About seven years ago to this day, http://www.aboutbeingold.com was created. I was newly married and ready to change the world, one blog post at a time. Every evening after work, I would come home and write furiously since each day I was learning new things about the older generation that just made my mind boggle! For a creative soul like mine, blogging was the perfect hobby for me.
In 2011, my blog was starting to get a lot more visibility. Then, a year later, I had my first child. She was super cute, and fun (for real), but BOY did she get in the way of my blogging. Today’s post is the first of my “w/kids” series. And for those of you who have entered into the blogging world yet happen to have one, two, or multiple cute chubby cheek babies, here are some things I’ve learned along the way:
- Don’t sell your soul – When you first start a blog, you enter into a new world of possibilities. In my mind, I was dreaming to go global. If only my kids would hurry up and sleep so I could write another blog post! Anybody with me?? A successful blog takes hours and truthfully, years of consistent hard work. But when the “free time” you have starts shrinking from a comfortable few hours to diddly squat NONE, it can be terribly frustrating. The most important thing I’ve learned over the years is not to sell your soul to blogging! Once you google “how to grow your blog” the list of things you could do to gain visibility becomes endless; it is so easy to choose blogging over life. If you find yourself attending to your blog more than you are attending to your children, marriage or other major responsibilities, don’t worry, it is normal to get excited, however, maybe it’s time to reevaluate.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself – How did she get such a popular blog…and she has three kids?? It is far too easy to constantly compare yourself to others, especially when it comes to blogging. If you see a mom with a successful blog and just wish wish wish that you had the same, keep in mind that behind beautiful blog posts and perfect well-lit photographs are hours and likely years of work. Nobody snaps their fingers and gets a popular blog. REMEMBER THAT! Don’t be so hard on yourself. Have you ever noticed that the majority of mommy bloggers who post often and regularly either only have one child (which means more free time, but not even that much), have older children, or blog full time (meaning they have someone watching their kids when they go to “work”)? And have you ever noticed the number of blogs that come to halt or disappear for a year or so after a mom has two? The demands of motherhood are for real. So be easy on yourself.
- Be realistic – If you’re an aspiring home decorator or DIY fanatic like myself, you may have followed the awesome blog, Young House Love. Both husband and wife blogged full time with their adorable child and were exponentially successful. They have a book and now design their own product line. Is that the dream or what?? Soon after they had their second child, you may have noticed that they made this crazy announcement that they were going to stop blogging PERIOD. WHAT?!??! Couldn’t one of them just keep blogging full time and the other take care of the kids so they could continue their success? I think we can learn a good lesson from John and Sherry Petersik, which is to scale back for the purpose of living life with your family. Be realistic with your expectations. Be okay with writing posts that maybe only your mom reads. And know that it will be healthy for the long run of your blog.
- Scale back for this season and be okay with it – Prior to kids, I was able to blog almost every other day. The year after I birthed my third child, did you know I wrote only about eight blog posts the ENTIRE year? Yes, some mommy bloggers stop posting after their second child.. and for good reason. They are feeding babies, changing diapers and doing awesome valuable work with only few hours of sleep. While I still wish I had more time to write, I have totally scaled back on my expectations. Only God sees the work I do as a mom, day in and day out. And while I have no blog post to show for it, that’s okay. Adjust your goals based on your mommy responsibilities and season and you will feel so much better about it.
- Write because you love to – Your blog will not survive in the long run if you only write to gain readership. With each child that I have, I have learned only to commit time to things that I enjoy because there is no time to be wasting. Blog because it refreshes you or because there is something near and dear to your to share.
- Write in increments – Here’s the inside scoop on my blog habits. After putting the kids to sleep, I rarely sit down and can spit a blog post out in one night. And this post is currently being written from 4-6am in the morning (because I just can’t sleep). Most of my posts are written over the span of months, usually weeks. I write my blog idea down and then a week later I may start writing a paragraph. If I get a little more time or actually get my children to nap at the same time, I write a little more. Once I finish a post, I edit and revise. And repeat. Until I feel like people will understand what I’ve shared from my scatterbrained mind. From beginning end, each of my posts takes at least 2-3 hours to finish. I do it because I have something on my heart to share. After we get the kids to bed, I only have about an hour to (drumroll please)… clean up the table, do the dishes, pack lunches, start a load of dirty laundry, follow up with unpaid bills, respond to teacher emails, talk to my husband, shower if I choose, brush my teeth…oh and if I have time, to blog=). Some days you blog, most days I don’t. Do it in spurts if you need to, remembering that any finished piece of work takes times. Find your own rhythm and please share your experiences below! I am anxious to learn what works for you!
- Take notes – Because my blog topic relates to both work and life, my mind is forever overflowing of ideas to post about. It hurts my brain my actually! Throughout your day, you may think of an amazing blog idea, but not have the time to sit down and write it. TAKE NOTES. I am forever taking notes on my phone so that when I do get the chance to blog, I don’t have to twiddle my thumbs and waste time over brainstorming content. I simply go back to my phone and choose an idea to write. How convenient!
About two years ago, I changed the headline of my blog to “About Being Old” to “About Being Old W/Kids” not so much to inform my readers that I am a mom, but to ease the pressure I put on myself to try and be everything. Remember you don’t have to be a mom and blog or be something. You are amazing and God has chosen YOU to be someone’s mom for good reason. So take a bath, call a friend, eat some Cheetos. Pat yourself on the back for surviving those tantrums, picking up wet food off the ground. And blog… when you can.