First of all, I have to say a HUGE thank you for all the well wishes, prayers, and thoughtfulness from you guys this week! In case you don't follow me on Facebook, I had sinus surgery on Wednesday. Still feeling pretty crummy, so stuffy I can't even believe it, and some all over achiness...but that's to be expected. It's a gradual healing process, so I'm praying I'm in the 85% that gets "cured" ;) - time will tell I suppose!
Anywho...since I'm under doctor's orders to take it easy for a while, meaning, I can't (and unfortunately wouldn't feel up to it even if I could) dive into some DIY goodness for a little while, I asked you fine readers if you had any questions for yours truly - you know, like a fun Q&A post. This first question got 8 likes, so I'm guessing it struck a cord (or is that chord with an h? hmm...) with some of you:
"How do you find time to do it all and blog? For example, do you
have a significant other that is home a lot, helps out a lot, who
watches your children, do you clean your own house, etc...?"
Great question. I thought about this, and realized there are a lot of factors involved. So I thought I'd break it down.
Nothing drives me quite like decorating. I believe if you're incredibly passionate about something, you will find a way to make time for it. It doesn't feel like something you *have* to do, or an obligation. It's something that will drive a person to start painting a kitchen at 9pm (been there), or on a whim drag 3 kids ages 4 and under to Sherwin Williams because you're so excited to start painting the basement and will do so the second they go down for naps (done that). (In my defense, I live right up the street from SW, so...;) But seriously, I can't tell you how much I love decorating and creating things, and sharing them with you, so I think that gives me the energy to take my quiet time/naptime and use it that way.
I know, sounds weird, but indulge me for a second. I am so much like my mom, it's crazy. She had this energy about her in her younger years that would make people's heads spin, and I attribute a lot of my energy/craziness - take your pick;) - to having so much of her genetic makeup. And she's obsessed with all things decorating as well, and even at 71 years young, she can pretty much out-HomeGoods me anyday, and can definitely out yard-sale me. That woman is good. This past summer during one of our big blackouts from a storm, she spent the night at our house. I went to bed around 10, said good night to her, and woke up the next morning to find she had played around and moved items on my shelves and above my cabinets! Seriously. And you know what? Usually her styling looks better than mine. Mother knows best, I suppose;) But I could totally relate, because there have been nights I can't sleep because I'm dying to see if that table would look better on the other wall, or those chairs should be paired together. That kind of stuff consumes us, 24/7.
I get asked a lot by moms, how on earth do you do it? But it's usually moms of babies, or one year olds who are asking this. You know what? Never in a million years could I have done this when my kids were babies. I started this blog when my youngest was turning 2, and we were starting to turn the corner. Our sleepless nights were ending, we had much more of a routine. Our baby wasn't doing the whole morning and afternoon nap thing. He and our middle child were now on the same schedule, taking solid 2 hour naps from 1-3ish every day, and our oldest, bless her little heart, was remarkably good about taking quiet time - thank goodness, as she was our earliest give-up-naps-kid. So I now had a little time to play around with spray paint and fixing up the house a little. We were slowly starting to put those huge baby things, like pack and plays and highchairs away, and getting our house back a little, and that ignited my love of decorating even more. What's funny is that I never wished those big things away - our house literally looked like a day care (you can imagine, with a 2 year old, 1 year old, and newborn at one point), and at the time, I could not have cared less, yet once it started getting packed up, it was a little bit exciting for me. I was seeing our house again, in a whole new way. Which is why I say timing plays such a part in my whole blogging experience. It was a perfect time for me to explore this new and exciting opportunity to share my passion. And I'm so glad it didn't come earlier, because I never wished away the crazy-messy-house-that-comes-with-babies stage, and if I had been so obsessed with my house then, maybe it would've taken a little piece of that away...who knows?
4. Break It Down
If you are a blogger, you know it's time consuming. Craft/DIY bloggers have to first think of an idea. Then perhaps run to the store to get some materials. Then DO it. Then take pictures. Then edit those pictures. Then blog about it. It's a lot. And I'd go crazy if I did it all at once. So one day I'll do the project. Then the next day I might take the pics (unless I'm about to totally burst with excitement to show you, then I might take the pics right after;). Then I'll edit them maybe during a few free minutes when the kids are playing - now that they're older, they don't need me to occupy them all the time. Of course I don't neglect them by any means!, but at 3.5, almost 5, and 6, they go off together to play, maybe act out a play in the playroom, or dump the legos and build together. I've even been told to leave, because they're having a "Kids Only Party." I'm faced with a lot more 'few minutes here, few minutes there' to myself than I've had in 6 years, and I'm able to run to the computer to edit photos for 10 minutes if I need to. And the first grader's in school all day, and Tuesday and Thursdays the preschoolers are gone, so that's when I get a lot done also. I write most of my posts when they are in bed for the night. If all the photos are chosen and edited ahead of time, the posts don't take that long to do. By the time my husband finishes his Insanity workout DVD, I'm done and ready to watch some tv with him;)
5. Speaking of the hubs...
I am very lucky that I do have a husband that helps out a lot. He does the dishes every night, helps with the laundry, and when the house gets to that point - you know, when the dust bunnies have claimed residence and the filth is just too much to bear - he will get down to business. So I'm certainly not alone in the house cleaning, which is good, because I've learned to, um...
6. ...Let Things Go
Translation: my house-cleaning skills have seen better days since becoming a blogger. Well, not just becoming a blogger, but a mother. With three kids, it's so hard - ok, downright impossible - to keep up. Combine that with my obsession with decorating and crafting, and well...something's gotta give, right?! But in all seriousness, dust bunnies don't get under my skin nearly as much as they used to, and the fingerprints all over the stainless steel appliances stay there until company comes, sometimes don't get wiped away even then. I really don't mind them (which would STUN my former self!). Our beds are unmade more often than not, and basically our entire upstairs should be avoided at all times. Laundry never EVER ends, and I've been known to pull unfolded clothes from the clean piles to get us all dressed because it's gotten so out of control. Clorox wipes are my favorite product known to man, and get me through until I find the time to give the house a really good scrub down. So those pictures that you see on the blog posts of our house...they're like that because I've shoved everything else on the other side of the camera and you just can't see it. We live in this house, and I'm proud and happy about that. And I'm also happy and proud that I've been able to let my inner Monica Gellar relax a bit. I mean, I walked into my oldest daughter's room one day to see this and didn't have a heart attack - not only that, I thought it was adorable. I'm making huge strides, people. HUGE.
Amazing how motherhood can change a person;)
So you can see, there a lot of factors that contribute to how I juggle it all. It's all a balancing act, and sometimes things have to give. There are days I feel I'm totally failing as either a blogger or a mother, and I have to take a step back. Always a mom first, blogger second. No matter how badly I'm dying to paint that dresser or post about the new room makeover or clean the disaster of a house, I have to remember one simple thing, and it puts me right back in my place:
They won't be this little forever.
Suddenly everything else takes a backseat and I know just where I need to be.
Thanks for the great question, Christine! :)