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!
I love this! I have a toddler, and really struggle with finding the balance between my family, my full time job, and my blog. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I like the part about accepting my limitations – I need to keep that in mind!
I can’t imagine throwing in a full-time job! You’re amazing!!
The Real Couponer (@TheRealCouponer) says
I give you a LOT of credit for being able to run a blog while rising kids – that’s awesome!
Thank you for the support! A lot of this post was written as reminders to myself for those days when I feel like I’m not enough 😊
Love this! It is SO hard to balance family and a blog! I definitely use the sleeping times to accomplish as much as possible, but sometimes I am just too tired! That is why I love that you talk about allowing grace…that is so important!
Yep, I definitely had to let some things go, like posting on social media. Sometimes, I just run out of time, and it has to wait! But we make it work, right, mama?
I love this! I have 2 little ones as well, and running a blog can be hard to juggle at times. I work during naptime and after bed as well. It’s definitely a struggle to balance it all sometimes but I love connecting with other mamas and sharing our lives with others. It’s been such a fun journey!
It is such a special community!
April Kitchens says
Great great tips! I work before my daughter wakes up and during naptime. And I bribe my kid with Netflix sometimes too lol.
Yes, Netflix is a beautiful tool, sometimes 😉
Amanda | My Gluten-Free Miami says
As a fellow mom/blogger of a toddler, I found your article inspirational. I’m still working on getting it tacked down, but you had some good suggestions that I can try.
I hope it so, Amanda! Thanks so much for the kind words!
Jereann | Celiac Mama says
I can relate to the struggles of blogging with little ones as I have two myself. You have done such a great job, so keep it up and thanks for the helpful tips!
That’s so nice to hear! Thank you for the support and enjoy those kiddos!
Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy says
All great tips!! I do a lot of my work before they wake up, and after they go to bed, but even then it’s hard! Keep up the great work!
Thank you, Danielle! I’m hoping one day for these kids to sleep past 6 so I can have a bit of time in the morning, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon 🙂
I LOVE this!!! It’s so me!! I’ve 5 kiddos all off on summer break but I NEED my creative outlet in my blog. I would LOVE to wake up early every morning but like you said early birds!!! Thanks for sharing
Wow, you’re my hero! I would love a bigger family, but we’re not sure if it’s in the cards for us. But I’m sure having some quiet blog time in the morning is crucial! Enjoy the rest of your summer!
I love this! I love crafting but definitely don’t have the time to do as much as I’d like. And craft tutorials really do take a long time. I’m not good at getting up before my kids either so most of my stuff is done during the day or in the evenings.
Thanks so much for sharing! Its so reassuring to hear that others are feeling the same way. Sometimes I feel like I’d be so much more productive if I had wanted to create some other type of blog, but it’s probably a “grass is always greener” type of feeling 😊