I got the idea for this post after chatting with Chrystal over on Twitter about finding time to work in blogging when you’re a busy mom. Obviously lots of people are busy and it can be hard to find time for lots of things, but I find that once you have busy little children in your life (2- and 4-year-olds are especially busy) the idea of time for yourself can become just that – an idea.
Sometimes getting time to do things for yourself, things you enjoy to do in your down time, comes easy. For me, my kids go to bed by 7:30 and during hockey season, that means I can get a few hours of reading in before bedtime. And usually I get some reading time during the kids’ quiet time – but other times they decide quiet time is just a suggestion and we don’t have any quiet at all.
Having limited time for myself means that I have to pick and choose what’s more important and for me that comes down to two things: blogging or reading. And typically, reading is more important. It’s the thing that relaxes me and the easiest thing to do when given a few quiet minutes.
Blogging is a bit trickier. Here’s how I manage to work in blogging time:
1. Have the WordPress app on my iPad.
I love when people comment on my posts, but it can be a pain to find time to reply to comments. If I have the app on my iPad I can quickly read and reply to comments when I have a few minutes while the kids are having breakfast or lunch, or if we’re watching a show after supper. I’m really big on multitasking, so if the husband and I are watching a show, I’ll probably do easy blog things that don’t require a lot of concentration. Having the app on my iPad makes it easy because it’s so quick to just open the app and like comments and reply. Easy is good!
2. Schedule a time to read blog posts.
Typically for me, this time is on a Sunday evening. The kids are tired after a long weekend, they might’ve played outside or gone swimming or for a long walk, and they’re just exhausted. So we usually let them watching Paw Patrol or Justin Time or something, and I’ll use a half hour of that time, or so, to go through my reader in WordPress (I’ll admit, it’s easier for me to just follow WordPress blogs through WordPress – I can’t comment on Blogspot blogs on my computer for some reason anyway, so this makes it a lot easier.). I can easily like posts, open the ones I want to comment on and comment as much as I can until the kids go to bed, then I might come down and finish commenting while I wait for the husband to finish up stories with the oldest. Sometimes I can work in more than one day a week to do this, but I find Sundays are just easier.
3. Draft posts, but don’t draft posts.
As I’m doing blog update stuff, I might come up with an idea for a post. Usually I post 2-3 times a week, so I’ll know what days I want posts for and I’ll start drafting posts early and put in a scheduled day for those posts. BUT I don’t actually write a post. For example, if I know that I want to do a monthly wrap-up on the first blog post day of the month (like this month it was the 2nd on the Wednesday I posted it), I’ll start a new post, copy the last month’s wrap-up, delete most of the info in it, and schedule a date for it. I’ll then save it as a draft and update it as I have time. Or, if I have an idea for a post, like I want to do my favourite books from the previous month, I’ll open a new post, write the title, put in the date I want to write it for, then save it as a draft. That way the idea is there, I just have to find the time to write it when I can. But at least this way I know what posts I want to have in a month.
4. Have a journal.
My husband might disagree, but I don’t always have an electronic device on me. This means that when I think about a post to write, I might wonder when I can post it – but I can’t physically open up WordPress to see what I have scheduled. I find that having a journal where I can quickly outline the days I want to post makes it easy to find days to have other posts. So I might have some posts scheduled for Mondays and Fridays, or the odd Wednesday, and I want to write a review for a book – I can easily pop open my journal and see what days are available and jot it down. That way I can draft a post the next time I’m on the computer. A journal is also great for when you’re not by your computer (or wherever you blog) and you have an idea for a post. It’s easy to jot down the idea, some additional information, then revisit when you have the time to sit down.
5. Write things down immediately and keep drafts updated.
Sometimes I have an idea that I want to read a set of books, but I’m not reading them all in succession and need to keep my thoughts on those books straight. I could write down my thoughts in a journal, but for me, drafting a quick post and updating it shortly after having new ideas, or finishing a book, helps. For example, in March I read all of the books for Canada Reads. I knew I wanted to do a full post on reading these books, my thoughts on those books, and my final predictions for Canada Reads. Instead of reading all the books at once then struggling to remember my thoughts for the post, I started drafting the beginning of the post, then added book thoughts as I finished each book. As I write this now, I’m currently reading the Giller Prize shortlist from last year – I’ve read two books so far and have those thoughts drafted in a post already and will add more thoughts as I read the rest of the books. Same goes for monthly wrap-ups. Having a monthly wrap-up post drafted makes it easy to go in once a week and quickly update it, rather than waiting until month’s end.
Like anyone can tell you, there are no hard and fast rules for blogging, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. Motherhood can be very busy and very unpredictable, so don’t stress yourself out! If you find you want to read more than you want to blog, then do that! Blogging time will come and it’s important to do the things that make you happy, rather than stress over things that aren’t so important. And if you still want to blog but don’t have a lot of time, maybe try and do just one post a week and see how that goes – try to work it in to your schedule the best way it works for you.
Do you have any tips you can share about finding blogging time, or working on a blog while a busy mom? Were these tips helpful to you?