What is The Reality of a Mom Blogger’s Life?

by Susan

Janice and I often ask other mom bloggers what their lives as busy moms-who-blog really look like.

  • How do they do it all?
  • When do they fit in time to blog?
  • Do they view it as a full-time or part-time job or a hobby?
  • Are their families and off-line friends supportive?
  • Do they use daycare or other forms of childcare?

 

We wonder how blogging affects the lives of our blogging friends – from those that blog occasionally to document their children’s lives to those that depend on the income from blogging to feed their children.

Susan and Sophia

Susan with Sophia at 10 months old

Janice and I started our journey as bloggers from a business perspective. We were already working at home online with our online pedal car store and rocking horse store, and we started blogging with a view to pursue it professionally.

We started out with one child each and we traded back and forth working and looking after our children. But when we both were due to have our second children four days apart, we knew we needed more childcare help. We both weakened and hired nannies.

And so we constantly wonder how our friends manage. Do they blog when the kids are asleep, when they’re at school, do they hire babysitters or use daycare… How do they do it?

One of our mom-blogging friends who we marvel at daily is Christine Young who blogs at From Dates To Diapers.

Christine has SEVEN children, whom she HOMESCHOOLS and she runs a very popular mom blog.

Janice asked Christine to tell us how she does it all…

After reading Christine’s blog and being social media friends for so long, I think I can guess a few more of her secrets to success.

Christine's Husband and Daughter

Christine's Husband and Daughter

  1. Her husband is ultra-supportive. Ray Young is a social media power user himself, works in PR, interacts with Christine through social media platforms such as Facebook, comments on her blog, tweets with her and participates in blogging activities with her. All of that is clear from viewing their social media profiles. And from long late night chats in person with Christine, I also know that he’s a darn sweet and supportive husband to Christine in every way.
     
  2. She involves her family in her blog. As you’ll see in her recent post about their family trip to Alcatraz, Christine uses her blog to celebrate and record their family’s life. Christine also uses family home videos as a way to connect with her readers while monetizes her blog. Watch her Bedtime Tips video that includes adorable clips of her children getting ready for bed. So “blogging work” for Christine isn’t just “work”.
     
  3. Christine participates and adds to the mom blogging community. Success in blogging is not achieved alone. It’s clear that Christine’s friendships and positive, honest relationship building have helped her position her blog and her own brand in a favorable light with companies seeking promotion online.

But remember it’s likely not as easy as it sounds… I know Christine is often exhausted, and I imagine she often feels pulled in different directions as the demands on her time never end.

Succeeding in any area — blogging or otherwise — requires sacrifice and often looks easier than it is. The more success a blogger finds, the more demands she’ll have on her time. Critics might speak up and competition may appear.

But mom bloggers like Christine push forward, embracing the love within our community and stomping through the challenges.

Though how we do it looks different…

Christine’s behind-the-blog life looks way different than mine, but we’re both making it work.

So What About You?

So I want to know, how are YOU making blogging work in your reality?

  • How do you do it all?
  • When do you fit in time to blog?
  • Do you view it as a full-time or part-time job or a hobby?
  • Are your family and off-line friends supportive?
  • Do you use daycare or other forms of childcare?

 

Leave a comment and share your reality. Feel free to link back to a post on your own site too!

And hey, if we’re not yet friends on Facebook, shoot me over a friend request and share your blog link on our wall at our Facebook Page.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

kmart designWe want to thank Kmart Design for sponsoring our video shoot during BlogHer 10 in New York.

Watch more of our BlogHer10 video interviews here!

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Written by 5 Minutes for Mom co-founder Susan.
Tweet with us at @5MinutesForMom



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 vicky February 24, 2011 at 11:30 pm

great content!! I have been blogging for the last year but my kids are over the age of 10. Not sure how if I would have been blogging when they were little. (exhaustion?).
However blogging fits into my life – very comfortably at this stage of life.
Congratulations to all those moms who blog, work, change diapers, nurse, make dinner, do laundry, etc. You are all amazing.

