About a year ago I dove headfirst into the blogging world. I gave it my all. It was new, it was fun, and quite frankly it became my obsession. I did an awful job of balancing motherhood and blogging. Things around the house lost my attention and it started to show. The kids were crankier, the house was most definitely not clean, and don’t even get me started on the never-ending pile of laundry. (Mom-bloggers, I can feel you nodding along to this!) I knew the only way to succeed as a blogger and a mom was to find a way to balance everything. If I kept going like I was, I’m pretty sure I would have gone crazy, so today I’m sharing with you my best tips for balancing motherhood and blogging.
Set a Schedule
My kids have always been big on schedules and routines. I think it might have been the only thing that helped me survive the first year with the twins. With a schedule, the kids know what’s coming next in their day, and you know when you’ll have the opportunity to work. Having a routine in our day helps me focus on the kids more because I know that I’ll have the opportunity to write that blog post later in the day.
Wake up Early
I am not a morning person at all, and I never have been. However, since I started getting up a few hours before the kids do, I cannot deny the perks. I can get so much done in the quiet hours of the morning with a fresh cup coffee (or two!). Those are the hours when my blog gets all the attention without interruption. I can write without losing my train of thought (“Mommy, can we watch Mickey?”) or feeling guilty. I hate saying, “No, honey, mommy wants to write this, so we can’t go play outside right now.” That always leaves me feeling like the worst momma in the world, so I avoid that situation like the plague now.
It’s also worth mentioning that getting up early is soooooo much easier to do once those littles are sleeping through the night. Hang in there mommas, one day, they WILL sleep through the night and you WILL get some rest again. I promise.
Once upon a time I was such a night owl. I could stay up until 3 in the morning working on whatever project, and then happily snooze until noon. Being a mom has changed that for me, and those days are long gone. I have a hard time staying up late, much less making my brain work that late in the day, so early definitely works better for me.
Sometimes I think to myself, “How on earth does this house get so dirty?! It shouldn’t be possible.” But then again, there are two adults, three kids, and two dogs living here, so it kinda makes sense. Plus, given the choice between blogging and cleaning, I’d rather blog, thanks. Just like the kids and I need a routine, so does the house. I put a cleaning schedule into place, and it really makes things feel manageable. I spend roughly 30 minutes (if that) cleaning one room a day. For me that’s so much easier than putting it off all week and trying to clean the entire house in one afternoon.
I also try to do one load of laundry a day to keep it from piling up too high. I toss it in the washer in the morning so that by snack time it’s ready to fold. If I get it out of the way in the morning, it’s harder to procrastinate throughout the day.
Now that you have a handy daily routine in place, know when you can and cannot multitask. When my kids are playing happily together, I can do some social media. When they want cuddles or to play with momma, they get my full attention. I don’t want to be that cranky mom who’s glued to her phone 24/7; I want to be the happy (not distracted) momma with arms outstretched ready to catch her little ones.
Take Advantage of Nap Time
Besides early mornings, nap time is my chance to get stuff done. Whether it’s blogging, a little housework, or some downtime for me, nap time is golden. I just have to keep in mind that flexibility is key here. The kids won’t always take a nice long nap, and they won’t always play in bed for a little while after waking up happy. Sometimes they wake up early and cranky, and on those days I need to remember to respond with happiness instead of my own crankiness. It’s frustrating, yes, but the key here is flexibility.
Get a planner and write down everything. (This is my favorite planner.) Make to-do lists for everything you want to do each day for the house, the family, and the blog. With it all written out in front of you it’s easier to tackle. You’ll spend much less time trying to figure out what to do next, and more time getting stuff done. Look at your daily routine and schedule tasks for yourself (i.e. I need to empty the dishwasher, so I can do that while the kids eat breakfast.).
This sounds counter-productive, right? Just hear me out. There is no rule that says you have to do everything all by yourself. There is no rule that says you have to post 2 to 4 times a week. It’s all opinions. What you need to do is find what works best for you and your family.
This summer I cut back to posting only once a week. While I miss doing the second post, it has given me the opportunity to better promote the one post I’m doing. I have more time to make the content and images better. (Greater quality over quantity.) My traffic or stats haven’t really suffered. If posting several times a week is overwhelming for you, cut back. It’ll be okay.
And don’t forget you can also ask for help. This one is really hard for me. I don’t know why, but I hate asking for help. If I haven’t kept up with the cleaning schedule during the week I’ll ask Hubs to take the kids so I can clean. Or if he’s home when they wake up early and cranky, I’ll ask him to grab them so I can finish up whatever I’m working on.
Ask for help. You shouldn’t have the whole world on your shoulders, and it’ll make you a little less cranky if someone’s helping you carry it.
Bonus Tip: Take Some Time for Yourself!
Just like with all things, you need to take some time for yourself. Take breaks and pamper yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t take care of your family and your blog if you’re not taking care of yourself, too. Everyone needs a little me time. (You can read more about that in this post.)
Since I’ve started doing all of these things, I feel like I have a better handle on balancing motherhood and blogging. My kids have most of my focus again, and in the end, they are what really matter. I feel less overwhelmed (most of the time), and much less stressed out. My house is even clean most of the time, but we’re still not going to talk about that never-ending pile of laundry.