This is my last post as The Simple Homemaker…sort of.

Here’s the deal people:

I’m moving over to my family’s other blog, The Travel Bags.

Why?

Why?

Great question. You always ask the best questions. You’re so clever!

There are several reasons:

ONE: I need to be part of the team. 

My family of 10 has a full-time traveling Christian music mission, as you probably know by now. If you don’t know, I’ll summarize:

  • 10 people
  • 1 cat
  • 15-passenger van
  • 30-foot travel trailer
  • full-time
  • no house
  • 49 states so far
  • five years so far
  • roadschooling
  • husband singer/guitarist/songwriter
  • daughter singer
  • StephenBautistaMusic.com (you can buy CDs there)

While I am involved with the music mission, I don’t do enough. My time is split between writing magazine articles, writing for The Simple Homemaker, and working for the mission (never mind changing diapers, homeschooling the kids, parenting eight children, wifing one husband, cooking, cleaning, reading whatever 1800s book my teens are excited about, and eating cookies.)

By getting rid of the first two, I can concentrate more time on eating cookies the music mission. Ideally, that will take some of the weight off my husband’s shoulders. Isn’t that, after all, the definition of a helpmeet?

helpmeet 

[help-meet] noun

definition: helpmate
Origin of “help·meet”:
from the phrase “an help meet for him” i.e., a help suitable for him, in the Authorized Version of the Bible (1611)

That was a lot of words to say “helper.”

I want to be a better helper, and to do that I need to be heading in fewer directions on my own. I need to be more of a team player. My team deserves it.

The Team handling the “team lift” box.

TWO: I’m tired of being part of the noise.

People like me have come to be known as “mommy bloggers.” There’s nothing wrong with mommy bloggers. But have you noticed how many of us there are? Seriously, I can’t count that high. There’s a lot of good in the mommy blogger world, and there’s some amazing encouragement and support, but there is also a lot of un-good.

There are too many “experts” where nobody is an expert, too many false fronts, too many idols, too many selfies, too much guilt, too much time-wasting, too many readers drooling over other people’s lives, too much noise.

I’m just another voice in the noise, and all that noise is hurting my sensibilities. I don’t want to add to the noise.

I don’t want to be part of the noise. I want to focus on this noise instead.

Plus, to succeed in this crowded mommy blogger region of the universe, you have to compete, and compete hard. Unless magic happens (which doesn’t in my world–you can tell by my hair), you have to punch the numbers, track the clicks, study your analytics, make yourself shareable, and on and on it goes. I can’t spend that much time on mommy blogging when I have “mommy being” and the mission calling my name. Nor do I want to.

Also, I’m bored of all the repetition–there’s nothing new under the mommy blogger sun. There’s nothing I can tell you that someone else already hasn’t. There’s just another social media outlet to suck up my time and yours, another recipe, another how-to, another parenting approach, another chemical threat to the lives of your children. I’m getting overwhelmed and, worse, I’m getting bored! I’m too aware of the value of a minute to waste my time being bored, boring, or bore-able…which is a word I just made up and which has absolutely no meaning, so don’t look it up.

Life is too short to be bore-able.

Therefore, while the motivated mommy bloggers are pushing harder, getting book deals, increasing their numbers, and “hustling,” all of which is great, I’m heading in the other direction. I’m stepping out of the crowd, shamelessly stopping at the cookie table for a little stash for the road, and retreating to my own little world.

My world–home, sweet home.

Why?

Because other mommy bloggers can tell you how to fry an egg or bake a ham or ditch a closetful of clutter, probably better than I can and without the cheesy jokes. They can review a book or tell you how to save money at the grocery store, and their pictures will be prettier and more pinnable. They can promote a curriculum or a diet plan or an affiliate program, and they can do it with style. They can share a recipe or tell you how to do your laundry, and their hair will look better in the process.

They can tell you you’re valuable (because you are) or your job is important (which it is) or comparison is a trap (a mighty truth) or to slow down and spend more time with your family (do that, okay?).

Forget smelling roses. Take time to kiss the babies!

They can do that stuff…and they are probably willing to get off their backsides and grab a thesaurus to think of a better way to say “do that stuff.” Some of them are really good at being mommy bloggers. (Some stink and don’t use commas wisely–I caution you.) Therefore, you will be no worse off if I step out of the mommy blogger crowd, because you can go to one of them and hear many of the same things I would be telling you if I were still here. 

So if all you want is a how-to on using natural cleaners and tips on simplifying Christmas, you will not miss me one crumb. They’ve got you well in hand. I salute them.

