because when I’m actually working at these functions, I’m enjoying myself. I met so many fabulous women. I LOVE meeting other bloggers. I LOVE meeting women who I would have NEVER met otherwise. I LOVE hearing different accents from around the country and listening to personal stories and successes. I am most certainly a people person, but I am also a mother with young children who KNOWS that I should really be home with them instead of having all this fun.

And I’m not saying I don’t think I should have fun because I am a mom, but I don’t think I should be taking so many trips and leaving them with Bill just to further my career. That’s not why I started blogging. I don’t want to further my career. I am very happy with where I am right now and don’t’ want to break out to the next level. Others do. Others thrive on the success. I feel very content with where I am. l’ve proved myself to myself and that’s all that matters. I earn enough to be able to stay home with the kids. That’s all I ever wanted.

Man this is a brain dump… and I’m crying.

On Saturday I had a Christmas BBQ for some friends from town. On Monday I had the Santa dinner with my family. On Monday I flew to Chicago. On Tuesday I flew back home and have a trip to San Diego planned for Friday.

It’s just not going to happen. There is NO way I’ll physically going to be able to do a trip like that just to return Sunday at noon.  It’s not like I am a consultant and my boss is forcing me to go on a quick trip like this. I have a friend who had to travel to California on Monday and that sucks – but he has to because his business needed him to. I don’t need to do anything. I don’t know why I keep saying yes!

Because there are spa visits, and amazing dinners, and wonderful experiences laced into the trip. It’s never all business. It’s FUN. It really is a BLAST once I’m there. But what I’m sacrificing isn’t worth it. My health, time with my kids, time with my husband. My REAL job which is I’m Not Obsessed. Whenever I don’t work I lose about 20,000 pageviews. It’s constant. When I write I can guarantee that many more visits.  So when I take off I know I am doing a disservice to that site, and the more I go away the more that site will suffer. And that site is my number one priority.

Not a free spa trip. No matter how badly my back needs a hot stone massage. 🙂 Besides, this time around I was going to bring Bill and we had to pay for his ticket. So in the end, if I really wanted to go to the spa, I can just use the money I would have used on his flight. Not that I will, but if I ever needed to justify a visit, there’s the answer.

My throat is killing me. I always get sick when I get stressed out. Traveling makes me stressed out – so why do I keep doing it? I just don’t get it. It’s a tough wire to walk.

I’ve been really good about not going into the city anymore. The events that I get invited to are INSANE – but I finally wrapped my head around the fact that they aren’t worth it. It’s the gift bags that suck you in. That and the fact that you get to show face with other bloggers. But the ones that I am really friends with are the ones that I keep in touch with in other ways. So I let that go. It’s always nice to catch up, but it’s just not necessary anymore. I go in once every 2 months or so.

Now I have to do the same thing with these travel trips. I am definitely not going away this weekend. But there’s another one that I am supposed to do in a few weeks. By then I think I will feel a bit better about the whole thing, but moving forward I don’t think I am going to take many more. I say that now because it’s all fresh in my head.

I’m rambling.

I’m trying to convince myself while writing to you.

I’m hoping if I type it I will believe it.

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

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Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of LadyAndTheBlog.com. She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.


  1. I absolutely love the honesty in this post. I attended a GG event at Blogher this year and it WAS amazing. And a ton of work for you I am sure! Part of the draw for me to attend events and travel is staying current and relevant in people’s minds. Face to face seems better than “just” writing. But writing is what drew people to you in the first place right? I agree that when your family starts to suffer and things get out of balance you must reevaluate. Next time you get an offer, read this post before you answer. And then enjoy your decision!

  2. This is resonating with me ON SO MANY LEVELS!! Especally this part…

    “Everything you ever wanted is already in your hands.

    Everything I want is at home – my kids, my husband, my family and friends. They aren’t half way across the country at some press event. They are here. It’s so sad that I remember this message AFTER I’m thousands of miles away from my heart.”