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2 Susan February 25, 2011 at 12:22 am

I can imagine that blogging fits in much more easily with kids over 10. It is crazy-hard when they are babies and toddlers.

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3 Nolie February 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm

My blog isn’t anywhere near that of either of you or the big names so to me it is a hobby turning into a side job now that I am starting to make some money from it. My son is in school two mornings a week and I get stuff done then. I also get stuff done when my fiance gets home and/or my son goes to bed. It all depends on urgency of what needs to be done when.

I have also been known to tell my son “mommy has to work for a little bit” when I have a great post I just have to write now or time sensitive e-mails. When I tell him that he says “oh ok” and will go play quietly in the living room or watch me work. We just recently gave him his own desk so he has been using that for coloring so he can work while mommy works.

Long story short… I don’t have a schedule or master plan. I just make it work lol

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4 Susan February 25, 2011 at 12:24 am

Oh that is so sweet that he says, “oh ok” and goes to play or watch you work. I wish I could say that my girls respond so sweetly when I say “Mommy has to work”. My biggest mistake was ever letting them play games on my computer b/c now they want to play games whenever I’m trying to work. LOL

It’s wonderful when your blog grows alongside your children and as they get older you also get more time to blog.

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5 Nolie February 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

My son went through a computer stage and still does if WE are playing a game. Otherwise he has been leaving our computer alone lately. Hope I am not jinxing myself. He is at his desk colouring right now as I sit here typing. I am lucky that he is mostly a very independent child. I am in so much trouble when I have number 2.

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6 Sara McGinnis February 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

My reality is that I blog all.day.long. I squeeze every spare minute I can into computer time from the moment my feet hit the floor (that’s not even true, I check my email on my phone before I ever even get up) until I’m the last one up at night.
I hate that it takes me all.day.long to do what is really half a day’s worth of work, but when you manage the house and have two kids that just how it works out!

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7 Susan February 25, 2011 at 12:32 am

I love your honesty here in your comment and on your blog.

It drives me nuts how long it takes sometimes to get stuff done. Try not to beat yourself up for it, but pat yourself on the back for getting anything done while running a house and chasing after kids.

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8 Jennyonthespot February 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm

It’s nice ti know I am not off-base. I feel like I am the biggest time Easter when it comes to the needs behind the blog. Meeting these women & hearing their stories is encouraging. Great articlcle, Susan. & that Christine is an incredible woman.

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9 Susan February 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

Thanks Jenny.

Yes, I find it so helpful to get to know the women behind the blogs and hear their challenges and also understand the support systems they have in place. We all have different situations and when we compare ourselves unrealistically, we just get down.

Sometimes I start to compare myself to homeschooling, blogging moms with tons of kids and wonder what’s wrong with me, why can’t I get everything done that they get done in a day. But our days and our lives are different and we can’t compare ourselves like that.

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10 Mel February 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Great post, as always! I think people that don’t blog just really don’t understand any of this. It is work, it is time consuming. Finding a balance is essential for our sanity. My kids are a little older and in school all day. Their dad is also very supportive of my blogging. He understands what it is, that I am not sitting here playing games. I think that helps big time.

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11 Susan February 25, 2011 at 12:39 am

Thanks Mel.

Yes, it’s impossible to explain to non-bloggers what this crazy life is all about. It is hard work, but we’re doing it for a reason… well, actually lots of reasons!

That helps so much that your kids are older and in school and having a supportive partner is a huge boost.

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12 Dominique February 25, 2011 at 1:39 am

My blog is not that big too.. but it’s making the odd dollar here and there which is enough to pay the hosting charges. I blog as and when I get the spare minutes in the day. (that’s why the PC is practically on all the time ) In between feeding the baby, monitoring homework,piano practice, cooking and housework.

