The one where I admit I can’t do it all

A plugged duct or a sore spot on your breast may be the first sign that you are trying to do too much.  You would be well-advised to heed this warning and get lots of extra rest for a few days after you’ve experienced a plugged duct.

-The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

Last week I had my tenth plugged milk duct since Luke was born.  This time, however, the painful red spot didn’t subside after a day.  I felt flu-like symptoms coming on.  I couldn’t ignore the clear warnings my body was sending anymore.  The plugged duct progressed into mastitis (a breast infection).

I am on antibiotics and the infection cleared quickly.  I know, however, that it won’t stay away unless something changes.  On any given day, my list of things to do looks something like this:

  • Read scripture/complete Bible Study
  • Make breakfast
  • Clean up after breakfast
  • Get Meghan dressed, teeth brushed, etc.
  • Drive Meghan to preschool
  • One or more cleaning tasks (depending on the day: dust, vacuum, toilets, etc)
  • One or more blogging tasks (answer emails, respond to comments, take and edit pictures, write and edit posts, etc.)
  • One or more household management tasks (meal planning, grocery shopping, organizational tasks, etc.)
  • Laundry, laundry, and more laundry
  • Pick Meghan up from preschool
  • Prepare lunch
  • Clean up after lunch
  • Prepare snacks
  • Clean up after snack preparation
  • Put Luke down for naps (X 3-4)
  • Feed Luke (X 6)
  • Play with Meghan
  • Play with Luke
  • Run/exercise
  • Prepare dinner
  • Help Tim clean up after dinner
  • Bathe Luke
  • Bathe Meghan
  • Put Luke to bed
  • Put Meghan to bed
  • Spend quality time with Tim/focus on my marriage

Doing all of these things is so much more manageable when I’m well-rested, which I’m not right now.  Luke is either going through the typical 4-month sleep regression I hear other moms talk about, or he is having difficulty sleeping because of his digestion issues.  (And we didn’t get much insight at his GI appointment, unfortunately)  Either way, he’s up every 2-3 hours at night, which of course means I’m up every 2-3 hours at night.  I’m a sleeper.  I love sleep.  I need sleep.  So my current sleep debt is taking its toll.

I tell you all of this not to complain or as an attempt to garner your sympathy.  I know I’m not the first or only mom who has a lot to do and tries to do it on little sleep.  I will survive.  What I have figured out, however, is that

something’s gotta give.

I wish I could be Super Mom and do it all on a few hours of broken sleep, but I can’t.  So this is my lengthy way of telling you that I’m stepping back from the blog for now.  I just need a little time to get my head above water.

I’m not going to completely disappear and I promise you, I will be back.   For now, however, I can’t put the time into posts that I would like, and the last thing I want is to provide watered-down, not-my-best work just for the sake of posting something.

I can’t say how long this break is going to last.  It may be one week or it may be three weeks.  I hope not longer, but maybe longer.  In the meantime, I will be seeking out guest posters (please email me if you are interested!) with quality posts so there will be some new content when I’m not creating my regular posts.

I will be doing some blog work, but it will be mostly behind the scenes.  I never have time to do behind-the-blog work when I’m trying to create new recipes and write posts, so during this break from that I will get some tasks done that have been on the back burner for ages.  I have a fun blog makeover already in the works, so be ready for a new look coming soon!

My biggest fear is that I will lose you, my readers, by stepping back for a time.  All I can do is hope that you’ll have confidence in me and know that when I come back, I will be able to provide better recipes and better posts.  Thank you for your patience and understanding. I love blogging and adore my community of readers.  I’ll be back soon!


  1. says

    I’ll be here! Get some rest. It’s natural to step back from things like blogging when you’re overwhelmed with other life stuff.

  2. says

    Take all the time you need and no way will you lose your readers! Your blog is such a wonderful, inspirational and honest source of being a loving and healthy mom. I still have tons of your prior recipes left to cook so your break will give me some time to catch up. :)

  3. says

    I think you’re doing the right thing by taking a break Maryea. I’ll definitely be here waiting when you decide to come back! :-)

    I hope you can get more rest and just feel more relaxed overall!

