5 Life Hacks to Help You Balance Your Blog and Your Babies
I get this question from other moms allllll the time: “How do you manage to balance your blog and your babies? It is soooo much work!”
And they’re right, it is a lot of work.
Thankfully, I have found a system that works for me and my family, and it allows me to make a living writing on my blog, and also raise my own babies. If you’re reading this today, then I’m assuming you probably want to find a similar system that allows you to start a blog, work from home, and raise your own babies too. So, I’m happy to help you get started.
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THE TRUTH ABOUT WORKING FROM HOME
Before we get started, I have to confess something. If you’re looking for easy money and easy work, then blogging probably isn’t the career for you. It takes time, effort, patience, and dedication to build up a solid business as a blogger. It’s fun and flexible work, but it’s still work.
I don’t want you coming into this thing with any wild ideas about 6-figure salaries and part-time hours, from the comfort of your rocking chair, while you nurse your newborn baby. That sounds dreamy, but that isn’t what most of our days look like as working moms.
When I say that it’s a balancing act, I mean it. Finding that balance takes focus, practice, and strength. You have to be prepared for some hard work and some real work hours.
You shouldn’t let that discourage you though! The blogging business might not be all glamorous Instagram photos and inspirational captions, but working from home definitely has its perks. You can work in your sweatpants (yay), work wherever you want, work when you want, build the business that you want, avoid daycare costs, and make a lot of money.
In other words, it’s worth the work.
BALANCING THE BLOG AND THE BABIES
Most of us mamas got into this business because we want financial freedom and time freedom to enjoy the sweet stuff in life (the babies, the beach, the boozy drinks), right?? So, we need to find some balance between working hard, building our blog, and enjoying our life.
When I first started my blog, I feel like I spent alllll my time with my face buried in my phone or laptop. I was reading, writing, sharing, commenting, liking, and practically begging for traffic and views…all day, every day. And all that work was only making pennies for my business. That’s not very balanced.
It wasn’t long before I realized that I needed a different strategy if I was going to make this thing work.
THE SYSTEM THAT WORKS
You know that old saying, “You can either find a way, or you can make one.”
Well, through some soul-searching and some trial-and-error, I managed to create my own blogging system that actually works, actually makes money, and allows me to automate much of my business and enjoy more time with my babies.
It’s still a balancing act, but it works better than struggling and scrambling and being broke all the time. Here is my system to help you balance your blog and your babies.
FIND YOUR FOCUS
Your focus is your center of attention, and when you’re a working mama, your focus will be divided sometimes. That is okay.
But our goal is to set up each day with a specific focus so that we can get things done for our business and for our family. This applies to every area of your business and your life.
Does your blog content have a specific focus? Do you have a solid business plan in place? Does your day, week, and month have a specific focus? Is your time on social media spent with intention? Give some thought to these questions today, do some soul-searching, and decide what you’re going to focus on today. Whatever you are doing, do it with intention.
BUILD YOUR STRATEGY
A strategy is super important for your business and your daily schedule.
It still surprises me how many bloggers approach me and tell me they don’t have a daily schedule, or they have so many things going on, they don’t know what to take care of first.
That is so counter-productive guys.
You need to have a strategy, a plan of action, for what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. This is where I usually recommend that you create a business plan that lays out your goals and your plan of action for accomplishing those goals.
SET YOUR TIME BLOCKS
Your focus = where your attention is. Your strategy = your plan of action. And your time blocks are those scheduled blocks of time that are laid out specifically to build your blog, handle your family life, enjoy your kids, and take care of yourself.
It requires some intentional work, some automation tools, and some help from your support system, but it’s totally manageable. Blogging mamas (including me) do it every day, and you can too.
I tend to organize my weekly schedule (including my time blocks) on Sunday nights. This works best for me because my husband is home from work and he can take care of our kids while I focus on work. I organize my writing schedule, my conference calls, my event coverage, our doctor’s appointments, play dates, and everything else that is an essential part of our week.
** Please note: play dates and quality time with your kids are absolutely essential parts of the week. **
I do a large block of work each morning before my kids wake up, and a large block in the evening when my husband gets home from work. When my babies are awake, I live by the 80/20 work rule. 80 percent of the time, I’m playing with them, taking nature walks, reading books, feeding them, cuddling them…basically, just being a normal mom. But sometimes, I have to take a phone call, answer an email, or edit an article when my kids are awake. And that’s totally okay!
It’s not a bad thing for your kids to see you working, it’s actually a good thing. You just have to make sure you’re spending a lot of unplugged quality time with them during the day too. My general rule: no more than 20% of their waking hours should be spent on work. To honor my rule, I have to wake up early and knock out a big chunk of work before they wake up.
You’ll have to set up your schedule and your time blocks in a way that makes sense for you and your family. But I highly recommend putting this system into practice today.
AUTOMATE YOUR SYSTEMS
Modern technology is amazing in a lot of ways. There are so many incredible automation platforms that allow you to spread your message and your blog content across all social media platforms. Just set them and forget them.
For Facebook, you can use the Facebook scheduling tool. Just click on “Write Post”, write your content, and schedule it for the day and time that you want to share. It only takes a few minutes to schedule a week’s worth of posts this way. The scheduling took looks like this:
Buffer is also a great tool that I use to automate my social media accounts. You can create a FREE Buffer account and schedule 10 posts a day, or you can upgrade to their paid plan and schedule as many posts to as many platforms as you’d like.
Here’s an article from Forbes on the Top 15 social media management tools to help your business thrive. I haven’t used all of these tools, but many of them are worth trying out. For me, a simple editorial calendar, weekly Facebook scheduling, and Buffer automation works well.
ASK FOR HELP
This is a hard one for me, but sometimes you just have to ask for help.
When you’re running a business and raising babies, you have your hands full, and it’s difficult to remember to take care of yourself, get some rest, and recharge for a more productive tomorrow.
That’s why finding a support group and asking for help is so important. It’s good to have some local support (a friend, relative, colleague, etc), and some online support from bloggers who “get it.” If you’d like to join my free blogging support group, you can do that here.
Be sure to keep in mind that everything in life requires some give and take. Don’t be a taker without giving something back to those that help you. That’s kinda sucky. It’s okay to barter services, or pay for a babysitter, or outsource some of your easy tasks, etc.
Finding help does not necessarily mean getting things for FREE. Remember that you’re building a business, and your business requires some investment. For me personally, I try to hire a babysitter to help me with my kids one day each week. It gives me the time to write, edit, and have complete focus on my business and my students. The rest of the week, I work around my kids’ sleep schedule and husband’s work schedule.
BUILD YOUR BLOGGING BUSINESS
If I can give you some advice that you’ll listen to, this is it: start your blogging business today.
Just do it.
Don’t hold back for fear of the struggle, wondering how you can possibly balance your blog and your babies. Trust me, you CAN do it. If you need help setting up your blog, check out this article with the exact steps for getting started (pictures included)!
It’s all possible. You can have the business, the family life, and the freedom. It takes patience and dedication, but it’s within your reach if you’re willing to work for it.
And if you’re looking for some extra special working-mama inspiration, head on over to Domestic Blonde and say hello to my friend Kelly. She’s a blogger mama with two handsome kiddos and a firefighter hubby. Her blog is filled with helpful advice for surviving life as a fire wife and mommy.
If you enjoyed this article, please give us a shout out online!
**Featured photo by Ali Art & Photography