I have been putting off this post for a couple weeks now, but I can’t avoid it any longer. The rigors of parenting during a pandemic have reached a point where I cannot keep up with the demands of running a full-time news site. So for the foreseeable future, I am pulling back to part-time.
I am not quitting, and Seattle Bike Blog is not going away. But I am letting go of the drive and pressure to have posts every weekday. And that necessarily means that I am also letting go of my vision of Seattle Bike Blog as a comprehensive news source about biking and safe streets news.
I have been missing so many stories because I just do not have the capacity to cover them, and being constantly behind is a huge source of stress in my life. Every day I go without writing about, for example, the city’s plan to connect the Duwamish Trail to the low bridge, the stress builds up more. I know I need to write this story and many others, but I just don’t have the time and energy after childcare. And the stress is turning into depression, which is immobilizing and makes it even harder to pick myself up and work during the limited time I get.
These times are very hard for everyone. There are so many sources of stress. And I need to let this one go.
If you are among the blog’s paying supporters, I can’t thank you enough for all your support. Your continued support will help keep the site going, but I also understand that you signed on to support full-time work. I am prepared for and expect many people to drop out. Same goes for the local businesses that sponsor this work through advertisements. Whether you stay or go, thank you.
If you are an advocate who wants the blog to cover an issue, consider writing about it on your own medium (fb, blog, etc), then sending me the link. I still want to help keep people informed about what you are doing, but my capacity to do lots of reporting on individual projects or issues is going to be limited.
If you are a reader with a tip, I of course still want to hear it. But if it sounds like more than I can handle, I’ll probably suggest another reporter for you to contact.
I take up a lot of space in the bike journalism scene, so this could also be an opportunity for new voices to emerge. If you or anyone you know is looking to cut their teeth in the local journalism business, get in touch with me. I have nearly unlimited story ideas to get you started. A basic understanding of newswriting and reporting required. Email [email protected].
I’ve been mourning the loss of my full-time work on the blog for the past couple weeks. I’ve been writing this site for more than a decade, and this isn’t the way I saw things going.
But I’m just doing what so many other parents, especially moms, have been doing this year: Putting my career on pause to do child care. So while I identify as male, the larger problem is a serious gender equity crisis. Even in good times women are far more likely to put their careers on hold to do childcare, and the pandemic has only made that worse by hitting women-dominated industries especially hard. The National Women’s Law Center recently found that one in six Black women and one in five Latina women are now unemployed. Without intervention of some kind, the impact on future career opportunities and earnings will be enormous. I know it’s hard to keep a handle on all the simultaneous crises going on, but parents leaving the workforce and derailing their careers is yet another one.
I am privileged because my family can afford for me to take this step back, at least while we navigate through the pandemic and our child is young and in need of so much attention. I simply cannot understand how single parents or families that need every dollar from both paychecks are getting by right now. Well, I do know the answer: Many aren’t. And our government is doing almost nothing to help.
See? This is what I mean. There’s just so much to get angry about, so many sources of stress.
I am also lucky because now I get to spend more time with my toddler. And I have found this past week that my time with her is much more enjoyable for both of us if I am present with her rather than trying to squeeze in some work or stressing about the fact that I’m not getting my work done. So I know this is the right choice, even if it breaks my heart.
Aparigraha. This stress does not spark joy. 🎵Let it go, let it go!🎵
(I’m going to have to watch Frozen a lot, aren’t I? I’ve made a terrible mistake…)
— Tom Fucoloro, Editor of Seattle Bike Blog