Achieving Balance with Motherhood and Blogging
I am a mommy and a wife. I am also a blogger. I love my family! I love blogging! Both require time. When I initially started my blog, I spent A LOT of time on my blog. I was learning how to do posts, upload videos, upload pictures, fix codes, as well as communicating with companies and other bloggers. I was constantly on the computer. I was also having a difficult time in my life – battling depression – and found my blog to be my escape or what guys call, “my cave.”
I found other moms battling the same things as me – bedtime routines, maintaining the laundry, shopping with kids, finding the best deals, dealing with depression, trying to manage chaos, and more. It’s amazing how being a mother can instantly bond you with another mother, whom you might have just met in the grocery store, or even online (like through a blog). I found new friendships online and felt good about myself. It was a few blogging friends who encouraged me to seek counseling (as well as my family) to get through the depression.
My blog also helped to give me confidence. How wonderful it was to have people telling me they loved my blog and companies telling me they loved my reviews. Talk about a self-esteem booster. It is amazing how you feel when someone asks the name of your blog, you tell it to them, and their reply is, “Oh I read your blog! I love it!”
My blog started out like most blogs do. I had literally a hand full of followers and was so excited that a few people I didn’t know found my blog interesting. I started doing reviews and giveaways and commenting on other blogs, who then commented on mine, and my blog really started growing! I reduced the amount of companies I contacted and began to see companies contact me. I was invited to 2 different blogging events, which were amazing. I mean, I was recommending holiday gift ideas to the CEO of Smucker’s for his grandkids!
I’ve even had the opportunities to get to know companies in the Seattle area with other local bloggers. It’s been a blessing and a lot of fun! After all, I had no idea there were so many local bloggers doing the same thing as me.
With all the positive experiences I have with blogging, I have also learned that all things should be enjoyed in moderation – thus balance was needed! How does one achieve balance? I am still trying to master the exact science, but have learned a few things in the process. Here are a few suggestions:
– Set times when you work on the computer. It is so easy to sit at the computer for an hour and have two hours go by. If you have to, use a timer so you know when it’s time to get off the computer.
– Use the computer when the kids are asleep. I tend to post early in the morning, when the kids are still asleep. It gives me time to think and write without distractions (aka kids fighting, phone ringing, etc).
– Don’t be afraid to turn down product reviews. For a long time, I was afraid to turn down product reviews, for fear that the rep might not want to work with me. It didn’t take very long to be overwhelmed with stuff and realize a line had to be drawn. Only review things you would use and are interested in. The reps will come back if they really love your blog! And if they don’t, they probably wouldn’t have to begin with, so just move on.
– Work first, then play later. My husband says this all the time and sometimes it drives me crazy. However, you will feel so much better working on your blog if your surrounding area is clean. If it is clean, it is easier for everyone to focus and makes for a more loving environment. **Note: this doesn’t mean only kids toys, this means your piles or items around the house or an abundance of toys that are out.** I have experienced the peace it brings as we recently cleaned our house and donated a lot of stuff we weren’t using. I have also started to “reward” myself with blogging when the daily chores were completed. For instance, when the laundry is put away, I’ll check my email. When the kids are fed and dressed, I’ll write a post. It gives me incentive to get the work done that needs to be done and I still get to blog.
– Always put family first. It is easy to get distracted with kids when you’re trying to work on your blog. However, my kids won’t always be this age and wanting my attention. I realize that when I look at my 6 year old. I can’t believe how quickly he is growing. I remember BlogHer last year. I didn’t attend but read all about it on other blogs. I even read a blog of a mother who didn’t go because her little ones were sick. That was so inspiring to me. Remember, blogging is here now, but family will be there forever.
– Schedule your posts. I am still trying to master this one. Make a list of reviews or posts you want to write a week or two ahead of time and schedule them accordingly. If you have extra time, add on some other posts. With scheduling, you’ll feel more comfortable knowing what you want to post and when you want to post it.
I did not receive product or compensation for writing this post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.