Balancing Motherhood + Blogging || #Themomblogcollective Week 4
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!
If this is your first time checking out the series, and you'd like to get caught up from the beginning, here ya go:
(I just want to apologize in advance for the lackluster of this week. I was on vacay with these lovely blogger friends in Palm Springs and needless to say, it was hard to focus on writing a blog when I was meeting some of my favorite mama influencers IRL for the first time. Feel free to check out #momsdopalms, for a full photo journal of our adventures.
Now, you've made it to this week! How to Balance Motherhood + Blogging | Week #4
One of the most asked questions I get when I meet a fellow mama and tell them I'm a blogger is, how on earth do you find the time to do it all? I usually laugh because I feel like I don't actually have that part figured out yet. This weeks topic is sort of ironic because the last few weeks, many of us who are part of #TheMomBlogCollective have been so overwhelmed with regular mom life that we ended up having to skip or postpone this series a few times. The truth is, sometimes, the balance just doesn't happen as expected, so be patient with yourself and try to not put too much pressure on sticking to a perfect schedule.
I've been an Instagram influencer for about 2 years now and blogging for about 6 months and I still feel like I'm still searching for the secret to balancing my time. Of course one day I hope I can call this influencer gig my full-time job, but for now, it's just a little side hustle when I'm not busy with that #momlife.
My real full-time job is a mom and a wife so I have lots of duties I am responsible for on the daily. I don't have a nanny, a housekeeper, or someone showers and eats for me, so ya know, my daily task list is pretty long. A lot of the time I am single parenting because my hubs travel a ton for work, so finding time to post on Instagram or write a blog is a challenge on most days.
I've struggled with the mom guilt when Finn is watching hours of YouTube or Disney movies 875 times in a row. I've gone days without eating a thing until 3 pm, skipped numerous workouts (like all of them) and I've definitely forgotten to call back a girlfriend a time or two (prob three) because I'm busy working on my Instagram or blogging. And seriously, trying to write some witty and compelling caption for my daily Instagram post while a sink full of dishes is staring me in the face is challenging to say the least.
I used to try and post twice a day at least 5 times a week, but that was just too much time away from my daily responsibilities. Last month, I adjusted my posting schedule, because it was too much pressure to be that consistently witty and keep my images in my feed consistent that many times in a week. Now, I only post 1 time a day (either before 9 am or after 5 pm) and if my week is crazy, I don't have a problem skipping a day or two.
I write and edited photos when I can, and most of the time it means I'm probably ignoring something else I should be doing. Ya know, like laundry, a playdate or even a shower. What's kinda funny is, I'm actually typing this on my iPhone as my husband drives us to lunch. If you really want to be a blogger and find the balance, you've got to make the time, however, and whenever you can. If that means getting up early, or staying up late or writing for a few minutes at a time throughout the day, it's up to you to find what works for your schedule.
Here are 7 ways I try to keep it all together while balancing Motherhood + Blogging :
1. Get up earlier than everyone else
2. Find the beauty in the chaos
3. Make time for me
4. Plan out my days (please read #5 alongside this one)
5. Be adjustable
6. Be honest with your client, friends, husband and yourself
7. Take advantage of the time after bedtime
1. Get up earlier than everyone else.
Having a little 'me' time before I get bombarded with the responsibilities of my day, really has helped me keep my Zen and tackle tasks with less stress. Just being able to brush my teeth without a toddler pulling at my shirt, helps me feel like I've completed something for that day. On the days I actually am able to shower, get dressed and put makeup on before he wakes up, those are the best days. They don't always happen, but when they do I feel like a real person and not just mom who lives in sweatpants who always has that dry-shampooed bedhead and a toddler attached to her leg. It's true for me when they say, If I look like my best self, I feel like my best, and I then can be my best self. (That's probably not the right quote but you know what I mean).
2. Find beauty in the chaos
You heard me, chaos means memories to me, it means things are happening that are sometimes messy, but that doesn't mean bad. So, it's ok if you have dishes in the sink, a floor covered in cheerios and toys, and a laundry pile that has been looking at you for days. It's ok if that blog post you promised the company would go live Tuesday if it doesn't actually get posted on Wednesday, life will go on. If everyone is fed, clothed and happy, you're doing just fine.
3. Make time for me (I struggle with this one a lot still)
Here's the thing, if the captain of the ship didn't sleep for 3 days, only ate crackers and string cheese and had no human contact besides a 1-year sing along to Moana, do you think he would be fit to lead his castmates into the sea and lead his team into rough waters? No way, the ship would probably sink because the leader would be too exhausted to actually lead them. You are the leader of the house and you are leading your children by your example. Make sure you are on the top of that list of priorities. Take what you need, when you need it. I need a daily dose of reality TV paired with chocolate covered almonds and a glass of wine. That's what makes my love tank full. You decide what works for you, and make sure you don't skip what you need to care for everyone else. That means, yes you have permission to sit on the couch midday if you need to regroup or recharge. Ignore prepping dinner, taking out the trash and skip a post one day if you need to. You do things for YOU girl, cause when you do, everyone benefits from it.
