September 22, 2011

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Transcript: Blogging (Part 4): Parenting

This entry is part 4 of 16 in the series Discovering Yourself Through Blogging

Hat-tip to Holly Tse for organizing this interview!

HT: Okay. I’m going to tell you my situation. I’m a full-time mom. I look after my son. My day can go from 6:30 AM to 8:00 PM at night, which is actively looking after my son. That doesn’t include cooking or prepping for meals or shopping or me time (and I say that with a little laugh). I don’t have a lot of time. Right now, I’m in the middle of running a telesummit. I’ve got a couple of interviews I need to record this week. Just before I connected with you, I was busily putting spices on top of personal pita pizzas so that I could get them in the oven, have them cooked, take them out to the backyard to give to my husband and son. They’re outside because my son is a toddler and he likes to yell, so they’re graciously going outside so that you won’t hear them during this call. In fact, this might be the only telesummit in the world where I have a cat and a toddler who occasionally co-host with me. So this is my situation. I honestly don’t have a lot of time. So, convince me: why should I start a blog?

SC: It’s actually interesting, because you’re a parent, full-time, very busy taking care of very important things in your life… There are a lot of bloggers whose lives are like that. This entire mommy-blogging phenomenon has really taken off. People [even] make good money doing this too. They’re writing about the things they learn. There’s a ton of learning when you’re raising kids, of course, and so they do that and they share their stories and that’s totally all right. For a lot of these mommy bloggers or parent bloggers – part of it is that sense of being able to take a step back out of a very busy and a very hectic day, have a little time for yourself, have a little bit of adult reflection time so that you don’t go crazy. Part of it is that desire to remember these days. People are writing about what it’s like to go through their pregnancies or their first days of anticipation, or the very firsts – you know, all these milestones. And the seconds, and the thirds, because all these things are special. You know that soon enough, the years will pass, and then it will be hard to remember what it felt like. If you’re writing about that…

So there’s carving out time for yourself, the ability to remember, and the ability to connect with people. Especially when your schedule is all crazy – especially with people who have really young kids whose sleep schedules haven’t sorted out yet – it can be really hard to plan social get-togethers. But if you’re connecting with people through the storytelling, through blogging, then you’ve got a little bit of that sense of what’s going on, and you can connect with people, and you can share your stories about what’s happening in your life. You might be sharing this with just family. You might be sharing this with friends. You might be sharing this with new friends, and strangers you haven’t met yet. So it’s a great way to take care of the social interaction and the learning and all of these wonderful things.

Now, in terms of freeing up additional time for sanity and other priorities in life… One of the other things I discovered while writing about all these little productivity tips that I was exploring was the idea of cooking a lot of things at once. And yes, you’re thinking this is probably not very possible considering you’ve got so many things to organize, and you’ve got a kid and a husband and all that stuff…

But we’ve switched over to cooking maybe once a week or if we’re lucky, once every two weeks, just going through lots of lots of food – chopping it all up, cooking it all up, and then freezing it nicely – we’ve got this chest freezer that we stash things in now, and that saves us time too. You can find a lot of people writing about their experiences doing things like this: once-a-month cooking, or every so often, they cook, or they split things up and they share it with other families they know…

So no matter what it is, there are other people who have been in your situation. There are other stories you can learn from. If you write about it, then you’re also asking yourself these questions, reflecting on it, figuring out how you can make things better, even if it’s just a bit a time. Blogging is just that extra little bit that helps you have that habit of reflection and improvement and then connect with all these other amazing people.

You can get most of the benefits by reading other people’s stories, and gradually improving your life, but it’s so much more when you can write about it and afterwards, look back and see how much your life has changed, see all the different things you’ve learned, and pass those on to other people, too.

So, you’re not hopeless. People have survived things like that before. There is always time for things that are important to you, and blogging can actually help you save time.

HT: You’ve given me some great reasons there. First, it can allow me to carve out some time for myself for reflection. It can help me remember what’s going on in my life and in my son’s life as he develops–

SC: And don’t forget your husband!

HT: my husband too, and it’s a great way to connect with other people who are going through similar situations. So.

I actually know two moms–I’m going to just throw it out there, because they’ll probably catch the replay, I’ll actually ask them to–because I know two moms who have been talking and talking and talking about starting a blog. They haven’t started. One of them, she has a blog, but she kinda [mothballed] it a bit. She’s busy. She has a seven-month-old. I know, when you’ve got a baby, it’s a little bit more challenging to find the time. But the other one, she has time, so I think… I’m going to throw it out there and hope that they’re inspired to start a blog.

Tune in next Thursday for the next part in this series!

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