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13 Webly February 25, 2011 at 3:03 am

I have a 3 year old and started blogging for the first time I Januaryof this year. I started a blog mainly because I had a fear of writtingfor the longest time and second I wanted to reach out to moms and women struggling to balancefitness and mortherhood. I have a schedule to blog now :Monday’s, Wednesday’s a d Fridays. I confess that I have family helping with babysitting.
I am starting to really enjoy sitting behind the computer doing something else besides programming. I want to do this on a full time level because I enjoy being myself online and feel that I can relate to more and more people.

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14 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Webly, I also used to be a programmer and didn’t think of myself as a “writer”. I still wouldn’t compare myself to “real writers”, but I love express myself through blogging.

Yes, a schedule really helps manage a blog.

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15 Webly February 25, 2011 at 3:05 am

I have a 3 year old and started blogging for the first time I January of this year. I started a blog mainly because I had a fear of writing for the longest time and second I wanted to reach out to moms and women struggling to balancefitness and mortherhood. I have a schedule to blog now :Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Fridays. I confess that I have family helping with babysitting.
I am starting to really enjoy sitting behind the computer doing something else besides programming. I want to do this on a full time level because I enjoy being myself online and feel that I can relate to more and more people.

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16 Nan February 25, 2011 at 7:18 am

I’m just starting out (again) and it is to support my kid’s lights biz that I plan to open in Sept. I actually first started 2 years ago and stopped blogging & my biz on the eve of opening because I hit burnout. My kids were too young for me to be focused on something other than them.

Now that they are 4 & 6 and mostly in school, I can devote more time. And my husband & I are re-focused on our inventing ideas and MUST get them to market – we are too old to keep talking about it!

And I’m off to check out your pedal car site (never knew!) and may ask some biz advice, too! Thank you!

Oh, and my house is messy! :)

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17 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Blogging is such a great way to promote and support your other business, especially if your market is the same as your blogging audience.

I know what you mean about burning out though when your kids are young… it is really tough. Starting a business is more than a full time job and raising kids is more than a full time job, so when you add them together it’s pretty hard not to burn out.

But I’m so happy to hear that you’re back at it now!

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18 Nan February 25, 2011 at 7:26 am

You have awesome stuff on the pedal cars site!

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19 Lolli February 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I love Christine and admire her so much! For me, blogging has become my job. While my kids are at school, I am on the computer pretty much the entire time. Someone asked me (and a group of other women bloggers) recently how much time we spend blogging each day. They were amazed to hear that all of us spend several hours a day. The key thing to remember is that so much of the time spent “blogging” is not spent in writing a post. It’s about building a community and interacting with both brands and bloggers. So I count my time on twitter and facebook as “time spent on my blog.” I am sure that I could make more money working a job outside my little home office, but I can also guarantee that I would not have so much fun doing it. I love blogging. I love interacting with incredible women all day. I love learning and pushing myself and trying new things. I am able to do all of that through blogging, and incredibly, I can pull in enough money to feed a family of 7, too.

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20 se7en February 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Oh Lolli, you took the words right out of my mouth!!! Blogging does take hours out of every day and it isn’t just about posting a post!!! But it is about a community and friends and from your comment I can tell you just love it!!! I am with you on that too!!! Have a fun weekend!!!

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21 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I LOVE to hear that Lolli!!!!

And you are so very right about the variety of tasks involved in “blogging”.

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22 Funkidivagirl February 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thank you for this segment because I am always struggling with how to balance with being a mother and a blogger. I will look forward to more of these segments!

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23 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thank you girl!

Yes, the struggle of balance is ongoing and it’s so helpful for us as a community to share and support each other.

