Last Monday, after the #crafterminds chat touched upon the topic of balancing family and blogging, I could tell that it was a subject people really, really wanted to talk about. Lucky for us all, we already scheduled for it to be the next topic we tackle at #crafterminds chat (this coming Monday, Jan 24th at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern). A little while later, I saw that one of our Crafterminders had taken some action in this arena, and my interest was piqued!
Ashley (@SewSoDef) tweeted this:
Hi Ash, Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for Crafterminds about balancing blogging & family! I wanted to talk to you because of your tweet: “Just had a family talk about how to spend my time online (building relationships & promoting shop) without neglecting them.”
How did this conversation come up?
My family has been complaining for a while that I’m always on the computer or my phone. Unfortunately, they’re right. I love Facebook, Livejournal, Twitter, Etsy . . . but I’ve been neglecting family and making them feel less important than they should. Solution: less time online, right? The problem is that I’ve been thinking a lot about sprucing up my online presence to focus on my Etsy shop. I know that’s going to require a significant amount of time, so how can I do that while my family already feels neglected? I figured I should stop trying to figure it all out myself and involve them.
I so want to know how that conversation went! What did you say? What did they say?
I decided to express my regret and desire to return my time & energy to family matters, but also my desire to use time online more productively for shop promotion. I wanted to hear from them how they felt, and if we could work together to come up with a plan that would make us all happy. My kids said they didn’t like it when I was on the phone during obvious “family time” – like when we’re all watching a movie. So that was an easy issue to take care of – I will put the phone away during those sort of activities. Not saying it won’t hurt, but I’ll do it. 🙂 I asked how they felt about me doing stuff online when everyone else seemed to be doing their own thing, and they said they were ok with that.
Is your family/partner supportive of your hobby/craft/business?
My family is very supportive of my Etsy shop. Interestingly, there have never been any complaints about the time I spend sewing, knitting, designing. I often do these things with the family buzzing around and sometimes my daughter helps with small tasks. It was just my time playing online that bothered them.
What are your top 3 tips for bloggers who want to balance business with their family?
1. Have a frank discussion with your family. Explain your intentions and ask for their opinions. Acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Or so I’ve heard. 🙂
2. Sit down and come up with a plan. I’ve decided to use my morning train commutes for commenting on blogs via my phone and my train ride home for sending out shop updates, catching up on Twitter. After the kids have gone to bed & on weekends, I’ll write blog posts in advance, to be published throughout the coming week. I’m going to look into online tools like HootSuite and blog calendaring to see if they can help me streamline my profiles & become more efficient. I already use Windows Live Writer and I love it!
3. Keep working to focus on the right things. When you get the urge to jump on Twitter during the family game night, ask yourself if it’s really that important (hint – it probably isn’t). We’ll never be perfect at this balance, but that’s no reason not to keep working on improvement.
Etsy Shop: http://www.OneInTheHand.etsy.com
Favorite 3 craft supplies: Uh . . . scissors, straight pins and . . . knitting needles! Do those count?
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