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Throughout my eight years of blogging, I’ve been approached by a lot of people with the same comment, “Oh my gosh, what a fun hobby that is!” or the misunderstanding of, “How nice is that, that you get to be a stay at home Mom and blog on the side.”
Now, let me start this off with just this, blogging is obviously different for everyone, for some it might be a hobby, for me at the beginning it was. It was a nice outlet the first couple of years to just write my feelings and spill my heart. However, now it is a (more than) full time career and the way I support my little family.
I’ve really gone back and forth about even writing this, just because I’m not one to talk about it, nor is that what my blog is about. However, after long discussions with fellow blogger friends I thought, eh–I’m just going to write it more as an informational piece. Mainly because I don’t think a lot of people realize the hard work that goes into blogging, what it looks like behind the scenes. Now, it’s literally different for every, single, type of blogger so what I do everyday, might not be the same for another full time blogger, but it gets the point across.
The thing with blogging is, I’m not sure I’ll ever be where I want to be. You hit one goal, that takes five years to hit and then you’re in tears because you’re still twenty steps behind the next goal you want to hit. It’s a VERY competitive industry. You’ll post a picture on social media, thinking it’s going to do so well and then literally have anxiety over it when it tanks miserably, when you don’t hit the amount of likes you so badly wanted it to. Now, the reason behind that isn’t because you look “cool” or want a lot of likes, but because the more you have the more you’ll be able to provide financially for your family and this little (but big) job that you have. It’s all a numbers game. Same thing goes for pageviews, shares, re-pins on Pinterest, etc. This is why I am so grateful, literally tears in my eyes grateful for each and every, single, one of you that takes the time to read my posts, to share them and to like them. It’s because you’re literally helping me follow my dreams, you’re helping my years and years of hard work pay off and you’re helping me provide for my family.
Another misconception with blogging is that I get to be a stay at home Mom all day. Honestly, most days I really, really, wish that was the case. My heart literally hurts because I work so much and miss so much time with my sweet baby, but at the same time I am so grateful and I know that what I am doing is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. However, that being said — Blake is generally with my Mom or another babysitter most days of the week. I’ve been trying really hard to work at nights and during nap time so that I can spend more time with her, but honestly, most days it just doesn’t work. Between hosting our Positively Baby Shower, Momday and everything in between for the blog I work 15+ hour days.
Now, before I continue please know I am not saying any of this for you to feel sorry for me or for the poor me card because that’s not the case at all. Like seriously, do NOT feel bad for me. I love what I do, it’s exactly what I am supposed to be doing and though somedays might be hard and long, I feel so eternally grateful and blessed for it. I am purely writing this so that more understand how much hard work goes into these little sites we have on the internet.
A typical day for me generally goes something like; wake up, breakfast with Blake, answer emails, send outreaches, write posts, shoot pictures, run to the store for post items, schedule more posts, more outreaches, more emails, last minute shoots again, write another post, social media content, etc. Then before I know it it’s 5:30, Marcus is home and I still have so much more to do. The thing is, these things seem super easy, which they are, they’re not bad. BUT it’s time consuming. I spend hours a day on Facebook researching, sharing and finding content my readers will like. Then I spend another two hours on Pinterest making sure to keep up with re-pinning, sharing my pins and keeping up with their algorithm. Same thing goes for Instagram and for Twitter. That alone is about 6 hours a day. Then you add in posts, shooting, emails and the events Dani and I throw and we’re easily up to about 15 hours, sometimes more.
I’ve forced myself to take time from 5:30-8 to spend it with my family, to be a Mom and to “fill” my cup if you will. As much as I love to work, there is a line and I was crossing it a little too much and finding myself more unhappy than not. So I had to reevaluate my priorities and set hours for myself. After 8, Blake is in bed, Marcus and I sit down and “watch” TV and I work at the coffee table on the floor until about 12:30-1.
So as you can see, it’s a lot, like a lot of work. So then you think about this — I’ve dedicated eight years of my life to this, five with Positively Oakes (seriously y’all don’t even want to see my blogs before this one, they were a mess. Legit my first blog was named “Two Birds Serendipity” – jealous? ;)) and you work so hard on something, then to see it fail or not do as good as you had hoped, or to see others surpass you that just started (whom I am SO happy for!) is PAINFUL. Like, beyond painful, in tears, anxiety through the roof and my poor husband is left to deal with me and help me pick up the pieces, painful.
Now, “free stuff”, I’ll just talk about this for a second because well, it’s just not what I like to talk about, nor do I think it’s necessarily “appropriate”, but it is a question I get asked a lot. So yes, I (we) get “free stuff”, but what a lot of people don’t realize is, this full time job for me, the job I need to make ends meet, to pay our mortgage and to pay our bills. You can’t pay those things with a t-shirt. So while, it’s absolutely a perk and I have had the opportunity and still do, to work with amazing companies because of it, one, I still have to claim it as income on my taxes and two, sometimes it’s hard because like I said, you still need actual money coming in to pay the bills. 😉
So my point of all of this, this giant post about what I do all day in my sweat pants, no make up on and top not is because it’s actually really hard somedays. It’s not just pretty pictures, it’s not just rainbows, white cabinets and perfectly messy braids all the time. Somedays you go to bed feeling really defeated, wondering why you do this? Then others you have that one good moment and you’re like holy cow — this is why, but overall it’s worth it and it’s exactly what I know God wants me to be doing and honestly, it’s exactly what I want to be doing, even with the hardships and challenges. However, please know that I don’t spend my day just taking pretty pictures, drinking fruity drinks and eating cupcakes while staying under a certain weight. That ain’t it at all. In fact, most days I barely have time to brush my hair, let alone eat healthy and work out, that’s just Mom life for ya folks. And though it might seem like we give this “false” glimpse of living, I really don’t think that we do. Now I can’t speak for anyone, so let me change that, I don’t think that I do, I don’t think that a majority of us do. BUT most people want to see pretty pictures, most people come to our social medias, our blogs to see inspiration, to be uplifted and because they do look “pretty”. It’s not that I am or other bloggers are trying to portray this perfect life, it’s just things we like. I love taking photographs, decorating my home and writing about real life Motherhood, that’s my passion and that’s my talent, so that’s exactly what I’m showing in my little corner of the internet.
Anyways, moral of the story — this little blog, was literally my first baby, it’s what carried me through our infertility journey with Blake and it’s what pushes me to show Blake that she can be strong, independent and do absolutely anything she sets her mind to. It’s my way of sharing my talents, of doing something I love and it’s what I put so much hard work, sweat and tears into. I’m so grateful though and I love it, I love the opportunities it has given me, I love how much of a better Mother it has made me and I love how hard it pushes me to believe in myself and to work hard.