A month or so ago, I put out feelers on Instagram, requesting questions for a Q+A video, and you guys asked excellent ones. I attempted making the video blog, but I was having the most difficult time condensing my answers. I mean really, who wants to watch me talk for 10 minutes? No one.
(Also, recording a video while home alone with an infant who doesn’t nap is a skill I have yet to master.)
So, I thought I’d do the next best thing and put some of my longer-winded responses into separate blog posts.
Julie asked this question, and at first I was like “Great question! I have NO idea!” Balancing blogging with a new baby is no easy task, and it’s one I’ve yet to completely master; but because I feel entirely hit-or-miss these days, I can absolutely say I’ve learned a thing or two in the past few months.
1. Take a maternity leave I don’t care if your blog is your full time job or simply your side hobby, but this is the #1 thing I would have done differently. When you bring home a new baby, your sole focus is that baby. Although this blog was easily sent directly to the bottom of the totem pole when Jack was born, I admit that I still felt a nagging pressure to create new material and post on a semi-regular basis. I was recovering from a c-section, was home alone with a new baby within 4 days of coming home, and oh yeah – I had a new baby…
2. Set Realistic Expectations …Which brings me to this point. If I had set realistic expectations and told you guys, ‘I’ll be on maternity leave from the blog for X weeks,’ I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Also, I’d suggest setting realistic expectation in regards to the type of and/or frequency of which you’ll post. If you’re used to posting 3 new recipes each week, or posting twice a day, keep in mind that might not be realistic when you have a new baby unless you do a hell of a lot of leg work before you give birth.
3. Don’t be afraid of change …Which brings me to this point (see how this would have been too long of a video?) I had major trepidations about writing “mommy things” on the blog because I was scared I’d lose all of you. I know I did lose some readers, but I’ve actually gained a whole new audience by allowing myself to evolve and write about what’s relevant in my life — which just so happens to be “mommy things.”
4. Avoid campaigns/sponsored posts for the first 6-8 weeks I take pride in my sponsored posts and ad campaigns, but for the first 6-8 weeks, I didn’t feel like I was on top of my game and I feared creating subpar material that someone else was paying me to produce.
5. Frequent reality checks Will your audience disappear if you don’t post this week, even though you didn’t give them a head’s up? No. Will you never work with another brand again because you’ve passed up three opportunities this month? No. Will you ever write material with actual substance ever again? Yes.
Give yourself some grace, girlfriend. You literally just created a life.