  4. says

    Maryea, that sucks about the mastitis! Glad you’re on the mend!
    I can’t wait for what you have up your sleeve. You will get it together, and before you know it, things will be so much more do-able…Promise!!
    Either that, or you’ll get used to the occasional laundry pile up and sticky counter…or maybe that’s just me!
    Love you!

  5. says

    I hope you are feeling okay, I know that mastitis can be serious stuff- it put my sister in the hospital! ….Take care of you and your family and know that we will all be here with love when you have time to breathe again!…. I hope Luke can get those tummy issues worked out as he gets a little older. It’s on my prayer list.
    Love, prayers, and smiles to you and your family.

    • Maryea says

      I’m lucky that I caught the mastitis early. If I would have waited until Monday (I went to the doctor on Saturday) it could have been bad. Thanks for your kind words and prayers!

  6. says

    Your health and family is way more important than blogging, so don’t worry about losing readers, we know you’ll be back. :) I hope you feel better soon and that Luke starts sleeping for longer periods of time.

  7. Cary says

    Love on your family, feed that baby, take care of yourself. We’ll be here! :) 2 is 65 million times harder than 1… and I love that your priority also includes spending time in the Scripture. Keep up the good work!

    • Maryea says

      Thank you, Cary! Starting my day in the Word makes everything seem so much more manageable. Days when I don’t I just feel off.

      • Cary says

        Hey Maryea:
        Just a thought, do you have a certified lactation consultant that you can talk to? I wonder if they would have some perspective/suggestions for what to do with your little one. Sometimes they have something up their sleeve that a GI dr might not think about (especially with little ones that are for now exclusively breastfed).

        • Maryea says

          You know I have been thinking about talking to a LC for a while now, but just haven’t done it. I think it’s time I find one. Thanks for the nudge.

  8. Amy says

    We will still read! Blogging is definitely the thing you can drop temporarily- get your health in order and do what you need to do- I’ll check back periodically. You can only do so much, I’m sure everyone understands that.

  9. says

    I’ll still be here when you get back and will miss your posts in the meantime. I know you didn’t ask for advice, but as a mom, much in the same shoes as you with the overwhelming amount of responsibilities, I could possibly make a few suggestions. You can ignore if you aren’t interested. :)

    You might see if your husband can help with bath and bedtime for Meghan. You might also just put the leftovers away and let him clean the kitchen while you get Luke bathed and in bed. As soon as my baby could sit, I started bathing the kids together which is nice. I also only bath every other day unless they are particularly dirty. These are a few things we have started doing and it has helped tremedously. Once I get the baby to bed, I still have to clean my pump parts and make bottles for daycare which I can do while hubs gets our daugther to bed.

    You might also look to see where you can create shortcuts for yourself in the kitchen. Like in your menu planning, double a recipe so you can freeze some for a night off later, or eat it as leftovers one night or lunch the next day to afford you a little less time in the kitchen while still getting healthy meals. Or for breakfast or snack, make something like muffins or something similiar that you can grab and go for a few days and not have to prepare and clean up so much. You may already be doing these things but I just wanted to offer you some encouragement as a working mom of two. My 9 month old still wakes at night ever 2-3 hours as well so I feel your exhaustion. I try hard to feed my family well balanced meals, but I have gotten to where I use frozen veggies often and take every shortcut I can just to get a healthy dinner on the table by a reasonable hour.

    Hang in there! Fortunately it is just a stage of infancy, and it will get easier. Try to remember to enjoy it, even though some parts of it are super hard on us! Hope you are feelng better soon!

    • Maryea says

      Thank you for taking the time to try to help me! I really appreciate it. I should have been a little more clear in my list–Tim does help with bath and bedtime. We do them together. He does the bath part, I do the lotion and jammies, etc. Then we take turns with reading Meghan stories and the actual putting her to bed part. And he does most of the kitchen cleaning, I just take care of the leftovers like you mentioned.

      As for the shortcuts in the kitchen, this is definitely something I need to work on! I know I can streamline things more and need to get some better systems in place. Thanks for the encouragement! It sounds like you are doing a ton and working, too. I hope your little one starts sleeping better for you. I think everything seems more difficult when I’m sleep deprived!

  10. Lisa says

    We will still be here, Maryea. I think you are doing the right thing by focusing on yourself and your family right now. I think we can all say we’ve been there and know what it feels like when life gets overwhelming. Your health absolutely has to come first! I hope you start to regain some strength and that little man starts sleeping better for you soon. Take care!

