I wrote this a few days ago. It follows on from “Does my blog look big in this?” It was meant to help me decide whether I wanted to go to Digital Parents Conference or not. I was going to post it, then I wasn’t, then I was.. As you can see I posted it. My time is too precious at the moment to waste so much time writing something without posting it.
EDIT: As your time is also precious you don’t need to read this. I’m not really asking for help or advice. I’m at peace with the situation now, I have been for days. I probably should not have posted it. It is, however, what was going through my head at the time. Yes all of this was buzzing around in there at the same time. I wrote it out to slow my thoughts down. If you are a chronic overthinker too then maybe you understand what I mean.
I had just about decided I didn't want to go to "that stupid conference anyway". It's easy to come up with excuses and reasons to not do things when you are convinced there's no possibility of getting there. The first time someone offered to buy my ticket I was overjoyed and relieved. Then they changed their mind.
Then Corey and I sat down with a calendar and wrote down what was due when and what was coming in when and it turns out that we actually can afford it. So we decided that we would all go and make a holiday of it, as long as he could get time off work. Almost instantaneously somebody else offered to buy my ticket.
Now I have to decide. I have two viable options: keep the ticket and go or sell the ticket and don't go. It's that simple.
With me, nothing is that simple. I'm more confused than ever. I'd like to blame it on baby brain but as Corey is quick to point out I've been indecisive for a very long time. I'm the kind of person who can't decide between maccas and hungry jacks. Choosing my subjects at uni was agony. Choosing whether to return to work or not had me physically ill for weeks. This is not going to be an easy decision.
There is so much stuff to think about too.
I DO NOT like flying at all. I have overly short eustachian tubes which means I get blocked ears just driving up a mountain let alone being in a plane. It really hurts. I have earaches now just because of a head cold.
I am not street savvy. I have only ever caught a taxi once and that's one my mum pre-booked and pre-paid. I have not used public transport since uni. I pack a suitcase for an overnight trip. I have weak shoulders though. Needless to say I am not a good traveler.
If I go by myself I have to grow up fast and suck up the fear and just do it. If I go with William I'll be fine focussing on him but then, what do I do when I have to pee, which knowing me will be quite often. I will have to go at least once on the plane.
If all four of us go we have to put up with Alexis' sooking and whinging on the plane. She's perfected banshee-like screams recently. I would be so embarrassed. To keep her happy we would probably have to watch Wiggles DVDs. The problem is we would have to turn them off for landing. It is hard to take things off toddlers without causing a scene.
If all four of us go it will cost a lot of money. Do I deserve to spend that much on a hobby? Corey says he will support me and we will make it work. Technically we can afford it but should we save the money for bills? I could have a girls night out with some friends for much less. In the back of my mind I question whether it’d be putting the kids under unneccessary risk. Yes I still hate planes and have a stupid fear of them. I won’t let that stop me though, I won’t live my life crippled by fear.
A family holiday would be nice but will Alexis cope having a day without me in a strange city? Would I rather use that money to take us to the beach for a few days or to a themepark or on a road trip to see distant relatives. I have family and friends in Melbourne but they are not near where the conference is. If we all go we would like to fit in time to see them, so do we stay an extra day or two or do we rush around like crazy?
Then there's the conference itself.
Once I get there, if I go, I can meet some awesome mummy bloggers, including those who I've been following for many months. This will be fun and interesting yet in a small way end the "mystery" I like so much about reading blogs. I have imagined what people sound like and act like. I don't watch vlogs because I like to use my own imagination.
If I go I will be outside my comfort zone in a room full of strangers. Fortunately there will be many others who also don't know anyone. Fortunately a group of mummy bloggers is bound to have some socially inept people, so it's one place I don't think I will be judged severely for being shy and awkward. Fortunately mummy bloggers love learning about things others might consider mundane so it won't matter overly much if I am not very interesting.
I'm sure there will be loud, energetic, extroverted people there too. This is good because I could probably hide behind them if I wanted to. It would only be awkward if I still had an earache or two from the flight.
My ears are actually the main reason I don't know if I should go. My ears are like my Achilles heal. If they are blocked I might not be able to hear properly. What a waste it would be to go to all the trouble of going and then not hear the messages. I had this happen at a friend's wedding recently. Sometimes instead of reducing my hearing I get very sensitive to loud noises. There's going to be babies there. Some babies will cry. Pain.
Then there is what to do with the kids while I’m there. Of they stay home I’ll miss them. I could take William with me to the conference, which Corey would prefer. That way he can focus on Alexis and I don't have to worry about expressing milk. I'm not likely to get to express milk while we are down there and I can't exactly take pre expressed bottles with me.
I'm not sure how William and Alexis would go being separated for a day. Alexis would probably get jealous of William coming with me unless Corey takes her somewhere really fun. Then I would know that I was missing out and a small part of me would rather be with them.
Taking William with me means no having to buy formula but it makes it hard for me. This kind of event normally doesn't allow prams, so again what do I do when it's bathroom time? Most in my mind is this: how much attention would I be able to pay to the speakers if I have William with me?
Yes going to the conference is a good way to meet fellow bloggers and possibly (hopefully) even some business people looking for bloggers to represent their brand. It's the easiest way to network, meet people and make contacts. Having William with me might even help there because he's a gorgeous little ice-breaker. I would also be there to learn though.
I would like to make the most of the conference and actually be able to focus on what the speakers say. I would love to take my laptop and type notes. I would like to listen intently to personal testimonies. It is hard to concentrate while juggling a baby. It's hard to type while holding a baby. It's hard to listen while trying to change/feed/settle/entertain a nearly 6 month old baby. I pretty much never catch a word of the sermon at church.
I have enough trouble concentrating as it is. For a once academically minded person I have a short attention span. I was zoning in and out of focus in my lectures all the time. I used to blame being tired from working nights and getting up a few hours later for uni. I'm no less tired now though that's for sure!
Then there is the final thing weighing on my mind. Say I come away from the conference refreshed and renewed and ready to make some awesome changes to my blog. When am I going to find time to implement them? I have some pretty good ideas now but I can't prioritise my blog over my children, husband and domestic duties. Is there any point torturing myself with more information and techniques to put on the virtual to-do-list?
If I go then when I get home I’ll be too busy to blog for a few days. Alexis is likely to be clingy for a few days because I left her for a day. This is pretty much a certainty. She spent this weekend with my parents who she likes more than she likes me. She had an absolute ball yet she would not let me out of her sight on Monday from dawn to after dusk. She refused a nap and she woke at night and I had to lie in with her for an hour before she went back to sleep.
Life as a mum means that you can have 'me time' occasionally but it'll cost you. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not. Should I go to the conference or should I lock myself in the study with the computer and a block or two of chocolate?
There really is so much to think about. This Melbourne conference really does seem to be all in the too hard basket. Yet I just can't say no just yet. Is it just me being indecisive (as I tend to do). Am I afraid to commit to not going? Would pushing through the difficulties be good for my personal development? Do I just not want to miss out? Or do I really really really want to go, despite all the questions?
I wish I knew.