Balancing blogging and family

Friday, July 10, 2015


When I first started blogging I set out with the intention of encouraging other women and mothers to be faithful in the daily grind of motherhood and life and to also document these precious, crazy days of life with 5 kids. That is still my heart. I have never had any intention of blogging as a full time work at home job. God has provided more than enough for our family through my husband. Although I would love to be able to contribute to our family monetarily from home, I have never felt pressure to do so. My husband has made it clear that even though he supports me in my outlets he does not want it to take away from my responsibilities here at home.

I recently have become an advertising associate to see if through my blogging I could maybe earn a little something. So far the grand total of my earnings has been a whopping sum of 35 cents! Woo hoo! I hit the jackpot! I know that doesn't mean I can't make any profit from blogging I am just not going to invest all my time into marketing and promoting my blog on social media.

Right now I feel I would rather invest my time in encouraging you, sharing my faith and being there for my family. I have started to link up more with other bloggers and link parties and that has been a huge blessing and has increased my readership. Though it might not seem a lot compared to most blogs I am very thankful for the faithful but few readers I have gained.

 If I do end up earning a little extra mad money great, but if not I'm fine with that too because that is not why I write. I write because God has put a desire in me to share my heart, my struggles, to encourage and uplift and to have a creative outlet that I can do right from home. The only problem is that it can be a big temptation to be on the computer more than I should. I can't imagine how hard it is for those who are really pursuing  making a living from blogging while still caring for their family.

I recently shared how blogging has helped me to be content at home and it truly has but I also wanted to share how it can also be a challenge to not let it take away from my home and family... if I am not careful.

The Elephant in the Room

It's very easy to look at mommy bloggers and wonder how they manage to care for their families and homes while blogging full time. I have always blogged when I have had "extra time" and only recently have I been trying to build up my content more, so I can't say that I know what it is like to be a full time blogger. I do know though that it is very different thing altogether to work away from home and work at home with constant interruptions. It is quite a feat. It can be a battle to set those boundaries of separating computer and family time.  Even though I love blogging and it has been a huge encouragement and blessing to me, I wouldn't be being honest if I didn't admit that it can also be a big distraction.

Disconnecting and Connecting

Just as I limit my children's time in front of the t.v and the computer I have to limit and set boundaries for myself. If I want to continue blogging I have to show self discipline to say no to my flesh. Knowing when to disconnect. Setting specific times for myself to be on the computer. If I get on meaning to only check one thing I can find myself in the outer regions of the blogosphere not even realizing that I didn't even accomplish what I came on to do. I haven't mastered this yet but I am praying that God will help me in my weaknesses and grow me in self discipline and self control.

It wasn't too long ago that I didn't have a computer or smartphone. I had a landline phone that had an answering machine and I simply got back to people when I could. Though I appreciate having google at my fingertips and text messaging saves me so much time and hassle trying to talk over the screaming child in the background. I really do miss those simpler days sometimes.

When my husband comes home I try not to get on the computer. When he is home, I know he wants my attention, to engage in conversation and be present. I am so thankful that he desires my company. Once the kids go to bed or at least most of them; we covet our time to ourselves. We need that time to relax and just be together...in quiet. I stay up late some nights when he is working but I know that sleep is so important for my health and state of mind. I desperately need it. God gives me grace when I don't get enough but I try not to deprive myself if some little person isn't already depriving me.

The struggle and blessing of blogging and most things in life is that they are never done. There is always another post to write, tweaking, fixing and editing to do, blogs and information to read and connecting and sharing to do.

Avoiding All Extremes

Just as in anything, we can get so caught up and obsessed with something that we lose sight of what is really important. The name of my blog is faithful with the little. That means that before I even get on here to write I want to make sure that I am being faithful on the other side of this screen. Looking into the eyes of my children, listening when they are talking to me, saying no to my flesh and choosing to do what is right; what is needed. I don't always make the right choices but I desire and strive to.

I have gone back and forth in my mind many times wondering if I should stop blogging. It does take a lot of time but time that I feel right now is well spent as long as I am not becoming obsessed with it. I love including photos in my blog but it can be very time consuming just to edit and add text to them. Little things that shouldn't really take that long can sometimes end up taking way longer than I expected. It all adds up but I am learning to let go of perfection and be content to do what I can; what I am able.

I also was getting disillusioned blogging because I didn't have a lot of followers for a long time and didn't see the reason to keep blogging when no one was reading. I knew in my heart though that I loved to write and these posts by a mama's storythe life of this mother and legacy of beauty really encouraged me and gave me new perspective about sharing my life and my story through the written word; whether anyone was reading or not.