  11. says

    I whole-heartedly support you in this decision. I get it. I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed lately too and I’ve been getting full-nights’ sleep! (Most of the time anyway.) I hope you are able to get the rest you need and when you are ready to return, we will still be here. Take care!

  12. says

    Aw, I completely understand! Give yourself as much of a break as you need – I’m sure we’ll all be here when you get a little more time to blog. I’ll be thinking of you! I hope you’re feeling better and can get some more rest!

  13. says

    I think this is the best decision you could have made.
    Enjoy the break and come back when you feel ready for it. I will definitely be here again!

  14. Jen says

    Take a break! As much as I love you blog, family updates and meal ideas, i can COMPLETELY relate to the fact that something’s got to give! I took a lengthy break from my own blog, came back for a few posts and then went back on hiatus. I found it was taking up my super rare and very precious kids/husband/self downtime. Whether it was spending some snuggle time with the family at the end of the day or watching 30 minutes of trashy TV, I found I needed that time to truly unwind and refocus before another day of being pulled in a thousand directions.

    I’ll definitely still be here whenever you’re ready to come back!!

    • Maryea says

      It’s so true–I need a few minutes to myself every day and that just hasn’t been happening. Everyone needs down time!

  15. Bethany B. says

    You and your family come first, so please, feel free to take a break!!! We understand and will be here whenever you are ready to come back :)

  16. Leigh Anne says

    We will still be here….no worries! You need to take time for your family & for yourself right now. I totally understand that “to-do” list. If I get anything “extra” done each day it is an accomplishment!! (Mine littles are 5, 3, & 1). Hang in there and take all the time you need :)

    • Maryea says

      Thanks, Leigh Anne! I have to say, you make me feel like a big wimp! I’m not sure what I would do right now if I had a 3rd one! I guess after two you figure it out a little more?

  17. Kristi says

    Of course we will be back! I was relieved to see that you were giving up the blog for a bit; after reading the first part of your entry I was afraid you were giving up breastfeeding (which of course, would also be totally fine and understandable as well – but you know what I mean). I am adding #2 to our family in about 6 weeks, and I am terrified because I feel like I JUST have things under control now with healthy eating/work/exercise/caring for toddler/etc.!

    Good luck!

    • Maryea says

      It’s definitely a big change–at least for me it was. You’ll do great, though! Just don’t try to do too much too soon. ;-) As for giving up breast feeding–no, I’m committed to that for as long as possible. The GI doctor suggested switching to specialized formula, but I’m going to try eliminating more foods from my diet instead and hope it will help Luke’s digestion. We’ll see!

  18. says

    I hope you are feeling better soon! It is very tough with the second baby, especially when you are not getting the sleep you need and trying to maintain a happy home for your family.
    Enjoy the time away from your blog and focus on you and your little ones!
    I for one, will be here when you return! :-)

  19. Diane says

    I hope you have a great break and start getting some sleep soon. Both of my kids had bad 4 month sleep regressions so I can relate. Both also slept so much better when it was done.

    I look forward to your posts and recipes (some of them have become favorites that we eat all the time!), and we will be here when you get back.

  20. Katie Griffin says

    You are right! Something has gotta give. I completely support your choice to “back off the blog”. Your family needs you right now. There will come a day when you will have so many free hours that you might not know what to do with all that time. My girls are
    15 1/2 and 13 1/2, my hands on parenting is so very limited. I wish I had enjoyed it more when they were so dependent on me. Like you, I was trying to do it all. And the sooner I realized I couldn’t do it all, the better off… we all were.
    Enjoy your “time off” and I will be here if and when you decide to return. Blessings to you and your family!

    • Maryea says

      Thanks for your perspective–it helps to think of it that way! I know I only have these days when they are little for a short while so I definitely want to enjoy them.

  21. Katie Griffin says

    You are right! Something has gotta give. I completely support your choice to “back off the blog”. Your family needs you right now. There will come a day when you will have so many free hours that you might not know what to do with all that time. My girls are
    15 1/2 and 13 1/2, my hands on parenting is so very limited. I wish I had enjoyed it more when they were so dependent on me. Like you, I was trying to do it all. And the sooner I realized I couldn’t do it all, the better off… we all were.
    Enjoy your “time off” and I will be here if and when you decide to return. Blessings to you and your family!