4. Plan out your days. (please read #5 alongside this one)
Make a weekly plan of things. Not daily. Cause we all know we can end up having "one of those days" and if you only plan one day, it will ruin your whole week. So, I like to plan my week, I like variety so I don't always have the same plan on each of my days of the week. I do have a general idea of things that go something like this.
7-8am: Me time (which does usually includes an Instagram post) It's so much easier for me to posting before Finn wakes up, because after 8 am- it's 100% his time.
8-10am: Morning routine with Finn, diaper changes, teeth brushing, breakfast, teepee play time, etc.
10am-11am varies depending on the day. Somedays we go for walk, some days we watch a movie, and some days we run errands (Target, duh).
We usually have a snack/lunch before naptime which is between 11 or 12.
11:30am-2pm-ish: Finn's nap time. This is my time to catch up on emails, collaboration opportunities, plan content for the next few days, edit photos, etc. I also need to find time to eat myself in here, so somedays, that gets skipped.
2-4pm: This time is fully dependent on the type of day Finn is having. He sometimes prefers individual play time, so I am able to do the dishes, clean the house, or fold the laundry while he builds a train, reads his books, plays with his cars. And some days, it's all "I wanna hold you, mama," all day long. Those days are hard because I just can't get anything done with him on my lap.
4-6pm: errands, dinner prep, or playdates
6-7pm: dinner, bath, bedtime
7-9pm: Wife duties, dinner, dishes, tv with hubs
9 pm---- ME TIME! This is actually when I do my best work. I plan my post for the next morning, or I write my blogs. When everyone else is in bed. Thankfully, Jason goes to bed at 9 pm every night he is home, so I am able to stay up and focus on my blogger responsibilities uninterrupted.
5. Be adjustable
Things won't always go as planned, actually, most of my days never go as I planned, but I had to learn to live with the chaos and embrace it really. Some days are easy, some are not, but that's why it's great that success isn't measured in a day. I like to think of it like a toddler's food plan. If they get all they need in a week's worth of meals, one bad day of donuts, snacks and skipping all veggies are ok. As long as it's balanced out with the other days of the week. If by the end of the week, you've hit all the food groups; that one day doesn't matter. Apply that same rule to your mom, wife, and influencer duties and if at the end of the week you've fit them all in, you can consider that week a success.
6. Be honest with your client, friends, husband and yourself
Most of the time we want to hide our insecurities and just hope everything looks "perfect" when some days it's just not. I found that when I was honest about what was happening in my chaotic life, it made me much more relatable. I tell brands, "Sorry if I'm a little scattered, Finn has been super sick and took 1 hr nap instead of 3 hrs so, I'm a little behind on things and I may need to push the post a day or two. Hope that's ok." I tell my friends, "Guys, Finn just rubbed sunscreen all over the dog, can I call you back?" I also let me husband know, "Today was tough, I need you to take over dinner and bath routines tonight. Would you mind helping?" If you are transparent with everyone, trust me, they will usually understand and be empathetic.
7. Take advantage of the time after bedtime
Oh, you so know what I mean, right? The moment you put the baby down for bed and you do your happy dance because you have whole 2-3 hours (depending on your bedtime) to get things done. Or some nights, to actually just do nothing at all. Some nights I like to shower, meal prep, load the dishwasher and straighten all the toys before I go to bed so I can start the morning without those on my list. Because the more I get done at night, the better I feel in the morning. Also, I try and make at least one night about my husband. Just time for me and him. Whether that's a glass of wine on the patio talking about our memories and our future, or if it's just cuddled on the couch binge-watching our fav shows in silence; I try for one night of uninterrupted husband and wife time.
As we all know, just being a stay at home mom comes with a full set of responsibilities, and then to add in wifey duties, friendships, taking care of my own body, etc fitting it all in can seem like an impossible task. Then if you are an influencer, and you add in the blogging obligations and somehow try to also find the time to take pictures, edit them, write captions, and blog is stressful. That in itself could literally be its own full-time job and it is for some of you. Somehow, I try and cram all of those roles into my daily routine. Somedays it works, and some it doesn't. I just try and remember, this is all for fun and it's ok if it isn't perfect.
I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes for those imperfectly balanced days that you need a reminder:
"If something is important enough to you, you will find a way; and if not, you'll find an excuse."
Here's a link to all the other beautiful, genuine and inspiring mamas in the #TheMomBlogCollective:
our guests this week:
All photos in this post were sponsored by someone I am happy to have in my community of creatives. Amelia Protiva is wonderful and amazing and just got her doula certification and is based in Silicon Valley. If you are expecting or if you just want some gorgeous family photos, you must reach out to this beautiful and creative soul.