I didn’t start off wanting to have a blog.
I just wanted to make stuff with paper.
After my Moose was born and I went back to work, I found a way to fill in my creative gap with an Etsy shop.
Then things evolved and changed as they tend to do, and I realized how much I enjoy teaching new crafters and breaking down the mystery of quilling paper.
So, here I am – 4 years later with a quilling and craft tutorial website!
But it hasn’t always been easy as my family has grown.
Today, I’m sharing how I run a craft blog while raising 2 small children.
I really and truly love having a blog, but it’s hard to make the time for it, day to day.
It’s easy to compare myself and my website to others. I just can’t write 5 posts a week. That would simply be insane.
Since most of my posts are original quilling tutorials, they just take more time than other types of posts. Between the creation of the projects, photographing, editing, and writing, it all takes time.
But I do have some tips on keeping productive on a blog with little guys underfoot.
I work during naps and after bedtime
This probably when 98% of all moms/bloggers are able to work. But throw in a new sleep issue, and everything is thrown out of whack!
My poor Bean has been having nightmares about birds lately and can’t fall asleep unless I’m in her room, so I’m spending about 2 hours a day sitting on her floor.
It’s not the most fun or most productive time of my day, but she needs me.
It won’t last forever, and my blog and our family are adjusting for now.
I allow a bit of TV time
Yes, my children watch a little TV at times! I’m guilty!
Honestly, if they didn’t I wouldn’t be able to shower, or sneak in a quick workout, or be able to drink a quick cup of coffee, let alone do some simple blog work.
I know there are some out there that will frown on this, but I know how much quality time I spend with both my kids during the day, so I don’t feel the need to justify this too much.
I don’t work before my children wake up
This one goes against most other bloggers.
But my little guys are early birds! There is absolutely no way I’m able to wake up before them in the morning.
Mama needs her sleep or else no one is happy and nothing gets done at all.
I make a lot of lists
Oh, how I love my lists!
Since my days are so busy, if I don’t write something down as soon as I think of it, the thought will be gone.
That goes double for my blog!
Instead of a paper list or writing in my planner, I tend to use Evernote.com as I’m on the go.
Whenever I have a post idea or the perfect opening sentence for a tutorial, I type it out really quickly in Evernote. Then, it’s super easy to import those ideas right onto my site.
I set goals for motivation
While I’m jotting down all those lists, I’m also adding personal and blogging goals.
There is something really exciting in seeing yourself make progress and reach new milestones.
Even if they’re lofty and far-fetched, writing down my goals makes them actually seem doable.
I share projects with my children
Whenever I can, I put those babies to work!
They’re not usually really interested in the quilling stuff yet, but if I give them some markers or some play-doh, they’ll sometimes happily work beside me for a short time.
I’ve even included them in some posts like my review of the book, A Beautiful Oops!
I rely on help from my family
I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but my family is lucky to have grandparents nearby that can help with the kids a little every week.
They are amazingly kind and generous with their time. And my children love them so much.
Plus, they take a break from mom to hang out with their “best friends” and I have a quiet house for a few hours.
Nana and Pappy Craftery genuinely have my eternal thanks!
I accept limitations and give myself grace
As I wrote earlier in this post, I can’t keep up with other types of bloggers.
There is no way that I can devote more time to posting than I already do.
It can be frustrating some days, but it’s just the way it goes sometimes.
I refuse to beat myself up about not having more time.
I am always ready for change
I’m sure every mom knows that as soon as you get used to the season your children are going through, they throw you a curve ball and everything changes!
And I’ve got to be able to switch my habits then too.
Even a new time of year means a change in the plans.
Right now, my Moose is on summer break and I’ve realized I have to scale my blog posts back to about 3 a month instead of my usual 4.
When he starts full-time kindergarten in the fall, I’ll be ready to write and post some more.
But I’m really enjoying all the time we’re spending together in the meantime!
I take breaks
Maybe I would be more productive if I spent every single second of my free time working on my blog.
But…I’m sure I would quickly become burnt-out and stressed.
As much as I enjoy blogging, I have to spend a little time on my other interests too. I love cooking, and updating thrift store finds, and I just started practicing yoga.
All these hobbies together make me a better me, and a better me is a better craft blogger!
I remember my “why”
Like I wrote at the start of this post, I began my website because I wanted to stay creative while sharing some quilling and craft tips.
It turns out that I’m now able to help out with my families finances a bit and my children get to see their mom working hard on something she enjoys.
I know this isn’t the usual type of post I write and a fair amount of my readers will not relate to this at all.
But maybe there are a couple of other mama’s out there who are looking to add a creative outlet to their overwhelming schedule and just can’t figure out how to make it work.
I hope this inspires those ladies a little bit.
And if you have some productivity tips for getting things done with young children around, please feel free to share in the comments below.
I know I can use all the advice I can get!