  3. Well, I for one, am really glad you went Tuesday or we would have never met, BUT the truth in this post is the truth. You will never regret the choice to be with your kids. Never….and I know at the end, we won’t say, I wish I would have just flown to one more event because that’s not what it’s about, but I feel your pain and am so with you on it. I can’t imagine if I had to fly East Coast to West Coast on Friday…just this one day wore me out…but a spa day? I can totally understand how tempting that is…..

    So sorry that I didnt’ get a chance to say good bye. You and Melissa were highlights of my time away. 🙂

  4. You speak what most women feel Vera! This is one of the reasons why I don’t go on many trips. 2 conferences a year (if that) are my limit. There will always be press trips – always. Your writing is what grew your site in the first place. Your online presence is what matters the most. 😉

    Kids are only little for a short time. I agree with Melissa you totally nailed this on the head “Everything I want is at home – my kids, my husband, my family and friends”.

    Hugs to you! xo

  5. Great post, Vera.

    You’re right — all that stuff is incredibly fun. And heady. And a bit selfish. But who cares? We all deserve to have some fun, right? No matter what our job is, if there aren’t some perks (whether they be good pay or a nice office or great co-workers or exciting trips), we probably won’t be satisfied or stick around very long.

    But for each of us, there will be some very fun things that take too much of a toll on our body and our spirits. Just ask anyone who’s ever had a hangover after a fabulous night on the town!

    What about this? What if you decide to say no to a certain percentage of these commitments. But instead of just saying no and then regretting it and being sad about what you’re missing, what if you turn it into something positive? What if every time you tell a brand no, you also suggest to them another blogger who you think might be a good fit, and who could use a little more fun or networking in her life? That might help you feel good about yourself and a bit less guilty for saying no.

    Back to my drinking analogy (I have wine on the brain today, I guess) — it’s like going out with friends and saying “I’ve been drinking too much lately, so I want to cut back, but you deserve to have fun, so let me offer to be the designated driver.”

    Maybe that was all just a horrible metaphor, but either way, I hope I’ve made a bit of sense!

  6. Absolutely, you should not feel any guilt for saying no! I understand it though, because I do the same thing. I fully support your feelings about staying home. Home is where it’s at!

  7. I hear you. Sometime you just need to pull over when you’re running on empty before you break down.
    P.S I also love the Alchemist

  8. 🙂 so stinkin hard to be away from home and family. Thanks for the giveaways!!! So stoked I entered both!!

  9. I know just what you mean. I have a hard time saying no, and I’ve faced the same questions many times this year. Is everything I’m doing worth the time it takes away form my family and the toll is takes on me? It’s a tough line.

  10. Vera – if this is a really long post to you, then I think I’m writing novels over on my blog 😉

    You struggle with the same thing EVERY mom does. It’s balance. It’s figuring out how to be a good wife and mom and not lose a sense of self. Everybody likes perks and fun stuff. I would have a VERY hard time saying no to a spa trip (on a side note, if you can’t go, send them my way).

    I think you don’t need to say NO. You need to pick and choose. What’s important to you, what’s important to your business, and what’s worth the time away from my family.

    The biggest thing to remember is how lucky you are to have such a wonderful family to come home to…

  11. Sweet girl – I haven’t finished reading your post yet, Vera, but I HAD to write this immediately. Please don’t be hard on yourself! To me, you have the healthiest kids and the nicest family around. You left them with Bill, not a babysitter. You don’t travel every week, and you guys do a ton of fun stuff at home together and at functions together. I think your children will grow up and remember that mom and dad were at home with them nearly all the time and not off at some office job (which sucks the life out of you). You’re just a little homesick and feeling a little guilty about having fun w/o Bill and the kids. And that’s okay. Everyone is allowed to have some alone time – PLUS you are working! You have one of the greatest jobs in the world and it’s very conducive to a healthy, happy family life.

  12. What Leslie said! I KNOW that your kids will have the best childhood memories growing up of all the crazy activities and events that they’ve been exposed to through you and your blog. You don’t travel so much that it makes you a bad mom. Don’t feel that way! You’re a great mom!

