Last week I talked a little bit about motherhood, work, balance and life, and how I sort of try and balance all of the above. Or rather my struggle to balance it all and that desire to just slow down that hectic rhythm of life.
This week I wanted to touch on how exactly blogging and my store fit into my daily life. Because maintaining a personal blog and an online store is a “work from home” activity it’s usually a little tricky to manage. At least in my case.
There are no set hours, the schedule is flexible, there are A TON of distractions and so on and so forth. Most people don’t really understand this part, unless they’ve tried it. I will often hear things like: “Oohhh you’re so lucky you get to work from home, your schedule is so flexible and that’s so fantastic,” etc. And it is. But it also has its less fun parts, mainly the fact that it is so flexible so it’s hard to maintain a set routine. It’s something my other blogger friends and I talk A LOT about.
Especially with Vid’s more unpredictable schedule and the fact that he’s absent a lot, I have a hard time finding and sticking to a routine when it comes to my work. I’ve gotten a lot, a lot better at it, mainly because I’ve also learned to say “no” and taking on a gazillion different projects, all of which pulled me in about a hundred different directions. But it’s still something I juggle on a daily basis.
Because I’m essentially a stay at home mom as well, a lot of my routine revolves around the kids. Lara goes to school every day, except Wednesdays when it’s only a half day. Lev goes to a wonderful nounou four times a week for about six hours.
Essentially six hours is a nice little chunk of time to get things done. However, when you factor in all the writing, photoshopping, researching, making lunch, getting the house in some sort of order, and maybe squeezing in a run, the six hours are gone in a blink of an eye. And on days when you have to run errands such as the store or post office, well, forget about it! Obviously, I can’t do all those things in 6 hours. Maybe some people can, but I sure as hell can’t. (and to be honest, it’s usually the housework that suffers the most. OOPS)
So, I prioritize. I try to squeeze the grocery shopping and other errands in the same day and I meal plan so I can get all the shopping done once a week. I work out 3 times a week now and I try to keep it it to an hour max, which sometimes means I just change my t-shirt and shower later because otherwise I don’t have enough time. I try to avoid getting too close to people on days like that hahaha.
There are days when I’ll just work on the blog and store exclusively from the minute I get home from dropping the kids, to the minute I have to leave to pick them up. Blog and store wise, I get the most done on those days and that’s also the time when I try and write down drafts or ideas for other days when I’m more time pressed. I also try to get some photos in, which I’ll then edit when I have a little more time or in the evening once the kids are in bed. (although this last thing is really hard because I’m not a night person and I get crazy tired)
I make a point of not working in the afternoon when kids are back home and during the weekend, except during Lev’s naptime (like right now for example, I’m writing in the car, while he naps). I won’t look at emails and I basically won’t do anything work related unless it super urgent. I used to do the opposite and was constantly trying to do everything, which basically just resulted in me being miserable because I couldn’t concentrate, the kids weren’t happy because I wasn’t really with them either and it was just a situation that didn’t work for any of us. Now, I’ll tune in to social media for a couple of minutes here and there to post or check it but I try to not overdo it.
Now, speaking of social media. Anyone else feeling super overwhelmed with it? I know, I am. I love, love, love Instagram but I try no to put pressure on myself too much when it comes to it because the whole social engagement part can really go too far. It’s a super important part when you’re a blogger, that’s for sure, but it can also be a real rabbit hole.
It’s really hard to find that happy balance so at least for me it’s important to take some time each week to disconnect a little from social networks, messages, emails… I’ll usually go out in the yard with the kids or a park and just leave the phone at home or in the car. That way I’m sort of giving my mind a break and focusing completely on them.
And last but not least, I really want to stress that none of these routines that I have are absolutely set in stone. Everything works a little differently when Vid is home and he takes a part in taking care of the kids and we also try and squeeze in some quality time together. So on those days it’s a whole different story altogether.
Ultimately, as I said in my previous post, you have to do what works for you and your family and by no means should you ever, ever compare. It’s hard to do but it’s so true. “Comparison is the thief of joy”, as Åsa so eloquently put the other day, and I try to remind myself of that every time my mind may wander into that blah area.
You do you, is what I say. It’s important to stay true to oneself no matter what!