Back when I was a “new” blogger I wrote a piece about being a working mom and trying to add blogging into my already hectic schedule.
Read that piece here: Blogging and Working Mom – Can I Do Both?
Now that my girls are older, and my writing life is busier, I thought I would revisit how I’m making it all work together.
I still work outside the home 32 hours a week and now I write for this blog (and do all the back end upkeep), as well as for a local media outlet, and I’m slowly building up my writing and editing clients.
(My dream is to work less hours at my pharmacy assistant job and make writing more of a pays-the-bills gig!)
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So what exactly do I do to keep my life from spiraling into a thousand directions at once? Honestly I’m still not sure, but I’ll try to break it down for you a bit.
A lot of people use planners and calendars to manage their lives. I always try to do this and then quickly fall out of it. I guess being “unscheduled” is the way I work.
I do have a zippered organizer that I use for jotting down ideas and keeping my tiny notes (that I often jot at work when ideas strike) together. Carrying that around with me is a bit of a hassle too, but it really does help, keeping everything in one place!
As far as my work life, my schedule is the same every week. There’s nothing I need to keep track of there (unless I’ve switched a shift or something.) Same with the girls’ school and extracurriculars. Once we’re in the swing of the term, it just continues on without me needing to keep track of anything.
Appointments are another story. I SUCK at remembering when things are happening. Thank goodness all our appointments (usually) send out reminders, either in the mail, by text, or by phone call. Otherwise I would miss them all!
I have become a little more successful using my Outlook Calendar across my devices. I like it because I can add my husband and he can “join” and then also be reminded of upcoming appointments!
Fitting Blogging In
Those 32 hours I work in a week fall into four 8-hour days. That means I get one 6 hour stretch a week at home by myself. This is a lifesaver for me. I use the time to catch up on laundry, do housework, write (or do other blog tasks) and catch up on my business work, get groceries, and sometimes binge some shows!
Read more about my writing and editing business: Writing and Editing Services
Sundays are also a low-key day for us. My mother in law takes the girls to church, and usually keeps them for the day, then we head over there for a big family dinner every week. This leaves Sundays open for work-at-home time as well.
My best times for getting my extracurricular work done is at the dance studio. My girls dance 9 hours a week (total – there’s some overlap where they both dance during the same hours) and that translates to some great 45 minute blocks of time I can work in.
This is a lifesaver. I am a person who has 1000 ideas at once, and can’t focus on one while the others are percolating. I make notes non-stop during my day and often don’t have time to expand on them in the moment. So I collect all the ideas (and the many pieces of paper I write them on) and hang on to them until I can make time to work.
I find when I have a few hours to get writing and blogging work done I feel very scattered. I have to sit down with pen and paper and literally block out my time. And that means write down specific tasks for specific lengths of time:
- 8-9am work on blog post XXX
- 9-9:15 switch laundry and tidy up dishes
- 9:15-10:15 reply to comments and brainstorm new topics/ideas
- 10:15-noon schedule social media and reply to emails etc.
Using this time blocking method really helps me with my focus, and stops me from forgetting about my laundry!
How my girls fit into this
Now that my kids are older (7 and 10) they need much less supervision than when I started blogging. I can tell them I need some time and they will (mostly) give it to me.
The girls are also usually happy to be my subjects for photos, and they enjoy tagging along to events and attractions I visit to facilitate future posts. Including my family in my reviews and photography is really important to me. It gives me the authentic “family” vibe for my posts!
One drawback I’m finding now is that my kids are staying up later. This means I have less evening hours to get work done. Which is why I’m SO happy they understand that I need time here and there to get my work done.
Having a busy family schedule actually helps me get this extracurricular work done. Carving out time at the dance studio honestly is great. Sometimes I do a lot more chatting with the other dance parents than I should, but the dance studio is comfortable place for me.
How do you make it work?
I know I’m not the only working mom blogger out there. Heck, any parents who also choose to blog has to fit it into their life somehow. I’d love to hear how all of you make it work. Trying to keep focus in your busy life is hard!
Life is busy, no matter what your household does or doesn’t do in a week. Those of us who are crazy enough to pursue businesses, hobbies, or anything else that isn’t directly related to caring for, and chauffeuring, or kids, deserve a real pat on the back.
So good for you if you’re one of us – extra busy and overwhelmed most of the time. I want to hear every trick you use to stay of top of everything (or at least try to!) Leave your tips in the comments below.
If you’re interested in working with me as a blogger, or for editing and content creation for your own business, visit my Work With Me page. Then share my business with anyone you may know who would benefit from my services. Word of mouth is the best advertising!