But…

If you want to see how my family handles toys, toddlers, teens, books, Crohn’s disease, roadschooling, college, restricted diets, storage, chores, clothing, cleaning, a gluten issue, family conflict in tight quarters, full-time RV living, Christmas, screens, road trips (we’re the masters), repairs, culinary disasters (and some successes), and a Christian music mission in a 30-foot travel trailer, correct me if I’m wrong, I believe we’re your only option.

The boys on laundry duty.

THREE: It’s time to show instead of tell.

Here at The Simple Homemaker, I talk about simplifying, but wouldn’t it be more effective to see that in action.

As you know, there are ten people in our family, plus a fluffy bipolar cat living in a 30-foot travel trailer. That’s roughly 250 square feet of living space. To thrive in that environment, you have to simplify…a lot…a lot a lot. (Where is that thesaurus?) Because I’ve been busy putting out a post or two a week at The Simple Homemaker this year, I didn’t put up a single post in 2016 at our family blog, The Travel Bags, and haven’t shown anybody in two years how it’s done.

Shame on li’l ol’ me.

Up until now, The Travel Bags has mostly been about our adventures. Good news: we are revamping it to include more how-tos.

Our first four beauties!

How do ten people (including four teenage girls) manage one bathroom? How do we cook with a single burner? How do we keep enough clothes for every season for ten people, when our living space is pretty much equivalent to the combined square footage of some people’s closets?

What about toys? What about homeschooling? What about Hannah’s restricted diet? What about college at home? What about friends? How do we make it all flow?

How do we make it all flow?

We will resume regularly fielding questions, because holy curiosity, Batman, people have a lot of great questions. Not only is what we do unique, it also exemplifies what The Simple Homemaker is all about–finding joy and meaning in a simple life.

FOUR: It’s more fun over there.

Wheeeee!

My kids love to read that blog. They don’t care quite as much about this one. They think I’m too serious here, if you can imagine that. Plus they already know how to fry an egg, because I teach them stuff…like to not write “stuff.”

I have to keep the fans happy, because, well, they’re going to take care of me in my old(er) age. That’s reason enough, don’t you agree?

Ya gotta keep the kids and the jackelope happy–if the jackelope ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

FIVE: It’s also because of books, cookies, and the cat that hates me. 

Life keeps moving. I have a book waiting to be edited. I have cookies needing to be worked off my thighs. I have a psychotic cat I’m trying to transform into a dog to take the place of Jedi who died this summer (sniff sniff), and it isn’t working. In other words, I’m a busy woman, and these things cannot wait any longer. (Maybe the cat can wait…and the thighs…but not the book, hubby, or kids.)

That cat is not a dog.

I’m mostly kidding about the cat. She’s a great kitty. It’s not her fault she’s not a dog.

SIX: Mostly I want to enjoy my people.

I want to be able to look at my people without my eyes crossing because I was staring at a screen for two hours. I want to play a rousing, top-of-your-lungs game of Pit without thinking I should be writing about biscuits. I want to read the novels my daughters wrote instead of snoozing through “How to make your post go viral.” Who cares about viral?! Really, I try to avoid anything contagious anyway.

Something “went viral” and someone tossed his cookies in the van. Let’s just say nobody will turn that aroma into an air freshener.

I want to write more letters to people. I want to call my mom more often. I want to laugh more with this guy.

Oh, wait…he’s the only one laughing here. That’s because he got carded the same day I was asked if I qualified for a senior citizen discount. The stinker.

I want to live more, think less, and avoid using or hearing all the abstract, overused-and-consequently-annoying-to-me words like intentional, authentic, present, and organic. Instead I want merely to be a better, more Christ-like version of me…which is some days super authentic and other days super just-trying-to-remember-that-I-love-my-life-on-the-other-days-so-I-shouldn’t-drown-myself-in-a-vat-of-chocolate-today. 

That last sentence. That sums it all up. Let’s just stop here.

Where is the vat of chocolate? And, yes, this is my real hair, thanks for noticing.

Except for one more thing:

I won’t miss you guys, because you’re all going to follow me over to The Travel Bags blog, The Travel Bags on Instagram, or The Travel Bags on Facebook! You can begin by checking out our updated Meet the Family page.

Plus I’ll be back here from time to time with my ramblings.

Hooray! It will be fun. Trust me. And sometimes it won’t be fun. Trust me. And I’ll try not to talk about cookies so much. That last part might have been a lie. Yes, I think it was.

See–its fun!

In summary:

I am leaving The Simple Homemaker blog and moving over to The Travel Bags. It will be fun. Come with me.

Come with us.