    If you need someone else to take the trips for you, I volunteer 🙂 And seriously, why don’t you give yourself a set number a year? Say, I’ll do 5 press trips in 2011 and that way, knowing that you only have 5 trips to go on, that’ll make you really pick and choose when you’re offered these events so that you’ll really only do the absolute best ones.

  13. Thanks guys! Every time I get a comment I cry which is kinda funny at this point. I have no idea why I am SOOOOOOOOOOO emotional today – but something happened. I can’t quite put my finger on it though.

    Really appreciate the kind words.

    • I keep having those emotional days too lately! I find though that I feel SO much better a few hours after I let it out. I’ve been holding it in for too long. Feel better, girl! You’ll be home soon and will be hugging your babies tightly! 🙂

  14. Hug your babies…it’s not that great here anyways! Don’t spread yourself too thin! You work your butt off already!

    (I’m only saying it’s not that great here to make you feel better…it’s pretty awesome 77 degree weather today…but we won’t talk about that! haha)

  15. Vera,

    This post was fantastic. I think we all get trapped into a vicious cycle. Let’s face it, this job is not a 9 to 5 job. It’s 24/7 and it’s so easy to get worn down.

    When I find myself getting to the point I can’t go anymore, I just take a day. Or two. Yes, it hits my numbers, but family is more important that our numbers. Thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  16. Love love love this post. I have so many of the same thoughts and in so many words, so often. I feel overwhelmed and worn down so much of the time too with blogging and being a Mom… sometimes I have to really sit back and remind myself that for me while this is a side business, my top priority is my kids.

    So many of us have so many different priorities with our blog – some want these opps, some don’t, some want a mix… I think it’s impt to constantly remind yourself of your own priorities. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in the excitement of everything and then I wonder the same thing, why I am doing this?

  17. Vera – I love this post. This is why I like you so much. We are sooo alike. There is no place like home. You know your priorities. And you know you don’t need to further your career by burning the candle at both ends. Just be very selective about which opportunities you attend – and also spacing them out. If it’s a trip that involves travel- think 1 time per month or 1 time every 2 months. I’m leaving tomorrow for 2 nights. It will be glorious fun but I know I will be homesick too and miss the kids and feel guilt from not doing my real job of being at home with them where my heart is. There’s no place like home. But sometimes, going away is always what makes us appreciate the time we have at home just a whole heck of a lot more too. So remember that too. xoxo

  18. Girl……you need to stop complaining and enjoy what you have. Do you know how many bloggers would literally pay to be in your shoes – myself included.

    You love what you do and do what you love.

    For you to say that you are where you want to be and don’t want to move any further is hard to believe. If that was the case you wouldn’t keep starting new websites.

  19. I immediately wanted to jump in and comment on this post when it first popped up, but felt I didn’t have the cred since I’m not in the same situation.

    However, I will pop in to reinforce what other people have said. Leslie is totally right. Your kids are at home, with their Dad, their routine is not interrupted when you’re gone. Like others said, plan some GOOD trips, let the others fall away recognizing the time and energy output isn’t worth it to you. Don’t forgo everything to stay home; what I learned years ago was that staying home is easy. Sometimes way too easy and it’s not good for us.

    I stayed home with my kids for many years, and finally decided to return to college now that they are older. While I don’t believe in regretting any decision, I realize now that I was wrong to think the whole house would fall apart if I wasn’t there 24/7. You work hard, you need some time for yourself.

  20. Thanks again guys — there’s some deep seeded abandonment issues I’m not addressing in this post. I’m comparing myself to people in my life and I think that’s why I freaked out when I did. Don’t really want to get into it as I like to keep things upbeat on this blog, but there was something driving these emotions. It’s just not about leaving them – it’s more about ME being left and feeling unwanted – even as an adult – and not wanting my kids to feel the same way.

    I’ve calmed down a bit since writing this. BUt seriously — thanks for all the comments.

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