Have you ever wondered what the blogging life is like? Or if you are a blogger, what other bloggers’ days look like? Today I’m giving you a glimpse of my life as a stay-at-home mom/blogger. Balancing blogging with my responsibilities as a mom, wife, and CEO of our home is tricky, but I’ve learned how to fit blogging tasks into the nooks and crannies of my day.
This is real life, folks. You’re going to get a first hand look of all the things I’m not. I’m not that organized. I’m not that together. I’m not good at many things. But what I am is happy. Even in the midst of this messy, crazy life.
This post is long as I am including commentary on the blogging side of life, but if you’re only interested in what my day looks like, feel free to breeze by those parts. The pictures are hurriedly taken iPhone photos, so please excuse their imperfectness. The day I’m showing you is Monday, which was typical in some ways and not so typical in other ways. But that’s how life goes. I figured it wouldn’t be authentic to wait for totally normal day. I might be waiting a long time.
My day started unusually early with Luke calling me. “I’m cooooold!” Very strange for Luke, but I changed him into some long-sleeved PJs as quickly as possible and got back to bed.
Again?! This time I woke to Luke yelling, “I’m so scared!” He was sitting in the hallway. “What’s up, buddy?” “I’m scared; I need more friends.” I brought him back to his bed and tucked him in with more friends (stuffed animals). He seemed only half awake. Most nights we don’t hear a peep from Luke, so twice in one night is very unusual.
My alarm goes off. I can’t believe it’s time to get up. I press snooze. A few times.
I am finally up and downstairs making my coffee. I try to get up by 6:00, but the middle of the night wake up calls make me extra tired on this day.
Coffee is made and I’m logged into my blog site, working on the day’s post. I try to get up by 6:00 so I have time to start my day with scripture and still have time to work on my blog. Doesn’t always happen, unfortunately. My day is better when it does. I usually break the process of getting a blog post ready to publish into two days (or two sessions). For this Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna post, I edited the pictures and created the graphic image on Sunday, so all I needed to do was write the post. There’s no way I could cram both of those tasks into the morning. Often, I don’t finish writing the post before the kids get up.
Meghan is awake and comes down stairs. I’m not done writing my post, but I have to switch modes.
We have leftover apple pancakes in the fridge from the weekend, so I heat up Meghan’s breakfast and then start to make her lunch. 95% of the time I make her lunch in the morning. I just can’t make myself do it at night.
Luke is usually up before Meghan, so it’s strange that he’s still sleeping. I’m sure it’s because of his restless sleeping night.
After Meghan eats, her lunch is made, and her backpack ready to go, we head upstairs. We chat while she gets dressed and then I help her fix her hair. By 8:00, she is out the door on her way to school, with Tim driving her.
Luke is still not awake!
It’s a small miracle that Luke’s not awake and I get extra time to finish my post. Usually I have eaten breakfast by now and I’m really hungry, but I’d rather get the post finished before Luke wakes up, so I sit back at my computer and work frantically. I publish the post and then check my Pinterest schedule for the day.
I schedule my new post to go out on Pinterest later that day. I use Ahalogy to schedule my pins, which I really like. I used to do only live pinning, and it was very time consuming and if I was busy on a certain day didn’t have anything going out onto Pinterest. Scheduling helps me to take days off from Pinterest while still having content pinned on those days. On this day, however, I haven’t worked ahead and don’t have anything scheduled yet. I make a note that I need to sit down and get it done later.
Facebook is a whole different beast. I see tremendous value in Facebook, yet can’t seem to crack its code. Using their scheduler is much easier so I have posts going out throughout the day without having to post everything live during busy days. Yet my reach (the number of people who see my posts) is low, low, low compared to the number of people who like my page. So I’m always experimenting, trying to figure out what is going to work. I’m trying live posting this week to see if that helps. It’s really hard to post regularly and consistently, however, without the scheduler. This is my long way of telling you that I posted something to my Facebook page during this timeframe. 😉
The big boy is awake and sneaks up behind me. The cushions are all over the place because I was in the process of cleaning the slip covers and they needed to dry, in case you are wondering why the living room looks so disheveled. I get Luke some breakfast. While he is eating, I read and comment on a few blogs. I rarely have time to comment on blogs anymore and I miss that aspect of blogging. Luke and I chat while I do this. I wish I could say I totally put my computer away while the kids are around, the my reality is that I often have to multi-task.