  22. Amanda says

    Aw! I’m bummed you’ll be away for a bit, but I’ll be waiting!

    I think most of us are likely signed up for your newsletter— so that’s an easy way not to forget you :]

  23. Johanna says

    I just found your blog a couple of months ago and have already made lots of your recipes. My family (four kids under 8 and my hubby) and I have loved them! So thanks so much and don’t worry I am willing to wait for new ones. You and your family are the most important things here and I think your readers will understand and admire you for putting the most important things first.

    • Maryea says

      Thank you! I’m so glad you’ve found some recipes you like here. I hope to have many more coming in the not-too-distant future. :-)

  24. Nicky says

    I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and have been completely in awe of how wonderful you are. Take the rest you need, your health and family are the most important thing right now. I’ll be waiting when you return.

  25. Meagan says

    I think you are making the right choice (for what it’s worth). Right now you are in the “trenches” and this is the hardest part (with adding a new member to your family). I was so very ready to have my first child and then so very shocked to understand the work with two. It is normal for you to feel overwhelmed and you are a strong person to take charge of making things better.
    The only thing I will (gently) point out is that having a break to work on some blog projects that have been on the backburner for a while, is not actually taking a break. TAKE THE BREAK! Don’t put pressure on yourself to get something done other than be a mum and wife right now.
    We’ll all see you soon!

    • Maryea says

      Good point, Meagan, good point. I will be doing blog work much less than I was, though, so it is still a break. :-) Just taking the break from posting is like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The rest of the stuff I’ll only do when I have a few extra minutes (like right now as I reply to comments).

  26. Jillian says

    You know I will still be here. :) I definitely know what you are going through. I think I had a few days when I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown (I think it was mainly from the lack of sleep). Concentrate on yourself! You will look back someday and wonder how you did it all. Love you!

    • Maryea says

      Lack of sleep is brutal, isn’t it? I keep telling myself that this stage won’t last forever. That doesn’t really help that much, though. ;-)

  27. says

    Phew, you are human. I was beginning to think you were some sort of Supermom Robot. :) I had a lot of plugged ducts with my second and they pretty much suck. I never had mastitis, but I hear its downright awful. Wishing you a quick recovery and some much needed sleep. Wish I lived closer so I could help out!

    I’ll be here when you come back!

  28. kathy says

    I enjoy your blog, so of course I will be be here when you get back. And by the way you are Super Mom, Super Women and even those titles deserve a break and rest. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your precious family. Will look forward to your next post…whenever that will be….no rush. :)

  29. says

    Maryea, I hope you know how much you have touched our lives by the many immediate responses that you have received from your post. We all agree with you and hope that you feel better soon. We’ll be here for you when you get back, don’t worry. Meanwhile, take care and know that we’ll be thinking of you.

  30. Shannon says

    Good for you! I’m surprised you blogged as much as you did after Luke was born. As I sit pumping my plugged duct, believe me, I understand. My boy is 8 months and I keep getting the same plugged duct more often now. I know it can create a lot of anxiety, for me at least, and I tend to fixate on it and only become happy when it’s cleared. Enjoy your wonderful family, feed them and eat well and get back to us when you are good and ready!

    • Maryea says

      Thanks, Shannon. I think my expectations were a little high regarding how much I could handle. Lesson learned!

  31. says

    I think you are making the right decision, I hope a little more time out gets you on the mend quickly…. and I hope you get some more sleep (sleep deprivated zombie-mode is NO fun, I’ve been there, I feel for you!)

    If you need a guest poster – I’d be keen as!

    Thinking of you :)

  32. says

    Oh Maryea… sounds like you made a good decision. So happy that you will be able to have a few more minutes each day to focus on yourself and your beautiful family. Glad you are feeling better, my mastitis got so bad that IV antibiotics and several days in the hospital were the only way to clear it up!!

    I agree with Katie, enjoy these moments with your little ones as much as possible. Time goes by so fast and Meghan is at such a fun age!! I hope Luke’s tummy is feeling better soon. Maybe you will be able to catch a nap during one of his nap times? :)

    And no worries, everyone will be here when you decide to blog again…..even if it is once a week or every other week. Whatever works best for you!!


