I wanted do a this post for quite some time because I always get asked how I stay organized and find the time to run a blog (and all that that entails – creating content, maintaining social media accounts, etc.) while being a mom of two (relatively) small kids and working full time at a corporate job. So… let’s dive in but before we do I have to make this disclaimer – do NOT think that even though I think I organize myself well doing all of this that there aren’t times that I hit a wall and lose my s*** LOL! Because there are plenty of times where I feel like there’s too much on my plate and at those moments I take a break and disappear from social media for a few days or I take a full weekend break and don’t post anything, don’t plan anything and just try to occupy myself with other stuff.
So here goes…
Editing photos / writing up blog posts
I have to say first and foremost, that blogging would not be happening without careful planning planning planning! Additonally, I consider myself a well organized person but again, without PLANNING, none of this would be possible. And while perhaps some people thrive NOT being organized and just work well in chaos (let’s call it that for a lack of a better word), I firmly believe that planning is key for all bloggers, organized or not. Knowing what’s coming down the pipeline for me, what content I have to think about now in order to meet my deadlines later and so on.
For me it all really comes down to working on my blog in the evenings when my kids are down for the night. By that, I mean prepping blog posts in advance or working on one that I publish that very night. I don’t always hit publish on a post I’ve prepped before. Sometimes I am just finishing editing my photos and then I prep my post that same night and hit publish right then and there. That happens when I am really excited about the content I am about to publish and prepping the photos and writing up the post happens all at the same time. Generally speaking though, I try to have a few blog posts prepped and ready to go in advance. That eliminates the stress for me that I would like to have something posted on my blog but nothing is prepped yet and I won’t have time in the next few days. Do I work on my blog when I am with my kids at home too? Of course; they are big enough now that they don’t require our attention 24×7 but I still TRY to not steal any time away with my boys.
Creating content i.e. taking photos
So… writing up and editing photos happens in the evenings, so how about shooting photos? The photos happen with the help of my husband, period. I don’t ever hire a photographer or meet up with other bloggers to shoot with. BECAUSE I work full time (four days a week from a remote office and one day from home), I can’t imagine that I then schedule a photoshoot with someone on a Saturday or Sunday which would mean I am away from my kids during the weekend too. Being a working mom I find it very frustrating that I am not with my kids more, so being away from them to shoot content is simply not an option. I am lucky that my hubby is into photography (he knows his stuff and was into it long before I even had an idea to start a blog) and this is a HUGE help! We do everything together related to shooting photos and our kids are with us, always. I can’t stress enough that without his help in that area, there would be NO blog, PERIOD!
By now, we’ve figured out a good routine for the weekends which is when we mostly take photos. I try not to ‘steal’ too much time away from my kids while shooting photos – so we either stop to shoot on our way somewhere with the kids or while running errands or a combination of the two. But I always struggle and feel so guilty that even if taking a few photos of a few outfit changes takes us a mere hour and a half or so, I still feel bad that we could have spent this time doing something fun with the kids. My husband then says that I’m crazy LOL and that I need to stop making myself feel so bad about it. Mom guilt is a real thing you guys! He can say this to me a million times but I always end up feeling this way. That’s my neverending struggle. But anyways…. it is a huge help that I always have a few outfits prepped and packed up in the car trunk 🙂 such that when we stumble upon a great location, I can quickly change and take a few photos (if there’s a good light of course). I mentioned this before in this post.
Sometimes, especially when my mom stays over for the weekend with us, we’ll sneak out for an hour or so without kids to take some photos and that’s the only time our kids are not with us. That is especially true during the summer when the sunset occurs pretty late and by then our kids would have been asleep anyway, so it helps that my mom is there to stay home and we can leave the house at 8pm or so and still have more than an hour left before sunset (that golden hour light, right?).
On a few occasions, we’ve been able to take photos on a weekday after work. But again, this is only possible in the summer as the days are long. In the winter that gets more tricky so then the weekends are the ONLY time we shoot photos. You get the idea 🙂
Now, how often do I do this – meaning, taking photos? I try to do it every single weekend with the operative word here being ‘try’ LOL! I mean, I plan for it every weekend to take a few outfit changes worth of photos such that I always have enough material to create a few blog posts out of it and plan for future posts accordingly. If I want to post on my blog regularly (which I do), I have to have enough material to last me a few weeks. This is especially important during summertime because some weekends (if not most) in the summer we are busy with other stuff and take advantage of the weather doing lots of kids activities. Sometimes we are literally gone all day Saturday and all day Sunday and squeezing in some time to take photos is simply not possible.
Working on everything else i.e. social media accounts, emails, etc.
This happens when the items in my first bullet point happen, i.e. in the evenings LOL! But also, during my commute to and from work. I take the train and luckily don’t drive to/from work and it is a HUGE help for me! But listen, do not think (I feel like I need to say this again) that I have all of this down and I don’t encounter setbacks. Because I do! Sometimes I feel trapped in my never-ending to-do lists and when I hit a wall and feel exhausted, I take a break. I won’t do anything blog related for days and when I allow myself those breaks, it’s when I come back to it with new motivation and inspiration. So those breaks are actually good for me, whether I take them because I have to or because I intentionally make the decision to take a break.
All in all, most my evenings consist of working on blog related stuff. I’ve given up watching TV (except for a handful of shows) and given up on everything else I might have been doing in the evenings after my kids go to bed. So whatever it is that people do after work when they get home – I don’t do that 🙂 This is the only way it’s worked for me because I don’t have any other time during the week. The saddest sacrifice of my free time has been the fact that I used to read a lot – a few books a month was a regular thing for me. I would mostly read on the train to and from work. But now, I am lucky if I read one book a few months because ALL of my time not spent at my day job or with my kids goes towards working on my blog and all its aspects. I am not complaining, don’t get me wrong; I love the creative outlet my blog has given me. And perhaps I could plan all of this better and still be able to find time to catch up on my readings…. hey, that could be a good resolution to make, right? 🙂 To plan and find the time for it.
Hope I’ve given you enough insight into my blogging world 🙂 and PLEASE let me know if there’s anything else you’re curious about. I would be more than happy to share!