I recently was asked to share “more transparency as to how we actually run the blog,” since it was hard to imagine how I could do so with little ones. So how about an update on how we are keeping things running here? The short answer I give to these kinds of questions is usually “well I don’t sleep a whole ton.” But as you can guess there is much more to it than that, so I will go a little deeper today. I know time management and balance are things I am always learning, so this topic can hopefully help some of you also trying to juggle multiple jobs or situations in your life.
Truth be told, it’s been a challenge to say the least at keeping things consistent recently! Ideally, I would post here 4-5 times a week. That is about how many ideas I have bursting in my mind all of the time. However, life with little ones a sweet you may is often unpredictable. Every week looks different! It also takes at least 2 hours to create one blog post. For a comprehensive one, it takes up to 8 hrs when you consider photography, editing, writing, and sometimes researching if needed. With my aim to spend most of my week with my family, this has become more and more difficult to maintain since little Azelie arrived. Hence, one week hiatuses like last week! I love my creative work, but it is also a job to help support my family. I have learned to treat it as such in order to maintain some balance. I have to set consistent hours and parameters to prevent it from overtaking the week.
I went from one to two work days a week this year because I was struggling to keep my work from bleeding over into time when I was with my little ones. When I can, I like to share my work with the kids and get them involved like shooting their own photos or showing them what project I am working on. Even still, I don’t want them to see my too much on my computer or phone, and it was tugging at me to separate the two more so that they don’t perceive my work to be more of a priority.
My role model of a mother watches my little boys once a week (and they are better for it!) while the kids are in school, and I take Azelie to a local coffee shop to write. My family just moved back to Atlanta this year, so I still consider time with them a luxury. The other day, we have our long time wonderful babysitter come and do the same. I use these two work days to answer emails, write content, schedule photos, take phone calls, create content for the blog, and develop some side project ideas. I also have to get up early and work late in order to keep things flowing week to week here on IHOD. Gabe is completely hands on when he gets home from work to help with our crew. We tackle dinner and bedtime together and he will take the little ones if I have a deadline due on the weekend.
My children are hitting milestones by the minute and I don’t want to miss a thing. I feel time slipping through my fingers, and I want so badly to be what each of them needs. On days that I am home it requires complete dedication to homework, diaper changes, bath times, kissing boo boos and painting pictures, listening to big ideas, singing to them at bedtime, and making sure everyone’s love tank is full. As you could guess, the balance of it all feels impossible some days. I battle sleep deprivation, lack of creativity, lack of patience, and feeling flat out overwhelmed. There are days I just want to focus fully on being a mother, and I have learned to allow myself that grace from time to time. When you are your own boss as well as heart of the home, you don’t have anyone telling you to slow down, pick up, or take time for yourself. For this reason, I have started to practice better life giving habits, as well as be better about using Sunday as a day of rest. Gabe takes it on himself to get to know IHOD in and out as much as he can so that he can be a soundboard for me on many decisions and content ideas. This has strengthened me immensely this year when I often felt too tired to figure things out on my own.
We have a team of contract employees. Currently, Megan is my superstar communications manager who helps me manage my inbox, edit posts, and prepare them to be sent our email subscribers. (Tip: hire someone who is strong, where you are weak! For me right now, that is communicating in a timely manner.) She is a pro at this. We also have someone who helps on occasion with graphic design layouts, an accountant, and a few photographers who help out when Gabe cannot take photos. I consider these people a part of the IHOD team. The movers and shakers that help me make things happen. I am so grateful for them.
Every few months we re-evaluate our schedule at home and the use of time. My goal is that this space continues to be a place that people can come and be encouraged to make the most of the life in front of them, which is something I am seeking to do along with you. It continues to be a place where I get to exercise my creative brain that is always begging to be used. However, if it ever feels like it starts to overbear my family life I pull back and readjust.
I hope this paints a better picture as to how we steer this ship with many sails;). I am currently sipping on an iced coffee at 2:09pm in the afternoon hoping for a second wind to make it through the second half of the day after a long night with Zelie. It’s a familiar feeling that only reminds me to be grateful that I even have the option of entrepreneurship alongside my motherhood. It has allowed me the gift of connecting with so many of you from around the world, and has challenged me to look deeper into every aspect of my life.
Keep asking the questions, as they help me step back and seek the answers. As always, thank you for being here. x
P.S. Me most of the time. Just to keep it real and all. (Tee supports a good cause!)
*First photo by Morgan Blake