Balancing life as a blogger, can it be done?
Can you have a successful blog and a happy family?
Can you actually get sleep each night, and make a living from home?
I think these things are possible, but it's a delicate balance that is sometimes hard to obtain. While I feel like I've achieved balance, it's been a long road.
I was inspired to write this post after reading Diane's post:
In her post, she talks about how she loves working from home, and then gives some tips (like having your own work space) to help you achieve balance. The things that have helped me be successful as a work at home mom include:
My own work space – Just like Diane's post says, having your own space is a must. Even if it's just a corner in a room somewhere, something's gotta give.
Patience – I have to have patience with myself, with my blog, and with my kids in order for this to work. Yelling at them, telling them “Be quiet! I'm working!”, isn't going to help anything at all. I created busy kits and have been doing some of the things on the 100 Things to Do Instead of Watch TV list to keep them occupied while I'm working.
Time Limits – Without time limits, I'd never get anything accomplished. I'm constantly being pulled in 100 different directions, and sometimes I have to say enough is enough. My kids come first, and our time together is valuable – something we can never get back. Spending 12 hours on the computer and ignoring them will not only ruin my relationship with them, it will ruin their self-esteem, self-confidence, and just plain ruin their day! Who wants to stare at the back of Mom's head all evening?
Motivation – In my Kids Make Money Series, I talk about all the hard work that goes into owning a business – whether you're a child or and adult, it's tough! The money doesn't come easy. The hours are long. And most folks will give up before they've given it a proper chance.
Priorities – I know that, for me, traveling has always been a dream. However, I've had to turn down travel opportunities because they are not in line with my priorities. Would I take a one time trip to California for a blog event? Yes. Would I travel almost every month (or more often) for it? No. While I understand that many jobs call for travel, I work from home so I can actually be with my children. I did not sign up for this gig to leave them so I could travel the country. Your priorities may be different, but they need to be written down – and concrete. Don't budge just because something sounds “fun”.
Also, I had to MAKE my weight loss a priority! It was so easy to just let the “working out” part slip to the end of the day – and then be too tired to do it. If you want to be healthy, you WILL make time for it.
A schedule – Just to give you an idea of what my schedule looks like, I grabbed two days from my planner:
7:30 bring kids to school
8-1 CLIENT 1
1pm walk dog
1:30-3:30 CLIENT 2
3:30 get kids
4:00-5:30 dinner, homework, time with kids
5:30-6:30 chores for kids
6:30-9:30 blog, network, email
7:30 bring kids to school
8AM walk dog
8:30-10:30 CLIENT 2
12-3 blog, network, email
3:30 get kids
4:30-9:30 CLIENT 1
To achieve balance, I had to map out every hour of my day, or it looked more like:
Yep, that pretty much says it all.
Finding the perfect balance “formula” is different for everyone, and is constantly changing. I'm very thankful to have a partner that helps with the kids after she gets home from work. She cooks, she cleans, she does everything she can to help me have a better day, and I'm grateful for all that she does. Without her, this blog would not be as successful and I would be 100 times as frazzled. Having a good support system is a must when working from home. If you're a single mom, it IS possible (I've done it before), but it's much harder.
If you are working from home and find yourself saying “Just one more minute, honey” – turn the computer off. And next time you turn it back on, set a timer. All of your work will still be there when you get back. Spending 30 minutes coloring, watching a movie, or just chatting bout your day will NOT set you back. I promise. And while you're spending time with them, you're building memories. Memories that will last forever.