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Mom2Mom: Simplifying Your Holidays

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Mom2Mom: One on One

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Work At Home Mom- Part 3

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Shine Your Light

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Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti

Read reviews on a great book for teens

Friday, November 6, 2009

* Mom2Mom: In Bondage to Blogging? *




I didn't know it could be so complicated. This whole blogging thing. 


I entered the world of blogging five years ago. It was for connection, plain and simple. I had been diagnosed with infertility and wanted to connect with other women on the same heart-rending journey. 


And I did. Wonderfully so. Some of those women have become my best friends and I have even met a few of them, even though they are spread not only throughout the United States, but also into different countries.


Then I thought, "Hey! I love to write and my passion is women, so why not start a blog for ministry purposes?"


So I did. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. About everything under the sun, from marriage and infertility to being in eating disorder recovery and wanting to live an all-natural lifestyle. 


Then, a year ago, something happened. I heard, that if your reader base on your blog is big enough, you can make money. Money through advertisements on your side bar and even writing review periodically. And then I discovered, that companies want to give you things if you have a readership. Cool stuff, like kid's toys and books that I normally wouldn't have the money to buy. 


I added to the pressure. This year I began Mama Buzz. What was I thinking?


So I start reading. And I learn what you have to do to get your blog traffic increased. How to check your stats and see how you rate and how to approach your blogging as a job, not just a hobby. My problem is, I have begun to approach it as an obsession. 


Last week, as my daughter tugged at my pant legs crying for attention, I realized I had been chained to my computer for several hours. I had been checking my stats, trying to network, trying to contact people for giveaways and trying to plan blog posts that people will flock to. 


And then it hit me--this is not what I am called to do with my life. I have been called to be:


A wife, a mom, and an author - - not a full time blogger. 


Sure, my intentions are great!  Ultimately, my intentions are to support my family. I mean, what could be better than the blogging mom I saw on Oprah one day that is bringing in $1,000'S a month from her blog?  I'd be combining my love of writing with making some extra for my family. Extra for the vacation we haven't been able to go on in three years, the camera I'm dying to buy, and everything we need to bring our forever children home to stay. 


But at what cost?  Ignoring my child?  Foregoing time with my husband in the evening because I have "one more thing to do?  Tweeting more than reading with my daughter?  Contacting companies for products more than baking healthy meals?


I found myself overwhelmed and frustrated. For all the time invested, I had little to show. Only 46 followers, not even 100 comments on a CD giveaway, and no one joining my Twitter profile. Technorati booted my profile with their new upgrade and my Google page-rank got spanked again. Even worse? No one had commented a post I poured my heart into. 


In those moments, I came to a crossroads in my blogging. I knew I could keep on the way I was, going crazy trying to become the do-all, top blogger in blog land. . . .

or I could stop and re-evualate my priorities and goals.

The conclusion I came to?  My heart is in motherhood and in writing books more than blogging, but I lost those heart dreams along the way in my quest for top-blogger. 


This past week found a difference in my use of time. I haven't checked my stats in 7 days now. I haven't commented any blogs in an effort to get comments on mine. I haven't tweeted that much and I've forgotten to ping most of my blog posts. 


Instead, I've spent time with my daughter and the daycare kids. Playing with them, reading with them, and doing one-on-one time with them. My times online have been limited to early mornings and naptimes. By 6 each night, I shut down. 


I still want to make money from my blogs, but it's not an obsession anymore. My end synopsis on the entire matter is, if God wants my blog to be popular enough to 


1. Minister to people


and


2. Help support my family


    then He will bring the people my way. Simplified logic? Perhaps. Doesn't mean I'm going to be a blog snob and never visit anyone's blog, only expecting them to visit mine. It does mean, however, I'm going to be spending time with  my husband and daughter, not commenting bloggers. 


     And hopefully, it means,  that the manuscripts that I have been called to write, will be dusted off and added to in coming weeks. Just not during my scheduled blog times. And definitely not during my beautiful family times!


How about you?


1.  Do you find yourself in bondage to blogging?  Some tell-tale signs might be:


  • Checking your blog stats at all hours of the day to see if they've changed
  • Checking any comments on your blog
  • Feeling a twinge of jealousy when someone states that they were approached by a company for a giveaway but you weren't.
  • Looking up to realize that three hours have passed like 5 minutes and your kids are amusing themselves, while you frantically worked at advertising your blog so traffic would build up.
  • Experiencing frustration when you get up from the computer at the laundry that is waiting, the dishes in the sink, and the mess on the floor.
  • Falling into bed at night, feeling like something isn't right because you haven't spent enough time with your children.

Challenge:  Jot down your start and end times at the computer this week. At the end of the week, see how many hours were spent blogging or doing social networking related work.
      Jot down your start and end times with your children. Tally them up at the end of the week.
      Jot down your start and end times with your hubby. Tallly it all up at the end of the week. 