Luke is still eating so I start to unload the dishwasher. Then I realize I haven’t eaten yet, so I start to make my own breakfast. I have some leftover canned pumpkin in the fridge so I put on a pot of Pumpkin Banana Quinoa. While my breakfast cooks, I finish unloading the dishwasher. My breakfast is ready, but I have to wait to eat it as we are running short on time. Luke and I head upstairs to get dressed. First, I start a load of towels. Luke helps by pressing the buttons and then watching the laundry start to spin around. Every. single. time.
I put on my running clothes because that is on my list of things to do while Luke is at school, but in a rush, I skip brushing my teeth and washing my face. I told you; I’m totally not together. I get Luke dressed and bring him downstairs, trying to motivate him to go to school. He’s not having it. “I can’t go to school today! I need some alone time! I’m not handsome!”
I finally get Luke out the door to drive him to school. Once in the car, he’s forgotten the battle and is okay with going to school.
Tim brought his car to be serviced after dropping Meghan off at school, so after I drop off Luke, I go to pick him up.
I’m home and sit down to check my emails. I do a quick scan, only opening the ones that are important and need to be answered. I do work emails first, and then I check my personal email.
Laundry time! I switch the load from the washer to the dryer, start a new load, and then start putting away the 3 loads from the previous day. It never ends, does it? While I’m doing this I realize I’m not going to remember all the details of my day for this post, so I stop to take notes on my phone.
I also realize during this time I haven’t brushed my teeth or washed my face, so I did that, and then made my bed. Then I get back to getting the laundry put away. Why does this take so long?!
I’m ready to go for my run. I recently got a new iPhone, the 6s Plus. I upgraded from the 5, so my new phone is approximately three times bigger than my old phone! I used to run with my phone, tracking my run on the nikerun app, and listen to music. My new phone seems too big to bring, so I head out on my run with no music and nothing to track my mileage and pace. This is tough for me! The upside is that during my 40 minute run, I prewrote a few blog posts in my head, something I usually only get a chance to do when I’m driving alone. I prewrite just about every blog post in my head before writing it. It makes the writing process go much faster and since I don’t have time to sit down and write multiple drafts, this allows me to do some revising and polishing. I often do my thinking in writing terms, like I’m writing a fiction novel with my thoughts. Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like it’s one way to practice my writing when I don’t have time to actually sit down and practice.
I get home just as Tim is leaving to pick up Luke from school. I’m so grateful that Tim works from home many days and is able to help with school pick up and drop off. It’s so helpful!
Even though I’m super sweaty, I sit down for a quick minute to check my Happy Healthy Mama Facebook and share another post. I resist the urge to look at my personal Facebook. Okay, maybe I peek. I also post one of my lasagna photos to Instagram. I focus on Pinterest and Facebook a lot, and Instagram and Twitter take more of a backseat. I just can’t focus so much time on all of the different social media channels. I happen to love Instagram, though, and hope to focus on that account more soon. Right now I try to post to Instagram once a day, but I miss many days.
Shower time! I feel like I’ve completed a whole day and it’s only noon.
I come downstairs with wet hair to join Tim and Luke for lunch. I eat a salad and some soup. The soup is a vegetable rice soup that I made in the crockpot on Sunday. I froze half of the batch and put the other batch in the fridge for lunches during the week. Those tomatoes are local and organic from my CSA. I love that I’m still getting them in October! Those are also local and organic CSA greens. I love my CSA, can you tell?
Play with Luke time. I put my computer and phone away and focus on being present with him during this time. We played with his train table, read books, and raced some cars. (Check out that hair! It was out of control!)
Tim got a call that his car was ready, so we head out to pick it up. I usually put Luke down for his nap at 2:00, so this is a dangerous time to drive in the car. A 10 minute car nap can spoil his entire nap, so I work hard to talk and joke with him during the car ride so he stays awake. It works.
It’s already late for Luke’s nap time when we get home, but he insists he’s hungry and needs to eat before his nap. I’m hungry, too, so I whip up a quick smoothie. We drink these down and then head upstairs. Luke insists on bringing all kinds of things up for his nap. This is nothing new, he sleeps with stuffed animals, cars, planes, and other things on a daily basis.