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24 se7en February 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm

What a great post!!! I was planning to blog about how I blog next week… one of the common questions I get asked!!! So it is in my mind right now… I blog with little people in my lap, climbing on my head and when all is quiet in the dead of night – mostly then!!! I love blogging, it is my “me time” and a way fro me to get “out of the house” and meet up with heaps of friends I have made through blogging. Blogging is a part of our lives and doesn’t pull me away but rather pulls us together. Every week we blog something new we have tried, as well as an outing, a craft and a recipe… something I do with my kids in the afternoons after school… If I wasn’t a blogger I don’t think I would make an effort to do those things!!! So blogging is great for our family, it gets me to spend time with my kids, it gets me to spend time with friends without leaving my kids… I simply love blogging for the friends and opportunities that it has brought our family!!!

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25 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thank you se7en!

I think you’ve nailed down exactly how so many mom bloggers feel.

We often use our blogs as a way to pull together and document family activities and outings. And the friendships we build within our community are so important for us as women.

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26 Deanna- Mommygaga February 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I guess you have to find a balance between your work load at home and with your blog. I just make it work, no set schedule. Now that I have had another baby, my timing has definitely changed! I just couldn’t imagine doing it with 7 KIDS!! Major props to Christine!

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27 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Yes, new babies definitely change our routines, don’t they?

And I know what you mean, I couldn’t imagine doing ANYTHING with 7 kids. LOL. Christine blows me away.

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28 RuthAnn February 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I also am nowhere near to the big-name mom bloggers, but for me it’s a mini therapy session, I get to chew over my week, think about everything that happened and also put in some thought about what I would do differently next time a similar situation arises. With 4 children, 1,3,8,9 I sometimes feel like I am neglecting them if I sit down to blog. And sometimes it takes me more than 24 hrs to finish a blog…

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29 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Yes RuthAnn, I hear so many bloggers say that it’s like therapy to them. It is great to reflect and consider the life lessons as you go.

You do sound like you have your hands full with 4 children at those ages, but I’m glad to hear you’re still making time to blog.

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30 RookieMom Heather February 26, 2011 at 9:25 am

Love Christine, but I still don’t know how she fits it in and homeschools 7 kids. Is there childcare involved, all after bedtime, extended family filling the gaps?

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31 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I’m not sure Heather… but I know she does have a very supportive family. I also think that this year with having her 7th child that she seems to have been online less than before. I know she truly does put her kids first and as she says in the video, she considers raising and homeschooling her kids to be her full-time job and that blogging is secondary to that.

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32 Amber February 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I don’t do it all. Does any mom do it all? I don’t think so. I think we all have to make choices, and as moms, some of those choices are really hard.

I blog when my kids are asleep, or when they’re with another adult or during the hour of TV they watch every day. I don’t necessarily write every day – some days I write a few posts, some days I write none, and then I schedule them. My husband is very supportive, so that helps. Not all of my offline friends read my blog, but I wouldn’t say any of them are hostile.

I don’t view blogging as a full-time job, and so I tend to use my limited childcare time for other stuff I’m doing that has a more immediate pay-off. But I do view my blogging as important to other things I’m doing. It’s how I build my platform, make connections and learn what other people are talking about and doing.

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33 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Amber, I know you’ve been writing lately a lot about balance and I think you’re exactly correct that we can’t “do it all” and that we have to make hard choices. I think the key part is to remember that we will all make slightly different choices because our circumstances are all different.

The key is to not compare ourselves to each other but to support each other.

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34 Where's Mommy? February 27, 2011 at 6:00 am

Busy busy busy us Moms are!

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35 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Yes, I think busy is often the best word to describe moms. LOL

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36 Yolanda February 28, 2011 at 2:58 am

You know, this whole blogging thing is SO new and foreign to me. I’ve been blogging because I love writing, and it’s how I best think about things. But I don’t know how to fit it into my schedule. I think my husband is supportive of it, but I also understand his perspective that it just can’t be a big priority in light of everything else that calls for attention. It’s been an interesting tension in figuring out where the healthy lines of “me” time is. I’ve started using a timer to really limit myself actually. If I can’t finish writing in that time, so be it. Which is probably why I can’t connect in the blogosphere as well as I like. It’s hard to accept that though.

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37 Susan March 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Oh Yolanda, I hear you.

Finding enough “me” time is tough and as women we often feel guilty as soon as we try to take any time for ourselves.

I think one of the best ways is to use your blog posts as ways to collect family memories. Use it to save photos and tell your family’s story. That way you’re not just having “me” time, but you’re serving your family and preserving their stories.

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38 Coco of VidaCoco March 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I have a blog on my website, VidaCoco, and together they have become a full-time job. I try to work on my blog and content for my website whenever I have a spare moment- in the morning when my oldest is at school, when my youngest is napping, once I put the kids to bed, even the wee hours of the morning! As a stay-at-home mom, blogging gives me the social interaction, camaraderie, and sense of community I think women desire and need with other moms. On some days, talking and networking with other mom bloggers is the main way for me to engage in adult conversations and connect with the outside world before my husband comes home from work. Blogging is my escape from the every day routine and is a creative outlet that I use to try to keep my brain and writing skills sharp. I love to scrapbook to capture my kids’ milestones and my blog is my online (and cheaper and faster!) version that I can easily share with my family who live across the country. My family and friends are very supportive of my blog and website- many of them are moms themselves and are the inspiration behind some of topics I write about!

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39 Kristen March 4, 2011 at 12:16 am

This post got me thinking — why the heck AM I doing this?!? I blogged about my answer today. Thanks Susan!

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40 Tawanna from Mom's Guide to Travel March 5, 2011 at 12:11 am

As I sit here at 12 in the morning catching up on emails and my To Do Lists while everyone is fast asleep, I consider how I get a lot of this stuff done. The truth is that I don’t. I constantly have something on my plate and I do my best to get to it but it’s a challenge. I have two boys, 3 and 7 and a supportive husband. I’m finally taking blogging seriously after more than a year of doing it without real direction or purpose. Having a child with special needs makes doing all that I want to do even more of a challenge but I get through it and I stay excited because I have big goals and a vision.
Great post!

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41 Jazzy March 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm

This is a tricky one! As a social media specialist for my company, I constantly have to juggle work and family…but like so many other moms have said – getting them involved is key. My kids are great at participating in reviews, as well as holding the camera for mommy etc.

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42 Stella March 9, 2011 at 3:32 am

It’s been tough to get through the whole day with my five and three year olds and then repeat the process, especially when you are constantly pressured to write at night and throughout the day given our viewers demands. One thing that has helped a lot for my sanity is hiring a full time nanny as opposed to a part timer. Now we have help 5 days a week instead of the 3 days before and it has greatly improved everything!

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43 **Nicole** March 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

I “do it all” by using all of my “me” time in a way that is working towards something. For me my time I blog, or I read a book that I’ll be doing a review on, or I take pictures and edit them that I will use for my blog. That way I get “downtime” and “work” included all together! :) I consider my blog a part time job. I feel I put as much or more time into it than I do my “real” part time job! I blog whenever I can fit in a minute or two! For example right now my 3 year old is picking up her toys while my 7 month old naps. (I don’t have any childcare) My friends and family really don’t “get it”. Like she mentioned in the video I think they just think I spend an obscene amount of time online, and as much of I love my dear hubby he thinks blogging is just silly. (though he’s fine with me doing it since he knows how much I enjoy it) I love it though so I just keep on at it! I have a few friends who are super supportive and that helps! :) I’d love to meet more Mommy bloggers in “real life” though, it’d be great to connect with people who understand what I really “do”!

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44 Milla April 7, 2011 at 6:08 am

Well, being a mom is exactly about finding time for everything so a little blogging here and there whenever it fits just adds to that picture, right. I have a lot of support from my husband and family, so I manage to squeeze it in. But I am also the first one up and often the last one in bed. Which I often regret in the morning :-)

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