Before I was surprised with our twins at 34 weeks, I was spending a lot of my time reading mom blogs. Birth stories, DIY projects – it all kept me occupied during the last few weeks of my felt like forever pregnancy! My friend Kristina from Loughs In Love guest posted about blogging, business, and baby – a concept I still haven’t quite grasped! I’m still working on the laundry over here. But, Kristina is back with more tips + tricks for balancing life with bab(ies)! Plus, we get more pictures of her sweet Cooper!
After writing Blogging With Baby I was left inspired & started work on a follow up post the very next day. It took a few weeks of breathing (those of you who read the first article will get that reference) & business soul searching (see below) to finish but here we are! Eight more things to remember when running a home business or blog with baby.
Lower the Bar
This advice was given to me pre-Cooper. We’re taught to be super moms but the reality is mommying is hard. Whether you’re a SAHM, work full time, or a combination of the two motherhood fills a day like nothing else in the world. So instead of thinking you’ll get 10 things done settle on 1-2 of the 10 that are important on that particular day, then chip away at the rest throughout the week. This one thing saved me from tons of frustration & even though I accomplish less each day the trade-off is a better feeling of accomplishment in the long run.
This is an extension of Lower the Bar- Baby Steps accomplish BIG things. For example, I jot down blog ideas on my phone’s Blogger app while nursing. Something as simple as a title or few sentences, enough to trigger my memory later when I have more than just a few free moments. (Side note- that’s how this post got its start!)
My business, for the past three years has been painting glass. Cue baby & a totally new lifestyle. Suddenly I found myself not enjoying painting as much & day dreaming about writing & creating products geared toward family & baby instead. As soon as this reality hit I cut dozens of products from my shop & have started replacing them with things like THIS teether & THIS tote. Pieces that better fit our new life & that I get a thrill out of creating. Does it feel like a leap of faith to change paths like this? Absolutely, but in the words of my husband, if no one tried anything new we’d all still be watching TV on giant round televisions instead of flat screens.
Skip the Perfectionism
I learned this one real quick after Coops was born. I am a self proclaimed perfectionist. When it comes to work, certain house things, whatever. But who has time after baby? NO ONE. Now I’m not saying to leave laundry on the floor & stand proud saying you can go without picking it up, but going an extra day before washing what’s accumulated in the basket is okay, unless it’s covered in baby poop. Then wash the clothes.
Work Smarter & Less
Babies make inefficiencies apparent. I had no idea before Cooper that there I was wasting so much time throughout the day. After those first sleepless weeks it became obvious that what I used to do in a few hours now had to be crammed into a 45 minute nap time. I was overwhelmed at the mere idea of it. So what I started doing was planning during baby’s awake time. Figuring out what order things should go in to accomplish the most & what could actually be done with Cooper (like the snicker doodles we baked yesterday- yum!). After a few weeks of doing this exercise I’m blown away by what I can accomplish in just a couple hours throughout the day.
Change What Doesn’t Work
This goes along with working smarter & less. There were a few things in our product list that I’d create by hand, but turns out didn’t have to. For example, the tote bags we sell used to be 100% hand painted. When you have amazing wholesale accounts that order in the 100s, fantastic bachelorette parties filled for several dozen & single orders on a regular basis I look back with amazement at all the handiwork I did on those first pieces. While enjoyable to make, baby comes first which led to creating those designs on the computer & screen printing them instead. One huge bonus to doing this? I can create more intricate designs without sacrificing family time.
Don’t Lose Yourself
Losing yourself to motherhood is super easy to do. There’s minimal time for self & maximum time for baby chatter (which is the cutest thing in my world right now) & other similar baby things. But you matter. So communicate with adults. Join a mom support group, baby group or find something to do WITH baby that involves sharing YOUR interests. This is why on my blog, Loughs in Love, I post book children’s book suggestions a couple times a month. I’m a huge reader, but haven’t had time to sit down with more than one book since baby arrived 4 months ago. So to fill that love Coops & I frequent the library or bookstores weekly, read together daily & I started Cooper’s Library– a Pinterest board with our book wish list.
Give Yourself a Break
I read a THIS blog post by Casual Claire the other day that focused on how well moms are doing, even when they think they’re not. Mommying is hard & it’s easy to rain down on yourself for not doing what you consider to be enough. But the reality is you ARE amazing & doing fantastic things with your little. Just think of how far you’ve come in the days, weeks, months (in our case) or years since baby was born. It gets easier. Sleeping through the night will happen again. And life, in all forms, is beautiful.
I’d love to hear from you! What lessons did you learn when balancing life with a new baby?
Meet our Guest Blogger:
Hi! I’m Kristina, owner of Painted by the Shore, blogger behind Loughs in Love, wife to Eric & new mom to Cooper. We live in Branford CT with our 2 Basset Hound mixes & Bobtail. I love all things creative & bonding with other moms (like Annalee!!) over baby talk.