Welcome to the fourth installment of The Mom Blog Collective. If you’re new here, here’s the scoop. Once a month, our group of amazing and inspiring mamas will answer the same set of questions to do with blogging, Instagram, photography, collaborations, sponsored posts, balancing it all with motherhood, and more. We each have different perspectives and different opinions, so this is a fun way to learn from one another. We hope you’ll join along! Check out the hashtag #themomblogcollective to see everyone on Instagram, and I will also link you to all of the amazing blog posts here at the bottom of my post! This week is all about the ever so elusive balancing act of motherhood and how we manage to make blogging fit into that.
I love this topic because it’s so refreshing to be reminded that the comparison game is real and its a big fat trap. I think it’s so good to remember that we are all just trying our best to be the best version of ourselves, work at home, stay at home, work away from the home, whatever it is that you do to contribute to your family, it’s not an easy task. Us mom bloggers are no different, just hustling for our families. Yes, it can be super fun, but it’s work. I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have but there are days I wish I could just get down on the floor and play with my kids without interruption but we might have things to get done. Balance, that’s the key, and it’s really difficult to achieve. I don’t do it perfectly but one thing I have found is to take the day in chunks and that helps me to feel more mentally stable and relaxed. For example, before Sully’s nap, we will do this, while he naps I’ll do that, when both the kids are awake we will, during their afternoon naps I’m going to until daddy gets home we will. Does that make sense? If I’m doing that I can be much more present. Also, as every parent knows, flexibility is key, some days you throw the whole to-do list out the window.
Here are a few things you may not know about this mom blogging gig:
1. We don’t “do it all”
I know it’s easy to think that this is all so easy and bloggers live this fancy-free lifestyle. Okay, that may be true for like a very select few, but not for this girl. I have to hustle my little booty off to even provide the tiniest contribution to my family through my “job” as a social influencer. Now, I am in no way complaining, I feel so SO so incredibly fortunate to have this gig, but I want you all to know that it’s not all about sitting around in our perfectly decorated and spotless home eating free See’s candy, wearing the cute embroidered dress that we got sent, while our children play with the adorable knit lamb dolls that just arrived in the mail. This is a job, and as in any job, your successes are largely based on your effort. If I don’t hustle to create content, write blogs, plan photo shoots, send out emails, I’m not going to do well in this space. It’s work! Just like any other mama who works from home, except I get to pick my own hours. Sounds great right? Well often times that means I’m blogging during naptime (like today) instead of doing one of the many things on my “mom to do list” or even my “me to do list” or once the kids are in bed and I’d rather be snuggling my hubby. Today I won’t get to shower or vacuum or meal plan because I need to get this done before the deadline. Yes, there are deadlines and yes if you don’t meet them there are negative repercussions. What brand is going to want to partner with a flaky mom? So if you’ve ever thought we do it all, we don’t, we do some of it. On a day where I do actually finish all of my to-do lists it’s because my husband is home, my mom is visiting, or I have a babysitter.
2. We don’t get “free stuff”
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard “it must be nice getting free stuff” and honestly it makes me want to vomit a little bit every time I hear it. It’s like saying, it must be nice getting a paycheck for going to your job. I don’t get “free stuff”. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times someone has sent me something, no strings attached in the last two years. Even then, it’s probably a bow, which will not pay my mortgage. Unfortunately, our landlords are kinda strict about accepting real money. First of all, it was a lot of hard work getting to this level as a mom blogger, in the beginning, I did a lot of work for free. Like, full on photoshoots with a professional camera and editing program sent to brands for no payment when normally that’s something that they pay for. Now that I’ve developed a very tiny reputation and have branded myself, I get to work with brands often. Any product that is sent to me is in exchange for a posted photo, it is not free. Let me explain this a little bit more. Yes, it is SO fun to get “happy mail” and open goodies that I didn’t swipe my credit card for. However, then I have to brainstorm my creative process for the photo and plan the time to take the photo. Now with two kids and one who is a busy baby it’s nearly impossible to take them alone, so we have to plan when my hubby is home. That means less time for us on the weekends to relax or more pressure on our normal family adventures because we have to “get the shot”. Getting the shot is not always easy, outfits must be planned, the right lighting has to be found, and then we have to hope that the kids are either excited about taking a photo or can be sufficiently bribed. Luckily Elouise really loves taking photos and actually asks us to take them. But there are times we are all in tears at the end, and yes I’ve literally cried. What, you’ve never had a hard day at work? There are times that I get paid for my photo and promotion in addition to the product, and this is factored into my payment when I send out my media kit. This stuff is not “free” you guys. I work my butt off for it. That’s why I am so picky about the things I promote because sometimes it’s just not worth it.
3. There’s more outside the square
You’re seeing a snapshot of our lives and most of us share the happy moments. That’s all fine and good, I honestly think there’s nothing wrong with that because my Instagram is my online scrapbook. I want it filled with my family’s happiest and most memorable moments. I don’t want pictures of a sink full of dishes or the kids’ laundry all over the floor, would you? We have the same messy moments, toddler tantrums, baby blowouts, etc. We are just moms trying our best. Here’s why our “snapshots” might look different than yours. We know the importance of framing the shot. Just because there’s not a pile of laundry in the picture doesn’t mean that I folded all of my clothes and put them away, (HA!) It just means I scooted the laundry just far enough out of my shot or angled my phone or camera just enough to where you can’t see it. This is why I try my best to keep my Instagram captions and stories 100% real, sharing the messy and crazy. We aren’t all Stepford wives with pristine homes and perfect children, we simply know the tricks to still getting a great photo despite the tornado of toys in the living room. That’s gotta be some sort of talent, right?
Read the rest of the posts from this week!
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