Yesterday a little someone knocked me back into reality. This little someone is very special to me. She encourages me when I’m overwhelmed. She takes care of me when I’m feeling under the weather. She always makes time for me and has always been my biggest fan.
She’s my daughter.
My 6-yr-old, knows when Momma is overworked and, yesterday, she told me so. “Mom, when are you going to have a day off?” The last month, I have been busier than usual, but in the last month I’ve been blessed to have numerous opportunities to grow the Momma Findings Brand…. opportunities I’ve worked hard for the last 3 years. So, after feeling an overwhelming sense of imbalance, I posed a question to myself: How can I balance Family and Blogging?
As I mentioned, my daughter knocked some sense into me. You see, lately, she hasn’t been herself. She has become very whiny, emotional, sassy, and somewhat defiant. This isn’t the girl I raised. MY girl has always been sweet, happy to obey and help out, and pleasant to be around.
After a meltdown yesterday, I called her to me and said, “Honey, what’s wrong? You’re not yourself lately. Is there something you need to talk to me about. I’m here.” She broke out crying and says, “Mom, I just miss school. When are you going to take a day off?” This girl is not only screaming for a routine, but she also yearns for more Momma time. I try to make it fun with crafts, games, tv, reading, and fun days out swimming, but I still need time to work at home. Since I’ve been busier than usual, my children are having a hard time adjusting to that fact.
Since we still have about a month left before school starts, I know I need to implement a change in our household structure to balance out family life and blogging life. My children are acting out and I think my blogging is the reason. (Talk about a big glob of guilt on my shoulders).
I’ve come up with 10 ways to balance, but I’ll be honest. I’m scared they won’t work or I’ll have a hard time sticking to them myself and I need all of your help to keep me accountable.
- Wake Up Earlier: I’m just going to have to do it. Summer days have been keeping me in bed later and keeping me up till the wee hours of the morning. Not anymore. I want to be up by 6:00am every day. It’ll give me time to write, answer emails, plan out editorials and market through social media. Oh, and what better way to get my body ready for BackToSchool than starting now?!
- Make a Schedule: Has anyone every told you guys who have families, you have to make time for sex with your husband? Family life gets so busy sometimes you have to. Absurd? Not really. Same goes for blogging. I know, I know, I’m comparing blogging to sex, but if you think about it both take passion. So, I’m going to schedule blogging time like a job 6:00am-12:pm (with time to make breakfast and get the kids day started).
- Say No: I mentioned I’ve got a LOT of new opportunities and exciting events coming soon, but sometimes you just have to say no. I’m a Consumer and Parenting Blog, so lots of review opportunities come my way and in the last week, I’ve had to say no to about 50 of them. There’s not enough time in my day.
- Delete Emails: If I answered EVERY email that came my way from a PR agency or company, I’d, literally, have no time to blog. I hope PR reps can understand that bloggers receive close to 100-150 emails a day. No joke. I have a rule of thumb: If you don’t address me by my name, I delete. If it’s a press release copied and pasted, I delete. If you send a mass email, I delete.
- Involve Your Children: I’m a parenting blog and most products are family oriented so it’s not hard to get my children involved, but why not take it a step further? Since two of my children are Elementary age, I’ve asked them to write down 5 things they like or dislike about the product we tried. They help me choose/take pictures for my post, and contribute to what I’ll be writing about.
- Take a Day Off: Have you heard people say, “You can’t turn off Social Media?” This is true, but another true statement is, “Social Media will be there tomorrow.” It’s okay to take a day off, closed laptop, no Tweetdeck, No Facebook, No emails.” I will admit it’s hard, because each day DOES have down time, but I’m going to try to use that downtime as family time.
- Set an Egg Timer: If you have a hard to scheduling time, that’s okay. Often, my day to day schedule changes according to when my Husband is off. So, set a timer. Plan to blog, for an hour then set the timer. Plan to answer emails for 30 minutes, then set the timer. Lastly, stick to it. <-- That's the hard part for me. I hear the timer and try to get in one quick email. I wish the blog fairy could slam the laptop on my fingers sometimes.
- Ask Your Family: I haven’t done this yet, but I plan to sit down with my children and ask them when they think would be a good time for me to blog. Would they prefer I stay up late to do it, while they’re sleeping? Do they want my undivided attention in the mornings or evenings? Give them a say in your schedule.
- Stay Organized: Whew. This one is hard. I’ve got so much paperwork, contracts, review products, emails, books, etc. Last week, my husband MADE me clean out my cabinets, drawers, and shelves to better help us find what we need and keep me from losing my mind.
- Set the Mood: I was very blessed to receive a hand-me-down desk from my In-Laws a few days ago, complete with shelves, drawers, and, most importantly, space. I have more space to spread out my paperwork and stay organized. I also have my iPod radio nestled next to me when I need inspiration, a calendar for quick viewing, office supplies handy, a place for my gadgets (camera, flip, batteries, chargers), and finished it off with a lamp. Dim light makes me relaxed, which, in turn, keeps me motivated to finish my work.
Blogging, for me, has become more than just a hobby. It’s my passion, turned job. I’m very blessed to do this and stay home with my children, so now all I need to do is find that perfect balance to keep my children happy and Momma productive.
I need your help. I have a plan to balance family and blogging, but I want a few suggestions from you guys. Do you have creative ways to involve your family in your blogging?
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