From my Mama's heart to yours,
Melissa j







16 comments:

Hendrick Family November 6, 2009 at 10:25 AM  

Wonderful post. Wonderful!

Heather

Renae November 6, 2009 at 11:06 AM  

Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about! In fact yesterday I had to make myself clean the house instead of sitting at the computer all day. I found that if I set goals in the morning of what I need to accomplish for the day (besides blog stuff); it makes it easier not to get sucked into the web. I have to tell myself the blog will always be there, but some of the other stuff won't- kids grow up way too fast!

Anyways, it is a constant battle and I am hoping to find a balance like you!

Anonymous November 6, 2009 at 11:16 AM  

Yes, I too have fallen to this. I am a list maker and a schedule keeper. I *heart* my Franklin Covey daytimer. I thought I had it under control, you would think with all that I would.

But I get too busy sometimes, checking email, hopping from one blog to the next.

I was just about to put up a *taking a bloggy break* sign at my place. The holidays are coming--time to slow down. I'm ready for it. Ready to have a warm kitchen because the stove and oven have been busy with Christmas cookies to make with my 9 year old.

I am also re-evaluating our daily schedule (I have one printed out and hung on the wall). Hoping to find more structure in my day.

Great post.

Thanks for sharing.

Take care,
Amy
www.crumbsonmyfloor.com

Aimee @ The MommyTrade November 6, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

You read my mind! I feel the same struggles of keeping live balanced - properly! I love my blog - I love adding to it, changing it, updating it - I love everything about it, but it's not my end all. I too have to constantly remind myself that when my daughter comes up and asks to play that I have to stop and do so. Being my girls mom is my #1 priority when my hubby isn't home and I have to make it so. And cleaning - that's how I keep my hubby #1 when he isn't home! These past couple of weeks I've been keeping my blogging as #5 in my day - God, my hubby, my kids, my house and THEN blogging.
I have found that I feel more fulfilled, satisfied, complete in my day when I keep the computer off until I've played with my girls and gotten the house in order for the morning - then when my girls are occupying myself I'll do some work. It's not always that way everyday but I do try and keep it that way as much as possible!

Tiffany November 6, 2009 at 11:46 AM  

This was fantastic - thank you. You spoke right to my heart and convicted me. And while my children nap, instead of working on a blog post or hopping blogs like I planned, I am going to spend a little time with God and my journal. I have some priorities to change. Thank you. So. Much.

Kristi November 6, 2009 at 12:01 PM  

Thank you for this much needed post! It is all too common and easy to loose focus. Thank you for all you do at Mama Buzz!

Liz @ Frugally Blonde November 6, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

Thanks for such an open and honest post. I've been struggling with some of the same issues. As my blog has grown a little bit, it is difficult to figure out when and how much time to spend on it. I'm still working on how best to structure my day, but like you, I've decided that if it is going to grow it's going to have to be in God's hands. My family has to come first.

The Knutson Klan November 6, 2009 at 12:55 PM  

This is fabulous! I try very hard to not get "chained" to my computer. It still happens occasionally, but it's much better than it used to be. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Devildogwife November 6, 2009 at 1:11 PM  

I've recently started to treat my "extra" computer time as I treat my daughter's computer time. She has to "earn" extra computer time by doing different tasks around the house. Computer time is a reward. I'm leading by example with my daughter.

I've also told both my husband and daughter that they need to let me know if they feel that they are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to the computer.

I'm Anitra! November 6, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

Been there-felt that. Thanks for sharing this.

Anne - Mommy Has to Work November 6, 2009 at 1:57 PM  

Thanks for the reminder!
I, too, get caught up in the blogging world. It's nice to ahve a reminder to slow down and enjoy your family.

Tracey November 6, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

This post spoke to me! Thanks for your willingness to open your heart and share it with us!

Jenn November 6, 2009 at 6:15 PM  

This is one that my husband and I have been convicted on this week. We've been reading the book One Month to Live and the very first chapter asks us to list 5 things that need to change. My list read: computer, computer, computer, computer, computer. What would your ideal life look like? Mines said family. Later, we were asked to list what things we have in our lives and where they came from. After writing them down, dh and I realized that we have been giving 80% of our energy to computer stuff and 20% to everything else on the list. Computer stuff was the only item on the list that was not a direct gift from God. How sad. Very convicting. We're changing!

MoziEsm√© November 6, 2009 at 7:10 PM  

This sounds so familiar! Since I've begun my blog, I've cycled through things numerous times - I get sucked into the vortex of stats and personal expectations, take an emergency stress break, and then slowly work my way back into the blogging world and the cycle starts again. I'm still working on finding the balance...

Melissa November 7, 2009 at 6:15 AM  

Great post! I haven't found myself this sucked in to blogging. . . But I have found myself here with other things. Reading for one. I have had to take reading breaks because I get so caught up in my book that I neglect every other area of life.

Deborah November 7, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

Great post -- a necessary read for all blogging moms... Thank-you for being so candid.


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