Seeking God First

I believe the beginning and ending of finding balance in life is seeking God first. The battle is often found in fighting against all that is seemingly good, that would seek to distract us and deter us from keeping our eyes on Christ. He has to be the center. When I write I often sense his presence. I find myself understanding him more and my eyes being opened to what he is speaking to me. At the same time I want to make sure that he is my all in all and that if he called me to stop blogging that I would be willing and obedient. In seeking him first, I know that everything in my life will fall into it's rightful place.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

God has given me the great privilege of loving and meeting the needs of my ever needy little family. I pray that by God's grace I will always be faithful to the calling of being a mother and a wife before desiring to being acknowledged or acclaimed by the voices of others. I am thankful and humbled that God has used me at home to speak into the lives of others beyond my home. My family/home is truly where my heart is and I pray that God will continue to give me the wisdom and discernment to find the balance of always keeping it that way; while still being used outside of it.

Do you find it a struggle to find balance in your life?

How do you prioritize and set boundaries?

Do you find blogging to be work or a pleasure and a blessing?

Linking up with some of these awesome link parties!



31 comments:

  1. Such good thoughts, Rebekah. I've been thinking recently about the example I set for my kids with screen time! Ouch. Balance is always a challenge, and we can teeter off the edge in any direction so easily. I too enjoy blogging, but it is work (more than I expected!) and a challeng. I do appreciate the way writing things out makes me think them through more thoroughly than letting a few half-hatched ideas escape my brain. May God give us both wisdom to know when and where to invest our time and energy - because, you're right - none of it will ever really be completed!
    Blessings,
    Abi
    www.joyinmykitchen.com

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    1. Our children are great mirrors aren't they? They help us to put action to our words and help us to make sure we are setting a good example. Yes, amen I know he will!

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  2. Brilliant post. God only ever wants us to be faithful and pure in our endeavors. And it is perfectly healthy and okay to have your own outlets. Though the balance can be a struggle, writing on my blog has made me a better wife and mother. SO glad I found your blog {though I can't remember how!!} x

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    1. Thank you Sarah and you have helped me to see that:) I know I found you through mama moments Mondays. Did you write another post about blogging? I thought it was featured there but couldn't find it. If so could you give me the link:)

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  3. Great post on balancing blogging and real life. I find it hard sometimes too to hit the right balance. But raising kids and being a good wife will pay eternally. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Faith and Fellowship.

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    1. Thanks! Yes it's hard but God will give us the grace and strength to do what is right.

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  4. You make good points, and I can relate to all of them. My children are older now, and they require less of my attention, but it is also easy to use that as an excuse to "just do this one more thing". I often find myself blogging in bed after everyone is asleep. It isn't ideal, but I'm not enough of a morning person to think I can get up earlier and work on it then. I try to balance busy days with slow days. Some days I simply don't promote my blog as much, I don't do link parties, and I spend much less time on social media. While I can see a dip in my analytics those days, they are still worth it to me. I spend that time with my family and working on the house. I would burn out if I was doing this 24/7/365.

    It is also worth noting that many of the bigger blogs who ARE out there all the time and constantly updating often have contributing authors and paid virtual assistants to manage their social media and link parties. I remind myself of that when I feel overwhelmed - I'm an army of one and what I can do will be much smaller right now. (and that's okay!)

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    1. That is great that you have found a balance of what works best for you! I do realize that bigger bloggers have an army of people who make their blog run. It can be easy to forget that sometimes though. I think it's important to do what you can and be content with that. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I consider blogging on of my jobs/work, but not because I blog full time. In my head, to think of it as work means that I know I'm intentionally devoting a set amount of time/energy to it, while also being open and flexible for other things (caring for my child, cooking, family life, etc). When I'm "working" on my blog (writing, photo stuff, sharing, connecting, etc), then that's what my primary function is. I don't know if I'll ever devote more time/energy/effort to bloggimg, but I do know that I enjoy the qritung, sharing, and connecting with others. My readership is far from great or by some standards, even good, but blogging isn't for me about others as much as its about me and living. Afterall, what's the point in writing about life and living if I'm not actually doing either? :)

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    1. Yes, it is such a great outlet but you make a great point, we need to be living life in order to write about it!

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  7. I have only been blogging since the beginning of this year, and I have already found what you say to be true. Your comments about adding photos to a post were particularly relevant for me- they seem to be the biggest use of my blog writing time. Thank you for the encouragement and the reminder to have first things first!

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    1. It takes a while to figure out the ins and outs of blogging. There is so much involved but if we continue to prioritize we will find our groove without missing out on what is really important:)

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  8. Great post Rebekah! I can identify will it all. I am still trying to find my balance, but I am encouraged by your article. Thank you for sharing :-)

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    1. I hope you find what works best for you and your family!

