In the previous post I reviewed a book about successful mommy bloggers who were able to pay for family vacations to Disneyland and create a comfortable extra monthly income. Today, I caution parents who blog to keep their values in perspective.
Trading kid time for computer time
Creating and maintaining an online presence takes several hours daily. I would not advise anyone with young children do it. If you must create, for me-time and sanity, write, write, write – in a journal, on the computer, or privately, accountable only to yourself. Consume content as much as you need to for ideas and comfort, but while kids are small, sleep, read, play; be with them. An interactive blog is not worth the trade-off in time and attention with your family. Try going to the park, playdates, and MOMS Club for socialization.
What other people think of you is not nearly as important as what your children think of you. Be in the real world as much as possible in this brief, intense time when you are the most important and loved person in their whole world. Blogging and social media gobble up your time and attention into a never-full black hole.
This is not the blogging advice moms want to hear but time and attention are vastly undervalued resources when it comes to kids. Those who don’t get enough seek them from others who can take advantage of them, hurt them, or change them.
Kids will seek love anywhere they can get it
Victims of sex trafficking are targeted because they crave love and attention. Predators offer disingenuous praise and hunt them through social media. Not to say if you blog your kid will be sex trafficked; I am saying that time and attention mean more to kids than parents realize and someone sinister could step into an emotional void.
Some highly efficient, motivated, supported people can manage momming and commercial blogging. Don’t feel bad if you fail at the latter. One day you’ll have more time and you’ll have different parenting challenges. Years of experience and perspective could make you a better blogger with more to offer. You won’t stand at the Pearly Gates reflecting on your life and wish you’d spent more time online.
Jennifer Roskamp, mother of nine and founder of The Intentional Mom, is exceptional. She had organizational skills, experience with extreme budgeting (she managed an 11-person household on $20,000 a year and now feeds her family on a $350 monthly food budget!), drive, and need (her husband was going back to school to get a better job). Her business and website are amazing, helpful, inspiring, aaaand she’s a triathlete – a real Superhero. Her interview with Ruth Soukup of Do It Scared podcast is here.
The right time
I include Mrs. Roskamp’s example here because we each decide what is the right amount of technology time for us, weighing the exchange of time and attention in other ways. If we are cognizant of our blogging purpose, we can control its hold over our lives. For example, a mom of youngsters may want to blog as a way to record all the tiring, repetitive, messy, gross things that consume her life right now because at the end of the day she barely has time to bathe, let alone read a book. Life’s a forgettable blur in this stage. Blogging once or twice a week for her own sanity is probably enough.
A blogger trying to create an online business to pay for her daughter’s college, the first in her family to go to college, has different time constraints and more physical freedom and mental resources available. For her, now is the right time.
My teenagers spend a lot of time on their homework and activities, so my daily blogging goal is within reach. I trade running without the dog, watching documentaries, and some book-reading for blogging. I work on my blog for 5-8 hours daily and most of the time is spent on editing, formatting, and picture finding. And waiting on the internet (double ugh). Writing takes the least amount of time.
If we can remember to be intentional with our time, it will work out.
How many hours per day do you spend blogging? What are you trading for your blogging time?
Featured illustration by Alice Barber Stephens in The Wayfarer, provided by ReusableArt.com