By the time I get Luke put down, I only have a few minutes before I have to go and pick up Meghan from school. I put the towels from the dryer into a basket for Meghan to fold later (one of her chores) and then put the clothes from the washer into the dryer. I sit down and quickly search for a post to share on Facebook. Then I leave to go get Meghan. Tim is working from home, so that’s why I’m able to leave Luke napping at home.
I get home with Meghan and Tim informs me Luke hasn’t gone to sleep. This is very, very bad news. This boy needs his nap. He naps 99.9 % of the time and most days, it’s a 2 1/2-3 hour nap that I have to wake him from. I brace myself for a grumpy evening.
I get Meghan an after-school snack and myself some green tea. I get her started on her homework and then go and get Luke since he’s talking loudly and clearly not sleeping. He makes it very clear he needed his nap. Meghan is not impressed.
Meghan still has another page of homework, but I decide it’s time to go outside. Fresh air always helps. Tim is able to join us and we play a family game of kick ball.
Meghan and I head inside and Tim stays outside with Luke. I help her finish her last page of homework and try to finish Pinterest scheduling.
Then I start dinner. While I do meal planning, I sometimes only plan the ingredients I’m going to use, and not exactly what I’m going to make. I knew for dinner on Monday I wanted to use up some vegetables that I had left over from the last week. I had 2 containers of mushrooms that I planned on testing a recipe with that I never got to, a head of cabbage from our CSA, and some rainbow carrots that I bought too many of. I knew I was going to use all of these, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. It’s kind of like being on the show, Chopped. 😉
During this time, I sneak in another Facebook post. Live Facebook posting is too tricky. I make a mental note to stick to scheduling.
Dinner time! This was one awful looking dinner. I ended up making a vegetable and bean medley that I served over some farro. This is actually one of my favorite kinds of dinners, but one of Tim’s least favorite. Although he scoffed at how it looked, he admitted it tasted much better than it looked and cleared his plate. The kids would not eat food all mashed together (or with sauce!) like this, so their plates had raw rainbow carrots, plain black beans, apples, farro, and some leftover chicken. Tim also had some of the leftover chicken.
Meghan completes her chore of folding towels while Luke hangs out and plays. Meghan and I are chatting and I’m shocked that Luke is playing nicely in the other room by himself. He’ll do this when he’s well-rested, but not usually when he’s tired. He calls me in to “come see my work.”
Meghan and I play the “what’s your favorite” game while she’s folding towels. I get a lot of good information this way, including what the favorite part of her school day was. Her favorite part: when a teacher from a different class came to her class to check on them and get them started when her teacher had bus duty. She said she fixed their pencil sharpener and starting acting silly and dancing around and that was the favorite part of her day. Interesting, right? Teachers, it’s the little things kids remember. 🙂
Luke brings some Legos into the mix when she’s finishing up her job. I help Tim clean the kitchen while the kids dance around and act crazy. I was planning on getting Luke to bed early and I worry that he is acting wired, not tired.
I planned on getting Luke to bed by 8:00, but I don’t bring him up until 8:00. It’s not bath night (we bathe the kids every other night) so I quickly get him ready and read him his stories. I leave his room by 8:20. Not as early as I would have liked.
Tim is in the middle of putting Meghan to bed, so I go in to say good night to her. I head to my room to change into PJs, wash my face, and brush my teeth.
I am exhausted, but I sit with Tim for a while. He’s watching TV while I check blog comments, respond to a couple of emails, and work on Pinterest. Luckily a lot of blogging tasks don’t take 100% of my attention and Tim and I can chat a bit, too.
It’s been a long day after being up with Luke the night before so I’m ready for bed. I try to read for a few minutes. I have been reading this same book for months because I typically only read 4-5 pages at a time before my eyes want to shut. I actually love it, but I don’t devote enough time to reading these days. There’s only so much time in a day.I read exactly 4 pages before I’m too tired to concentrate. I post one more post on Facebook and then I go to sleep.
There’s my day as a stay-at-home mom and blogger. There’s one million more things I could have done on this day. I went to bed with a load of clothes sitting in the dryer, I have a list of blogging tasks beyond the day-to-day tasks I need to get to, and I never feel like I’m on top of my house cleaning or organizing. This is reality, though, and I love my reality. I hope you enjoyed this (long and detailed!) peek into my day-to-day life.
This is the second post in my This Blogging Life series. You can read the first post here.