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  9. Thanks for the reminder. In encouraging others, we never want to discourage our families. I want to be the YES mommy when my kids ask me to play. Not the let-me-finish-this-post mommy.

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  10. Yes, at the moment, blogging part time is definitely what I'm doing, it's amazing what others can do, but I know that currently that's not for me.

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    1. I love that we can find the perfect fit for us in the blogging world! We don't have to be like everyone else. We can find our own perfect fit!

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  11. Reading this from today's Tuesday Talk. Oh boy, you hit so many points here. Balancing it all. I know I'm on it way more than I should be. I don't have little ones at home anymore, yet it still is a time stealer. I admit, picture taking is not my strong suit and the way I look at it, will it make or break my blogging, I don't think so. I'd rather read the writer's content over pictures. That's just me though. You said everything I think every blogger has experienced at some point or is experiencing right now. Do come back next week to Tuesday Talk.

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    2. Thanks Michelle! I really appreciate your honest feedback:)

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  12. I appreciated the transparency in which you wrote your post so much. It encouraged me that I am not alone in my struggles.

    I have only been blogging since January. In March, my daughter and son-in-law (who live with us) had our first grandbaby. I also work outside of the home one night and two days a week and babysit my precious granddaughter the mornings I have off. My life seemed to get extremely full right around the time I started blogging...

    Whenever I do anything, I am all in! I put 150% into everything I do. As a result, I would venture to say it probably takes me longer to write a blog post than most because the editor in me comes out in full force - trying to be a little too "perfect". But I was encouraged when you said, "When I write I often sense his presence. I find myself understanding him more and my eyes being opened to what he is speaking to me." So very true! The Lord literally writes through my fingers! I am always astonished at the content that becomes my blog knowing that the Lord has inspired me every step of the way. Your statement reminded me that the guilt I am feeling about the time I spend blogging is misguided because indeed I am spending time with the Lord!

    The same could be said of the link-ups I participate in. I am part of a community of "iron sharpening iron" - a fellowship of believers.

    Thank you for your insights on how to balance blogging and for your encouragement to stay the course by seeking the Lord in all that I do. :-)

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    1. Thank you for commenting! I love how we can empathize and encourage one another. God has blessed us in so many areas of our lives but we must always remember to seek him above all else.

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  13. I agree with SO much of this. I am so strict with my girls and screen time, yet I spend so much time online with my blog and such. Some days I think this is what I should be doing. Other days I doubt if now is the time to be blogging. It's hard!

    I love that you said this: "The name of my blog is faithful with the little. That means that before I even get on here to write I want to make sure that I am being faithful on the other side of this screen." I do need to remember that...and I need to pray for guidance in what I should be doing and to have more self-discipline.

    Thanks for this post!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your struggle too! There are so many good things I love about blogging but I don't want it to distract me from what's best. I pray God helps us to seek his will and die to ourselves as he calls us.

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  14. such a good post. I often struggle with this as I have a four year old foster child that came into our home unexpectantly. We were not foster parents (long story) and I do not have any of my own bio children (as of yet due to infertility). So blogging was my hobby during the day (I was a stay at home wife). But now? It's hard for me to balance that time because I am not use to having a four year old here with me and wanting attention too. So I get this. I get your struggle. Thank you for sharing.

    waitingforbabybird.com

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    1. Yes, its hard. I continually have to choose to do what is best over what is good. I pray God helps us to make the right choices! Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. I can sympathize with what you mean. Uggghhhh, editing and adding text to photos drives me nuts! I love taking photos, but knowing that I have to edit and format them...it's such a time-suck and a headache that sometimes I prefer not to even add any. It always amazes me how long editing even just one photo takes. Anyways, it is tricky balancing home and blogging. Lately I have found that logging out of email and social media on my phone and computer give me this wonderful feeling of peace and quietude that I need to hear my own thoughts. Knowing that I have to take a moment to log back in and find my password makes me mindful of whether I should spend that moment writing or doing something around the house. It's a definite mindshift that I've come to appreciate. I recommend it if you have trouble ungluing yourself from the internet and its many wonders! :)

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    1. Yes, editing can be a pain! I have found that setting time boundaries has really helped me not waste time and to focus on getting what I need to get done first before hopping on the computer. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts!!

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  16. Reading this from today's Tuesday Talk. Oh boy, you hit so many points here. Balancing it all. I know I'm on it way more than I should be. I don't have little ones at home anymore, yet it still is a time stealer. I admit, picture taking is not my strong suit and the way I look at it, will it make or break my blogging, I don't think so. I'd rather read the writer's content over pictures. That's just me though. You said everything I think every blogger has experienced at some point or is experiencing right now. Do come back next week to Tuesday Talk.
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