How I Balance Blogging and Motherhood | #THEMOMBLOGCOLLECTIVE Week 4
Welcome back to another post in our Mom Blog Collective Series! If you're new here, here's the scoop. Once a month, our group of amazing and inspiring mamas will answer the same set of questions to do with blogging, Instagram, photography, collaborations, sponsored posts, balancing it all with motherhood, and more. We each have different perspectives and different opinions, so this is a fun way to learn from one another. We hope you'll join along! Check out the hashtag #themomblogcollective to see everyone on Instagram, and I will also link you to all of the amazing blog posts here at the bottom of my post!
Sooo. We might have missed a couple weeks of this series. Life happens, things come up and sometimes, the old blog needs to be put on the back burner for a minute. This is kind of ironic this week because we are talking about that mythical unicorn of a idea called...BALANCE! Whenever I hear or get asked about balance, I laugh. As a mom, it's something I've just learned is a moving target and something you want and wonder how other people do, but can't seem to manage any kind of balance in your own life. It didn't surprise us when we were planning this series that some of the most asked questions among our little blogger group was "How do you find time to blog?" , "How do you balance it all?" and the most hilarious, "How do you DO IT ALL?" (hahahahaha - come see my house, I don't do it all, I don't do like even half.)
That being said, wanting to take on another commitment such as blogging or Instagram, does take some level or organization and priority. It's not always a consistent balance but we do put in some effort in order to be able to achieve our goals when it comes to our blogs or businesses. Today we are sharing some of the popular questions we get asked about this topic and hopefully it will a) remind you that even when it looks like someone has all this time, or does it ALL, they just don't and b) inspire you to reach and maybe try something new or see how you might be able to "balance" taking on a blog or business!
How often do you post on Instagram? Oh how I wish I had an inspiring or consistent answer to this question (or even took my own advice). I KNOW it's like THE best and most direct way to grow your Instagram following, get your photos seen more etc etc BUT I just can not manage posting daily. How often I post directly coincides with how I'm feeling and whatever else is going on in my life. Currently, I'm 37 weeks pregnant and so tired that I'm lucky if I manage 2 times a week. When I was feeling like a million bucks in my second trimester, it was probably more like 4-5 times a week. The truth is, I've learned where Instagram is on my priority list, I love it and it absolutely matters to me, but it's easy for me to tell when there are things going on that are more important and I do not feel guilty for not posting enough or anything like that. My blog is the same, it's a diary for me and a way to document my family life and the photos we take. At this point in my life, I post when I feel inspired and have something to post. I've done the whole "I MUST blog 3x a week thing" before and in the end, I wasn't always proud or inspired by the content I was putting out.
When do you find time to blog/post? I save all of my blogging/posting until the kids are either napping/Dex is at school or after bedtime. That's just the best thing for everyone in our family. Occasionally, I'll take a couple hours at Starbucks on the weekend or one night a week to knock out emails and a post or two. I usually photograph when the kids are around. Either I include them and try to work them into whatever I want to post and make it fun (a picnic, jumping on my bed, something like that). If it's a more involved IG post, I'll write my caption in advance ( I make a note in my phone). I usually have a minute or two to post a photo and don't want to have to worry about writing, spell checking, and coming up with a caption. If it's something simple or in the moment, I'll throw up an emoji and call it a day.
How do you manage your time and do it all? We've already established that I don't even come close to doing it all so I'm not even going to go into that one haha. And in addition to that, I'm not the best at time management either sooo there's that. What I've learned, in every area of life, not just IG/blogging/social media, is that something is always sacrificed. We can't do it all. Especially as moms, it's almost impossible to even have amazing time management skills because there is just more to be managed than there is time. I have a week where my home looks amazing, I meal planned, my emails are all caught up BUT I didn't spend a lot of time with friends. Another week, I really played with my kids, got so much done with our homeschool, blogged and posted to IG 4 times but all of our library books are overdue, I have 50 emails in in inbox and I am desperate for a date with my husband. Something my husband and I have started doing to help with time management is a Sunday Meeting. We meet Sunday night, usually just at the kitchen table or our couch and go over the week. Our schedules, we plan some homeschool together, I tell him when I need him for help with photos/blog/IG stuff, we schedule in family time, meal plan, any big cleaning or projects that need to be done, stuff like that. We just implemented that in September and it has helped so much. So if there is something you want to get into or start, even if it seems silly (like me asking Zach to take some photos for me on Thursday at 2pm) the only way it's going to happen is if you at least try to make it a priority. Writing it down and telling someone else about it helps! Don't be afraid to add something, see how it goes, and play around until you find a balance and what works.
How many collaborations do you take on a week/month? So for me, collaborations are a way for me to make some extra money, doing something I already love doing and stay home with my kids. For some mamas, this question might be "how many photoshoots do you take on", "how many conference calls" etc. I don't have a weekly or monthly limit because to be honest, I don't do that many collaborations. I take the ones I really believe in, love the product or want to support and turn down anything I know isn't a good fit. I will also turn down (for now) any collaboration inquiries that I know I won't be able to deliver on. It's not only stressful to you, to have this item sitting there staring at you and you can't find time or the inspiration to post, it's really not fair to the brand/shop/company that put effort into that item, sent it to you and is now waiting for a post/return on investment. So, even if I love an item and really am dying to work with a shop, I will circle back when I know I have the time to commit. I feel like this whole question is just personal preference and depends a lot on the time you have to dedicate to whatever way you choose to provide for your family. You will know VERY quickly when you've taken on too many collabs and it can be stressful so my advice is to start slow and be very selective.
That's it for this topic!Let me know any other questions you have in this area for me and I'll be sure to answer them! Again, I'm not the most organized or balanced person in the world and my time management skills need some work, but I give myself grace and try my best to keep dreaming and setting goals (even super small silly ones) because forward motion and progress is my goal not "post to IG x amount of times a week" or "take on x number of collabs". There will be a day and a season where my goals can get bigger and my time gets easier to manage but for now, I've got two adorable kids, a husband to love on and a baby to grow and that's my number one. I don't want to let go of the things and hobbies and passions I love, so I hold onto them in little ways, knowing that they are still there and that I'm doing my best.Annnnd some totally off topic apple picking family photos because we finally went but all we had was an iphone 5 (because my super awesome iphone 6 died at 50%) and it was raining but they still bring me so much joy!
our guests this week: