You’ve seen the bumper stickers: I’d rather be fishing… I’d rather be shopping… I’d rather be… Yeah, those ones. The ones that make you want to scream, “I’d rather be ANYWHERE than stuck in traffic reading your stickers!” But occasionally, the phrase applies. Me? I’d rather be blogging. I’m over a quarter of my way through my first blogging year and, as much as it’s a challenge some days to find the time, it has been one of the best additions I could have made to my busy/crazy/messy/baby-full life.
5 Ways Blogging Has Improved My Life
When I first started toying around with the idea of blogging it was several years ago when it was just becoming a ‘thing’. Since then it’s evolved into a full-time career for thousands of professional bloggers around the world. I knew I would have to learn about SEO and find creative ways to get shares and followers; not to mention figuring out what ‘hosting’ means and why it’s important. But what I didn’t expect was how blogging would affect my every day life for the better.
1. A Reason For Me Time All work and no play makes mama a… well, not fun mama. Having a schedule to keep and deadlines to meet gives me the push I need some times to take time for myself. Even when it’s not ‘relaxing’, I find myself recharged after taking the time to work on something I enjoy and am excited about.
2. Keeps My Creative Side Alive It used to be so easy to slip into the boring abyss where my brain didn’t have an original thought for far too long. Now, I can’t get the creative juices to stop! Doing laundry, making dinner, changing diapers (oh the endless diapers…) my brain is constantly thinking of new ways to improve and new topics to cover. I love being pushed, always thinking, and improving! It makes me feel alive.
3. It Gives Me A Listening Ear Do you ever feel the need to just talk? Talk to something who is listening without interruption? Being able to complete an entire thought is an enormous luxury in my time of life right now, and having my listeners expanded from my 4 year old to other moms who can relate to my every day challenges is very rewarding. There is something so amazing about reading comments from other bloggers and knowing you’re not alone.
4. Pushes Me To Think Outside The Box There are hundreds of thousands of bloggers, many just like me, trying to ‘make it’ in the blogging world. To stand out of the crowd, I need to be continually finding new ways to be original and grow. I’ve learned the invaluable skills of self-education, research, motivation and innovation over my lifetime, but most often I’ve used them to do someone else’s project or assignment. Using previously acquired skill sets to do something I’m passionate about is so incredibly fulfilling!
5. It’s Made Me A Better Person I know this sounds cliche, but I’ve actually fallen into somewhat of a pattern in my thought-life. I’ll be in the middle of one of those too-crazy-to-believe moments that any mother of young children knows all too well, and find my patience slipping away as my temper begins to simmer. Before I get to the boiling point, however, this little headline will pop into my head ‘That Time I Screamed At My Kid In Public’ or ‘The Day I -literally- Told My Child To Go Away’. Yeah. That’ll do it! Mean mommy melts away and, with an extra measure of God’s grace, I make the right parenting choice and everyone’s happy. No, this method does not have 100% accuracy ratings at this point, but we’re getting there. 😉
3 Challenges of Being A Stay-At-Home-Mom Blogger
1. It’s Real Work! I was surprised – no, SHOCKED – at how HARD blogging can be! I always thought you write a funny post, throw in a few pictures, and voila! It’s a blog post. Well, I suppose you could do it that way, but most likely no one would care to read it! Computer techy stuff isn’t usually my thing, but I do know enough to get started, so I find myself – sometimes every time I sit down to work – stumbling through a tutorial or Googling the definition to terms I’ve never heard before. It’s worth it, definitely, but it’s work!
2. It’s A Cut-Throat Business Not really, but, well… sort of? I have encountered some amazing blogging friends in my short time in the blogging world, but it’s not easy out there. With thousands vying for the same audience, it’s no surprise that keeping up with the competition is a tad more difficult than journaling. Impossible? No. Easy? No. Worth it? Well, I think so! And all those people out there making 6+ figures are certainly strong advocates for it, so I’ll embrace the optimism and accept the challenge.
3. It Takes Time Time, time, time. Everything takes time! As a mom of two busy kids, I can’t imagine how some of these moms of 4, 5, or 6 kids find time to blog! There are days I don’t have time to shower, let alone write anything intelligible that’s worth reading. These last few weeks have been extra tough as my 7 month old is teething (breaking in three pearly whites!) and my 4 year old has had the cold that wouldn’t leave, plus an ear infection, plus the flu. Needless to say, I haven’t had ANY extra time and carving out 15 minutes here and there to write has seemed next to impossible. But the great thing about blogging is when I do it, I reap the rewards, and when I don’t, I don’t get penalized, reprimanded, or fired!
You can’t measure time. You can put a price on it, but you can’t equally divide it, quantify it or distribute it in real life. During this amazing crazy season, time is one of those staples like eggs. You never have enough when you need it. But when I do come across a pretty morsel of it, I now have a hobby that I enjoy that encourages creativity and personal growth, and – hopefully – helps a few other mama’s on a similar road.
Here’s to a cup of coffee that gets finished before it’s stone cold, a ready laptop, and a few minutes of peace and quiet! In my opinion, blogging is good for the soul.