  33. Anna Jorgenson says

    For the plugged ducts, do you have a good nursing bra? Do you nurse frequently (no long stretches without nursing)? I made a huge mistake with my 1st and used a cotton sports bra to nurse when out and about. I’d just pull up the side and nurse… found out later that I was plugging a duct because the bra would rest on the top part of my breast while nursing and while let-down happened. After I got good nursing bras, I didn’t have that problem anymore.

    Is your hubby willing to help you with laundry or toilet cleaning or kitchen cleaning? One thing that makes me fall in love with my husband more and more is his willingness to serve me by doing those things – he acknowledges that raising babies/toddlers is draining and I need help! He won’t have to pick up the slack forever.

    • Maryea says

      I do wear nursing bras. It’s funny that you mention that because with Meghan I never did, yet didn’t have these problems! Luke nurses every 3 hours round the clock, so I guess that’s frequently, right? ;-) Tim does help me with cleaning the kitchen. Other cleaning tasks he’ll help with if I ask…I just am not always that great at asking. I’m working on that.

  34. Suzanne says

    We will miss you but of course we will still follow you faithfully when you return to “regular blogging!” I am not a mother so I don’t have any advice and I can only imagine what you are going through. You are so strong and an inspiration to me (when I do become a mother)!

    I also subscribe to your feed via email so I will be waiting patiently for your next entry :) A lot of your followers seem to be bloggers too so I hope they can fill in with guest posts! Good luck to you and we will talk to you soon :)

  35. Tammy Root says

    You’ll never lose me! Take time for yourself. We all understand. The funny thing is, when you said you were stepping back from the blog for awhile, I automatically assumed that meant months, but you said perhaps 1 week, 3 weeks, maybe longer. :) Take as long as you need. You’re right, something’s gotta give and the blog is the logical choice.

    We will be right here with eager eyes and ears once you return. :)

    • Maryea says

      I think 1 week was wishful thinking! ha ha! Hopefully I’ll be ready to get back to full time in a few more weeks, though.

  36. Laura S. says

    I think you realize this has been coming for awhile…you’ve been at a breaking point a couple of times and you had to cut something out or you would self-destruct! So a break is completely understandable and well-deserved…take all the time you need. We will still be here and in the meantime I’ll be combing your recipes for many that I haven’t gotten to try yet! All the best.

    • Maryea says

      Thank you, Laura. You’re absolutely right that this has been coming for a while now. I hope you find some new recipes you like while I’m taking this little break! :-)

  37. says

    You know I can relate! I’m just now getting the chance to comment in fact, even though I read this in my reader on my phone a couple days ago. ;)

    Definitely important to keep things in perspective and take care of yourself. It’s so easy to push and push and expect more and more from ourselves. Hugs!

  38. Vicki says

    I pray this post finds you healthier (and sweet baby Luke, too) and more rested! As you can see by these 80+ replies, we all love you and your blog! You have made such a HUGE impact on the way my family eats. You are a great witness to all your readers of how a mother sacrifices for the good of her family, and keeps prayer on the top of her to-do list each day. Thank you! Well, I’m off to try your healthy birthday cake for my son’s upcoming 1st birthday! Take care :)

    • Maryea says

      Vicki, Thank you for your kind words and support. They really mean the world to me. I hope you enjoy that cake!

  39. says

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re unwell! And yeah, I can totally understand that all your daily things must appear much more than a burden under these conditions that they usually would. Take a break and get well, and please let me know when you’re back to your blog! All the best to you, Maryea!

  40. Lisa says

    hi maryea! take care of you and your family!! juggling your little ones’ needs, your hubby, and your needs – I totally get it!! i hope you feel better soon!! in health, lisa

  41. April says

    It is sad to hear you are ill and are taking time off. I will miss your posts but completely understand. My son had gi issues and he screamed 12 hours straight for months on end. Your health and his health have to come first. Please let me know if you need some support with the gi issues. It is different for everyone. I did a total elimination diet for 2 weeks just to confirm it was a food issue. From there we cut all dairy and soy. Ultimately we did neocate formula for 1 week (pumping to keep my supply) and that helped him (I think it was the probiotics and new gut flora). We are still off milk and soy but he is finally digesting his food and gaining weight. If you need to talk I am here. I know even my friends don’t understand how it is with his issues. We have since gone back to breast and finger foods. You can do what you need todo for him. I know one woman who eats only 6 things for her son.

