Dec 31, 2015

How to be a working mum and run a blog

Spoiler: This post, like many other, was written partly during Oliver’s day naps, partly at night, partly in the evening while Alex was playing with Oliver. It took three or four days to publish.

The other day, at one of the many mums’ reunions I go to, I overheard a girl, first-time mum like me, saying she’d really want to start a blog, but I just don’t have the time. It made me smile: not having the time to do something you really want to do is something I don’t believe in. I believe in making the time for what’s important to you.

When I started this blog, I was working 9am-8pm Monday to Friday. I didn’t have the time. Now I’m a part-time working mum, who doesn’t have family around and doesn’t send her little one to nursery yet. I don’t have the time.

I make the time. I prioritise.

When at the end of the day I tell Alex I didn’t have time to blog, it’s most likely a lie: maybe I went out with my friends, maybe I cleaned the house, maybe I didn’t feel like it, maybe I just preferred watching the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy (yep!), maybe I was just too lazy to make time.

You see, time escapes from those who are too lazy to make it. Even more so if what you want to do is not really a priority.

Blogging is one of my priorities.

I converted it into an unpaid job. So it’s not only about wanting to blog, it’s about having to: I made a commitment to myself and to my readers, and I created a routine which I try to stick to as much as possible. Often I have to sacrifice other things. I remember countless times when I didn’t leave the house, see friends, have lunch out, sleep an hour longer in the morning… because I had to blog.

Blogging as a mum is a different story

I’ll give you this though: blogging as a mum is just a new level of difficult. And I see how one would use the “not having time” card/excuse. I can’t remember the last time I could write, translate and publish a full blog post in one day, let alone in one go.

But these past nine months of blogging as a mum have taught me a few things that made my (and my son’s) life better, and allowed me to actually being productive and publish on a regular basis.

  • Choose your time carefully. It's useless to try and squeeze a few sentences in the time that your baby takes to crawl from the carpet to your chair, sit him back on the carpet and repeat (scroll up to see a picture of this ;-). It'll just frustrate you. If you know that you can't sit uninterruptedly for at least 20 minutes, pick another time.
  • Done is better than perfect. Since I have little time for myself and share the rest with a demanding baby, I threw my perfectionism out of the window and went for the "good enough". It's amazing how much more I get done. PS. Good enough doesn't mean sloppy.
  • Have a plan. My sister always laughs at me having plans, because plans just work when you have kids. But in this case, sitting at the computer with a very, very clear idea of what you have/want to do and in what order, is a winning strategy and makes you so much more productive.
  • Use the husband. Husbands are amazing tools that can give you the gift of time. Use them. Right now, Alex is playing with Oliver right here next to me.
  • Prioritise. This is universally true for any life project. Alex just told me, "Take half an hour for yourself". I could have done my nails, rested, read my Facebook, watched TV, slept (which we're not doing at night), replied to whatsapps, called somebody. Instead, I'm blogging. It's all about priorities.
  • Use social media wisely. Social media are super important to grow a blog, but they can also be unhealthily distractive: lately, I've been making a conscious effort to use them mostly for blogging, without letting them drag me into their addictive spiral of useless information.
  • Turn off all notifications. When I sit at my computer to blog, I won't take your calls or reply to your messages. Don't get offended. You'll hear from me when I get out of my bubble.
  • It's ok to give priority to real priorities. Sometimes I don't meet my own deadlines: I say I'll publish something on Monday and I'll publish it on Wednesday. Most of those times, it's not laziness or lack of time: it's because I spent that time with my people. They always come first and it's just how it has to be.

Blogger mums out there, what helped you? What are your secrets? Sharing is caring!

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Educating for the long term, Montessori, multilingualism, and full-time traveling life.