Being a Balanced Blogger

“The home is eighty-three percent of your child’s world, and you have only one opportunity to make it of maximum benefit.”
-Dr. Howard Hendricks

That quote, offered during a Mother’s Day sermon, is looming at the front of my mind as I type this post up. The Crafterminds girls asked me to share my thoughts on balancing blogging and mothering young children…But first I have a little confession.

I’m not a perfect blogger, and I’m certainly not a perfect mother. Most of the time, my floors look like this:

messy floor

Clearly, I can’t boast a home worthy of a feature on Apartment Therapy. And I don’t have thousands of Followers clamoring daily to leave comments on my posts. But I have had some experience in juggling the daily demands of being a stay-at-home mom and struggling with the desire to express myself and grow my blog.
For me, my blog started as a chance to talk about something other than sippy cups, Disney princesses, and the potty. I finally had a place to share some of my creative endeavors, air my thoughts, and even to vent some of the frustration that comes with staying home with two small children every day.
Blogging is slightly addicting. I have totally been the mom who put all the frozen groceries away and left the rest on the counters so I could check my email to see if anyone left a comment on a post that I spent a lot of time on. I let my girls watch a cartoon so I could finish up a certain guest post. Ahem.
You’ve probably realized that Blogland exists by the notion of Quid Pro Quo. You have to do some visiting, linking, and commenting to grow your blog…unless you’re some sort of blogging star whose material is so good that it exists on its own. If you know of a blog like that, please let me know. The point is that getting your blog out there does take time and effort.
I suppose my best advice would be everything in moderation.
Try to set up a blogging schedule that works for your family.

  • Early Bird: Can you wake up early enough to check a few emails and read a few of your favorite blogs before your kids are up? I’ve found this is also a great time for my Bible study.
  • Quiet Time: Are you a believer in Quiet Time? This is a must for our family. My girls need the rest (even if my five year old just plays quietly in another room), and I have another chance to respond to comments, work on a new blog post, and catch up on any chores I can’t get done while the kids are out and about.
  • Night Owl: We have a set bedtime in our house for the kids, and it’s just as much for my benefit as it is for them. Once the Kitchen sink is clear, I can sink into a sort of stupor for a bit. If my husband is not at work, I’d like to make a goal of spending more time with him, even if it means reading a book while he watches The Discovery Channel. If you’re a Night Owl, this might be a good time for you to blog, leave comments, or check out some blog parties.
  • Pull the Plug: Know when enough is enough. I am learning to shut my laptop when my girls are awake. This way, I can’t be tempted to refresh my email account every hour or be lured into the temptation of reading just. one. more. blog. We spend more time together reading, playing, and sometimes cleaning up.

If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed with writing new posts, replying to comments, and linking to blog parties, that might be your signal to take your own Time Out. I am so appreciative of the wonderful faces I see in my “Followers” section, but I also know those readers understand that I won’t have anything to blog about if I’m not out in the *Real World* experiencing life.
The pressure to “make it big” in blogging is so prevalent, especially with the influx of new blogs, Sponsors, the 4757563 blog parties out there, and the desire so many of us moms have to please everyone.
Your computer will still be there at the end of the day (unless your toddler spills milk on the keyboard). The comments left on your latest post aren’t going anywhere. Your blog can wait around for you to finish up that post in your drafts file.

Our little ones won’t always want us to play Barbies with them, or walk down the street to the park, or help water the flowers in the back yard. Let’s make our “one opportunity” count and make sure the kids remember us as moms who invested time in them.
In the light of eternity, it won’t matter if I had 500 followers or 5,000, but what will matter is what I did with that “Eighty-Three Percent.”
{How do you find balance between your blog and personal life?}

Big thanks to Crafterminds for letting me share my thoughts today! I have learned so much since joining your weekly Tweetchats and reading the informative articles you all post.

I’m Amanda, chief blogger at Serenity Now. I’m also a child of God, stay-at-home mom of two sweet little girls, wife to T, shoe connoisseur. We live in Virginia, but I spend a lot of time in Target. I’d be super-happy if a Starbucks wanted to open in my own backyard.

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12 Responses to “Being a Balanced Blogger”

  1. Well said Amanda! Our kids will most certainly remember the time we did or did not spend with them. I don’t have the desire to have a popular blog with many followers but if I did I would adopt some of your guidelines to balancing my time while blogging. For now, I am just blogging to remember their childhood and such. Thanks for sharing and being so honest!

  2. Natalie C. says:

    Hi Amanda! Love your post- it’s an excellent reminder as I jump back into blogging after leaving my teaching job to stay at home. I love your floor- my carpet is worse than your rug- shall we have a contest? 🙂 I’m getting ready to have baby #3, but I’m bookmarking this post to help remind me once things settle down that I can do different things to manage my time and my blog.

  3. Thanks for posting! We have recently implemented a daily schedule that includes built-in time for me to work and other built-in time for me to NOT work. Both my husband and I keep the TV and computers turned off from 5-7 so we can hang out with the kids and have real quality time!

  4. That’s a great point Amanda! I don’t have kids yet, but I will someday I hope. So it’s a good time to get started on a schedule!

  5. Jane says:

    I need to get better at turning off the computer! It’s so hard because it’s in my craft room!

  6. Amy says:

    Agree, agree, agree. 🙂 Now that summer time is here, I won’t be blogging as much. During the school year, I blogged during the day. I say it on my blog… it’s not my priority. My husband, my kids and God are my priorities. I will never make it “big” and that seems to be a huge push lately. I do get discouraged because I write something I love and I get no comments on it, but I keep going back to “this is not my priority. I write because I like to write. If I can’t inspire 1,000 people, I pray that I at least inspire 1.

    Thanks for the great post. It’s nice to know that I am not alone in my thinking. 🙂

  7. Thank you Amanda for a great post! I don’t have kids (yet), but I have a full time job away from home so I have trouble balancing blogging and work also. I appreciate the advice of a schedule! I’ve been meaning to stick to one, but then my husband comes at me with bargains like, “If you go see a movie with me I’ll help you paint the bathroom”. So I guess I have to be flexible 🙂

  8. Beautifully put, sweet friend!

  9. Replace the barbies with trucks, and the houses with train tracks, and you’ve got a picture of my house!
    Thanks for the reminder. Next time Little Moore says, “Come on, Mama!” I’ll remember to say “just a minute” to the computer, not to him.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Great post, I’ve been shutting my ;aptop off during the day too. Helps a lot. 🙂

  11. This is so incredibly helpful! Thank you! 🙂

  12. Clare says:

    I’ve just found this through Pinterest and I’m glad I did! I admire your total honesty. With my old blog, as it begun to gain popularity I felt it was becoming too consuming, and I was becoming obsessed with comments and stats. My darling children were the ones who were missing out while my head was somewhere else. I think I’m getting better at balancing, but my blog is taking the hits this time, and I don’t care!
    Will be trying to get up earlier to squeeze some writing in, great idea! 🙂

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