    • Maryea says

      Hi April,

      I have been off of dairy for 10 weeks now and soy for 6 weeks. Just this last week I eliminated all of the top 8 allergens. This is hard, but it will be worth it if it helps.

      I have considered trying formula for a week to see if that makes a difference. Did your supply keep up with exclusively pumping? I’d hate to lose my supply. How did he take the formula? Our pediatrician warned that the specialized formula is very stinky and many babies don’t take it well.

      • April says

        I was religious about drinking mother milk tea while we did the formula test. It also coincided with a week I was on travel so I was exclusively pumping anyway. I feel like my supply tanked more when I had less to eat. Formula is stinky and after about a week he started refusing the formula but it helped before that. He ate 8 or more ounces for each feeding the first week. It was almost like he was finally getting food. I was already pumping a few times because I worked. If I just did the test, I would pump almost every 2 hours. The nice thing is that it is only for a short time.

  42. Juliann H says

    What, you’re NOT super mom?? Boy you had me fooled for awhile. ;-) I was feeling bad that I can barely keep up with my email, the house and 1 child and there you are with 2 kids and a blog and everything else, doing just fine. :-) Kidding aside, I’m glad to hear that you are putting family first and taking a break from the blog. We’ll be here whenever you return! (My husband recently asked when we were going to do another of your recipes – he’s loved all that we’ve tried so far). By the way, I also had constant issues with plugged ducts until my midwife suggested Lecithin capsules. You can buy them at any health food store. She had me take 3 (1200mg) capsules 3x a day for 2 weeks then if I had no plugs reduce to 2x a day for 2 wks, etc. It worked for me. You may also want to see a Lactation Consultant or local La Leche League. I’ve found both to be super helpful on my breastfeeding journey. :-) Good luck to you and God bless your family!!

    • Maryea says

      Thanks for the the insight on plugged ducts. I am going to meet with a LC and will ask about the Lectithin capsules.

    • Maryea says

      Thanks, Tracy! Hopefully my little man will get back on track soon. Everything is so much easier when I’m well-rested!

  43. Michelle says

    I hear ya! I love working on my blog but working full-time and being a mom and trying to maintain a minimum of me time is just very tiring….and I don’t even have a second one yet! I’ll be reading whenever you have new posts up.

  44. Casey says

    Hi, I just discovered your blog and I’m so sorry for the breast feeding issues! I am breast feeding my third right now and have had my share of issues, but good job on sticking with it to see what else can be bothering your son! My eight month old had colic very bad, but once I went off dairy, caffeine and gassy vegetables he was much better. My other two I just had to go off of dairy. I am glad you had an appt with a lactation consultant, La Leche League is wonderful as well. How old is your son? Is he on solids yet? Also, maybe feed him every two hours versus three during the day to maybe help the nit time feelings. Hope that helps – would love to talk if you need to about breast feeding!

    • Maryea says

      Hi Casey–Luke is 21 weeks. He won’t really eat every 2 hours during the day. Sometimes he won’t even feed for very long after 3 hours. He eats much better at night. Go figure. ;-) We haven’t started solids yet. I don’t plan to start until 6 months. I figure his digestive system is even more fragile than the typical baby, so I want to give it plenty of time to mature. The one thing I haven’t totally cut out is caffeine and I know I should. If only I wasn’t so tired!! I only drink one cup of coffee a day and I really need that cup. :-) Thanks for your stopping by and for your feedback!

  45. says

    You are amazing for doing all that you do…I completely understand the need to step back from blogging as I feel that way all the time.

    Breastfeeding is unbelievably hard…kudos to you for taking it on. I wish you loads of luck with everything and hope you get some good sleep soon!

    • Maryea says

      Thank you, Ameena. I’m still waiting on the sleep thing, but other than that things are going well.

  46. says

    I like to pretend that I can handle everything too, but something always gives….I have had to take several blog breaks too!!! Hope all is going well!!


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